BALAZS BOXING NEWSLETTER
June 2006
Andy and JamieGrab a mirror because this month we revisit the art of shadowboxing, where you focus on yourself and your skills, alone. In the Fitness Tip, shoulder and upper body strength is the topic; helping to make your punches more powerful and faster. Lastly, in "Ask the Trainer", Andy and Jamie offer a reader a few simple stretches to loosen up their muscles to achieve her full physical potential.

The Balazs Team - Knock Yourself Out!

IN THIS ISSUE

Boxing Drill #31: Shadow Boxing - Revisited
Shadow boxing is more than a great way to warm-up before your workouts--it is a great workout in itself and an important part of your technical training. One of the most important aspects of shadow boxing is visualization. Shadow boxing allows you to concentrate on how you are putting your punches together, how you react to an opponent and how your well-balanced stance affects the delivery of your punches. Shadow boxing allows you to focus on your technique and hand speed while watching yourself in the mirror and making instant adjustments for improvement.

Start out in your boxing stance. Keep your hands always in the "on-guard" position, unless you're throwing or blocking a punch. Begin to move around in a circle, keeping your left shoulder (right shoulder if you are a south paw) pointed to your imaginary opponent.

Good footwork is essential. Keep your legs slightly bent and your back heel off the ground. Balance your weight evenly between both legs, on the balls of your feet.

Practice advancing and retreating moves while throwing the jab. Continue moving in both directions throw a right cross and 1-2 combinations. (lefts and rights) After a few minutes start putting three and four punch combinations together.

Vary your punching rhythm. Changing your intensity and your hand speed will increase the conditioning benefits of your shadow boxing routine. It will also reflect a more realistic boxing situation.

Practice defensive moves -slipping, ducking and parrying punches.

Shadow boxing is not a throwaway exercise to be tagged on at the beginning or end of your workout. It can and should be used as a stand alone routine or to set the tone and intensity of the rest of your training routine.

Shadow box for two (2) three-minute rounds as a warm up for a bag work out, or make it your workout by going five (5) three-minute rounds.

Andy & Jamie's Health & Fitness Tip: Training Your Upper Body: Shoulders
Having strong shoulder muscles is essential for throwing fast accurate punching combinations. Here are several strength-training exercises for your shoulders.

Standing Dumbbell Shoulder Press

Stand with your feet shoulder width apart, and knees slightly bent. Keep your chest out and midsection firm. Do not arch your back.

Hold a dumbbell in each hand with the dumbbells just above shoulder height and your palms facing forward. Your elbows should be bent and facing outwards from your sides. Now push up, in an arc type motion, so that the dumbbells meet at the top of the movement. Your dumbbells should be at arms length above your head and your elbows should only be slightly bent. Now lower down slowly and repeat to complete your set according to your program.

Weights should be light enough to perform three sets of 12-15 reps, with proper form.

Standing Barbell Upright Rows

Stand with your feet shoulder width apart, and knees slightly bent. Keep your chest out and midsection firm. Do not arch your back.

Hold the bar in front of your thighs, with an overhand grip and your hands about 5-6 inches apart. Have your palms facing your body. Pull the bar up, keeping it close to your body, until it reaches you upper chest. Keep your elbows up (past shoulder height) and out. Lower the bar down slowly and repeat the exercise to complete your set.

Weights should be light enough to perform three sets of 12-15 reps, with proper form.

Note: Always perform a warm up before your workout. If you suffer from lower back problems try seated shoulder exercises and machines.

Ask the Trainer:
"I've been doing a lot of training on the elliptical machine, and I find the front of my thighs are very tight. Can you suggest some stretches for this area of the legs?"

Here are two ways to stretch your quadriceps Muscles:

Standing Quadriceps Stretch

Stand tall with the torso held tight and pull the heel up towards the seat. Hold onto the ankle with the same arm keeping the leg relaxed. Pull back until you feel a slight stretch in the front of the thigh. You can repeat the stretch on the other leg.

Lying Quadriceps Stretch

Lying on your side and bend the top knee. Pull the leg back until a slight tension is felt in the quadriceps muscle. Hold the abdominal muscles tight to prevent from rolling and keep your top leg relaxed. Hold until the muscle relaxes and then repeat on the other side.

By performing proper stretches on a consistent basis, you can attain your full physical potential.

- Andy Dumas

Send your questions for Andy to info@BalazsBoxing.com

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Balazs fitness tips are endorsed by the World Boxing Council.