May 2006
Andy and JamieIn this issue, our summer beach body preparation continues. The Target Mitt drills will get you and a workout partner sweating, burning calories and having fun. In the Fitness Tip, we discuss leg-strengthening exercises that are sure to shape your thighs and glutes. Finally, in "Ask the Trainer", Andy and Jamie counsel a reader on what's most important thing in a work out- making sure its one you'll want to do!

The Balazs Team - Knock Yourself Out!


Boxing Drill #30: Advanced Target Mitt Drill: Target Mitt Sprints
Here is an advanced drill to finish off your boxing workout. This is a speed drill designed to give your muscles one final blast before you cool down.

Puncher: Address your partner straight on, with knees bent, leaning slightly forward on the balls of your feet. Get ready to deliver a fast series of punches starting off with straight lefts and rights. Remember to fully extend these punches. You want to go for speed, not power, while maintaining proper form. Without stopping, switch to hooks (left and right) for a short sprint, finishing up with an uppercut sprint.

Catcher: Adjust your target mitts to receive the punches and time the sprint intervals. Have your partner throw their straight lefts to your left mitt and straight right to your right mitt. For the hooks, remember to catch their punches with the same hand they throw, i.e. catch the right hook with your right hand. For catching uppercuts, you partner should cross over throwing their right uppercut to your right target mitt and so on.

Sample sprint interval:

Sprint #1:
Straight punches - 20 seconds
Hooks - 20 seconds
Uppercuts - 20 seconds

Have your partner go though the sprint sequence twice without a break, before you switch partners. Start with 20-second sprints, eventually working you way up to 30 or 40 second sprints.

This is an advanced drill. Make sure you are thoroughly warmed up.

Andy and Jamie's Health and Fitness Tip: Training Your Legs - Lunges
Lunges are a great exercise for strengthening the thigh and buttocks muscles (quadriceps, hamstrings, gluteus). The will shape your backside, core and define your thighs to look great all year round.

Lunge Version # 1: Alternating Lunges:
To begin, stand with your feet about shoulder width apart. Place your hands on your hips or have them hang by your sides and your point your toes straight ahead. Begin the lunge by stepping about forward with your left leg about 2-3 feet. The shorter the step the easier the lunge with be, so if you are a beginner take short steps and increase them as you improve. Bend your left leg and lower your body until your right knee is about 3 to 4 inches from the ground. The lower your go the harder the lunge will be; if you are a beginner keep your knee about 12 inches off the ground and as you improve. Step back with your left leg and return to your starting position. Keep your back and abdominal muscles tensed throughout. Repeat the process only with your right leg stepping forward. Alternating each leg during the workout.

This exercise should be done slowly and completely in about three to five seconds. Keep yourself steady throughout the exercise. Once you are comfortable with lunging, you can increase the intensity by using dumbbells, other free weights or medicine balls.

Lunge Version # 2: Single Lunges:
Begin each repetition by leading with the same foot until the set is finished. For the next set of repetitions, begin by leading with the other foot. Keep your back and abdominal muscles tensed throughout. When you step, your knee should stay directly above the ankle, and ideally finish the downward motion when your thigh and calf form a 90-degree angle.

No matter which version of the lunge exercise you are performing keep your midsection firm. Don't hold your breath. Remember to breathe smoothly. Just keep your abs tight to help support your lower back.

Beware of knee injuries. If you have knee injuries always make sure you check with your doctor before performing your leg exercises.

Ask the Trainer:
"I'm 36 and just getting back into fitness. What is the best type of aerobic activity and when is the best time to workout?"

Simply put, the best aerobic exercise is the one you will do! The best time to exercise is when you will do it! Make sure your choice of exercise fits with your lifestyle and life, and the workout time fits best in your schedule. If you are not an early riser, trying to work out in the morning could prove disastrous. Make your chances of success the highest possible by making the workout fit your existing life schedule. Then as you develop the habit and enjoy working out, you can start to change your schedule around working out and your healthy lifestyle.

Aim for a minimum of 3 sessions per week for at least 30 minutes of aerobic training. Low impact fitness classes, walking, jogging or biking are great ways to get back in the swing of things. In the beginning it's more important to be consistent and have fun! Allow your fitness level to improve gradually and the habit to form and you'll find yourself wanting more.

- Andy Dumas

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Balazs fitness tips are endorsed by the World Boxing Council.