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5 signs of poor boxing pad holding!

By May 19, 2021No Comments


While we all love a great pad session with the right training partner,
I think we can all agree that we remember the bad sessions even more!
There is nothing worse than being in a group boxing session, only to be paired up with someone who has no experience holding pads…

In this blog, we’ll run through some of the commons signs of poor pad holding, how to spot these issues and avoid them where possible.
When attempting to fix a pad holder’s technique, be sure to approach them kindly, otherwise their pad holding technique may becoming intentionally worse!

1. Focus pads held too far apart from each other

When boxing,
Your main goal is to cleanly strike the opponent, without getting hit, of course.
The same strategy applies to hitting focus pads.
If your pad holder holds their focus pads too far apart, your target stretches into two which completely throws your technique out the window.
This also adds strain to the pad holders’ shoulders and makes it difficult to catch a punch without the reinforcement of their upper and lower arms.
Keep an eye out for this next time your training and see if you can spot the difference!

2. Pad holder giving minimal feedback when catching

When you punch an opponent or a boxing bag, there is evident feedback felt your hand, arm, and entire body.
It lets you know if you hit something smoothly, awkwardly, powerfully, softly, etc.
If the boxer’s punches are caught by the pad holder too softly, the risk of hyperextension and injury to the boxer is much higher, resulting in a very upset boxer!
The pad holder should always give an adequate amount of feedback from the pad, also known as catching a punch.
If you ever feel that your punches are crisp but the pads aren’t reflecting that, check the pad holder’s technique or ask them to give you some additional force in the pads.

3. Pad holder STRIKING your punches with the focus pads

The complete opposite of the above!
Have you ever had a pad session with someone who has made your muscles ache and bones feel crushed!?!
You’ve most likely had a pad holder smash their hands and pads into your punches.
While this may sound great on the pads and you make you feel like a pro, the result on your body can be less than thrilling.
You can still get amazing feedback from the ‘right’ amount of catching on the end of your punches.
If your body feels broken after each combination, it may be the right thing to ask the pad holder to soften their catching.

4. Pad holder over reaches with their pads

A great pad holder can measure your optimal punching length in seconds.
A poor pad holder will hold their pads far away from their body and towards the boxer as if their hands stink!
This kind of pad holding technique can be devastating to both the boxer and pad holder.
The pad holder cannot effectively control their focus pads and the risk of injury increases, especially on their hands and shoulders.
The boxer cannot fully extend their punches and thus diminishes their technique.
From the first punch, an experienced pad holder can tell how far away they need to hold their focus pads to catch a boxer’s punches with ease, without the need to overreach!
If your punches aren’t able to extend completely and comfortably, your pad holder may need some assistance.

5.  Pads are held too high or too low

Have you ever been partnered with someone who holds their focus pads too low or high?
It can be frustrating, jarring, and injury-causing.
An experienced pad holder understands that there is an optimal height for holding focus pads.
Holding focus pads at your partner’s chin height is optimal for their striking, holding too high or too low can dramatically affect their technique and can result in injury.
If you’re having to extend your hands overhead to get your focus pads to your boxers chin height,
You may need to ask them to use a longer stance, use other pad holding tools or request another partner to safely complete pad work.
Alternatively using a boxing belly pad is a sure way to keep your focus pads always held at head height when incorporating punches to the head and body.

Looking to learn or improve your pad holding for boxing?
Take a look at our level 1 safety pad holding course!