Focus Mitt Drills for Beginners

Individuals engaged in boxing or MMA, irrespective of being a professional or just training, usually integrate focus mitt drills in their workout routine. These exercises can notably improve a fighter’s physical fitness, defensive skills, and punching technique.

While focus mitts training is a basic drill for boxers and fighters, this training routine is also applicable for gymgoers learning self-defense skills. Boxing mitt drills may look fun and easy, but you have to get a boxing coach to train you to start focus mitt drills for beginners.

How to Prepare to Train: What You Need

Being a beginner in focus mitt drills is no excuse for not preparing the gear you need. This checklist will help you with your focus mitt training routine.

A Good Pair of Focus Mitts

Focus Mitt Drills for Beginners

A decent pair of focus mitts should be comfortable for the mitt holder and puncher. The focus mitt should possess the best feature for safety and training efficiency. Here are some of the qualities you ought to look for:

High-quality Materials

A focus mitt made from high-quality materials ensures the gear’s durability. Leather-made focus mitt is the most recommended material for its endurance and weight.


The pad holder should be able to perform counter punching without injuring their hands. The focus mitt holder should feel comfortable wearing the focus mitt during training. It could only be possible when the focus mitt is well-padded to absorb the offensive and counter-attack punches shock.


A right fit of focus mitt will allow the pad holder to move their hands and arms accordingly. The focus mitt drill requires the mitt holder to move to enhance the boxing skills of their training partner. They should be able to perform lead hook and rear hook without slipping the pads out of their hands.


Having your own gear for focus mitt training is convenient for both you and your training partner. A portable gear for your focus mitt drills will allow you to train outside the boxing gyms. You’re good to train anywhere if you have your mitt holder partner and lightweight focus mitts and gear.

Boxing Gloves

Focus Mitt Drills for Beginners

Whether you’re into boxing or mixed martial arts, boxing gloves are necessary for training inside or outside the boxing ring. Your pad holder will appreciate a less impact strike when you wear gloves.

A Coach/Partner

To perform the best focus mitt drills, you have to get a coach or a training partner with knowledge of a basic defensive technique.

It is also important that your trainer has fundamental skills, fighting reflexes, and blocking skills to hone your boxing techniques effectively.

If you really want to take boxing or martial arts seriously, it would be best to be trained with boxing coaches for your boxing drills. In addition, their defense technique and counter-attack can develop reflexes on your part.

A Timer

In any sports training, a timer comes in handy. Timing your training is essential to keep track of your speed and endurance. Also, you would not want to burn out by overexerting, and the timer would keep you in check.

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Essential Drills for Beginners

Boxing is a competitive sport that requires fight strategies. One can develop their boxing skills through shadow boxing, focus mitt drills, speed bag drills, etc. Boxing mitts drills, however, are most effective in improving accuracy.

Here are some of the basic but effective drills for beginners.

Counter Drill

The counter drill is a routine to practice and develop your counter move against your opponent. It develops your speed, movement, and alertness. This movement allows you to cover yourself when your opponent attacks.

How to Do It

The drill starts when the trainer begins to attack while you counterattack. In an instance, when the pad holder attacks the left side, you should counter-attack with a punch from their left hand, hitting the pad holder’s left.

Next, your partner should allow you to throw punches in between attacks. Alternately, you should be able to cover after each attack and then counter the punches coming.

Depending on the fighting style you’re practicing, you can throw in different counter punching styles or kicks during this drill.

8 Count

Every boxing beginner should be able to learn the fundamental skills for fighting in the boxing ring. The eight-count boxing mitts drill teaches the beginners how to move and when to strike. This drill focuses on rhythm and movement in 8 intervals. The drill consists of a jab, cross, and lead hook.

How to Do It

In this beginner’s drill, these are the steps you have to follow with proper guidance from your coach:

  • Facing your partner, throw your first punch with a jab using your left hand towards the left pad of your partner.
  • The next punch is the cross. With your right hand, throw a punch towards the right pad of your partner.
  • After the cross, follow it with a lead hook similar to the jab. Then, followed again with a cross just like you did in the second step.
  • In the next step, the trainer’s job is to engage a lead hook that you should dodge by bowing and weaving, then throw a cross punch.
  • Follow it again with a lead hook.
  • The pad holder will then throw a rear hook to which you should bob and hook. It can be effectively done by stepping out and turning to throw a lead hook.
  • The drill ends with a cross.
Focus Mitt Drills for Beginners

1,2 1,2 Cove and Counter

The 1,2 – 1,2 Cove and counter drills are some of the fun and basic pad work that beginners can find enjoyable. In these drills, you should learn both punching techniques and defensive techniques. Trainees will be able to utilize straight lefts and straight rights as you flow with the basics rhythm. These drills will develop consistency and timing.

How to Do it

Stand across your partner, then throw straight lefts to the pad holder’s left and straight right to the pad holder’s right, continuously and as quickly as possible. The punches you throw will count as 1,2 – and 1,2.

While doing the 1,2,1,2 drill, your trainer will throw body shots with a hook to which you have to cover, then throw a punch for a counter-attack. Watching this drill may be easy, but it will require an auto-response from you. It could be achieved by focusing on your offense and your opponent’s offense to act quickly.

Target Practice

Focus Mitt Drills for Beginners

Target practice is one of the basic drills where beginners can develop their accuracy and speed in hitting the target. The trainee can explore which target to hit in target practice and what punches to throw. This drill develops the beginner’s timing, accuracy, and distance judgment.

How to Do it

Pad holders can skip verbal call-outs on which combo you should do. The trainee should strategically find a target to punch as the mitt holder raise the hand-held pads. Your training partner may also throw punches at you, which you should be able to dodge or cover.

Pool Noodle Drills

The pool noodle drills use foam sticks as an alternative to mitts. This drill develops the trainee’s consistent strength, speed, and defensive techniques.

How to Do it

Throw a jab, follow it with a block, and follow it with another jab using the other arm. If you throw a jab using your left hand, block the attack from your opponent with your left, then follow it with another jab from your right hand.

Next, your partner will throw a lead hook which you have to dodge, then throw a cross punch. The drill ends with a cross and a jab after dodging the hook of your training partner.

Reasons to Do Focus Mitts (Benefits)

Focus mitt drills are not an exclusive training routine for boxers and MMA fighters. These drills can benefit gym-goers seeking a training exercise to lose weight and tone their bodies. But if you’re pursuing fighting sports, training with Focus Mitts is fundamental.

This dynamic training help boxers develop offensive and defensive skills simultaneously. It allows the trainee to utilize foot movements, use the space, gauge the distance, hit targets, maintain balance, work on blocks, and improve punching technique, speed, and accuracy.

Next to sparring, Focus mitt drills are the closest training that allows the trainees to use the space of a boxing ring to work on punches and movements to refine their boxing skills. This training is more than practicing jabs; it develops your body coordination, reaction time, and reflexes.

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