T Nation

Speed Bag


Ill admit it, I fell in love with the speed bag since day one. I was in boxing for about a year and I remember doing it non stop.

Now at the gym(which i pretty much bought the membership just because they had the bag..lol) I dont particularly wrap my hands. The problem: bloody pinky knuckles.

I always end up cutting them! Im fairly good with the bag..and my power/speed is good enough to break the skin. What ive been doing after I break the knuckle skin is hitting it with my wrist..sorta. I remember a friend saying he saw a martial arts guy doing that. I figured id try.

I was wondering:
a.) Has anyone heard of this before?
b.) Is it okay for the wrists/hand?

and..no I wont wear wraps haha. I think ill just see how my endurance goes with softer hits/speed. The skin has gotten very tough though since...my right knuckle didnt break open last time--so thats a start.


just wear some wraps. jeezus


hmm..thats not the point i was really getting to.

its about hitting with the wrists....


wont take long for the little bone on the outside of the wrist to get cut up too. just wear the wraps...youll probably still get cut anyway if thats your thing, which it seems like it is. i wear wraps when working the heavybag and i still end up with cuts on my knuckles


but will it affect the joint at all?


Shouldn't affect the joint at all, but why would you want to hit something(or someone?) with your wrist? It sounds like you mean hitting with the outside of your wrist instead of say a palm strike, am I understanding that correctly? So again the question would be what purpose would that serve, other than to change your hitting technique. Which isn't a good thing usually.


I met a guy in my freshman year in college that showed me hitting w/ the wrist actually it looks like it might hurt ( your stabbing someone w/ your arm bone lol ) somebody if you whacked em good but
mabey it will affect the joint i mean repeated hard blows will toughen and condition them to receive such blows but will mess it up in the long run.

Have you ever seen the occasional photograph in martial arts mags that show the guys that have went overboard w/ punching hard stuff to toughen up their knuckles? they can hit hard and have some huge knuckes but they are all messed up Plus you'll leave yourself open to somebody pulling a wrist lock on you which could be disabling in a fight situation. Just learn to hit right, you don't have to do something different for it to be effective in a fight situation cause people have been using their fists for a couple hundred thousand years.


wassup everybody, new to the site and by no means a proffesional fighter. but jus giving my 2cents.
As far as hitting the bag with your wrist I wouldn't advise it, not saying it would do any damage but it's not realistic. Using the bottom of your closed fist, like striking the bag with an ice pick would prevent torn knuckles. strike bag with knuckles only on the first strike from each hand. Followed by using the bottom of your hand.
Torn skin can become bothersome expessially with repetitive training, try keeping the skin moist with vasoline/neosporin. helps with healing.


Here's a link to a glove like gel wrap that might work out for you if you dont want to go through the trouble and time to wrap. I have not used them but thought about getting them just for working at home.



alright here comes the answer you should pay attention to:

im not a professional boxer, but i have dabbled and i do work at a boxing gym with ring and all kinds of bags, etc.

i can pound the speed bag as good as anyone in that gym, including roger leonard- sugars brother, who trains people at my gym three days a week.

heres the deal- i have never wrapped my hands. i also dont get red knuckles-pinky or any other, because you arent supposed to hit it with your knuckles. people are responding with all this oh no thats going to screw up the way you hit blah blah. the speed bag is designed to get you to move you hands fast, not work on your punching technique.

when you actually punch someone you are bringing your hand back to your body and putting all of your body and power behind it as you push relatively straight out- obviously different for hooks and uppers and such but the point is there isnt a legal boxing punch that follows the form of the speed bag. you should be connecting with the bag with the lower corner of your palm, the meaty part *if youre looking at your hand palm facing up i consider the lower outside corner to be the part straight down from your pinky--so yes, almost your wrist joint.

some people also have tougher hands than others- my little brother is 13 and i take him to the gym with me a couple days a week, started him off hitting the speed bag one hand at a time, the alternating hands two hits right, two hits left, two hits right, etc.

right now were working on alternating the hands doing singles- hes very good, and the fact that hes 13 i think hes way ahead of his friends and such- anyway, his hands were always red so i just bought him some wraps- sometimes my hands get a little red, but not like his---so wraps i think are a preference thing, however i have never let him hit the speed bag with his knuckles- that is not a preference thing as far as i am concerned


Dez6485 hit the nail right on the head. You would not hit the speed bag with your knuckles. That's absurd.

Are some of you guys thinking of the floor to ceiling bag? Either that or you have no idea what you are doing.


its not absurd...just uncommon nowadays. Many older fighters hit the speedbag this way. They figured if that was how you hit somebody then that was how you should practice/skill train. I had an old coach (50's--former pro fighter) show me this method...he didn't believe in hitting with the meat of the hand.


You should wrap your hands AND wear light gloves.

Hitting with the meat of your palm does provide flashy media clips, but does little to improve your fight game, except maybe transferring your weight from foot to foot while punching.
The speed bag should be hit with regular punches, the way you normally throw them. It's more difficult to get good at, and the others in the gym will probably look at you like you're crazy, but it will pay off in the long run.
Any shmo can come in and learn how to make hand circles on the bag in a day or two, it's easy. Once you can get that rat-a-tat going with jabs, crosses, and hooks, look out.

The reason you should wear gloves is that sometimes you'll miss, and punching the swivel or platform with bare, or simply wrapped, hands might do some damage that'll keep you out of the gym for awhile.


Wow, just wow. Whatever works for you man.


If you're going to hit it with your knuckles, rotate the damn striking. Hit it like Dez said, say, 20 times, then smack it a few times with a straight jab, or whatever makes you happy.

Use the bag for rhythm and timing. Without hitting it straight on, I've seen lots of improvement in normal combat striking, just because the CNS gets conditioned toward firing more rapidly. Not to mention that the accuracy and rhythm you can acquire is certainly a plus.


Let me ask something.

What is hitting the bag the way almost everybody does it these days supposed to accomplish?
Speed? Not really, you can get the bag up to max speed for sustained periods of time with a couple months months of practice. The speed doesn't transfer into real punches after the initial learning curve. Once at max speed there's no room to improve, so why keep doing it every workout?
Timing? Again, the current way of doing things is too easy to teach timing. Most guys can learn it pretty quick. The double end(floor to ceiling) bag is better.
Keeping your hands up? Maybe, but sparring is a much better teacher.
So what is it then? I've already stated that it helps with learning to shift your weight. I'll even admit that it can help A LITTLE BIT with footwork.
Hitting the speed bag the way it's usually done today has almost no transfer to actual boxing skill. It mostly burns calories and time in the gym. But, learning to hit it with real punches does improve all of these aspects.
That's about it guys.
Stop wasting time doing the Rocky speedbag workout and use it correctly. You'll get much more benefit.


If you're really good, you'll hit the bag with your elbows, too. :wink:


my god. this is not that complicated.

speed bag- used to initially teach SPEED and rythm in the hands. Later used to maintain these qualities and for all kinds of things like conditioning, warming-up, fun, etc. It is NOT used to teach proper punching technique because it is too light and generally set to high for any full throws to transfer to the ring. When do you ever throw the same punch into the same target in rapid fire succession with the possible exception of the jab? Which brings me to my next point...

Double end bag- Used primarily to teach snap on the jab and sometimes other punches in order to emphasize a quick return of hands to defensive position AND also to teach correct head and torso movement along with with accuracy in hitting a moving target. AGAIN, not heavy enough to teach actual proper punching mechanics but may help in this regard. Somewhat.

Heavy bags of all variety- proper punching mechanics and power development against a target that simulates the resistance of an actual body.

Mitts- puts the offensive skills together in order to emphasize mechanics, speed, snap, accuracy, movement, defensive return, etc. against a somewhat live and moving target.

Shadow/ Mirror- footwork and movement, feedback.

There you have it. Go in any boxing gym in America where the training is worth a damn and you will find the same basic tools and approach to these apparatus.

I fought some GG and trained in a pro gym. Nothing new under the sun.