UNIQUE SPEED BAG WORKOUTS
* The following are only intended for those with advance speed bag skills, and those wanting to maximize their individual workouts for skill, strength and balance. They are not intended or suggested for the beginner or casual speed bag user.
For those desiring to advance their physical balance, coordination and maximize their workout experience, the speed bag can be joined with other popular types of fitness equipment.
PUNCH & RIDE
You don’t have to stand up to use a speed bag. Depending on your speed bag setup, either wall mounted or free standing frame, you can join a stationary cycle with your bag. This creates a very unique workout called “Punch & Ride”.
Upright Cycles. Depending on your style of upright cycle, these can be used with wall units. The secret is to adjust the height of the cycle so the belly of the bag is as close as possible to the correct position. (picture)
Depending on the width of your seat and width of the cycle, this set up could be slightly Unstable. Most notably it may sway sideways during side punching techniques. It is recommended to only use front and back punching techniques with narrow width upright cycles.
Recumbent Cycles Recumbent cycles are lower and probably will not work with a wall unit, but they may match up with a free standing floor frame. (picture). The trick is to match up all the parts on the floor of the bag stand and the bike.
This is a more comfortable set up do to the wider seat. But these are not easily matched up with a wall frame and also difficult to match with a freestanding floor speed bag set up. These pictures shown are from equipment of the 1995- 2000 era.
P&R Workouts and Benefits.
Joining a bag and bike allows for four workout options: First you can simply ride the cycle, ignoring the bag, or second you can just sit and punch the bag. A third option is to create an interval workout, where you can ride for a pre-determined time interval, then punch for that time interval. And fourth, you can punch the bag while you are pedaling the cycle. Doing both together creates a unique body coordination experience, since the upper body punching and lower legs pedaling are doing separate and different movements at the same time. You will find the legs and arms will find a natural speed to “sync” these motions together. But the larger muscles of the legs tend to dominate.
Advanced Coordination. You can also maximize the body coordination effect by adjusting some variables of the bag and bike. On the cycle you can vary the pedaling force required by some tension adjustment method, requiring your legs to push harder to move the pedals. Basically you can ride increase pedal pressure to ride “hard & slow” or reduce pressure to ride “fast with reduced force”. You may also adjust pedaling speed to move your feet faster or slower. On the bag, you can increase bag size to add more punching force required, or adjust your punching speed to go faster or slower.
The following adjustments will isolate your upper and lower body, making the legs and arms work at opposite extremes of force and speed at the same time:
Variation 1. On the cycle, increase pedal force to maximum. For the speed bag, use an 8×5 or smaller bag. This set up will allow your lower body to push slow and hard while your arms swing small and fast. Basically you are riding hard and punching fast. At these settings, you can expect your legs to give out before your arms will. Tip: the larger muscle group (legs) tend to dominate. You must fight the natural feeling to let your punching speed slow down to match your legs. * This is an extremely physical workout, and will severely test your cardio ability. Keep your time interval short on this one.
Variation 2. Reverse the last setup. On the cycle, removal all pedal pressure so no force is required. For the speed bag, use an 11×8 or larger bag. This set up will allow your lower body to pedal very fast with no force while your arms must punch harder and slower. Basically you are riding fast and punching hard. Tip: Now you must fight the natural feeling to let your riding speed slow down as your arms tire.
Several demonstrations of Punch and Ride can be seen in the video examples
STEP & PUNCH
Stepping Exercisers can now be joined with either wall or free standing speed bag setups. This is an extremely physical workout and requires exceptional balance and coordination. Your punching motions must be coordinated with the up and down motion of your stepping.
*Warning: Remember…there is a board over your head! You may also want the bag a little higher than normal, to allow your head to come up and not contact the board. Stabilizing straps are definitely warranted in this set up. You do not want the speed bag stand to sway when fully extended. Your stepping and punching together will find a natural rhythm and will quickly “sync” together. This is similar to the bag and bike. Also similar to punch and ride, you can adjust the stepping force and speed against your punching. The upper and lower body isolation will not be so dramatic here, but the shear physicality of this workout is enough on its own.
There are newer, more modern and less cumbersome steppers available now that can easily be utilized under any speed bag board.
PUNCH DRUMMING: Hitting the Speed Bag with music
The sound and rhythms of the bag can be used to punch along with music. The bag beat can be your own added drum part. Besides being a lot more fun, punching to music will also allow you to punch for a given amount of time at a constant speed. Even a short song is usually around three minutes. That is a long time to punch a bag non-stop.
- As a beginner, it only requires the ability to keep the bag going in your basic punching pattern. After that, anyone of any skill level can do this. Here are some tips to do this.
- It does not matter what kind of music you like. Choose any song you would dance to. Feel the beat of the song and tap you foot to it. You foot hits the floor “on the beat”. Now punch the bag from the front and let your fist hit the bag when your foot would tap the floor. Adjust your punching speed so your fist hits the bag directly “on the beat”. Now you are punching “in straight time” to the music.
- To add in double fist techniques, such as the Front Double Punch (FDP), time your punch so the second, (last fist) of the technique hits the bag “on the beat”. In music parlance, the lead fist would be a “pick up beat”. If using a triple elbow strike, the first few parts are also pick up beats.
- For Front Fist Rolling (F-Roll), begin the roll and adjust your punching speed to feel the bag beat in time with the music. You may sense four punches between every foot tap, or main music beats. Relax, these are 16th notes.
- With added skill from techniques all around the bag, your combinations can also create unique rhythmic patterns that fit perfectly to music. With this skill, you can begin punching in a “syncopated beat pattern” from all around the bag. Syncopated simply means several accented punches within the combinations will land slightly off the main music beat, but every few measures of music a main punch will connect “on the beat” with the music. It is slightly more advanced, but not to worry. Most people easily feel when the beat is correct. The trick is to constantly adjust your punching speed to adjust your bag beats to the music. Now you be jammin’!
View some of the demonstration videos to music to see and hear what this is like. Warning: it is very addictive! Hitting to music maximizes your ability for creative rhythmic expression!