The boxing world is full of dedicated fighters who each have a unique style and strategy for their sport. The differences in fighting techniques make boxing challenging for fighters and exhilarating for spectators. If everyone used the same methods, boxing would be a dull activity. Every fighter strives to gain an advantage over their opponent by using techniques that are difficult to defend against. Professional boxers develop their style in training, and many use training methods that you usually wouldn’t associate with the sport. The following sections describe the ways that professional boxers get creative with their workouts.
1. Sports Training
Like other professional athletes, boxers endure a rigorous training schedule. Most successful fighters train for three to five hours a day, but many include exercises borrowed from other sports. Some boxers grab their custom baseball gloves for a friendly warm-up game of catch before the intense workout begins. Throwing the baseball around is an excellent way to limber up your shoulders and triceps. To improve footwork techniques, you can dribble a soccer ball around a series of cones. Dribbling can enhance your lateral movement and cardiovascular fitness. If soccer or baseball warm-ups aren’t appealing, you can find another sport or activity that provides low-intensity exercises to get your blood flowing.
2. Conditioning Exercises
Defeating an opponent in the ring requires much more than a strong punch. Before entering the ring, your body must be in peak physical condition to handle the onslaught of attacks. Conditioning exercises help boxers develop endurance and agility, and professional trainers recommend that amateur boxers should practice conditioning for two months before sparring for the first time. Jumping rope, box jumps, squats, lunges and burpees are some of the exercises favored by boxers, and many combine their exercises with interval training. Interval training involves periods of high-intensity tasks like sprinting followed by lower intensity exercise like jogging. You alternate between sprinting and jogging for thirty minutes, and then you rest for five minutes and repeat the training.
After a lengthy period of conditioning, you can begin to work on your fighting techniques. Shadowboxing helps boxers try out new combinations without the resistance of a punching bag or pad. In one minute intervals, you can alternate between jabs, hooks, crosses and uppercuts. After resting between intervals, Switch up your combinations, and try to complete four or five rounds of shadow boxing exercises. When you discover a combo that works, you can try it out on the bag and eventually use it against a sparring partner.
After conditioning your body and improving your techniques, the next step in your training program should involve multiple sparring partners. A single partner will not prove if your methods are effective, and you need several opponents with different styles to show how you can improve your fighting. If your sparring partners frequently overcome a new technique, you may have to adapt your approach or try a new routine. Experienced sparring partners, whose skills are more developed than yours, can teach you the most about boxing. A passive partner who only absorbs your punches like a human punching bag cannot help you improve. You have to take a few hundred punches before you can become a real boxer.
5. Fatigue Training
One way that pro boxers simulate the energy drain that occurs during later rounds in a fight is to practice fatigue training. Sparring is a crucial part of training but try sparring when you’re completely worn out. Try multiple conditioning exercises until you’re ready to fall down, and then jump in the ring with an energetic opponent. You’ll learn how your technique holds up when your mind and body are in slow motion, and your sparring trainer unleashes an assault that’s challenging to defend. When you no longer have the same speed and agility of a fighter in early rounds, you’ll discover how to change your strategy and continue to deliver punches.
A significant part of a boxer’s life is spent training and preparing for the next fight. If you can use the previous techniques in your training program, you’re on your way to stepping in the ring.