How to be an effective boxing padholder
Boxing for fitness is more popular than ever and boxing padholding is a crucial skill for fitness professionals who want to provide more value to their clients.
Padholding is a skill in itself and can take years to master. But Punchfit is here to help you speed up the process with the top 7 tips to become a better boxing padholder.
1 – Posture
The way you hold the focus pads has a major impact on your client’s ability to throw effective combinations and the amount of strain put on the padholder.
If you want to show yourself to be an experienced padholder, aim to keep the pads close together and keep your elbows tucked in against your midsection.
By keeping the pads nice and close, your creating a realistic target for your client and helping them develop better technique. By keeping your elbows tucked, your absorbing less strain on your shoulders and increasing your longevity as a padholder.
2 – Tap – don’t push
A common mistake you see in a lot of beginner padholders is the amount of feedback they give when catching a punch. Too little and you’re not providing a solid target for your client to hit, are increasing their risk of injury and inhibiting their ability to learn their range.
Too much feedback and your inhibiting their ability to throw effective combinations and placing unnecessary strain on their wrists and shoulders.
Try to find a balance between too much and too little, aiming to match the force of the punch with a ‘tap’.
3 – Stance
When holding pads for a client, your not just using your arms and hands. Just like in boxing, it all starts with the feet.
If you want to be able to effectively catch punches and easily move around the ring with your client, stay in a fighting stance.
One leg forward, shoulder-width apart, evenly distributed balance – the padholder should stand and move with the same footwork as their boxer.
The same goes when holding for orthodox vs southpaw clients. Your client’s a southpaw? Stand in a southpaw stance too.
4 – Move
Boxing focus pad workouts should, as much as possible, simulate a real boxing bout. The sure way to set your client up for failure in competition is to spend your pad sessions stuck in the mud. If you client is used to standing in place when throwing combinations, they are in for a real challenge when they try to hit a target that doesn’t want to be hit.
If you want to truly prepare your client and help them improve their skills, give them a realistic target. Move around the ring during the round. Show them different angles, force them to adjust their range and move their feet in the right position before throwing.
Keep your client light on their toes!
5 – Throw Back
As with the previous tip, you goal is to simulate a realistic scenario for your boxer. Another way to set them up for failure is allowing them to throw with no regard defence.
Keep your client alert and ready to evade oncoming strikes by including evasion techniques during the rounds. Slips, rolls, lean backs – there are multiple techniques to work with. If your client is a beginner, start slow and clearly signal each time you throw something their way, ensuring you do not actually hit them. As they gain more experience, you can increase the speed.
Make the rounds realistic by giving your boxer the chance to work on their defence. To allow for more effective evasion drills, consider switching your focus pads for coach sticks.
6 – Adjust the pace
Not everybody is at the same level of fitness and it’s important for coaches to acknowledge this and adapt accordingly.
It’s great to push your client and help them develop their conditioning, but at a certain point, they’ll find themselves exhausted and resort to throwing with incorrect technique – hands down, no hip rotation, poor footwork, etc. When you put your client in this situation all your doing is enabling them to reinforce poor technique.
There’s a fine balance between improving conditioning and developing skill. If you want to be a better boxing padholder, monitor your client’s fitness level and adjust the intensity of the workout accordingly.
7 – Give feedback
Last, but certainly not least, communicate with your client!
Your client is there to learn boxing, and you’re there to teach them. Don’t just be there to hold a target for them, instead give them a third person perspective, monitor their technique and provide feedback where needed.
It’s normal for a coach to provide words of encouragement and want to make their client feel like they’re a pro boxer. But without providing constructive criticism and feedback on their technique, your only holding them back.
If you want to see your client truly excel, monitor their technique and don’t be afraid to provide tips and feedback where needed!
Want to UPSKILL your padwork? Checkout Punchfit’s industry-recognised Padholding Certification and registered Punchfit instructor!