August 2005
Andy and Jamie Welcome to this month's issue of Balazs Boxing's newsletter. We finish the series on perfect punches with the Uppercut. Andy completes the arsenal of punches, leaving you ready to work out completely or do battle in the ring. Andy and Jamie also offer 10 simple tips for a healthier lifestyle. Finally, in "Ask the Trainer", they help answer a common problem we all may face during workouts- dizziness.

The Balazs Team - Knock Yourself Out!


Boxing Drill #21: The Perfect Uppercut
Perfecting the Uppercut

The Uppercut completes your portfolio of punches. It is perhaps the most difficult punch to master. Watching old footage of Mike Tyson in his prime delivering one of his devastating uppercuts, clearly Illustrates the importance of having it in your arsenal.

The uppercut is delivered from close range, and can be thrown effectively with either hand.

Right Uppercut
* Get into your classic boxing stance (left foot forward, right foot back).
* Bring your fists up to your cheeks, protecting your face.
* Tuck your elbows in close to your body.
* Bend your right knee and lower your right shoulder, creating a small dip.
* Rotate your hips, facing your opponent.
* Elbow should be bent at a right angle, elbow pointing toward the floor.
* Punch up, palm facing you, keeping your wrist straight and strong.
* Snap your hand back to protective position.

Left Uppercut
* Get into your basic stance (left foot forward, right foot back).
* Bring your fists up to your cheeks, protecting your face.
* Tuck your elbows in close to your body.
* Dip the left side of your body, lightly bending left knee and lowering left shoulder.
* Push off of the ball of your front foot, releasing this power through the punch.
* Punch up, palm facing your, keeping your wrist straight and strong.

Don't pull your elbow back before executing the punch, or your opponent will catch on. Keep your chin down, elbow tucked in tight. Wrists must be strong and straight on impact. Heavy bags are great but using uppercut bags and target mitt drills are the best way to improve your form.

Andy and Jamie's Health and Fitness Tip: 10 Essential Health Tips
1. Move More
Make it a daily challenge to find ways to move your body. Climb stairs if given a choice between that and escalators or elevators. Walk your dog; chase your kids; toss balls with friends, mow the lawn. Anything that moves your limbs is not only a fitness tool; it's a stress buster. Think 'move' in small increments of time. It doesn't have to be an hour in the gym or a 45-minute aerobic class or tai chi or kickboxing. But that's great when you're up to it. Meanwhile, move more.

2. Cut Fat
Avoid the obvious such as fried foods, burgers and other fatty meats (i.e. pork, bacon, ham, salami, ribs and sausage). Dairy products such as cheese, cottage cheese, milk and cream should be eaten in low fat versions. Nuts and sandwich meats, mayonnaise, margarine, butter and sauces should be eaten in limited amounts. Most are available in lower fat versions such as substitute butter, fat free cheeses and mayonnaise.

3. Quit Smoking
The jury is definitely in on this verdict. Ever since 1960 when the Surgeon General announced that smoking was harmful to your health, Americans have been reducing their use of tobacco products that kill. Just recently, we've seen a surge in smoking in adolescents and teens.

4. Reduce Stress
Easier said than done, stress busters come in many forms. Some techniques recommended by experts are to think positive thoughts. Spend 30 minutes a day doing something you like. (i.e., soak in a hot tub; walk on the beach or in a park; read a good book; visit a friend; play with your dog; listen to soothing music; watch a funny movie. Get a massage, a facial or a haircut. Meditate. Count to ten before losing your temper or getting aggravated. Avoid difficult people when possible.

5. Protect Yourself from Pollution
If you can't live in a smog-free environment, at least avoid smoke-filled rooms, high traffic areas, breathing in highway fumes and exercising near busy thoroughfares. Exercise outside when the smog rating is low. Exercise indoors in air conditioning when air quality is good. Plant lots of shrubbery in your yard. It's a good pollution deterrent and dirt from the street deterrent.

6. Wear Your Seat Belt
Statistics show that seat belts add to longevity and help alleviate potential injuries in car crashes.

7. Floss Your Teeth
Recent studies make a direct connection between longevity and teeth flossing. Nobody knows exactly why. Perhaps it's because people who floss tend to be more health conscious than people who don't?

8. Avoid Excessive Drinking
While recent studies show a glass of wine or one drink a day (two for men) can help protect against heart disease, more than that can cause other health problems such as liver and kidney disease and cancer.

9. Keep a Positive Mental Outlook
There's a definitive connection between living well and healthfully and having a cheerful outlook on life.

10. Choose Your Parents Well
The link between genetics and health is a powerful one. But just because one or both of your parents died young in ill health doesn't mean you cannot counteract the genetic pool handed you.

Follow these basic tips for healthy living and you can better control your own destiny.

Ask the Trainer:
"I sometimes feel dizzy after doing a set of weight lifting. Do you have any suggestions?"

Ensure that you are breathing correctly when lifting weights and NEVER hold your breath. Exhale on exertion when you are pushing or lifting the weight away from the body and inhale when you are returning the weight to the start position. If the dizziness continues, you may be experiencing lower blood pressure and you should obtain medical advice.

(These comments should not be construed as a specific treatment plan for weight loss. See your doctor or specialist for a diagnosis and treatment if required.)

- Andy Dumas

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Endorsed by the World Boxing Council
Balazs fitness tips are endorsed by the World Boxing Council.