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TITLE Boxing Blog

From inside the gym to around the world of combat sports, the TITLE Boxing Blog keeps you up-to-date with the latest MMA and Boxing news, training tips and fighting techniques. This is the kind of info you need to not only talk the talk, but walk the walk.

Tip of the Day

  • How to Wrap Your Hands in 10 Easy Steps

    How to Wrap Your Hands in 10 Easy Steps

    How To Wrap Hands for Boxing

    A good hand wrap should accomplish two things.  First, it should protect a fighter’s hands and give him a sense of security in knowing that he can punch with full force and not hurt his fists.  Second, if it is executed properly, a quality hand wrap job should also secure a fighter’s fists in a way that will allow him to punch with full force and not feel it in the bones and joints of his hand.  The amount of confidence that a fighter has in his ability to punch, injury-free, is critical. This all starts with a good, basic wrap.

    1. Begin by unrolling your hand wrap to reveal the thumb loop on the end.

    hand wrap 1

    2. Place it around the base of your thumb and pull the wrap across the back of your hand.

    hand wrap 2

    You begin by going across the back of your hand so that when you make a fist it "clinches-up" the beginning of the wrap just enough to make it more secure when you make a fist.

    3. Wrap around your knuckles three times.

    hand wrap 3

    Be sure to wrap up high enough, roughly just under the first knuckle so that when you make a fist, the punching surface is padded, not just your knuckles.

    4. Cross over the back of your hand and wrap around your wrist three times.

    hand wrap 4

    hand wrap 4-1

    5. Come up and across your palm and loop the wrap halfway around your thumb.

    hand wrap 5

    6. Go back across your palm again, over that back of your hand and loop the wrap halfway around your thumb from the other direction.

    hand wrap 6

     

    This has secured the thumb from both directions.

    7. Wrap back around your wrist and using your thumb as the "anchor" begin wrapping between each finger, starting between your pinky and ring finger.Keep your thumb fully extended so that the wrap is coming up from the base of your thumb.

    hand wrap 7

    hand wrap 7-1

     

    You're wrapping between each knuckle to help maintain the proper and natural separation that exists between each knuckle. If you mis-hit from the side, this will help maintain the proper cushion and space between the knuckles. It helps prevent them from smashing together if you don't strike the surface of a bag or your opponent directly.

    8. Once all three spaces between your knuckles and fingers have been wrapped, use your thumb as the anchor one last time and come back up around the outside of your knuckles and wrap them together, again three times.

    hand wrap 8

    hand wrap 8-1

     

    This also helps maintain the proper distance between your knuckles by not allowing them to separate upon impact. The wrap between the knuckles, maintains natural spacing. Following that up with wrap around the knuckles, holds them in their proper place.

    9. After that, cross over the back of your hand and wrap at least three more times around your wrist.

    hand wrap 9

    hand wrap 9-1

    10. If you have a lot more wrap, you can cross back and forth over the back of your hand, making an X pattern.

    hand wrap 10

     

    If you can't complete three or more final wraps around your wrist, your wraps might be too small and you should consider getting wraps that allow you full protection. On the other hand, if you have a lot more extraneous wrap, you might consider getting shorter wraps. Too much hand wrap will prevent you from making a good, tight fist. Otherwise, if your ending point is somewhere close, make a fist. Be sure that your wrap is snug-enough to stay in place, but not so tight that it cuts off circulation.

    There are many ways and styles of wrapping hands. This approach plays into and protects the anatomical structure of the human hand. It’s designed to protect the 29+ small bones you use to make a fist and hit things with. Hand protection is one of the foundations of your craft. Your hands are your livelihood. Take care of them, so you can take care of business.

    hand wrap final

    To check out the hand wraps available from TITLE Boxing, click here.

  • Take the Lead: Putting the Heavy Bag to Work for You

    Take the Lead: Putting the Heavy Bag to Work for You

    By Douglas Ward, Marketing Director at TITLE Boxing

    Heavy Bag Workout Tips & Techniques

    For as long as the modern day sport of boxing has existed, the heavy bag has been at the core of nearly every prizefighter’s workout routine. In the beginning, they were constructed of everything from canvas bags to gunny sacks filled with sand or grain. Although construction methods have advanced, the purpose that the heavy bag serves has remained the same. It provides a substantial target for a fighter to practice the art of power punching, movement and crafting a full arsenal of punches. Everything in the book, from the jab to the body shot, can be perfected on the heavy bag. The key to this integral piece of equipment and getting the most out of it is to be sure that you work it and don’t let it work you. What that means is that you don’t let it become a force that you only react to.  Instead, control its’ movement, dictate the pace of the round, the direction of the bag and every aspect of what you do with it.

    Too many fighters stand in front of the bag, hit it a few times (or once) and allow the bag to swing back and forth while they wait to hit it again. There’s really much more you can get out of the heavy bag than that, by not allowing yourself to follow, but lead the charge. If it were a dance, you would want to be the man, not the woman.  Lead, don’t follow.

