BEGINNER Focus Mitts Drill
Boxing mitt drills (aka focus mitt drills) have slowly crept into mainstream exercises, routines, and workshops since the recent explosion in mixed martial arts and boxing. Personal trainers from every discipline have been incorporating some sort of focus mitts drill into their workshops and clients from every age group have seen benefits and are going wild.
So what’s the craze?
The thing is that you don’t need to be a professional boxer or combat sports practitioner to benefit from boxing drills. If are looking for a fun way to boost cardio and shed fat without the bore of a treadmill then look at this focus mitts drill.
Top Four Reasons to do Focus Mitts:
Boxing drills for beginners are often challenging and tough. However, over time you will notice that the rounds that lasted a lifetime become shorter with more practice. Inevitably noticeable differences in your breathing and even waist size will start to emerge.
A great study on the effects of boxing drills for beginners was hosted by Men’s Fitness. The comprehensive guide shows the effects of boxing regarding weight loss during a four month period with an average loss of 11 lbs and 13% reduction of overall body fat.
Coordination and Rhythm
Isn’t rhythm for dancers?
Both you and your partner will be a little awkward when first starting focus mitts drills. To combat this, start off simple with this guide, watch few beginner videos and keep things simple at first. Supplementary drills and links will be posted at the end of the article once you and your partner are more comfortable.Coordination comes naturally at this point and over time you develop reflexes and timing that only a martial artist will learn.
Inexpensive and portable
The beauty of boxing drills for beginners is convenience. Any open space will replace treadmills, swimming pools or bike lanes. The portability of focus mitts also means you can take them to your partner or wait at home for your partner to come to you!
Ditching a gym pass also means potentially investing in boxing gear. Things like boxing gloves, wraps, and protective equipment can all be transported wherever you feel like training.
Simple Self Defense Challenge
Let’s face it, most of us encounter situations that have negative effects on our minds. Things like stress, frustration, conflict and deadlines can weigh heavy on our minds. The best outlet for life’s little irritations is being able to physically exert your emotions. Self-defense requires a clear mind with proper breathing techniques to match the pace of your partner.
Sometimes overcoming your self-defense challenges will lead to conquering your problems outside the ring. Not to mention it can be liberating to know you can get in touch with your primitive sense of fight or flight when push comes to shove.
Bonus: Double Benefit!
Any focus mitts drill requires a partner. Whether you are the sole boxer, have a coach or alternate mitt holder, both of you are getting a workout. A good partner will know when to push you for more, try out new things and even get his hands dirty when he needs to. Both coordination and communication will need to work together to make sure you are getting what you need as an athlete and meet your athletic goals.
Before you start
The following guide will be a boxing mitt drill for beginners. It consists of a particular focus mitts drill that will help boost coordination, reaction time and build great habits. Moreover, it is fun and addicting, two things you won’t find running on the treadmill.
In addition to this simple yet dynamic focus mitt drill, there will be reminders for partners or coaches holding the mitts. The coordination between both the boxer and the mitt holder is paramount to having a coordinated and pleasurable boxing mitts drill.
This guide is intended for amateurs who already have a foundation of basic punches, footwork and especially blocking. Don’t miss the honorable mentions after this guide to expand on your skills you will learn from this focus mitts drill.
Most BENEFICIAL Focus Mitts Drills for beginners:
1-2 1-2 Variation Combo
Step 1: Begin by Throwing traditional Jab-Cross
After you and your partner have warmed up, put on the gloves and start throwing the traditional jab – cross. Keep your feet planted and pay attention to extension and form as this drill may become overwhelming. Emphasize your hip movements as you execute the basic 1-2.
Remember to keep to either keep your feet planted or be on your toes during this early stage as you are building tempo and listening to your partner.
Mitt Holder: Concentrate on providing clean pad work and watching the boxer’s form. Pay special attention to pace and accuracy during the constant 1-2 combos again and again. With this particular focus mitt drill, make sure to meet the boxer half way with his extensions.
Step 2: Body Shots and Counters
As you are getting comfortable with the previous step, the mitt holder will go for body shots targeting either side your body. Before your partner hits the area, you must cover that same side to block. Then, answer with the same side hand to the opposite’s mitt available pad, located by his head. Stay honest here, and slow things down as you start to find some rhythm.
After the counter, you will continue your 1-2 combinations and wait for the mitt holder to initiate the next counter opportunity. Keep in mind that the mitt holder will switch sides, giving you a variety of body shots while you are conducting your 1-2 and providing counter opportunities as previously described.
Mitt holder: While he is conducting his 1-2s. Attempt to slap the sides of your partner’s ribs, not his midsection. Start slow and time the body shots to slap his blocking arm. Usually around the forearm or upper arm is perfect. At the same time, with your free hand, have your opposite pad by your head to counter with his same side glove. After the counter, continue with the 1-2s while thinking about your next attempt.
Step 3: Add some Variety
You will begin to have some rhythm as you begin countering effectively as well as build reactions to body shots. However, in about you will encounter different levels of striking. Some to your midsection, sides and upstairs. Your partner should be mixing the shots; going for you high and then low. Block effectively as you would in a fight and counter as mentioned in Step 2.
Mitt holder: Mix it up, this focus mitts drill is completely dictated by the pad holder. Your speed and your timing decide how quick and effective the drill is. If you notice your fighter is getting comfortable with the counters, speed it up, slow it down and provide variation. But always make sure the fighter is returning to that 1-2 combo again and again.
Step 4: Rest and Switch
You can’t keep all the fun to yourself, right? After 2 minutes of constant 1-2s and countering, rest and switch gloves! Remember that as the mitt holder is leading this drill and speed comes second technique.
A great and in-depth guide of the best focus mitts drill I’ve incorporated into my game can be found here. This is probably the most comprehensive and straightforward video guide to the 1-2, 1-2 variation, so make sure to like the video and leave a comment.
Honorable mentions and Sources
I have found this focus mitt drill extremely during training. At a quick pace, it trains muscle memory and proper form effectively and efficiently, without complicated combinations or advanced partners. There are limitless sources on focus mitts drills and pad work available online for any level. Here are a few, along with short descriptions:
The best focus mitts drill will vary depending on what you are looking for during your training session. Whether it’s a sweat, training for a fight or just blowing off some steam, focus mitts is an awesome way to mix up your routine.
Comment below and let us know what your favorite focus mitt drill is!