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The sport of boxing has become a worldwide phenomenon, where all viewers can tune in and watch televised boxing events. The art has produced some of the world's greatest fighters to ever grace the stage like Mohammed Ali, Roy Jones Jr, Floyd Mayweather, and Mike Tyson. These iconic legends of the sport have inspired generations of young, and talented boxers coming through the ranks, and with the formidable nature of the new aged boxer, the sport is growing in leaps and bounds. Boxing has even integrated its way into Mixed Martial Arts, and has become a prominent feature of many MMA athletes. Prime examples of this are Connor McGregor, and Nate Diaz, who have peppered away at their opponents with remarkable boxing success.

What this article covers:

Becoming a professional boxer means all athletes will need to integrate strength and conditioning with their boxing training drills. All athletes need to put in extensive work into a range of different elements to become effective when they are inside of the boxing ring. Footwork is a vital part of boxing, and every step needs to be mastered, so an athlete can out maneuver their opponent inside of a match. Another important aspect is boxing head movement drills, and this is a concept that athletes will learn, as they engage in exercise routines like shadow boxing. One of the most important aspects in boxing is actually learning how to punch, and this can be done a number of different ways. Hitting the boxing bag, or engaging in focus mitt training are two separate ways that athletes can bolster up their fighting skills, and develop significant muscle memory for their punching form. 

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boxing mitt work


In order to become highly effective as a boxing athlete, they need to work on all of the fundamental movements that are taught. Using all of these skills, athletes will need to find cohesion between their footwork, their punching ability, and their strength and conditioning. Punching an opponent is the only way to win in a boxing match, and the fight can end one of two ways, by knockout, or by a points decision win. This means that building up fundamentals in punching skill is vital to becoming successful inside of the boxing arena. Athletes cannot just waltz in and throw random punches at their opponent, they need to be more calculated, and systematic with how they deliver their punching combinations. To be an effective striker the athlete needs to incorporate a number of different components like offensive and defensive footwork ability, head movement, fast, accurate, and powerful punches. These are all extremely important concepts that will help athletes become highly proficient in the art of boxing.


Most fight fans will watch professional boxing and think how do they do it. Watching two combatants go toe to toe inside of the ring can be extremely nerve racking for potential boxing students. The beauty of boxing as an art form is that any person that signs up to learn does not have to get inside of the ring, nor do they even have to competitively spar against other training partners. Boxing is a form of combat that can be learnt slowly over time in a solo fashion.  This means that anyone can learn boxing skills, and all they really need is a boxing bag, and some guidance on how to initiate their technique. Using the boxing bag will not turn a person into a superstar overnight, but they will be able to use it for strength and conditioning, and sharpening up their punching form. 

An important aspect of learning any form of boxing skills is integrating boxing warm up drills. This is highly important for all beginners to the art, as they will need to prepare their bodies for a highly dynamic, and intense style of combat. If a person wants to become more proficient in boxing skill they will need to have a training partner to hold the focus mitts for them, and this is how they can execute a series of precise, and powerful boxing combinations. Nowadays boxercise classes are readily available to ordinary people, where the popularity for women training in this form of fitness has grown exponentially. Boxing can be a fun and exciting way to stay fit, all while still learning fundamental skills in self defense.

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mitt work boxing


One of the most fundamental systems in boxing is focus mitt training. This is where a trainer will hold a pair of focus mitts, and the athlete will practice their punching combinations. There is high value in utilising focus mitt training, as all athletes will learn comprehensive skills in setting up punching combinations, basic evasive maneuvers, and counter striking. A focus mitt is a great workout tool where an athlete can punch extremely hard, fast, and accurately to bolster their attack with sharpened punching ability. Becoming highly proficient on the focus mitts is mainly due to the work from a good trainer, as they will call out different combinations that can challenge an athlete. The trainer will also throw strikes back at the athlete with the focus mitts, in order for the athlete to block, parry, slip or roll underneath.

Some of the more basic boxing drills for beginners will start with simple jab and cross combinations. The first technical component that an athlete must learn is how to execute each individual punch, and in the art of boxing there are a few. The jab is the first punch that the athlete will use from their fight stance, and is predominantly used with their non dominant hand. This is so they can set their opponent up with a cross, or a straight punch with their dominant hand. There are also hooks, uppercuts, and overhand punches that can be administered. Beginners to the art will often work on drills where they jab the focus mitts multiple times, and then move onto a different punch like a hook. This is important for building up levels of resilience within the athletes arms, as all athletes will need to be strong within their wrists, their arms, their shoulders, their back, and their hands. 