    One of your goals on the heavy bag is to keep it moving, don’t let it settle into place. When you strike the bag, either pursue it and throw an additional combination or step to the side and throw. It is best not to hit the bag when it is coming straight back at you. Instead, step off and counter the direction the bag is going to interrupt its natural movement or hit it so that it continues its motion. The idea is to control the bag, where it goes, how fast it moves and when you stop its motion. If you have just hit the bag and it is swinging back at you, step off to your right and let a right cross go or plant a solid right hand to the body. Or as it swings back, step off to your left and rip a left hook to the body or head. By stepping to the side in this manner, you are accomplishing three main objectives.

    blog-heavybag4

    First you are training yourself to remain in perpetual motion and making each minute of each round on the bag a real workout. Time spent standing flat-footed, waiting for the bag to come back it pointless. That means you are conditioning yourself to wait for your opponent to lead and take control. That’s a bad habit to get into and a dangerous position to put yourself in.

    Secondly, as you step of to the side, you should be shifting your weight to the lead foot that you stepped with. When you do this it is re-establishing a firm foundation and is putting you in the proper position to throw another punch or combination.

    Although it may sound basic, by working around the bag or pursuing it, you are hitting a moving target, as opposed to an “opponent” that is just coming straight at you or running away from you all of the time. That is both unrealistic and too simple. When the bag moves and you move to counter it…that’s more like a real fight. It requires you to respond and place your shots more precisely.  When you’re attacking a moving target, it requires better timing, judging range and adjusting your distance. You have to think more and work the bag more deliberately.

    It is also good to sometimes follow the bag. This form of attack may play into your already aggressive fighting style or is just good to work on in case you ever find yourself in the type of situation where you need to apply pressure and force the attack. By keeping your head planted on the bag while you bury punches into it, pressing the action and firing off powerful combinations, this will get you accustomed to moving forward. Even if this is not your typical fighting style, it will get you in the type of shape that you will need to be able to constantly apply effective pressure and will make you a more adaptable fighter.

    blog-heavybag3

    What you do on the heavy bag, the types of drills you incorporate and the various routines you work on are virtually endless. But, more important than what you do, is how you do it, because ultimately, the heavy bag will never make you work harder than you want to. It’s not going to push you or punch back or make the rounds any more difficult than you dictate. Let the seconds tick by while you watch the bag swing lazily on its chain or take charge and put it to work for you and you’ll quickly find that the heavy bag can be your greatest ally or your worst enemy.

    Get your heavy bags here and your bag gloves here.

  • Protection and Power: Take Your Mouthguard Seriously

    Protection and Power: Take Your Mouthguard Seriously

    By Douglas Ward, Marketing Director at TITLE Boxing

    Best Mouthguards for Boxing

    When boxing's first protective gum shield (mouthpiece) was introduced in 1913 by dentist Jack Marks and was consequently made popular by boxer Ted "Kid" Lewis, his creation was purely intended to provide protection for the teeth and gums. Little did he know, his simple product would ultimately be altered and engineered to improve athletic performance. His basic design would also become a part of nearly all combat and contact sports. However, it wasn't until recent years that companies have put the research behind this piece of gear to enhance its protective benefits and, in the process, discover that a good mouthpiece can actually make an athlete stronger and faster. By providing a better fit and aligning the jaw more properly, your mouthpiece can actually add power to your punch and improve your ability to take a better shot. A better chin combined with the ability to hit harder...could that be true? It could be and it is.11.29.17 Mouthguard-BlogArt-Sub01

    More than the obvious benefits of just protecting your choppers from being punched-out, a good quality mouthpiece affects your physical ability and energetic output. It achieves this through positively affecting the position of your jaw by drawing it down, out and away from the base of your skull, so that direct impact to the brain is lessened. The proper placement of your jaw also affects the position of your head.  In turn, the position of your head affects your posture. If your jaw, head and body are all in alignment, then your body and brain are not wasting energy on trying to balance and counter-balance your head. Even though the adjustments are so small that they are in-perceivable, because you are constantly getting hit, constant adjustments are being made. The thousands of punches you take and movements you make during a six or eight round sparring session really add up and are distracting from your focus, even if you are not aware of it.  You may not sense the ongoing task that your body is subconsciously managing for you, but it's taking a small toll on your energy levels and focus.11.29.17 Mouthguard-BlogArt-Sub02

    Gaining power is a plus, because you have to wear a mouthpiece anyway, but the type of jaw-clenching that holding a mouthpiece in place requires, also improves blood flow to the brain.  This translates into more awareness and greater focus. Even without these added benefits, biting down on your mouthpiece is just smart. It helps protect you from getting your jaw broken and forces you to breathe through your nose, which also helps balance the amount of oxygen and carbon dioxide in our blood, which directly affects your aerobic endurance.11.29.17 Mouthguard-BlogArt-Sub03

    Will getting the best mouthpiece money can buy suddenly transform you into a devastating power puncher? No, but it can serve as one piece of the puzzle that will make you are more complete, picture-perfect fighter. According to a Rutgers University study conducted in 2008, you can realistically expect an improvement of anywhere from 3-7% in power output. In this study, participants clearly demonstrated enhanced performance during short duration, explosive exercises, like boxing.

