Making Your Boxing Workouts Really Effective
Good boxers are always really fit. They use a combination of exercises to achieve this fitness and maintain it. It is not all about getting in the ring with an opponent or heavy bag training. You need to condition your body just as much as you develop your boxing skills.
Being well prepared is everything. It will determine how well you perform in the ring, and if you are very fit then you should be able to overcome a less fit opponent no matter how strong they are. This article will explain a number of good boxing exercises that you can follow to achieve optimum conditioning.
Cardio Training Is Important
Running And Sprinting
You need to have a good combination of cardio training that includes both sprinting and fast running and slower running over long distances. For the longer running it is recommended that you get up early and go for a road run before you eat anything. Aim to run for about 3-5 miles, and you can work this up to longer distances as you progress. Try some shadow boxing while you are running, and set a goal to run five times a week.
Sprinting is good as you will need short bursts of cardio ability when you are in the ring. Sprinting will help to boost your levels of human growth hormone (HGH), and will also help you to burn fat and maintain muscle mass.
Sprinting is one of the best ways to improve your conditioning. Start by sprinting on flat surfaces, and then challenging yourself by sprinting up some stairs or up hills. Do some sprinting routines at least three times every week.
Jumping Rope is also good for boxing training and will help you to condition yourself. You can perform high intensity rope jumping workouts each day for a few minutes. It will help with your movement in general which is vital to prepare you for the ring.
Being agile and having good footwork will make you a much better boxer. With good footwork you will be able to create opportunities in the ring, and find the best angles and generally put your opponent off balance. You can start this training with some explosive jumping either in the gym or outside. Box jumps and drop jumps are very good for your conditioning, and these should be performed regularly every week.
Don’t forget to stretch as part of your cardio workouts. You want to ensure that you stretch your calves and hamstrings, your gluteus, groin and hip flexors. When you are stretching you need to maintain the stretch for around 15 seconds and then relax the muscle for 2 seconds. It is always better to stretch and relax rather to perform a continuous stretch.
Foot Speed Drills
There are a number of different foot speed drills that you can do easily outdoors or in the gym. These will help with your overall agility in the ring. Some of the best boxers of all time had very quick feet and would “dance around the ring”. Muhammad Ali comes to mind here.
Far too many boxers underestimate the power of cardio training. The put all of their energies into building their upper bodies for power, but the truth is that a strong lower body will produce even more power.
Weight training will provide you with improved power, muscular endurance and speed and is an essential part of good boxing workouts. You want the weight training to make you more powerful and improve your explosiveness. With a good weight training routine you will also enhance your muscle endurance.
You are not looking to build a lot of muscle mass here. If your muscles are bigger then you will need more oxygen and a higher blood flow. For this reason, muscle building sets are not recommended as part of your boxing training.
What you do want to do is concentrate on a small number of power repetitions and use weights to build up the endurance of your muscles. You want to do all of your weight training at speed, but still maintain control over the weights.
It is essential to get the form right first, and after that you can perform the explosive training. You are looking for a high concentric contraction with all of the weight training exercises, and speed when performing bench presses or dead lifts is all important.
You need to bring a good work ethic with you when you are weight training. It is more important how you do these exercises rather than which exercises you perform. When you perform a weight training set think of it as the only set that you will perform. Don’t be tempted to pace yourself until the end.
Some of the best weight training exercises for boxers are the hack squat, dumbbell snatch, bench press, dead lifts, the weighted box jump, quarter squats, squat jumps, weighted sit ups (declined) and roll outs. Bent over rows, pull ups, push ups, dips, inverted rows, power rows and power curls are also recommended.
Heavy Bag Exercises
No quality boxing workouts would be complete without some heavy bag training. Split your training into rounds with a minute (60 seconds) rest between them just like a real fight. When you are using the bag imagine that an opponent is hitting you back. It is all too easy to focus on offense with a bag and ignore defense.
If you just concentrate on offense then you are going to get hurt in the ring, because you won’t have conditioned yourself to move out of the way of an incoming punch. So when you are punching the bag always keep your head moving. Really believe that the bag can strike you back.
When you are heavy bag training be sure to move around the bag in circles. Once you have made a combination then circle the bag and finish off with a couple of jabs. Make sure that you add defense to your bag training routine and do some blocking movements. Go for a combination of throwing punches, good movement and defense moves.
So there you have it, a complete boxing workout that will help condition your body and provide upper body and lower body training. When you are considering the three different types of training, make your heavy bag workout the least performed. No boxer will spend most of their time in the ring, and using the heavy bag can be likened to this.
Try to go for the weight training at least twice a week and do the cardio exercises as often as possible. Don’t train everyday as it is important to rest your body for a full day every two or three days.