Athletes should also work on their boxing defense drills, as this is fundamentally important for staying safe during a boxing match. Athletes will need to learn how to step in and out of range, while keeping their hands up, and staying guarded. This is critical for their defense, and athletes must be ready to block, slip, duck, or roll underneath punches at any given moment. Athletes can work on multiple drills like hitting combinations on the focus mitts, while their trainer throws body hooks, and head shots at the athlete, forcing them to either block, parry, or evade the punch altogether. These types of drills are instrumental to how an athlete can learn a good defensive system. Defense cannot just be forced, it must be systematic, and instinctive, and the longer an athlete trains under this type of duress, they will build up a significant defensive mindset deep within their muscle memory.

There are more advanced drills on the focus mitts that athletes can implement, but they must first learn the fundamentals of all of the basic movements. Working combinations on the focus mitts are a great way to sharpen up an athlete's punching fluency, improve their punching accuracy, and build up significant power within their punch. A good combination to practice on the focus mitts starts with a left hand jab followed by a right hand cross, then a lead left hand hook to the face, followed by a level change so the athlete can throw a hard right hand body hook. This is a good drill to practice, and can often throw an opponent off, as they commonly will not expect a left hand lead hook. There are literally hundreds of different combinations that athletes can master, and the biggest trick of all for boxing athletes is to figure out which style suits them the best. This can only happen through trial and error, and continuity within their training systems.

Another good drill which is a great concept for strength and conditioning, and this is to use resistance bands, and focus mitts. The concept of this drill requires an athlete to place a resistance band around their waist, and secure it to a pole of some sort. From here their training partner will stand in the corner of the room holding up the focus mitts, and the athlete will use footwork to come out from the pole in the centre of the ring. until the resistance bands start to pull them backwards. From here the athlete must throw combinations on the focus mitts, which is done under significant duress. This is a good drill which will teach athletes how to keep coming forward even though they are being pulled backwards. This can be part of a training circuit, or can be used to emulate a tired body during the later rounds of a boxing match.

Another good drill has been known as the eight count drill, which means exactly what it says, as the athlete will throw eight simultaneous punches in a row. Punching against the focus mitts, the athlete will always be in a good fight stance with their chin guarded, as they use good footwork to step into the focus mitts. From here they will utilise all of the different punches, but one at a time. Starting with the jab the athlete will throw eight left hand jabs, before switching to the southpaw stance, and throwing eight right hand jabs. What makes this drill so good is that it helps the athlete work on their speed, their accuracy, and even their head movement. To do this drill correctly, athletes must use good head movement as they throw each punch, and focus on throwing power in every single punch. The main goal of this drill is to land each punch with as much power, speed, and accuracy as the very first punch, and every punch cannot sacrifice any speed, accuracy, or power. This is designed to give athletes a great punch that can be executed in a consistent manner.


Using the focus mitts is conceptually one of the best training tools to help athletes work on their punching combinations, their punching fluency, and the speed, accuracy, and power of their punches.  Even though the focus mitts are predominantly used to increase punching fluency, another good benefit that athletes can reap the rewards from, is how much conditioning they will receive during these training sessions. An athlete that is highly energetic, and uses a lot of movement with their feet, and their head, will soon learn how effective training on the focus mitts can actually be. Boxing can be extremely strenuous, and involves an athlete to have a higher level of cardiovascular fitness, and using the focus mitts to help benefit their cardio is one of the best training exercises that an athlete can choose from.

The focus mitts are also extremely good to work on evasive movement, and in boxing not all fights are dictated by the more prominent boxer. Sometimes it is the athlete that is more evasive, and is hard to trap in the pocket, that will ultimately achieve success. Focus mitts are the perfect training tool to help an athlete build up their level of evasive maneuvers, and all the athlete has to do is shape up to the focus mitts, and start throwing combinations. A good trainer will mix it up and throw in head shots, and body shots to challenge the athlete during these sessions. Using this ideology, athletes will soon build up instinctive attributes that will help them move out of the way of a punch, but still remain in range to throw counter strikes. Focus mitts can be one of the best pieces of boxing equipment in the modern century, and being a good pad holder is sometimes harder to learn than actually boxing itself. All athletes should have a go at holding the focus mitts for their training partners, as this is a great way to learn fundamental movements, which will become ingrained into their muscle memory.


Fight strategy is one of the most overlooked aspects of boxing, and this is because most boxers will just believe in themselves, so they go out swinging bombs. Sometimes this is not possible, because their opponent is too calculated, and systematic within their own structures. All athletes need to use their fight strategy in order to help win themselves the fight. As the athlete begins to develop their skills over time, they will soon be able to identify what they will need to do in order to beat their opponent. If an athlete does not go in with a game plan they will often wind up losing their match because their opponents have outplayed them. Having a good fight strategy means an athlete will have a plan A, and a plan B, and possibly even a plan C. These are all concepts that are extremely important to all boxing athletes, as they must trust in their own structures to help them achieve boxing fluency. 

Improve your Boxing Skills with the help of James Campbell and DynamicStriking.com!

boxing pad drills

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