Pad Work 101
Distance & Stance
When starting to hold mitts and just like in boxing one of the most important things has got to be your positioning. When we start, we tend to like to go in our normal stance for boxing (Southpaw/Orthodox). The issue with this is if you’re in southpaw position and your holding mitts for an orthodox boxer both of your front legs are going to get in the way, your boxer is going to be over extending their jab and shortening their cross- this isn’t what you want. To battle this you’re going to need to mirror the stance of your boxer, so if they’re orthodox, you go orthodox, if they’re southpaw you go southpaw.
The next issue is being too close to your boxer. If you are to up close to your boxer then they aren’t going to be using much of their range at all, so they wont be getting the most out of their session with you. The aim you want is to have your boxer have their arm pretty much fully extended when they punch. When you start doing this with them you can gauge the distance. A simple way would be having your boxer hold their arm our straight against your pad, and then you have found the perfect distance for your session!
Holding The Mitts & Resistance
When holding the mitts the positioning of your hands and the resistance is the most vital part. Not only for your boxer but for yourself too. When holding the pads it can be nerve racking because you have someone throwing a punch towards you, so naturally people will have their hands out like a ‘scarecrow’, keeping their hands away from their face. This is a big no no, not only for the form of your boxer, but for your own safety. If your arms are out then the impact from the punch can cause damage to your shoulders. So, to prevent this you want to have the pads positioned close together and have your elbows close to your sides, this is the perfect base position for you not to get hurt.
Resistance is paramount. If you have too much resistance it’s going to hurt the boxers hands and wrists. If you have too little, it’s going to hurt you and also cause the boxer to over extend with their punches. This is the one that takes most practice but will come. I personally like to be relaxed and try to find enough resistance where it’s got a good snap, so it feels good for you and the boxer. This will take time to get, but keep asking your boxer for feedback whether you’ve got too much resistance or too little.
How To Start Developing Combos
So you got the basics; how to position yourself and have resistance for holding pads. Now it’s all fun from here, but just like anything you have to learn to wall before you run. These things take time to develop, especially if you want to do it right.
First thing you and your partner want to do is just go over basic punches (You will still get a great workout). Focus on just throwing the jab, get used to that, then the cross, then the jab cross hook, and you can build up combos like that. Once you’ve nailed the basics you can then go into adding rolls and slips and body shots etc… But you want to make sure you’re learning how to do it properly, so not only will it look good, you will also get a much better workout. And make sure you both communicate! If the pad holder isn't showing much resistance or they're rushing, tell them, you’re both in it together to get better!
Keep practicing daily and you'll be living the dream!
Trust The System!