Boxing is one of the ultimate tests of fitness. Boxers are agile, strong and fast on their feet. It takes more than practicing punches and footwork to become good at this sport though. There are many other exercises that should be a part of your regular routine if you want to be the best.
Because boxing requires quick movements at a fast pace, cardio should be an important part of your fitness routine. When in the ring, you’ll need to feel comfortable competing with an elevated heart rate. Regularly doing cardio can help you feel comfortable in higher heart rate zones.
Running and biking are great options. Though it can be tough on your joints, there aren’t many exercises that will get your heart rate up as high as running. If you’re looking for something with less impact, an airdyne bike may be your answer. Intervals on a bike can give you the high intensity you need without fatiguing muscles to the same extent as running.
For something completely different that will still get your heart rate elevated, try burpees, jumping rope or even box jumps. Metabolic conditioning workouts often incorporate these movements. Plus exercises like burpees and box jumps also work the core and build agility, which will benefit you when fighting.
Don’t Overlook Active Recovery
Cardio is a great exercise for active recovery days. If you’re a gym addict, it can be challenging to make yourself even consider taking a rest day. Active recovery, like swimming, is a great way to get your workout in without being hard on your body. In fact, getting a pool put in at home can be extremely cost-effective since many gyms don’t include a pool. You can get perfect pool designs in Mobile, or anywhere in the U.S. specifically for swimming laps and recovery.
Vertical climb machines should also be considered for a combination of strength and cardio training. If you don’t have one handy, you can always run stadiums the old fashioned way. This type of workout will strengthen legs unilaterally while taking your breath away. Afterall, it certainly served Rocky well.
Engage in Strength Building Activities
Just like, cardio strength work is also essential for boxers. You should be incorporating strength work into your routine at least twice a week. This goes farther than a strong upper body. Exercises like deadlifts and squats help build strong legs and a strong base. A strong base may seem less important than having the physical power to pack a punch, but that’s not true. Having strong legs gives you the ability to take a blow without succumbing to your opponent’s strength.
A strong base also means a strong core. Make sure you’re incorporating movements that exercise your core into your routine as well. Most of the power in a punch comes from being able to rotate your core forcibly, which is why core strength is key. Exercises like side planks, weighted sit-ups, Russian twists and knees-to-elbows can go a long way in strengthening your core.
Gymnastics can also help build core strength as well as agility and other skills important to boxers. Gymnastics training may not be top of mind when you think of training for a boxing match, but it can serve you well. For one, gymnastics is extremely challenging and will give you an elevated heart rate and leave you out of breath. It also increases mobility and flexibility, which will serve you well in the ring. Gymnastics will also work to strengthen your core, which you know is essential to packing power behind your punch.
Cross training like gymnastics and cardio are really important for boxers, but there are some exercises more directly related to boxing that you should consider to improve skill. One is shadow boxing. Shadow boxing will help prepare your muscles and also improve your reflexes. It may seem silly, but it really shouldn’t be overlooked. It can also help with mindset as you visualize yourself in the ring taking on your opponent.
Boxing is an all-body workout, so taking time to incorporate other exercises will ultimately make you a better athlete while in the ring.
Mikkie is a freelance writer from Chicago. She is also a mother of two who loves sharing her ideas on interior design, budgeting hacks, and DIY. When she’s not writing, she’s chasing the little ones or rock climbing at the local climbing gym.
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