Archive for April 18, 2014

Speed Bag Training

Speed Bag Basics for the Beginner

By Alan Kahn – Author of The Speed Bag Bible

Speed Bag Basics for the Beginner

By Alan Kahn – Author of The Speed Bag Bible

The speed bag can be used creatively to enhance all your punching skills, to include:
● Hand-eye coordination
● Rhythm and timing

You’ll need both to deliver faster and powerful repetitive punching combinations while moving your fists shorter distances than for “normal” punching. The key to this is understanding how the bag works and how to learn it faster.


First, is bag height. The belly (fattest part) of the bag should be close to your mouth or nose. Many people have it way too high, which leads to bad form or improper and ineffective punching technique.
Next, change the name






Next, change the name from “speed” bag to “control” bag. As you gain control of the more efficient, short arm and fist movements necessary, (by starting SLOW), then speed will come automatically with practice. The primary goal is to keep the bag going, no matter how slow that is – Even if you have to count the rebounds at first. (You will quickly hit faster than you can count). CONTROL is the key. In fact, the BAG is never out of control – YOU are. Once you can control the short punching, circling movements needed – – then the bag will simply be in the way of your fists (and elbows) and do whatever your fists tell it to. A tip is to make very small circling movements with the fists, no matter what “punch” you use.
Say your repetitive jabbing motion is a 12-inch circle. Keeping power or force the same, if you can shorter that 12-inch movement to 6-in, your fist will arrive at the target site in half the time. Viola! A faster punch by shortening the movement. To get faster, swing smaller. Speed is often a function of distance. With PURPOSEFUL practice (i.e. Not slamming away at the bag) you will increase your punching POWER along with the increased fist speed.
The speed “control” bag is simple to understand. If you hit it only from the FRONT, as most boxers do, the next punch should arrive after an ODD number of rebounds (1, 3, 5 or 7). Most people know the hypnotic “triplet rhythm” of the speed bag being hit. The basis for this cool “beat” is the accents of the sound. The first rebound (off the fist) is the loudest, the second rebound (by your face) is a little softer, and the third (away from you is barely heard, and runs into the returning fist which quickly adds the next accented punch as the fist connects. 1-2-3, 1-2-3… it’s the sound we all love. It is the same sound done slower or faster. Try and feel that beat, but if three rebounds is “too fast” for you, (or you refuse to slow down or hit softer…) than use 5 rebounds. The bag will be in the same position after 5 rebounds as it as after 3, in position to be hit from the front again.

Most jabs, straight punch and crossing combinations can be practiced with FIVE rebounds as well as THREE rebounds. Hooks are a little different. To practice Repetitive Hooks (i.e. Left Hook, Right hook) combinations, Use an EVEN number of rebounds (two or four). Four is best to start off with. This works because “the next punch is coming from the opposite side from the last punch”, and the laws of speed bag rhythm demand it.


To mix hooks with other punches, the number of rebounds needed may vary, depending on the angle of bag rebound and the angle of your fist as it connects. As and example, a “left hook” may follow a “straight right” after 3 or 4 rebounds, depending on the bag angle established by the right fist, and the angle your left hook enters. Practice this slowly and watch how the bag angle changes! Also, after a left hook, the left fist can return for a left jab on either 3 or 4 rebounds, depending on the rebound angle. Either way, the speed bag will force you to keep you hands up for combinations. By the way, the “hands up” ready position is also seen in most other sports.


For conditioning, the speed bag “pumps” your shoulders and arms. You will quickly feel the outer deltoid burn with repetitive punching. Also, if you can do it long enough, you can also get cardiovascular benefits, raising your heart rate and breathing harder. (You need to be able to punch it for several minutes to really get this benefit, but with time you can punch for long periods of time).


For a total body workout, join the speed bag with a stationary cycle. Talk about coordination! Punch and ride at the same time!


