May 2007
Andy and JamieWelcome! In this month's issue Andy and Jamie discuss common mistakes when using target mitts. They offer some great tips for getting in shape. Lastly, in the "Ask the Trainer" section, Andy and Jamie explain about how to develop good head movement.

The Balazs Team - Knock Yourself Out!


Boxing Drill #42: Common Mistakes when Working on the Target Mitts
Over the last few years we have given tips, and combinations to practice on the target Mitts - Sometime its good to go back to the basics. Here are some common mistakes when working on the mitts, and how to correct them.

There are two roles when working the target mitts, the catcher and the puncher. The catcher calls out the punch combinations, and sets the pace of the workout.

Common Mistakes and Tips:

Mistake: The puncher is standing too close to the catcher, thereby not being able to execute the punches correctly.
Tip: The catcher should remind the puncher to back up after throwing a punch or series of punches. Punch and get out.

Mistake: The catcher holds the target mitts with straight arms.
Tip: The catcher must keep the arms slightly bent at the elbow joint, allowing the arms to absorb the punch. Remember to move the mitt forward slightly to meet the incoming punch. Straight arms will increase the chance of joint injury for the catcher.

Mistake: Throwing punches too hard.
Tip: The use of target mitts is to improve technique, speed, accuracy and reaction time. Greater power comes from better technique. Save the hard punches for the heavy bag.

Mistake: The catcher and the puncher are not working together. The catcher may not be focused on the puncher and placement of the punches. The puncher throws punches and does not wait for instructions from the catcher.
Tip: The catcher should have a game plan. If you are the coach, everything must be in your control. Be aware of what is going on. You set the tempo. Communicate clearly the combination you want executed.

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

For more tips on Jumping rope - check out
Boxing drill # 5: Target Mitt Basics from January 2004 News letter
Boxing drill # 9: Advanced Drills from July 2004 News letter
Boxing drill # 30: Boxing Drill from May 2006 News letter

Andy & Jamie's Health & Fitness Tip: Some Great 'Get-in-Shape' Tips
  • Consult your doctor. This will give you a chance to have your blood pressure and blood cholesterol level checked. Your doctor also may help you develop an exercise routine that is least likely to aggravate any medical conditions or physical limitations you might have.
  • Set short-term goals. If becoming a lean, mean, fighting machine is your goal, it can be discouraging to find your endurance and strength are not yet where you hope to be. Instead of dreaming of athletic excellence right away, aim for small achievements such as increasing every other workout by one to two minutes (until you reach at least 30 minutes total). Once you reach one short-term fitness goal, then set another one, such as adding two more reps (at the same weight) or five more pounds to each exercise in your strength-training program.
  • Make it complete. Fitness is more than just a cardiovascular workout. Eventually, attempt to incorporate all aspects of fitness into your exercise program. Aerobic activity two to three times a week, strength training at least twice a week, and flexibility and relaxation exercises are all part of a complete fitness program.
  • Drink up. Drink plenty of water before, during and after your exercise program, regardless of whether you are thirsty or perspiring. . 8-12 cups of water a day is normal for an active person.
  • Up the intensity. As your body gets used to a particular exercise, your strength and endurance will increase. To challenge yourself, gradually increase the intensity of your workout. If you are a beginner who usually walks for 20 minutes three times a week, consider increasing the duration or frequency of your walks or increase the pace. For strength training, add one or two pounds every few weeks, increase your repetitions or sets. In general, you should lift a weight until you cannot complete any more repetitions using proper form.
  • Listen to your body. Mild muscles fatigue is normal during exercise; sharp pain is not. If you feel pain, stop exercising at once. Often, rest, elevation, icing or basic anti-inflammation medications for an injury may be appropriate. Consult a doctor if pain persists for more than a day or two.
  • Have fun. Vary your workouts so you don't get bored. Find forms of exercise that you truly enjoy, such as jogging through a park.
Ask the Trainer:
"Are there any drills that you can suggest for developing good head movement?"

Mirror training is a great way to work on your head movement. One of the best tools for developing good head movement is working on the Double-end bag. It will challenge your eye-hand coordination and timing. When working on the heavy bag, visualize your opponent throwing punches and keep you head moving.

- Andy Dumas

Send your questions for Andy to

Product Recommendations:
DD0201 i-Box: Fitness Boxing Fundamentals DVD
GS0135 Balazs Combo Gloves
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Endorsed by the World Boxing Council
Balazs fitness tips are endorsed by the World Boxing Council.