Boxing for fitness is a great way to not only spice up your training schedule, but to take your fitness to new levels you didn’t think possible. Below are some training methods you can incorporate into your routine and improve your boxing.
Improve your footwork and get light on your feet by learning to skip. This is key as it increases your ability to time movements and punches while you are balanced. Add speed to the exercise by turning the rope faster, jumping higher and adding double unders (2 turns of the rope per jump). Interval training with the rope will increase your speed and ability to sustain multiple bursts throughout a round. A weighted rope will increase your strength and shoulder endurance. Add 3 x 3 minute rounds (3o seconds rest) to the start or end of your workout, fast intervals of 20 seconds followed by 20 seconds slow skipping will send your cardio through the roof!!
This drill is fantastic for learning to move your head, rolling underneath punches and making your opponent miss – and then make them pay! Tie a rope across the ring from corner-to-corner. Do this to each corner creating four squares in the ring. Using the whole ring, work your way up-and-down the rope rolling underneath, from side-to-side. Then again, using the whole ring, roll underneath the rope and come back with a minimum three punch combination before moving your head and feet again. Keep your hands up, and maintain your boxing while rolling to develop your head movement and defensive skills.
A moving target is a lot harder to hit, and it is very demoralizing for your opponent punching thin air!! Complete 4 x 3-minute rounds as a technical warm-up – or warm down – at either end of your session.
Cardiovascular conditioning is crucial to boxing, but gone are the days of long, slow fat burning 10 mile runs wearing army boots! Sprinting replicates a fight perfectly – high intensity, anaerobic intervals, followed by a rest period. Go to the running track and complete 800m (two laps, as fast as possible) to mimick the intensity and duration of a boxing round. Allow a one minute rest before going again. Gradually build your way up to 4 sets, keep track of your times so you have a target to beat.
If you are feeling really brave, go to the treadmill and set the speed and incline to 11 and see how many three minute rounds (one minute rest) you can complete without dropping the intensity!
As fantastic as boxing training is for all areas of fitness, stiff shoulders and hips is an extremely common problem for all boxers. This type of training is most definitely ‘new school’ and the polar opposite of the old fashioned 10 mile runs. But it’s worth it. By incorporating some mobility training into your routine, you will release muscle fibres that were previously locked up, which will enable you to punch with more speed and power – and most importantly, less effort. The fluidity of your movement will also improve, allowing you to move around the ring and avoid punches more effectively.
Animal Flow training can also be incredibly helpful in improving fitness. This combines ground based movements with elements from bodyweight training to create a tough workout, with an emphasis on core strength, mobility and flexibility – perfect for boxers! The basic forms of Animal Flow are Ape, Beast, and Crab, and all movements and transitions stem from those. In every moving form and transition, the emphasis is on contralateral movement, movement across the body, specific full body stretches that start in an animal form and then move through a wide range of motion. This increases your mobility and flexibility throughout the entire body.
Keep your eyes peeled for weekly blog posts, including workout routines for you to try in the gym!!
Lightning Lloyd Ellett
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