A complete boxing training routine places a great deal of emphasis on pad work. During the exercise, the trainer places pads, or mitts, on both hands and instructs the boxer to hit the pads with different combinations. Pad training improves timing and technique by allowing a boxer to punch at a moving target.
A boxer must have correct form and technique in order to attack and defend effectively. The key to boxing is to maintain balance at all times in order to avoid incoming punches and land individual blows and combinations. Pad training teaches a boxer to maintain proper technique and balance throughout an entire fight. Boxer tend to keep correct form when punching a heavy bag, but abandon their training when they enter an actual fight. Pad training mimics fighting a real opponent and forces boxers to instinctively maintain form and discipline.
A boxer must have tremendous conditioning in order to fight effectively. The sport involves both aerobic and anaerobic conditioning. Aerobic refers to training the body to stay active for extended periods of time. Anaerobic trains muscle endurance and prepares the boxer to throw many punches at high intensity over a short period of time. Pad training allows a boxer to address both of these needs. During the workout, the boxer must throw punches, slip incoming blows and move around continuously. The combination of constant movement and sudden bursts of intense punching prepares a boxer fully for a fight.
Successful boxers are able to throw combinations from a variety of angles and distances. Heavy bag training lets boxers improve punching strength and form but does little to teach them to attack a moving target. Conversely, pad training teaches boxers to maintain balance and proper technique while attempting to hit a moving target. The trainer can mix in hooks and straights to force the fighter to defend. The boxer can learn to throw straights, jabs, hooks, and uppercuts at angles and distances in order to simulate actual fight scenarios.
Proper understanding of defensive techniques is vital to any boxer. Punching power and speed mean little if a fighter cannot block incoming punches. Other than sparring, pad training is the only boxing exercise that mimics fighting an actual opponent. During a normal pad training workout, the trainer will punch the boxer at various intervals in order to condition the fighter to slip and block instinctively. By being forced to constantly slip and defend, a fighter can develop muscle memory and conditioning to avoid punches.
Punching power comes from the legs, hips, shoulders and arms. All of these muscle groups must work in unison to produce an effective punch. In order to maximise potential punching power, a boxer must learn to attack from different distances and angles. Pad work trains muscles involved in boxing to attack in a quick and technically correct manner. Performing pad work at least twice a week will vastly improve punching power and speed.