The Best Speed Bag Workouts to Improve Your Boxing Skills

The Best Speed Bag Workouts to Improve Your Boxing Skills

Are you looking for ways to improve your boxing skills? There are a large number of techniques and methods that boxers around the world use to enhance their skills and fitness levels. Speed bag workouts are also known for improving the most critical skills, including speed, endurance, punching power, and accuracy.

In this post, you will learn what a speed bag is, how it is beneficial, different drills to do with it, and how it can help take your boxing skills to the next level.

1. What is a Speed Bag?

The speed bag is a small bag that hangs from a low-hanging ceiling that fighters have used for centuries to improve hand-eye coordination and stamina. You can easily find them hanging in gyms around you. They come in various materials, sizes, shapes, and hanging orientations.

What Separates Speed Bags from Heavy Punching Bags?

Do you know how a speed bag is different from heavy punching bags or mitts? The thing that separates speed bags from other types of punching bags is their short range of motion. Due to this, these bags rebound super quickly. Consequently, they require a good response time from trainees to hit the target.

Here, precision and speed are the keys to hitting the target. Therefore, working on these bags helps fighters increase footwork, speed, and accuracy while learning pacing techniques that they may use in their boxing contests.

2. Ways to Work a Speed Bag  

If you do not have experience using a speed bag, meeting the rhythm can be a little challenging for you as it mainly depends on your hand-eye coordination. To use these bags perfectly and get the maximum benefits, focusing on the following areas will be helpful.

Hand Position

When learning how to punch a speed bag, understanding the concept of hand position is vital. You should start by punching the speed bag with the tip of your fingers while keeping your palms open. It will make the bag move slower. Also, use your strong hand first when you start punching the speed bag.

Always aim to hit the bottom of the bag and keep your hand closer to it. This will make it easy to hit the bag without moving your palms. Once you get used to hitting the bag comfortably with open hands, make a fist and hit it with the heels of it.

Striking Technique

If you want to hit the top platform every time at the same spot, you should hit the bag at the same angle every time. Doing so makes it easy for you to control when the speed bag swings back.

Punching Rhythm

Don’t worry, you do not need to hit the bag every time it bounces back. Striking the bag every three bounces is a good rhythm. When you hit the bag harder, it will come back faster. So, on the fourth swing, get it halfway and hit it before it comes back fully. However, practice is key to getting better at punching rhythm.

Routine Duration

If you are a beginner, take it slow and start with a 15-second set routine with a 30-second rest between each set. Once you become good with this routine, don’t immediately increase the duration, but try to increase the number of strikes in the same period. Once it seems easy, you can increase the length of drills to up to 2-3 minutes.

3. Essential Gear You Will Need for Working a Speed Bag

To work on a speed bag efficiently without any risk of injury, the following gearis essential to have before starting.

3.1. Hand Wraps

Hand wraps are required to cushion your bones and skin from repeated punching blows. They also help you protect your knuckles while improving speed bag workouts.

3.2. Speed Bag

The speed bag is the basic need for this workout. If you don’t have one, you can find one at boxing gyms around you. You can install it anywhere in your home as they are small and don’t take much space.  

3.3. Proper Footwear

To improve your footwork and other boxing skills with the help of speed bag workouts, you must have proper boxing shoes. It will make it easier to move around your target. That’s because these shoes are specifically designed to support quick movements in rapid succession while having a very low impact on your feet as you jump.

3.4. Timer and Music

You also need a timer and a music playlist for keeping track of your sets and improving your punching rhythm. Music makes it easy for you to follow the BPM and get yourself synchronized with the rhythm. However, if you do not like music, you can work on a speed bag without it too.

4. Benefits You'll Get with Speed Bag Workout

People might assume punching the speed bag and using different tricks as a play. But this is not true. There are plenty of benefits associated with this workout that make it efficient for boxers.

4.1. Improve Endurance

The best thing about speed bag exercises is that they help you tone and strengthen all of your arm muscles. Hitting a speed bag might seem easy, but if you have ever exerted your 100% effort during this workout, you might agree that it is not a walk in the park. The more you push yourself beyond your limits, the better you will be able to endure during training and fights.

4.2. It Adds Power

Heavy bags are not the only source of adding power to your punches. Speed bag punches exercise also does wonders when it comes to throwing stronger and more quick ones at opponents. This workout has a comprehensive sort of impact.

4.3. Boosts Speed

Speed bag workouts always help you improve your speed. The more you throw punches on a speed bag following the rhythm, the more you will be able to throw punches quickly.

As if in general, you throw 25 to 30 punches in 30 seconds, with the help of speed bag workouts, within the two months you will be able to throw 40 punches in the same duration. You can also increase the number of punching sets.

4.4. Better Cardiovascular Health

Do you want to improve your cardio? Training with speed bags can really help. As this is a highly intensive workout, it helps in strengthening the lungs and heart in addition to the improvement in other skills. High intensity in this workout burns calories and minimizes the chances of cardiovascular disease.

