Mitt work can be an asset to your boxing training, but it is an art form all its own. You need to hone your boxing skills before you go all out throwing fast-paced punches at your partner.
FightCamp Trainers Coach PJ and Tommy Duquette explain that both the partner holding the mitts and the partner hitting punches need to practice proper speed, timing, and distance for mitt work to benefit your boxing training. They’ll go through seven (7) of the basic steps for doing mitt work and offer up their tips on how to get the most out of a mitt work drill.
7 Basic Steps For Holding Mitts:
1. Keep Mitts Tight
Always start with the mitts close to your face and tight together. In the ring, your opponent will be aiming at your face so keep your head protected. Even as you practice combinations that force you to defend other areas of your body, return the mitts to this defensive position.
2. Don’t Jam Punches
You want to leave enough room for your partner to do a realistic extension and snap with every punch. Don’t let your partner get their punches all jammed up by being too close.
3. Make It Realistic
While it may make for a cool video, you don’t have to throw 900 fast punches with a bunch of slips and rolls. Beginners shouldn’t be trying to hit the mitts like Floyd Mayweather. In boxing, it’s all about two things:
Learning the reflexes
Building proper muscle memory
These are only achieved by slow, simple, realistic drills repeated throughout your training. Boxing training requires you to sharpen your technique before adding speed, and mitt work is no different!
4. Keep It Simple
When you’re first starting out, you’re building that basic muscle memory. Work on simple punches like the jab and cross. Practice aiming at different targets like the head and areas of the abdomen. You don’t have to go all in with speed and power. Remember that working the fundamentals is the only way to help you develop as a boxer.
5. Join FightCamp
Having a trainer to guide you is immensely valuable. As part of the FightCamp community, professional and experienced coaches like PJ and Tommy will teach you how to box, what to do, when to do it, and how to be the best version of you.
The Prospect Path, on the FightCamp App, will show you how to start from the foundation all the way up through working on your punches, your technique, and understanding where and when to punch. The Prospect Path gives you that conditioning to build you up and bring out that fighter from within.
6. Start Slow
If you do want to start practicing holding mitts for someone at home or with a friend, start slow! Slow and simple not only helps you nail your technique and build that muscle memory, it also helps avoid mishaps and accidental contact with your partner. Start with just some simple punch combinations, like jab - cross (1-2) or jab - cross - lead hook (1-2-3), and pause between.
7. Add Appropriate Resistance
Every punch needs to be met with a little bit of resistance. The partner holding the mitts should provide just enough resistance that they are not slamming their partner's hand down and also not letting their mitts fly backwards into their own face.
One of the great things about holding mitts is it makes you a better boxer. You get a feel for having punches thrown at you, and you get better at timing, which is essential to having a good boxing defense.
Timing, technique, and working at a slow, controlled pace will build you up from a prospect to a contender to a champion, whether you're holding mitts or throwing punches. For more ways on how to enhance your partner training check out our YouTube Channel. With the FightCamp team in your corner and helping you along your fitness journey, you will achieve your goals in no time!