February 2007
Andy and JamieWelcome! In this month's issue we return to the target mitt drills. Andy and Jamie show us how to practice slipping punches while working out with target mitts. They offer some advice on how to stay motivated with your workout routine during these winter months. Lastly, in the "Ask the Trainer" section, Andy and Jamie help a reader who is getting sore after a tough ab workout, but not in his abs.

The Balazs Team - Knock Yourself Out!


Boxing Drill #39: Advanced Target Mitt Drill: Slipping Punches
Working the Target Mitts with a partner allows you to work on offensive and defensive moves. It's a step up from bag work as your target is capable of thinking and moving. The puncher learns to react quickly and effectively.

Reminder: There are two roles here, the catcher and the puncher. The catcher calls out the punch combinations, and sets the pace of the workout.

Slips are small side to side movements of the head and shoulders, that dodge punches. In your boxing stance, practice slipping imaginary punches in front of a large mirror, before you try it with a partner on the Target Mitts.

To slip punches practice bending at the waist and knees, moving the body, so the punch misses you. Keep you hands up and eyes on your partner.

Here are some combinations that involve 'slipping' a punch

Slip/Slip - 1-2
Catcher throws a left jab aiming for punchers left shoulder. Puncher 'slips' to the right to avoid the punch. Work on this move for a minute or so, or until puncher is comfortable slipping the left jab. Now practice slipping the straight right: Catcher throws a straight right aiming for punchers right shoulder. Puncher 'slips' to the left to avoid the punch. Once you have the hang of this. You can add some punches to the combination.

Catcher now throws a 1-2 (left-right). Puncher slips to the right, then left, avoiding both punches. Puncher follows up with a 1-2 (left-right) of his own to the target mitts

Puncher throws four quick straight punches, (left-right, left-right) Catches throws a Jab, and straight right - Puncher slips to the right, then left, avoiding both punches, throws a left hook to finish the combination. Try these punching combinations slowly with your partner, then speed it up.

For some Target mitt basics check out Boxing Drill #5 from the Jan 2004 issue, for Advanced drills check out Boxing Drill # 9 from the July 2004 issue, and May 2006's Boxing Drill # 30, in the News letter archives.

Andy & Jamie's Health & Fitness Tip: Avoiding the "Winter Workout Blahs"
The skies are bleak, the sun sets early and the cold weather is nipping at our heels. Most people find that their desire to exercise begins to wane. Staying with an exercise routine during the colder months just seems more difficult than it is in the summer.

Here are some tips for staying motivated to stay fit and add some variety to your workout.

Place a set of gym clothes or whatever gym equipment you carry someplace where you won't be able to avoid them. If you're really lacking motivation, put your gym equipment right beside the door so you can't leave the house without seeing it.

Instead of your new resolutions, look forward to summer itself and try to prepare your exercise plan to look good by the time beach season comes around. And if that doesn't work, try to base your exercising on a reward scale. Head to the gym one day? Give yourself a small treat for it. It will give you something to look forward to.

If you have a solid exercise routine down pat, try mixing it up a little bit. If you go to a gym, try using a new machine. If you workout at home, you could try some new exercises, maybe switching up the pattern. If you are used to jogging, there is usually at least one day per week where the weather permits you to go outside.

You could also try something new altogether, something active you have never done before. For example, many outdoor winter exercises burn a lot of calories. If you are not too open to the idea of braving the cold, indoor exercises such as rock-climbing provide a great workout. Compliment your indoor activities with outdoor ones.

Weight training at home could be complimented with downhill skiing, for example. A walk outside once or twice per week could be paired with more intense cardio in a gym. Try a Pilates or a fitness boxing class, to get lean for the summer. Try something new so you don't stop moving!

Ask the Trainer:
"I recently started doing fitness class three times per week. The abdominal exercises or crunches we do at the end of the class are challenging and I find my neck is sore the following day. Do you have any suggestions?"

This is fairly common. You may be pulling on your neck when doing your crunches. Try to keep your chin up, neck relaxed while doing your crunches. Take little breaks during the routine. Here are some suggestions for doing proper crunches.

Abdominal Crunches Lie on your back, place your hands beside the head giving neck support or crossed over the chest. Both feet should be placed on the floor with the knees bent, or raised with the knees over the hips. Contract the abdominal muscles, keeping the lower back on the floor. Exhale and lift the head and shoulders up off the ground as a unit and move towards the knees. Pause, and then lower the head and shoulders back towards the floor. Repeat, trying to lift closer to the knees each time. Continue until muscles feel fatigues or three sets of 30 repetitions.

- Andy Dumas

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DD0201 i-Box: Fitness Boxing Fundamentals DVD
GP0201 Balazs Punch Gloves
MS0433 i-Box Speed Bag Platform
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Endorsed by the World Boxing Council
Balazs fitness tips are endorsed by the World Boxing Council.