January 2007
Andy and JamieWelcome the first newsletter of 2007! This month we get back to basics of boxing. Andy and Jamie review how to perfect your stance and punching form with the help of a mirror. They offer some advice for keeping your rotator cuff- a very important joint for throwing punches- healthy. Lastly, in the "Ask the Trainer" section, Andy and Jamie console and explain things to a reader who experienced some unexpected results as she began a new fitness regimen. Good Luck and Happy New Year!

The Balazs Team - Knock Yourself Out!


Boxing Drill #38: Back to Basics - Mirror Training
When Sylvester Stallone announced he was climbing back in the ring as Rocky Balboa, at the not so young age of 60, the initial response was, to say the least, skeptical. The crowds voted and, well, the final installment has been a hit and the phenomenal shape of its star has to be seen as inspirational! Health and fitness should be a life long journey, but it's never too late to make change or improvement. Like Rocky in the movie, we see boxing as a great way to stay in shape.

Fitness boxing is one of the best ways to get into great physical shape. For this first drill of 2007, we are going back to basics, with Mirror Training.

A great way to perfect the punches is to practice in front of a mirror. Start throwing punches slowly with the emphasis on proper execution and technique. Do not worry about speed or power; save that for the heavy bag, double end bag or speed bag.

Check Your Classic Boxing Stance: (Watch yourself in the mirror.)
Is/ are your…?

  • Body relaxed
  • Feet in the correct position, with left foot slightly forward and right foot hip-width away from and slightly behind the left
  • Body weight equally centered through the balls of the feet, well balanced
  • Knees slightly bent
  • Torso held tight
  • Front shoulder, hip, and foot aligned and the body angled to the target
  • Arms held close to the sides of the body with the elbows in tight to the rib cage
  • Fingers closed in a loose fist
  • Fists turned slightly in and held close to the chin

Practice your punches, footwork, and slipping over and over until each move leads smoothly into the next. Once you become familiar and comfortable with the actions, then it is time to start to put combinations together.

First work on the straight punches: the Jab and the Straight Right. Ensure that the mechanics are correct and movement feels smooth. Then move onto the inside punches: the Left Hook and the Uppercut.

Mirror training will assist you in executing the punches correctly and is a great way to warm up the body by increasing blood flow to the muscles and the lubrication of the joints. If a move feels awkward, then break it down in front of the mirror. You will be able to see if you are off balanced, if you are shifting your weight correctly, if the arms are held at an incorrect angle, or the hands held too high or too low. It is easier to correct a punch in front of the mirror where you can see it, than waiting until you are on the heavy bag.

Try one or two rounds of mirror training at the start and end of your fitness boxing workout.

Andy & Jamie's Health & Fitness Tip: Rotator Cuff Care
The large amount of force and strength needed to produce powerful punch after punch on a heavy bag, target mitts or in the ring can lead to rotator cuff injuries. Rotator cuff exercises can also help to prevent common injuries that occur in sports such as boxing, tennis, and baseball.

Rotator Cuff Exercises
Use light hand weights, no more than 2-5 lbs (1-2kg) maximum. Complete 3 sets of 12-15 repetitions for the following exercises.

External Rotation

  1. Lie on side opposite of working arm.
  2. Start position: Grasp dumbbell and flex elbow at 90° keeping elbow in at side.
  3. Rotate arm outward keeping elbow at 90°.
  4. Return to start position.
  5. Remember to keep elbow firmly secured to side. You may put a rolled towel between the elbow and side to facilitate rotation and secure form.

Internal Rotation

  1. Lie on same side of working arm.
  2. Start position: Lying on a bench or bed grasp dumbbell and flex elbow at 90° keeping elbow in at side. Forearm should start slightly below parallel to floor.
  3. Rotate arm upward keeping elbow at 90°.
  4. Return to start position.
  5. Remember to keep elbow firmly secured to side. You may put a rolled towel between the elbow and side to facilitate rotation and secure form.

Horizontal Rotation

  1. Stand with your elbows at shoulder level and flexed at 90 degrees.
  2. Hold a weight plate in each hand and externally rotate your hands up towards the ceiling.
  3. Return to the starting position.

Hitting the speed bag is an excellent training tool for increasing the flexibility and endurance of the your shoulders and rotator cuffs.

Rotator cuff exercises are an excellent preventative measure. If you are already injured, they may aggravate an existing injury. If you currently have pain in rotator cuff area, seek advice from a qualified healthcare professional.

Ask the Trainer:
"I just started working out with weights for the first time. I've also changed my cardio routine, adding running on the treadmill twice a week, along with 3 aerobic classes. The problem is I've actually gained 4 pounds. Am I doing something wrong?"

You need to give a new fitness program some time to deliver noticeable results. When you a start cardio and strength training program, you might actually gain weight at first because you're putting on lean muscle faster than you're dropping body fat. But if you're training the right way-high intensity training mixed with strength training-you're kick-starting your metabolism and should start dropping pounds in two to eight weeks. Remember not to over do it, and take a day off to allow your muscles to recover.

- Andy Dumas

Send your questions for Andy to

Product Recommendations:
DD0201 i-Box: Fitness Boxing Fundamentals DVD
GS0135 Balazs Combo Boxing Gloves
MS0433 i-Box Speed Bag Platform
Upcoming Events:
2007 The Arnold Sports Weekend - Columbus OH March 2-4, 2007

The three-day event held in Columbus, Ohio will host 17,000 athletes, 38 sports and events - 14 of which are Olympic sports. The Festival includes an expanded 650 booth EXPO with exhibitors from around the world displaying the latest in sports nutrition, apparel, and exercise equipment. Young and adult athletes will participate from more than 10 nations in competitions and demonstrations in fitness & figure contests, youth weightlifting, fencing, table tennis, figure skating, speed skating, hockey skills, bodybuilding, strongman, a martial arts festival- , boxing - , wrestling, fitness fashion show, archery, pump & run, and more. New in 2007, an amateur bodybuilding, fitness, and figure competition will be held March 2 - 3, 2007. It is truly an international event and a national celebration of youth fitness. With a total annual visitor count in 2006 of 132,000, the success of the Weekend is evident.

Balazs Inc. publishes the "BALAZS BOXING E LETTER" monthly.

We hope you enjoyed receiving this mailing. However, if you would not like to be included in future Balazs Boxing mailings, please respond to this email with "remove" in the subject line.

Always consult your physician before starting any physical exercise program. Balazs Inc. and Andy & Jamie Dumas assume no responsibility for the improper use of information contained within this e-newsletter.

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