About Boxing Punch Pads
When a boxer uses the heavy bag, or shadow boxes, they are in control. The boxer decides when punches are going to be thrown, the boxer decides how and when to move and the boxer can ‘take the foot off the gas’ when tired. When using the punch pads though, all of these elements are controlled by the person wearing the pads i.e. the coach. This means that the boxer’s work rate can be controlled and that the boxer has to continually think and adjust in order to respond to the instructions given. This increases stress and makes the activity much more beneficial.
Punch pads are worn on the hands, come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and when used properly are the closest a boxer can get to contest conditions. When starting out with the pads, it is enough to hold them up and request that the boxer whacks away with straight punches. Given time though, you can really vary the type and quantity of shots thrown. Phased attack sequences, combination punches utilising body and head strikes and high load anaerobic work all combine to make the punch pads a really top piece of gym equipment.
Aside from boxers, punch pads are used by all kinds of people. They are very often employed in the fitness regimes of many sports and are also very popular in the personal fitness arena by personal fitness coaches. Whilst benefits can be gained by keeping it simple, shouting at the boxer a lot and demanding lots of straight punches, it is actually well worth understanding the skills of boxing and trying engender the technical principles of straight shots, hook shots, uppercuts and footwork into the student; the boxing stance is the best place to start! By considering the technical aspects of the art of boxing when using punch pads, the fitness benefits in terms of cardio and muscle tone are much improved.
Buying Boxing Punch Pads – What to Consider
When buying a pair of boxing punch pads, I tend to favour a smaller pair. I find that I need to ‘cup’ my hands inside the pad in order to make me feel that the pad is secure and isn’t going to fly off my hand at the first hint of an incoming shot! Some pads have an extended length that offers some protection to the wrist area. I have always found though that the larger type of pad available is more difficult to wear and is by and large a more arduous and potentially painful endeavour for the coach than selecting the more compact design.
The best boxing punch pads I find are those that have a ‘curved’ face (the curve going from top to bottom, as shown on the left). This curvature enables the coach to ‘catch’ the incoming shot better, and also assists with the need to keep the pads firmly on the hands. Flat-face pads tend to be much more difficult to control, especially when working with a big puncher. An incoming shot can often be deflected without any rhyme or reason. On a number of occasions I’ve caught a straight right hand in my face by way of the pad, not because the boxer was inaccurate and not because I had the pad held incorrectly. As I said, no rhyme or reason!
Sessions on the punch pads add much more dynamism to a workout. All boxers love to work pads. There is a real ‘feel good’ element as the boxer can really blossom and work with a range of great shots thrown at a dizzying array of angles. In short, it is little wonder that the use of punch pads has progressed beyond the world of boxing to be embraced by a much wider range of people who partake in basic fitness activities or specialised professional sporting endeavours.
A Final Word
I have been considering the potential for creating a punch pad tutorial package. This tutorial would be focused on the coach i.e. the person holding the punch pads. I would prepare a video-based training regime (supported by a targeted publication) that would explain a whole range of skills in terms of taking someone on a session of punch pads. It may be that you are a personal trainer and would like to enhance the experience of your client. Maybe you are new to boxing (or other sport) coaching and would like some advice. If this sounds of interest, please let me know by leaving a comment on the article.
By the way, the links on this page are affiliate links. This means that if you click on the link and subsequently make a purchase, then I get paid commission of 5%. You need to be aware of this. Also, the links on this page represent what I would buy, if I were buying. I have not tried the specific piece of equipment identified and as such cannot directly recommend it. However, if I were buying from the web, these are the selections I would make.
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