WHEN you think of boxing training, one of the most popular appliances in the boxing gym is a speed bag/speedball.
These are great and have lots of great benefits, so here are the top three. I’ve also made a video showing you how to hit it.
1. Shoulder and arm work out
Using a speed bag on a regular basis builds your shoulder endurance. As fighters, we have to keep hands up for long periods of time (unless you’re Naseem Hamed) so when doing this it really helps.
2. Eye to hand coordination
Boxers need to be quick and accurate. There aren’t many things that are better for this than using the speed bag, timing and rhythm are improved massively through repetitive punching with a speed bag.
3. Speed and reaction
I would say the best time to hit the speedball is at the end of your session when you are most tired. This will help build your speed and reactions, because if you can do this when you’re tired, then when you are fresh you are going to be even faster. Hitting the speed bag helps sharpen your reflexes too. When you get advanced on it, there are all sorts of different ways to hit it to keep the brain working – Vasyl Lomachenko even uses his elbows and spins around.
If you have never hit a speed bag before and you see one in a gym it can be pretty intimidating to begin with, so I created this quick video to show you how to simply start:
HAVE you ever wondered what it would be like to be in the ring with a fighter? An Olympian at that.
With me being an Olympic boxer, I obviously know my way around the boxing ring, just like anyone who has been fighting for years.
I love to answer questions about boxing and I really love teaching so I can help others. This is why a good friend of mine, celebrity trainer out here in Los Angeles, Glenn Holmes, asked me to make this video with him for my new boxing online blog.
He thought it would be great to share some of my knowledge of boxing with you guys, so we get the gloves on and step into the ring to talk about how to deal with southpaws, what it feels like to KO someone, how to use body sparring as a form of fitness training, how to cut the ring down, and also how to work inside:
REMEMBER the first time you drove a car, you stalled it right? The first time you used a keyboard, you typed with one finger, and it took you around five seconds to find each letter. Then you got better at both of these pretty fast, and the only way you got better was by doing one thing – PRACTICE. The exact same applies to the floor-to-ceiling bag.
I know it can be very intimidating when you go to a gym and see it, when you first try it, it is difficult to use.
But I promise you it doesn’t take very long before you get your timing down and start to really like it and use it for its benefits. The floor-to-ceiling ball is a great tool for hand and eye coordination, I made this video to show you how to start off using, for me, one of the best bits of equipment you will find in just about all boxing gyms.
Other benefits are practice on a moving target, head movement, speed punching, focus, discipline, reactions and timing
I used to do around 3-6 rounds on this every time I went to the gym as a 12-16-year-old. I loved it and believe it helped me be as successful as I was as an amateur fighter
SHADOWBOXING is great for a number of reasons. It’s the perfect way to warm-up your specific muscles before you do your boxing session. You will be moving around. Use your legs, move your head, relax the shoulders, throw some punches. Shake your limbs out. Repeat! Breathe and put some purpose into your movements. You should be breaking a sweat.
It’s great to work on technique – it’s great to work on certain offensive or defensive moves, you can take your time, and check out your form in your mirror. Instead of working on the entire movement, maybe you can pick out one or two key points to focus on. Once that part feels right, you can move on to another detail or try the movement in its entirety. Repetition is important but only after you know for sure that you’re practising the right thing. Practice makes permanent so make sure you’re doing it right or you will quickly pick up bad habits. This is where having a coach helps.
Most pro fighters use shadow for gameplans. Shadowboxing is perfect for working on key strategic moments before a fight. Maybe you’re boxing an opponent who always drops his lead hand after throwing a punch, if you know this you can work on a gameplan of countering the jab with an overhand right. Or if you’re fighting a southpaw you can visualise the southpaw stance infront of you while you’re moving around shadowboxing.
Every now and then after a hard session, we can use shadowboxing to warm-down. Move slowly, relax, breathe. Reflect on the session that you just have just done. Think about different techniques or movement strategies that could have helped you and work on them. You’ve already done the hard work for the day. Help remove all the lactic acid out of your body, while you shaking it out, burning them last few calories, keeping the sweat coming out of your body before you shower and get weighed.
Check out my video with five reasons why we shadowbox: