October 2005
Andy and Jamie Welcome to this month's issue of Balazs Boxing's newsletter. In this issue Andy provides 4 new strengthening exercises using the versatile medicine ball. Jamie and Andy review the importance of maintaining a healthy eating pattern to maintain daily energy levels. Finally, in "Ask the Trainer", they show one reader how adding more aerobic exercise can help him reach his fitness goals.

The Balazs Team - Knock Yourself Out!


Boxing Drill #23: More Advanced Medicine Ball Drills
The medicine ball offers great strength training benefits not only for your core muscles, but also for your legs, back, shoulders and arms. The functional workout these tools provide will enhance both standard weight workouts as well as your endurance in the ring. Here are some great medicine ball drills for the upper and lower body:

Upper Body

Off-set Pushups: ( Shoulders, Biceps, Triceps)

Here's a new twist on a great exercise. In the push up position, put the ball under one hand, with your other hand on the ground. Do a series of controlled push-ups. The medicine ball provides an unstable surface, which makes these pushups much more difficult than regular pushups. This forces the stabilizers of the shoulder and rotator cuff muscles to work very hard to keep the shoulder joint steady while performing the exercise. Switch the ball to the other hand and repeat. Make sure you perform these push-ups in slow controlled motion and exhale on the exertion as you're pushing up. The larger the medicine ball the more unstable the exercise, if you are beginning start with a small ball (4 lb) and work your way up to the 15 lber.

Try 8-10 push-ups with ball under one hand, switch hands and repeat. (This counts as one set.) Start with two sets working your way up to three sets

The Boxer's Push-Up: (Triceps, Chest, Back)

With both hands on the medicine ball, and body in a push-up position, lower the body towards the ground. Keep your elbows pointing back toward your feet and your abdominals held tight. The hands should be held close together and must be kept steady. These push-ups require additional strength through the torso, arms and shoulders to maintain perfect balance.


Forward Lunges: (Hamstring, Quadriceps)

With ball held at chest level, and feet shoulder width apart. Step forward and lower your body onto the forward leg. Push back off your front foot to return to your starting position, and repeat. When stretched fully, your upper body should be perpendicular to your front thigh and your back knee should be lower than your front knee. Don't let your front knee bend past 90 degrees. Switch legs and repeat. This is a great exercise for the hamstrings. (8-20 pound ball)

Reverse Lunges: (Quadriceps, Hamstring)

Start in the same position as forward lunges, but take a step backwards. Keep the shoulders square over the hips and take the leg directly back, landing on the ball of the foot, keeping the heel slightly elevated. The front leg supports the controlled backward movement. Return to the start position by contracting the quadriceps muscle and pushing off the ball of the foot. Continue on one leg until fatigued, and then repeat on the other. (8-20 pound ball)

Andy and Jamie's Health and Fitness Tip: The Healthy Appetite
Some people are not suited to eating three large meals a day. If you find
you are fatigued a few hours after eating, you may need to be eating smaller
meals more often. Mini-meals throughout the day can help keep your
blood-sugar level stable and provide you with the mental alertness and
physical energy you need at home, work, school or play.

As a general rule, the more colorful the food, the more nutritious it is
(M&Ms do not count!). Try to have several different colored fruits and vegetables at every meal.

Some healthy choices: Red, orange and pink foods such as tomatoes, squash, strawberries, red peppers, oranges, carrots, dried apricots and pink grapefruit.
Dark green vegetables like broccoli, asparagus, spinach and salad greens.

Ask the Trainer:
"I am 35 years old and I weigh 230lbs and my body fat is 25% and I am 6"5 in height. My goal is to be really lean and add some muscle. I have been working on the heavy bag in my basement and I do 10 rounds at 2 minutes each, 3 times a week. By the time I am done, I am sweating like crazy. I have never been a runner and my question is, is this enough cardio and do you burn more fat by just boxing as apposed to someone who just runs? I am also doing weight resistance training 3 times a week and lots of ab work. Is boxing the best form of cardio for burning fat?"

If you want to look like an athlete you have to train like one, and boxers are some of the best-conditioned athletes in the world. To build the necessary stamina, boxers train their cardio systems by jumping rope, sparing, hitting the bags and running.

A day in the life of a fighter consists of an early wakeup followed by a morning session of running. Roadwork involves long runs - hill runs, sprints, and interval training. A good running program will enhance the conditioning that you get from working the heavy bag.

You might want to add running to your training routine. I'm not talking half marathons or 10k's, just getting out for light 15-20 minute run, then come back and do some heavy bag work. The heavy bag is a fantastic workout. If you've been doing 2-minute rounds for a while, your body may have adapted to this pace. You may want to do fewer rounds, but increase them to three minutes instead of two. Why don't you try going 7 three-minute rounds, which will be more challenging because the rounds are longer and you have fewer rest periods.

- Andy Dumas

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