Getting in shape for boxing involves not only the use of quality boxing shoes, gloves, and training equipment but also a specific program that, although personalized depending on the fighter’s physical condition, includes certain exercises. Since we’ve detailed the importance of the boxing gear you use in our recent article, we’ll dedicate today’s post to boxing workout tips.
While boxing might seem to be a lot about shoulder strength and forearm power, this type of fighting actually requires a full-body workout. The exercises should be combined in such a way to help you increase your strength, endurance, speed, agility, and power.
Whether you’re a beginner or a more seasoned fighter, the tips and exercises mentioned below are usually part of any boxer’s workout program as they cover all the muscles of the body. Boxing requires a well-balanced body because muscle imbalances can limit your performance.
Evolving from the kid’s playground to many athletes’ workout routines, jumping rope is now almost a trademark of boxing. This popular cardio exercise will help you reduce body fat and train your muscles intensely. Moreover, it will help you improve your agility, endurance, coordination, and footwork.
Double-unders, high-knees, running in place, and criss-crosses are preferred by many fighters for the benefits they trigger. Therefore, include them in your rope workout to get one step closer to the body you need to fight like a pro.
Burpees and sit-ups
Considered to be one of the most important exercises for increasing endurance and strength, burpees should also be part of your boxing workouts since you will get up and down in the ring. Pair your workout routine with sit-ups as well since they will help you build up core strength which is needed to throw punches effectively.
Since you’re training for boxing, it is self-explanatory that shadow boxing should be included in your training. Usually performed to warm up your body before getting to more challenging exercises like heavy-bag hitting, this type of exercise will help you practice your footwork and movements. Moreover, it will further help you build your endurance.
Use the reflection in the mirror or your shadow as your opponent and punch in the air. It may seem easy but it actually is quite a challenging exercise.
Heavy bag training
Once you’ve warmed up by doing shadow boxing, you can get to more difficult exercises such as heavy bag punching. This plays a pivotal role in boxing training and has been used as one of the main ways to get in shape for boxing for quite some time now.
Hitting the heavy bag helps boxers improve their skills without training with a partner. Its importance lies in the many benefits it triggers. Training with a heavy bag will help you improve coordination, punching power, aerobic endurance, footwork, technique, and your overall shape.
Sparring and speed bag hitting
While the heavy bag will help you enjoy the above-mentioned benefits, a speed bag, just as the name suggests, will help you enjoy better punching speed. As a beginner, you might have a bit of a problem at first but practice makes perfect and training with a speed bag will help you enjoy the needed rhythm and coordination.
Sparring with a real person is also part of a boxer’s usual training since it sharpens the fighter’s reflexes and ability to anticipate the opponent’s movements.
Shoulder presses, pull-ups, and walking lunges
As we’ve said before, getting in shape for fighting means working your entire body. Therefore, adding a few more exercises to your routine is mandatory. Without a well-balanced body, your performance will be affected.
As a fighter, you need strong shoulders to keep punching the opponent. Shoulder presses will help you improve your shoulder endurance and strength. Add pull-ups to your training to further build shoulder, arm, chest, back, and core strength. Don’t forget about building your leg strength and try walking lunges. They won’t just help you with that but will also work your core strength and glutes.
Yes, running should be part of any boxer’s workout because fighting requires aerobic and anaerobic endurance and this type of exercise will help you improve such capacities and burn calories.
Include running in your regular training. Get your body ready for running with a few minutes of warming up and stretching. Also, make sure you cool down and stretch once you’re done running.
Improve your flexibility
It’s not enough to build strong muscles and endurance to get ready for the ring. Flexibility is also required, given the nature of this type of fighting. By stretching regularly, you will improve your flexibility and this will further help you prevent injuries caused by a less trained body or reduced flexibility.
Go for the usual stretching exercises such as neck/shoulder/arm/wrist/ankle/knee/elbow circles, standing toe touches, and so on.
Other tips and considerations
The exercises included above are part of many boxers’ training program yet you will need a personal trainer to create a personalized workout for you depending on your physical condition, boxing experience, and other personal factors.
An experienced trainer will help you train your body fully and get you balanced. Not to mention that by being supervised, you will be able to improve the way you work your body and correct your mistakes (if any).
Then, make sure to use the proper equipment. Protect the bones in your hands by using hand wraps and gloves. Complete your gear with a quality headgear and a mouthpiece to protect your head and cups to protect your groin area.
To enjoy a safe and complete full-body workout, you also need to pay attention to your diet and how many hours of sleep you get. Boxing is not just about learning the right punching and defense techniques. It requires your whole body, focus, and mental clarity, therefore, it is a complex process that takes time and involves various changes. Again, a personal coach and a visit to your nutritionist are mandatory.