BALAZS BOXING FITNESS NEWSLETTER
August 2008
Andy and JamieWe are keeping "Old School" workouts going as the summer winds down. In this issue, we give you three ways to pump up your push-ups. In the Fitness Tip section, water is the topic of discussion; Andy and Jamie review the importance of hydration for good fitness. Lastly, in Ask the Trainer, Andy answers one reader's question on improving hand speed. Keep sending us your questions; we enjoy hearing from you. Let's rock the last few weeks of summer!

"Knock Yourself Out!" The Balazs Team

IN THIS ISSUE

Boxing Drill #51: Old School: Push-Ups 
The Push-Up is a very effective exercise for conditioning as it incorporates many different muscle groups. Push-Ups work not only the chest and shoulders but also the triceps and the core muscles. The exercises below are three ways to optimize conditioning and work your core muscle groups with the simple Push-Up.

Here are three ways to 'pump-up' those push-ups!

1- Push-up/knee thrust - Start in a in a full push-up position, arms extended, body straight and abs pulled tight. Lower your body to the ground. At the same time as you raise your body, by pressing your arms straight, pull one knee in towards your chest, then press the leg back to full extension as you lower the body again to the floor. Repeat pulling in the opposite leg as you raise the body up. Remember to keep your body strong and tight and in a straight line at all times.

2 - 'Spiderman' - push-up - Start this push-up the same as above, however as you lower your body, bring your knee up to the side of the body towards the shoulder (imagine climbing a wall as Spiderman might). Raise the body as you extend the leg back. Repeat alternating both legs.

3 - Push-up /pull up - Holding onto small hand weights, start in the standard full push-up position, arms extended, weights in the hands on the ground, body straight and abs pulled tight. Lower your body to the ground. Raise your body by pressing your arms straight, hold that position and then lift one hand weight towards the chest. Place the hand weight back on the floor and lower the body. Repeat with the other side.

Always consult your Physician before starting an exercise program.

Andy & Jamie's Health & Fitness Tip: Water & the Importance of Hydration
Water makes up about 60 percent of your body weight. With every system in your body depending on water, it is imperative to have adequate fluid intake. Proper hydration is especially important during exercise to maintain physical comfort, safety and optimum performance. Studies have revealed that a loss of two or more percent of an individual's body weight due to perspiration is directly linked to a drop in blood volume. This will make the heart work harder to move the blood around the body and may result in dizziness, cramps and fatigue.

How much water do you need?

Fluid intakes for athletes vary considerably due to the individuality of perspiration rates and specific fluid losses and hydration levels. In addition, the right amount of fluid to drink will depend on the length and intensity of the exercise, climate (temperature and humidity) and location (altitude, pollution, etc). Here are a few tips to help monitor your hydration level.

Monitor urine volume and color. This will assist in the monitoring of adequate fluid intake. You are most likely hydrated if you have a large amount of light colored, diluted urine and dehydrated if you urine is dark colored and concentrated.

Weight before and after exercise. After exercise, any weight loss is usually from fluid loss. Drink to replenish this loss. Any weight gain after exercise may mean you are drinking more than you need.

Eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day. An easy approach to water intake is the "8 x 8 rule" - drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day.

16 ounces of fluid per hour of exercise. During exercise, one rule of thumb is to drink about 16 oz during every hour of workout. More intense workouts may require more, more intense climates may require more; the key is to remember to drink during your workouts to stay hydrated and not necessarily wait until you are finished.

Note: all fluids (even coffee, juice and sodas) count toward the daily total. While this approach is not supported by scientific evidence, many people use this basic rule as a guideline for how much water and other fluids to drink.

Even apart from the above approaches, if you drink enough fluid so that you rarely feel thirsty and produce 1.5 liters (6.3 cups) or more of colorless or slightly yellow urine a day, your fluid intake is probably adequate.

Ask the Trainer:
"What are some ways to increase hand speed?"

Working the speed bag is a great way to improve hand speed, hand-eye coordination, and upper body endurance. If you don't have access to a speed bag, try using heavier bag gloves when hitting the heavy bag. I'm not sure what kind of bag glove you use, but most people use 10 -12 ounce gloves. Try using 16oz gloves. It doesn't sound like much of a difference, but you'll notice it over several rounds.

A great drill for improving hand speed is to shadow box for 3 or 4 rounds using light hand weights of no more the 3 or 4 pounds. The added weight will make it more challenging. Punch at 70% of full power, and remember not to throw the weights. Try 3 rounds (3 mins. each) of shadow boxing. For the fourth round, put down the weights and throw your punch combinations at full speed.

- Andy Dumas

Send your questions for Andy to info@BalazsBoxing.com 

Product Recommendations:
MS0433  i-Box Speed Bag Platform
GB0020K  Balazs Speed Bag Gloves
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Endorsed by the World Boxing Council
Balazs fitness tips are endorsed by the World Boxing Council.