July 2004
Andy and JamieWelcome to this installment of Balazs Boxing's newsletter. In this issue, Andy and Jamie, take target mitt training to a new level. They provide helpful hints on staying cool during exercise during these hot July days!. Finally, they address one reader's concern about recovering from a lower back injury and how to prevent future injuries from recurring.

The Balazs Team


Boxing Drill #9: Advanced Target Mitt Drills
Target mitts allow you to work on offensive and defensive moves while practicing specific drills. It's a step up in skill level from heavy bag workouts since the target is capable of moving and reacting. Your workout partner can throw punches while still wearing target mitts to simulate incoming punches and combinations. It's important to listen to your coach or the person holding the mitts. They set the tempo. Check out the January Newsletter ( for a review of the Basics of Target Mitt Drills and technique.

Here are a few advanced Target Mitt combos.

Combo # 1


Puncher assumes boxer's stance. Throw two left jabs to your partners left target mitt. Move into position and throw a right upper cut to your partner's right mitt. Throw a left upper cut to the left target mitt, followed by another right uppercut. Quickly recover to your boxing stance and repeat. (Target mitt holder must adjust the angle of the mitt to catch the uppercuts)

Combo # 2


In this advanced combination, the catcher simulates a punch.

Puncher starts this drill with a quick 1-2 combination. Catcher throws a medium paced 'jab'. Puncher slips to the right avoiding the incoming jab and counter punches with quick a -right-left right.

These drills should be performed with an experienced trainer or trained workout partner.

Andy and Jamie's Health and Fitness Tip: Keeping Cool During Summer Exercise
Whew, it's hot out there!

While exercising, it is imperative to drink a sufficient amount of water to replace the fluids and nutrients that were lost through sweating. This is particularly relevant when training in the heat. If the fluids in the body are not replaced, your athletic performance will be negatively affected and in extreme cases, serious injury and/or internal damages can occur.

Sweating assists in maintaining a normal body temperature. The evaporation of the sweat cools the skin and lowers the body temperature. Sweat is made up of mostly water with a small amount of sodium and other trace minerals. To replace the fluids lost in your body, plain, cool water is the best choice. Drinking water before, during and after training, will assist in the prevention of dehydration and will also enhance your performance.

It is best to drink water that is cool, (around 40 degrees F). Other drinks, such as juice, milk and soups will give you some fluid replacement, but may cause irritation in the intestinal system. Also, drinks such as coffee, tea, alcohol and some soft drinks could have a negative effect as they act as a diuretic and increase fluid loss from the body. Drink extra water one to two hours before exercising to promote hyper- hydration and drink 3 to 6 ounces every 10 to 20 minutes when training to maintain a good reserve of fluids.

Ask the Trainer:
"I have been taking kickboxing for about 6 months now, 1-2x`s per wk. I teach aerobics and do personal training. But am fairly new in the kickboxing area. I just recently pulled my lower back and have been off exercise for a week now. I saw the chiropractor because it was so bad, and he said it was muscular, do you kickboxing hard on the lower back? Also, what is a good warm up?"

When kickboxing, especially while performing sidekicks and back kicks, the lower back is compromised. This is due to the combination of the compression of the lumbar region and torsion through the body core. A well-developed core and strong lower back muscles will help to reduce the chances of injury to the back when performing these kicks. Also, keeping the gluteal and hamstring muscles conditioned and flexible allows for well-controlled and strong kicks. Try to ensure that you start your kicks with a contraction and lift from the gluteal/hamstring area and stay away from lifting from the back region. Maintain strong abdominal contractions throughout the kick, thereby keeping the core firm and protecting the back.

A general warm-up for kickboxing is to shadow box, increasing the heart rate and warming up all the muscles. Once the body is warmed up, ensure that you stretch the hamstring muscles, gluteals and lower back.

 - Andy Dumas

Send your questions for Andy to

Product Recommendations:
FP0020 Leather Target Mitts
GB0130 Balazs Multi Gloves
SA0021 Balazs Water Bottle
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