With a little patience and practice, you will quickly find the speed bag helps you pick off moving targets a foot or less from your face very quickly. But watch out… if you happen to play any other sport that requires fast, efficient hand speed (IE: softball or volleyball) then it will also help in those areas also.





Pre & Post Exercises for Boxing


Turn your training session into a 100% workout. Show up to training a little
early and warm your own self up. This way none of your training time will be
wasted with your Trainer warming you up. You are not required to warm up
on your own, it will only be to your advantage. You will then be able to cover
more boxing material and get in shape faster. If for some reason your Trainer
doesn’t see you warm up, then please inform him that you are ready to
“rock-n-roll”. You are also welcome to stay after and do a light workout.

Below are quite a few suggested exercises to do before and after your training
session or you can do your own workout.

Pre Workout Warm Up Exercises before Boxing


A. Do 3 Rounds, going through each group once, then repeat 2 more times:

Group 1
● 15 Jumping Jacks
● 12 Squats
● 10 Cherry Pickers

Group 2
● 15 Jumping Jacks
● 12 Squats
● 10 Cherry Pickers

Group 3
● Jump Rope 1 minute

B. Do 3 Rounds, going thru each group once, then repeat 2 more times:
Group 1
● Shadow Box for 30 seconds
● 15 Jumping Jacks
● 10 Side to Side Squats
● Jump Rope for 30 seconds to 1 minute

Group 2
● Shadow Box for 45 seconds
● 20 Jumping Jacks
● 15 Side to Side Squats

Group 3
● Jump Rope for 1 minute or Box Run (10 w/Left Leg and 10 w/Right Leg)

C. Do 3 Rounds, going thru each group once, then repeat 2 more times:
Group 1
● 15 Jumping Jacks
● 15 Ab Crunches
● 10 Pushups

Group 2
● 20 Jumping Jacks
● 20 Ab Crunches
● 15 Pushups
● 15 Squats

Group 3
● Shadow Box or Jump Rope for 1-2 minutes


Post Workout Exercises, to do after your Boxing Workout


A. Do 1 Round: (coordination & timing)
● Speed Bag 1-2 minutes x 3 sets
● Weighted Shadow Boxing w/2-3 lb. Dumbbells 1 minute x 2 sets
● Jump Rope 1 minute x 1 set
● Plyometric Jumps on Red Box 30 seconds x 2 sets

B. Do 1 Round: (strength development)
● Dumbbell Chest Press 10-15 reps x 3 sets
● Dumbbell Overhead Tricep Extension 10-12 reps x 3 sets
● Dumbbell Shoulder Press 10-12 reps x 2 sets
● Dumbbell Curl 10-12 reps x 2 sets
● Dumbbell Bent-over Flyes 10-15 reps x 2 sets

C. Do 1 Round: (body conditioning exercises)
● Ab Crunches 12-15 reps x 3 sets
● Tricep Dips (on bench or off the ring) 12-15 reps x 3 sets
● Pushups 12-15 reps x 3 sets
● Lunges super set with fast Squats 12-15 reps x 2 sets each
● Jumping Jacks 20-30 reps x set

D. Do 1 Round: (lower body strength conditioning)
● Dumbbell Squats 10-12 reps x 3 sets
● Weighted Lunges 10-12 reps x 2 sets
● Stiff Legged Deadlift 10-12 reps x 2 sets
● Plyometric Jumps 10-15 reps x 2 sets

We hope you make the best of your Training time and do the Pre and Post Workouts!

Body Fat Percentages



Body fat percentage in athletes:
Athletes typically have significantly lower body fat. For example, body fat percentages of about 20 percent for fit women, and 10 percent for fit men are not uncommon.

Body fat percentage increases with improper weight gain:
For average people that do not work out, weight-gain equals fat-gain. Our body fat increases while our lean tissue or muscle remains fairly constant. So for most people, body fat percentage increases with every pound of weight gained.

