Punch Mitts for Boxing Training – 5 Secrets to Working Out With a Partner
Punch mitts are the most fun, interactive and mobile way to get a great fitness boxing workout for you and your partner. Also called focus mitts or focus pads, learning how to hold the mitts properly just means following a few simple basics. I am focusing on five secrets in this article. They are secrets because hardly anyone knows or does them.
Whether you are a Trainer or you are just working out at home with a friend, these punch mitts training secrets can dramatically increase your results and make for a safer, more authentic workout.
Once mastered, not only will you get much better fitness results from your boxing workout, both you and your partners will develop more power and superior punching technique.
Secret #1 – Clip your chicken wings
Beginners generally hold the mitts out too wide, like they have chicken wings. This increases the risk of injury to the shoulders and creates a poor, wide target for the boxer.
Bringing the elbows in close to your torso is the first step to good punch mitt holding technique. This means you are using your core to absorb the impact. A strong punch generates significant force on the joints of the mitt holder – especially if you are holding for a heavier partner.
Secret #2 – Catch it, don’t whack it
Hitting back too hard with the mitts is no fun for the boxer. It can jar their wrists and knuckles – and it hurts. If you are holding the mitts, don’t be a whacker. Just catch the punch with some pressure, but not too much. After all, it’s the boxer who should be hitting the mitts, not the other way round.
Secret #3 – Call the shots
As the mitt/pad holder you should be leading the dance. In other words you call the shots. Here’s why. Firstly, it allows you, the mitt holder, to brace just before impact, so there’s no surprises. Secondly, it’s the mitt holder’s job to the push the boxer, so they get a better workout. If the boxer can decide when to punch, it’s too tempting to take it easy.
Secret #4 – Get your mitt positions right
It’s essential to learn the correct holding positions for each of the main punches. Start with the jab and the cross. Hold the mitts at roughly shoulder height and tilt them slightly inward. Then work on the uppercut, hook and body shots (or rips). Use your core, hold the mitt still, so the boxer can sink the punch in. “Freeze” the mitt until they have hit it.
Secret #5 – Use rounds
Other than mitts and gloves the only other thing you need is a kitchen timer which counts down, or you can use a stop watch. This will help you structure the workout and work to rounds, which is how boxers train. Set the timer for either 2 minutes or for a tougher challenge, 3 minutes. Go for a 30 second or one minute’s rest. Obviously less rest is harder. Either swap at the end of each round or do 2 or 3 rounds back to back before swapping – which is harder.
Good punch mitt holding is an art in itself. Incorporate these secrets one at a time, keep practicing and you will eventually become a Pro!