Get Up to Speed with a Speed Bag

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How many punches can you let loose?

The first time I saw a speed bag, I mistook it for a uvula, the little dangly thing in the back of your throat. I think it’s because I’d seen so many cartoon characters use uvulas as speed bags, my brain just sort of made an automatic connection. But even if it’s not inside someone’s mouth, a speed bag is a great way to work your upper body and get your heart rate up.

The basic how-to for speed bags isn’t complicated; give it a firm slug with the side of your fist to get it bouncing, then alternate your fists as you tap the bag to keep it going, endeavoring to make solid contact with the bag each time. It sounds simple, but keeping your muscles in that kind of firm, focused state is guaranteed to give you a quality burn, especially in your arms and shoulders. As I mentioned, it’s also fantastic cardio, which is nice if you’re not in the mood to go for a jog.

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Though, even if speed bags focus on your upper body, that doesn’t mean that’s all they’re working. Proper speed bag technique requires you to engage your core and keep your feet bouncing, which puts a little work onto your mid and lower sections. Plus, using a speed bag is a great way to sharpen your focus and coordination, and while those aren’t muscles in the strictest sense, having sharpened senses will do you a lot of good when you’re doing other exercises, not to mention help keep you safer.