Body fat percentage and weight loss:
In general, whenever you reduce weight by following a sensible weight loss diet, you lose mostly body fat. Even though you also lose some lean tissue (muscle), you lose a lot more fat. So your body fat percentage will reduce. However, if you fast, or try a fad diet, or use weight loss pills, most of your weight loss may be water-only. So your body fat percentage will stay virtually unchanged.

Body fat percentage and repeated dieting:
Repeated dieting involving weight loss then weight gain then weight loss etc.
(yo-yo weigh loss) tends to increase our body fat percentage. Because when we lose weight we also lose some muscle, but when we regain weight this muscle is not replaced. Result? We have increased our fat and decreased our muscle thus raising our body fat percentage. Another reason why it is important to exercise when dieting, in order to reduce muscle loss.

Normal body fat percentage:
A certain amount of fat is essential for energy reserves, bodily functions and body protection. However, at present there is no definite guidelines on healthy body fat percentage.

Body fat distribution:
Where your excess body fat is distributed is as important than the amount of
body fat you have. Recent studies have shown that extra fat around the waist
means a higher risk for developing ill-health (as in a heart attack) than fat carried on the thighs and buttocks.

KEY IS TO ALWAYS KEEP EXERCISING. Even if for only 10-15 minutes per day.
For those of you that are IronGloves members, feel free to take photos of our weekly whiteboard. Get yourself to do it 3 x per week!



Heavy Bag Training

The key to the heavy bag is learning to use it properly. In return, it will help develop power and hand speed along with overall body conditioning.

I suggest not using bag gloves, this could harm your hands over time. I recommend using 14 oz. gloves for the guys and 12 oz. for the girls.

Wear a mouthpiece when hitting the bag, this will help build up the lungs, you will learn to breath properly, in and out of your nose. Do not get in the habit of holding your breath as you punch, this will be a difficult habit to break. Always exhale as you hit.

Every boxer should know how to pull their punches. This is mandatory when I train my people on the heavy bag. To pull a punch: As you hit the heavy bag, drive into the bag 3 to 4 inches, whip it back to your defensive position as fast as possible. If the bag is swinging or rocking excessively, then this means you are pushing (the bag) more than you are whipping back your punch. A proper strike should have a snap on it with a cracking sound upon contact.

As your speed increases on the heavy bag so will your back speed. To accomplish both, it will prevent you from being counter punched. It will also help you with your balance, preventing you from falling forward or leading with your chin.

Bag work is like road work, it needs to be changed up. Speed work, interval work, and power work all should be incorporated. I recommend 3 to 4 days a week on the heavy bag, and to always change the tempo. click here to watch a short video clip

I. 3 to 4 rounds standing in place for 45 to 60 seconds, working your inside boxing skills. For instance, body shots, hooks, and short right crosses. Concentrate on stiff short punches, along with moving your head to one side and the other. Be aware of your hipand shoulder rotation. Finish the round with machine guns for 5 to 10 seconds nonstop.
Rest only 30 seconds between rounds.

II. 3 to 4 rounds moving around the bag for 2 to 3 minutes while working outside and while moving side to side. Work on timing of your punches with the movement of the bag. Concentrate on your footwork by doing less punching. Use your jab and cross while
moving around the bag, staying focused on your footwork. By doing this, it will seriously improve your physical endurance. Rest at least 1 minute between rounds.

III. 3 to 4 rounds; the first 20 seconds stand in place and go all out using combinations. The next 30 seconds move around pulling your punches. End with 10 seconds machine guns, for a total of 1 to 2 minute rounds.

There are several types of heavy bag interval training. The most important factor is to keep up with your bag training, don’t think you can skip a day. Keep changing up your bag training mode, this will keep your body shocked so that you do not become too
comfortable in a pacing type style.



Boxing Hand Wrapping

Here’s a quick way to wrap your hands. We use this style for our group classes, using 180 inch handwrap. There are many ways to wrap hands. The three things you need to remember is to protect your knuckles, wrists, and thumbs. Simply experiment, come up with a style that is comfortable for you. It takes practice and you can have it down in one day!

Boxing Noodle Training