Exercises With Boxing Pads

Athletic Woman Hits Punching Bag that Her Partner/ Trainer Holds. She's Professional Fighter and is Training in a Gym.

Whether you’re training for your next match or simply looking for a way to stay in shape, boxing has many benefits. Not only can this type of exercise reduce your body fat percentage and lower your blood pressure, it can also help develop power and strength in your upper body.

When practicing the sport, the use of boxing pads, also known as focus mitts, is extremely beneficial. This piece of equipment helps to protect your training partner from the force of your punches while allowing you to fine-tune your fighting skills.

For an effective boxing workout using focus mitts, try one to two sets of each of the drills detailed below several times per week. Each exercise should last about 3 minutes with 1-minute rest breaks in between sets. If this is too strenuous, you can decrease the workout's duration until your stamina improves.

Types of Punches

Before beginning a boxing pad workout, it is important to familiarize yourself with several different types of punches. A jab is a quick, straight ahead punch thrown by the hand in the front of you. On the contrary, a cross is thrown by the arm in back and comes across your body before making contact with the pad. Uppercuts, another punch variation, require you to bend your knees slightly as you punch in a forward and upward direction.

Call-out Drill

This beginner’s exercise helps you develop strength and power in your dominant punching arm.

How to do it: Stand facing a partner who is holding the boxing pads. Have your partner call out jab or double jab and respond accordingly by punching straight into the pads once or twice in a row. Your teammate can also alternate the pad position randomly between the head and body level to make the drill more complex.

Older man boxing in gym. Senior man with personal trainer.

Target Practice

Target practice helps to improve your ability to attack various locations on your opponent while maintaining the form of your punches.

How to do it: Face a partner who is wearing the focus mitts. Have that person constantly vary the height and location of the pads as you jab at them with your forward hand. As the drill becomes easier, incorporate crosses or uppercuts to add to the exercise’s difficulty.

Burn Outs

The burn out drill challenges your cardiovascular stamina and helps you build the endurance necessary to make it through a boxing match.

How to do it: Have your teammate hold the pads at a set level. Then, jab at the mitts as fast as you can with alternating arms for a pre-determined amount of time. Do not stop until the time is complete and have your partner count the number of hits you land. After a rest break, repeat the drill and try to throw more punches than the time before. Crosses or uppercut punches can also be incorporated to modify the exercise.

Combo Drill

The combo drill keeps you guessing by incorporating an unpredictable component into your workout. In addition, it helps you develop the ability to react to an opponent.

How to do it: Have your partner hold the pads at chest level and randomly call out punch types and sides. These commands should alternate between crosses, uppercuts and jabs and should also involve both the left and the right hands. In addition, your teammate can combine several commands in one sequence to add to the drill’s complexity.

Young woman boxing

Defensive Drill

This drill helps you to develop your balance and to improve your ability to counter attacks by an opponent.

How to do it: Hold the focus pads and maintain a fighting stance while your partner throws punches with both their left and right hands. Start with moderate speed jabs that alternate between head and body level and attempt to meet the punches with the mitts as they are thrown. As this gets easier, your partner can increase the speed of their attacks and can also add in other types of punches. As the punches hit the pad, focus on maintaining your balance as you stay on the balls of your feet.