4.5. Improve Footwork

Footwork is one of the key components in winning or losing a cause in boxing. If you are not good with footwork, your hand training counts for nothing. While training with the speed bag, with a moving target, you also move, change your stance, and hit it at different angles.

4.6. Better Eye-Coordination and Accuracy

Speed bag training is exceptional for improving eye-hand coordination for hitting the targeted areas at the right time. A speed bag is a small surface to hit, which necessitates you having strong hand-eye coordination for precise punches. The more you practice on speed bags, the better you will have eye coordination and focus.

5. Tips for Beginners: How to Hit a Speed Bag

Here are some useful tips that can help you get better results when training with a speed bag.

5.1. Keep Hands Open

Do not use your fists when you are starting a speed bag workout. Using knuckles, if you try to hit hard or too fast, you may lose control. Therefore, experts suggest beginners start from the tips of their fingers and keep their hands open instead of making fists.

5.2. Work in Small Circles

Always try to punch the speed bag in small circles instead of hitting it back and forth. If you think this is difficult to do, you can practice in the air before doing it with a speed bag.

5.3. Maintain a Square Stance

When doing a speed bag workout, you do not need to be in the boxing stance, but you are in a square stance. Just stand in a square stance while maintaining the same distance from the bag. Also, stand closer to the bag, no more than an arm’s length away. Keep your eyes aligned at the height of the bottom of the bag.

5.4. Follow the Rhythm

Always try to follow the rhythm of the bag. If you go punching it without rhythm, you can end up with pain and frustration quickly. As mentioned above, starting as a beginner, start by hitting the bag once every three bounces to develop a rhythm. However, you can reduce this ratio while advancing in the workout.

5.5. Keep Your Hands Close to the Bag

As a beginner, always keep your hands close to the speed bag instead of racing them to hit the target. It will benefit you by keeping your hands in the right position to hit the bag quickly. Going otherwise can result in misjudging or losing control.

6. Top-Speed Bag Workout Routines

There are plenty of speed bag workouts and drills that you can use while strategizing your training routines. However, the following are some incredible routines that you can adopt to gain the maximum benefits from speed bag workouts.

6.1. Endurance Workout with a Speed Bag

It is a fact that speed bag workouts are incredible for endurance building, cardiovascular functioning, and upper body strength. You can find plenty of speed bag exercises for endurance building. However, here you can learn a simpler yet effective one for improving endurance.


  • Try to punch the speed bag at a steady pace for a complete 1-minute.
  • Observe how long it takes you to get tired.
  • Do at least 5 sets of 1-minute speed bag punching with 15 to 30-second rest intervals.
  • Try to increase the number of punches in each set.
  • Keep improving every day without backing down due to the increasing intensity of the workout.

Though in the early weeks, you may get drained out because of increasing intensity, it will become easier for you to be able to prolong your sets up to 3-minutes.

6.2. Strength Training with a Speed Bag

Speed bag workouts help in increasing the ability to throw faster yet powerful punches. Boxers like Muhammad Ali and Mike Tyson preferred this speed bag workout routine. You can also adopt this to improve your punching power.


  • Inflate your speed bag enough so that you do not see any creases in the leather.
  • Be in your fighting posture.
  • Punch the bag with your maximum power and count the number it hits the backboard.
  • In case of getting the number 4, try to get 4 rebounds.
  • Hit the bag with both arms 10 times with the goal of four rebounds.
  • Try to do three sets with each arm with the aim for 4 rebounds.
  • You should keep trying on and stop when you reach the number rebounds to 7 and 24 sets in total.

Do not get tempted by the number of punches you throw. Also, do not break your stance and keep your hands up during this workout.

6.3. Accuracy Routine Using a Speed Bag

Speed bag workouts enable you to land the punches with maximum accuracy. A large number of trainees find it hard to hit opponents accurately in the intended areas. With the help of this workout routine, you can increase the accuracy level of your punches.


  • Hit the center of the bag to get straight rebounds.
  • Try to hit different spots on the bag while following your rhythm.
  • Circle the bag in small steps without losing rhythm.
  • Repeat 30-second sets of this exercise many times until you feel fatigued.

6.4. Speed Routine Using a Speed Bag

In addition to improving punching power and accuracy, a speed bag workout also helps you improve your punching speed. As quick as your hands are, you have the chance to throw more punches before getting opponents off guards. You can perform a speed routine in the following steps for better outcomes.

  • Set your timer for 60 seconds.
  • Punch the bag at a slow and medium pace.
  • Count the number of hits in every interval.
  • Try to increase the number of hits in the next set if you were able to hit the bag 80 times in the first round.

At least add an extra punch for eight consecutive rounds. Don’t let your guard down, as otherwise, you will not be able to endure longer in a fight. Keep your hands up and punch from a fighting stance every time.

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