Focus mitts, also referred to as boxing pads, help boxers develop speed, accuracy and endurance. Your partner wears the pads on his hands to create a moving target that you attack with various combinations of strikes. They can be used to develop both hand and foot strikes so your training more closely resembles a real fight.
You can use boxing pads to train for speed using different hand strikes including the cross, jab, hook and uppercut. Hit the bag as hard and as fast as possible for three minutes alternating hands for each punch in the one-two fashion. You can practice one type of punch at a time or do a combination of hand strikes when doing this drill. Have your partner move the pads up, down and side-to-side to make the drill more challenging. Focus on striking the center of the pad with each punch. Do four three-minute rounds to complete the exercise.
One of the main benefits of using focus mitts is that they can be used in sparring to simulate the variability of an actual fight. This sparring activity requires two people, one to defend and wear the boxing pads, and the other to strike without wearing pads. Start by designating an attack to the person striking and a defense to the person wearing the pads. Practice the attack and defense as the person wearing the pads moves them around and as the person striking aims for different body parts. Advance the drill so that there is no designated attack or defense and the person wearing the pads can counter with a strike. Keep this a low-intensity drill and concentrate on focusing the strikes and avoiding counter strikes.
Boxing pads can also be used to practice kicks by those who do kickboxing or martial arts. Perform two-minute rounds of front kicks doing 10 with one leg before switching to the other and alternating back-and-forth for the duration of the round. Repeat with side kicks. Have the person holding the pads move them around the middle of his body and legs in the front and sides as you alternate between kicks. Focus on proper form when landing each kick.
Boxing pads can be integrated into a cardio circuit that trains your aerobic endurance as well as punching accuracy. Start by setting up two cones 10 meters apart. Start at the first cone and do 20 uppercuts as your partner holds the boxing pads. Next, run to the second cone and back twice before throwing another 20 punches; these can be either jabs, crosses or hooks. Do this three to six times, changing punching styles each time, and then switch with your partner so you are holding the pads and he is running and throwing the punches.