    Knowing that a mouthpiece can have so many far-reaching implications gives you one more reason to consider what value you're placing on your boxing pursuits. Why spend two dollars on a standard, boil-and-bite mouthpiece only to turn around and splurge hundreds of bucks on a pair of gloves? Just as important as protecting yourself at all times, it is equally as important to protect yourself at all costs. In today's economic climate, everyone has a budget, but if boxing is your business, then invest your hard earned dollars wisely and put your money where your mouth is.

    Shop mouthguards here.

  • 5 Slip Cord Exercises to Work Into Your Training Routine

    5 Slip Cord Exercises to Work Into Your Training Routine

    By Douglas Ward, Marketing Director at TITLE Boxing

    Boxing Slip Rope Training

    When it comes to boxing training, there isn't a more basic piece of equipment than the slipping cord. Made up of rubber cord or a simple piece of rope, it is simple, inexpensive and easy-to-use, yet it has dynamic applications to boxing.  There are numerous ways it can be incorporated into any workout that can add sound technique to a boxer’s training routine.

    First, begin by hanging the cord/rope approximately chest high, across any area spanning at least ten to fifteen feet. The cord should be strung tight and secured at both ends.

    From that point, there are a variety of exercises that can be done with a basic slipping cord, beginning from the ground up.

    1 - The most basic use of the slipping cord is to practice footwork. Have your boxer position himself at one end of the slipping cord, assuming a proper boxing stance. With the cord resting lightly on his or her left shoulder, he should move down the cord making sure to step with the left foot first and bring the right foot behind it. This helps the fighter to get used to stepping correctly, with the front foot first and back foot secondly.  This is also a good way to be sure a he gets used to staying on his toes and also driving off of his back foot, not dragging it.

    2 - Another lower body exercise that can be incorporated into use of the slipping cord is practicing proper technique when rolling under punches. A fighter should assume a proper boxing stance and not move his feet, not step, but roll under the cord, simulating the movement of slipping under a left hook or looping right-hand. When it's done properly a fighter will be shifting his weight forward as he rolls under the right and shifting his weight back (over the right knee) as he slips under the left hook.  It is important that the fighter bends at the knees, dropping his butt towards the ground and does not bend at the waist, looking down at the floor. He should shift his weight forward and back, working the leg muscles and developing the habit of placing the majority of weight on the side of his body that he would naturally counter from.

    3 - Building from there, a fighter can then also work in a variety of punches. A good one to add onto the basic movement of rolling under the cord is the uppercut. As a fighter rolls forward, onto his left leg, he is in a perfect position to throw a left uppercut. Be sure to throw is at the opposite side of the cord. This accomplishes two things. It puts the fighter in a crouched position, out of the center line of fire and teaches the fighter to throw the punch across his body, not straight up and down, which would leave him more exposed. Slip left, throw a left uppercut. Slip right, throw a right uppercut. The uppercut can be a devastating punch and throwing it from a lower center of gravity, turning on his hips to landing it on the opposite side of the cord, constantly slipping forward and back, will generate even more punching power and better technique.

    4 - Another variation is to work down the cord and throw punches on either side of it, stepping and throwing in succession. Then, for added difficulty, pivot outside the cord occasionally and throw punches toward it. Standing outside the cord (facing it), throwing punches above and below it, changing your height and distance from the cord quickly, will help instill an awareness of range and levels of engagement.  It also helps incorporate side-to-side movement into, what is otherwise, a linear exercise. Working up and down the length of the cord incorporates the best of both worlds, working inside and outside.

    5 - Without hitting it hard, an important aspect of working the slipping cord is not to be afraid to make light contact with it. The cord can be used to gauge speed of movement as contact is lightly made each time a slip is completed. From a defensive standpoint, the cord is a measuring stick to be sure that a fighter is not over slipping or under slipping, just by making gentle contact. While on offense, a small amount of contact can be made to keep punches sharp and combinations fluid. Maintaining proper distance is also easier to practice because there is somewhat of a stationary target to punch at.

    Some of the most beneficial pieces of equipment in boxing are those that are the most basic. It is when they are approached with an understanding of how they apply to what happens in the ring, that they take on a new life an added significance. The slipping cord looks about as simple as it gets, but as they say...looks can be deceiving.

    Shop slip cords here.

  • Seven Things You Can Do to Improve your Technique

    How To Become A Better Fighter

    SevenTechniques-BlogArt-01

    Everyone who consistently walks into the gym wants to be better.  The continual learning process that happens there is part of the appeal of boxing.  It's a constant challenge to better yourself and improve.  However, that only really happens when a strong foundation is laid and you're able to do the right things right.  Right?  So here it is... Continue reading

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