The speed bag has been around for a long time.  In hands of a skilled practitioner the speed bag can be an amazing display of controlled power and speed. You can mix fists and elbows together in a non-stop attack from all directions. The awesome sound and fury of the rhythm can be hypnotic, and that is what keeps people coming back.  But before you reach that level it helps to understand how the speed bag works. This website was designed to help you understand the equipment and how it works.. and we suggest you read the “Speed Bag Basics” pages in the order Listed, for each one advances the topic and skills a little further.


Why should you use a speed bag? If you play any sport that requires you to put your hands rapidly at a point in space to hit, catch, or block a moving object, (such as a moving ball, fist or foot…), you can benefit from regular speed bag training. These actions often require quick and accurate reactions with split second timing. These actions often require quick and accurate reactions with split second timing. The speed bag will fine tune your reaction time, which translates to all sports. It will also help you learn to keep your hands up in the “ready” position. Affected sports include the “Big 4” of Basketball, Football (American), Baseball and Volleyball. Others include Handball, Softball, Lacross, all racquet sports (tennis, racquetball, ping-pong). Simply put, If you “get in the game”- speed bag training can help you play better.

Eye-Hand & Foot coordination. Targeting the bag for single or repetitive contact, with one or both hands, and to do this continuously at the right time. You can do this standing fairly still facing the bag or moving around with basic footwork.  

Rhythm and Timing. Maintain constant and continuously flowing hand and arm movements with equal force and speed. Footwork around the bag can also be added. 

Hand Speed and Punching Power. Required to keep the bag going at a constant rate of speed. Also requires using equal punching force. As your hand speed increases, so does the power of your punching. Increasing repetitive hand speed also helps eliminate wasted motions.

* Fitness Benefits. Striking actions require the user to hold the arms and hands up for extended periods of time, building shoulder & arm strength and endurance. This in turn helps to shape, tone and define the muscles involved. Punching repetitively for a length of time, such as 3 minutes can have cardiovascular benefits, taxing the heart and lungs, and often leave you winded. With practice, you can extend this to 15 minutes or longer, helping to increase aerobic capacity

Rhythmic Expression. Like a “hanging drum” It allows the user a vast amount of creative capability. With a little practice, you can develop all kinds of different rhythms, allowing for a great deal of self-expression

Low injury potential. Speed Bag training has very low potential for serious injury. 

Home economy. Speed bag equipment can be inexpensive and adapts easily to the home environment. It can also be mixed with other home fitness activities. 

Adaptable. Speed bag equipment adapts to people of all sizes, shapes, gender and levels of ability or disability. Anyone can use it. 


In the Fury of fist and bag movements it is often very difficult to tell the difference between “techniques” and “combinations”.  The key to all of this is the number of parts used (fist and elbows) and the number of rebounds that occur.

technique is an independent striking skill that can be made in one smooth motion. Since we have two fists and two elbows, a single technique may include up to all four parts in the motion. There are techniques that use one fist, both fists, a fist and an elbow, both fists and one elbow, or both fists and both elbows. Within a technique, the bag will only rebound once between the connecting parts

Depending on the Technique used, the fists and elbows can contact the bag I several areas.  Below are shown the areas of contact

FIST Contacts areas

Elbow Contacts areas

Any time two or more rebounds occur before the bag is hit again, it is a combination. Combinations are made by hitting the bag repetitively with different techniques. Many people just punch the speed bag from the front which requires an odd number of rebounds, usually three (3). The bag bounces first away from you, with the second bounce by your forehead and the third bouce again is away from you. Then you will hit it again, just after the third rebound. This gives a very distinct sound called the triplet rhythm. (it is important to note the “odd” rebounds, 1 & 3 in this example, are away from your face.) When you do this with single fists only, you are actually doing a combination of single fist punching techniques with three rebounds in-between.

But techniques and combinations can occur from all areas around the bag. The more skill you have, the more areas you can use. The accent patterns of the bag sounds and number of rebounds required will change as your hands move around the bag. The next few pages will cover that – but here it is important to understand the difference between an individual technique, and how techniques flow together to create combinations.

Below is a sample combination of two single punching techniques from the front and back areas of the bag: The techniques are the Front Circle Punch (FCP) – to- Reverse Single Punch (RSP). This combination requires an even number of rebounds i-nbetween the punches, and creates a sound call the “Double Bounce Rhythm”  

Below is a Left Side Double Punch (SDP) to Right Side Double Punch combination:

This combination is a fairly advanced, for certain fists within the technique hit the bag from different sides, (the front and the side area). This Combination also occurs within the double bounce rhythm.

It recommended to read the Next Page on Bag Areas and Angles of Fist Entry