August 2004
Andy and JamieWelcome to this installment of Balazs Boxing's newsletter. In this issue, Andy and Jamie, break down skipping rope into easy to follow steps. They provide advice for proper warm up before exercise to avoid injury. Finally, they address one younger reader's desire to get more involved with competitive boxing.

The Balazs Team


Boxing Drill #10: Jump Rope: Improving Technique
Boxers jump rope to improve their cardiovascular fitness, develop endurance, and improve agility, balance, and timing.

The Three Step Breakdown

The Three Step Breakdown is a systematic training method that starts with the footwork being practiced without the rope. The Three step breakdown divides up more complicated moves into more manageable moves that can easily be practiced and learned.

Step One: Practice without the rope. Keeping the elbows in, neck and shoulders relaxed and rotate the wrists and forearms as though you're holding a rope. Push off with both feet, jumping only slightly off the floor. Land on the balls of the feet with the knees bending as you land. This allows you to focus on your footwork.

Step Two: In the second step both handles are placed into one hand and the rope rotates at the side of the body. Make sure the rope doesn't cross in front of the body. This move is also used as a neutral or resting move, by taking the jump out and going to a march. Even though you're not jumping, the heart rate is kept elevated.

Step Three: Now it's time to perform the jump inside of the rope. One jump for each turn of the rope. The Three-Step Breakdown, is not only a great way to learn new moves, it allows you to incorporate variety and resting moves into the routine.

Andy and Jamie's Health and Fitness Tip: The Warm-Up
To get the most out a fitness workout, an effective warm-up and proper
cool-down are imperative.

The Warm-Up

The purpose of the warm-up is to increase the blood flow to the working muscles and tendons, providing, more oxygen, (fuel) so more intense work can be performed. Also, muscle fibers are shortened due to rest, and the warm-up assists in lengthening the muscle fibers to a point where
they can respond effectively and efficiently to work. This reduces the chance of injury or pulling a muscle or tendon because there is an increase in the range of motion. In addition, a warm muscle allows for an increase in the speed of muscle contraction.

An effective warm-up doesn't take long. Increase the heart rate and blood flow to the working muscles with a two to three minutes slow jog, fast walk, or jump rope. Keep it easy. Take all the muscles through a working range of motion by performing rotation-type exercises at all major joint areas. Exercises such as forward and backward shoulder rotations, knee and ankle rotations, and core bending should be performed for 5 to 10 seconds each. Hold a muscle in a static stretch for 10 to 15 seconds to loosen up the muscles and tendons. Do not bounce and do not hold too long. The purpose is to increase the length of the muscle fibers to prevent injury and to assist in the muscles to work to their potential, not to increase the flexibility or the end length of that muscle. Lastly, take the muscle through a range of motion that imitates the activity you are going to perform. This allows the muscle fibers to learn the order that the muscle fibers are stimulated.

Next month: The Cool-Down

Ask the Trainer:
"Hello, I am 19 years old. I'm 6'3, 275 pounds. I never have considered boxing until now. I have unbelievable punching power, and very good hand speed. Do you think it is too late for me to pursue a late boxing career? Also, what weight would I be best at? I wish I could get to around 230. What do you think?"

First thing I would do in your situation is to go to your doctor for a good check up. He may want to put you though a stress test. Tell him that you are thinking about taking up boxing. If your doctor clears you for such a strenuous activity then I suggest the following.

You'll want to gradually get in to better physical shape. Take your time and don't rush it. Let some of the weight come off naturally. If you're serious about boxing, you'll need to find a good boxing club and a trainer.

Do you have access to a heavy bag? If you do, you'll need to get some hand wraps and some good punching bag gloves. Practice the basics. Shadow box and learn the fundamentals of boxing.

You mentioned you have fast hands and lots of power. Remember, power means nothing if you can't land a punch. Work on balance and proper punching technique.

 - Andy Dumas

Send your questions for Andy to

Product Recommendations:
FR4497 Everlast Leather Skip Rope
FR0100 Ropesport Skip Rope
BH0250B70 Balazs 70 lb. Heavy Bag
GS0135Y16 Balazs 16 oz. Combo Gloves, Yellow
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