I use pad work a lot in my circuit classes and one to one training. It’s a really fun and versatile way to improve fitness for people of different ages, strengths and fitness levels.
It’s not boxing or sparring, which is some people’s perception, as the only contact is between one person’s gloves and their partner’s pads. Part of the appeal is that basic pad work is easy to pick up - with a little coaching in a few of the key punching actions (jabs, hooks, uppercuts), you can soon be working confidently through different drills and progressing to some simple combinations.
The all-round benefits include:
Building and improving hand-eye coordination and motor skills, which can have a profound effect on total health. Individuals with good hand-eye coordination tend to have faster reflexes and reaction times, and better physical coordination as a whole.
Reducing anxiety and stress. Pad work, like the majority of physical exercise, increases endorphins, enhances mood and improves sleep.
Improving body composition and increasing weight loss. Pad work perfectly combines muscle-building, strength training moves and calorie-burning cardio. Regular sessions can help bring about positive change in body shape, improve fat mass percentage and bring about weight loss.
I like pad work for all these reasons, but above all because the majority of my clients really enjoy it, so they work harder while they’re doing it, and can feel the benefits from a cardiovascular and a strength and conditioning perspective. It’s also a really good way of working out stress and frustration if you’ve had a hard day at work!