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How to Train With Boxing Focus Pads

13th Feb 20

Focus pads are some of the best bits of boxing kit out there. It doesn’t matter if you’re training for a fight or just for your fitness; a good focus pad workout can seriously make a huge difference. For them to do that, however, you need the right workout.

To do that, you need to know where you stand with using them. They’re awesome for calorie burn, muscle building, agility, co-ordination, boxing technique… the list goes on. With that being said, here’s a breakdown of what you could be needing most, and what goes into making a focus pad workout so effective.

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Man and woman boxing training with focus pads

First of all, it’s essential to know the different punches you’re going to need in order to carry out your focus pad training workout. The biggest hitters (pardon the pun) are based around jab, hook and uppercut variations. They’re all fundamentals of boxing, but we’ll go through them below to make sure you’re caught up as best we can. Punching is a complicated subject, after all.


The jab is the most basic and the lightest hitting of the punches that are available, as that is what it is designed for. It is essentially just a straight, reasonably light shot straight forward at your opponent or the pads in the aim of being fast, and effective. Use them to get through your opponent’s guard or make the most of an opportunity. Speed and accuracy are key.


The hook is a lot more hard-hitting as is often the follow up to a jab. The point is to swing sideways in your focus pad workout instead of outwards to hit your opponent in more vulnerable spots or to get around the block as they open their guard to hit you. These are more tactical and still need speed, power and accuracy too. Luckily, focus pads have you covered there as well.


We also have the uppercut.  Again, these enable you to have another varied angle and a lot of power in one punch. You swing forwards and upwards, dealing the best blow with any opportunity. That’s even bigger coming from a counter.


Finally, we have the cross. It’s pretty much as it sounds, and involves you swinging across your body rather than straight. This is great as a part of a combination to prevent your moves from becoming too predictable, but as workout move, it also gives you more variation and core involvement. More movement means more calories burned and more core strength after all.

Focus Pad Workout Styles

woman practicing an upper cut on a man wearing focus pads

Now you’ve got a rough idea of all the different punching techniques there are, you can begin to get to grips with how to use them. That’s when your focus pads really come into their own league. Using all of them in the right focus pad workout can be a serious game-changer for your fitness and your boxing.

Response Training

Response training is probably the most common form of training seen in the ring. The idea of response training is to have the focus pad user to hold them in various positions while you swing. Changing everything from height, distance, and for different amounts of time, all changes the game. That’s when you hit them as fast and accurately as you can. You develop the instant reaction of what punch should be going where and where the opponent is likely to move, or even where they might be able to swing at your from.

Speed Jabs

Speed jabs are exactly what they sound like and are vital to any great focus pad workout. The pad user holds them in a fixed position of their choice, and you have to use the appropriate punch to hit. Do it as many times as you can, as fast as you can, for a set amount of time. That seems easy at first, but you will very quickly realise how much energy and stamina this takes. It works well as both a skill improving exercise as well as stamina and endurance-based workout too. If you work through every type of punch in order for 2 minutes each, you’ll really feel the benefit in the long run. It is HARD.

Sequence Drills

A sequence is slightly more specialised to boxing ability improvement, but it’s still a fantastic workout to be involved in. It really does help to spice up your training and keep things active and interesting. The pad holder will tell you what to expect in short bursts, like jab, jab, jab, hook, jab, step, uppercut, before he then moves the pads into positions where you can do this in rapid succession. This may need a bit of memory, but you’ll quickly fall into the patterns that they choose and increase your performance for your speed, stamina and your technique. It’s a very effective overall focus pad workout move.


Finally, dodge training is another popular way to go about mastering your boxing training. There is a lot more to boxing than just simple punches, and the footwork alone can be extremely challenging. This one is best saved until last once you have mastered your punches. Eventually, you can even work in your own counters to the routine, but dodging is the main feature here. Get your practice in early.

As the pad holder moves around the ring or even just the room, keep your guard up and as you both move. The pad holder brings a variety of different swings your way so that you have to think on your feet. You’re forced to duck, weave and dodge them in order to avoid getting hit. This is an extremely dynamic way to train your reflexes, stance and movement skills whilst still giving you a great cardio workout, all just with focus pads.

Man and woman practicing boxing dodge

Customise It

Once you’ve got to grips with all of these, you can really start to make your own customised training plan that will be great at giving you a full-body workout and improve your boxing skills at the same time. Start to use different combinations of these styles to find out your strengths and weaknesses and train to work on them as you need to. Once you’ve mastered it all, it’s easy to use other training items too. Speed bags and punch bags are perfect for making the most of your results, but there’s nothing quite like a focus pads workout. See what works best for you.

boxing range

Before beginning any exercise or nutrition program, consult your physician, doctor or other professional. This is especially important for individuals over the age of 35 or persons with pre-existing health problems. assumes no responsibility for personal injury or property damage sustained using our advice.

If you experience dizziness, nausea, chest pain, or any other abnormal symptoms, stop the workout at once and consult a physician or doctor immediately.