How To Get Fit To Fight
In order to be a successful boxer, you’ll need to have an exceptional combination of power, strength, speed, and endurance.
During a fight, you’re almost always moving, so you’ll need to mimic that in your fitness routine to be better prepared. Therefore, boxing workouts are usually an hour long in order to fit the warm-up, conditioning, and the drills.
But to truly enhance your performance, you’ll need to focus on two key training regimes: strength training and conditioning. The combination of the two is the perfect “1-2 punch” for boxing fitness.
Strength training will help you run and move faster because your muscles will be stronger. This will increase your explosiveness, as well as your punching power. Conditioning, on the other hand, will determine how long you’ll be able to last in the ring before your body gets too tired.
It’s clear why both training regimes are highly important for boxers. But many people often confuse strength training with bodybuilding, and they think that they need to lift really heavy weights and build enormous muscles. That’s not the case, though!
In today’s article, we’ll go over the basics of strength training and conditioning or boxers, as well as explore some of the most common exercises you can do to make the most out of every workout. Let’s get to it!
Strength Training for Boxers
The basics of strength training include performing exercises with some sort of resistance. That resistance can come in the form of weights, resistance bands and cables, or even your own body weight when you do push-ups and pull-ups.
Often, using weights is the most time-efficient way to strengthen your muscles. However you’ll need to do it right to avoid hindering your boxing performance. You shouldn’t lift weights that are too heavy because you’ll gain muscle volume, which can leave you fatigued during your training and fights. You don’t need that extra weight.
Instead, opt for lower weights, but do more repetitions and do them with higher intensity, the same way you would punch an opponent.
As a general rule, you should aim for 2-3 strength training workouts per week. Anything more than that will leave you too fatigued for your boxing training and fights.
Now that you understand the basics, let’s see what are the top exercises you can do to improve your boxing strength. We’ll cover exercises for the whole body, because the power you generate for your punches comes mainly from your legs and core strength, and then translates into your arms.
Best strength exercises for boxing
Squats are a well-known exercise, and rightfully so. They target almost the entire lower part of the body, and help engage your core for stability. You can also do jump squats, a variation of the squat that includes jumping from the bottom of your squat instead of simply standing up.
Pull-ups strengthen the back and shoulder muscles very efficiently, and since boxing relies heavily on shoulder strength, you’ll be able to throw much stronger punches throughout the whole fight.
- Tyre flips
Tyre flips help you build that all-important force from the ground up you need to strike powerful punches. They require explosive lower-body drive that extends up through the hands.
The Romanian deadlift develops the muscles in the back of your legs, which are often not targeted with other exercises. It can help you promote a forceful hip extension, which is crucial for transferring force from the legs through to your punches.
- Incline bench press
The bench press targets your pectoral muscles, or your chest, which can greatly improve your punching velocity, which can often be more important than your punching power.
Lunges strengthen all your leg muscles and help you generate more force for your punches.
Conditioning Training for Boxers
While strength training focuses on the major muscle groups, conditioning focuses on the heart, the most important muscle in your body. Adding high-intensity cardiovascular exercises can drastically improve your boxing performance.
When you strengthen your heart, it will be able to pump much more blood and oxygen to the muscles, allowing you to last longer in the ring and live an overall healthier life.
Let’s see the most fundamental exercises to improve your conditioning.
Best conditioning exercises for boxing
- Jump rope
This is the quintessential exercise for boxers. Almost every boxer in the world will jump rope when warming up, and that’s because not only does it get your heart rate up, but it also helps improve your footwork.
- Punching and speed bag
Put on your boxing gloves and start working your punches on a heavy bag. It will greatly improve your boxing technique and build your endurance, so you can last longer in the ring. You can also use a speed bag to develop your hand-eye coordination and improve your punching speed.
If you don’t have any equipment on hand, the good old-fashioned run can always do the job. It will improve your anaerobic conditioning and help you last longer in fights.
The Takeaway In Fitness Training For Boxers.
Your boxing performance ultimately depends on how “well-oiled your machine is”. This means that each and every muscle in your body needs to work together.
By doing both strength training and conditioning, you can get exceptional results within a few months. Strength training will improve the major muscle groups you use for punching and escaping your opponent, while conditioning exercise will help you last longer in the ring and have enough power to last until the final punch.