Strength and Conditioning for Better Boxing
If you’ve ever watched a boxing match, you’ve seen how a boxer has to be able to make fast and explosive movements, like punching and evading their opponent’s punches, throughout anywhere from 8 to 15 rounds in that bout. That’s why boxers have to perform a combination of both resistance and endurance training when preparing for a fight, to ensure they have the strength and conditioning needed to win.
Whether you’re training to become a boxer, or to simply get in better shape, the fundamentals of fitness are the same. If you want to improve your strength, your focus should be on lifting weights
If you’re looking to improve your strength and conditioning to enhance your performance as a boxer, there are some specific boxing conditioning exercises — some involving just your body weight, and some involving certain pieces of equipment — that we strongly recommend.
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Strength Training and Boxing Conditioning
Strength training will help you run faster because it will make your muscles stronger, allowing you to make more rapid and explosive movements to increase your punching power. Conversely, your conditioning determines how long you’ll be able to run before the body gets too tired to make those movements and how long you’ll last during your boxing workout. As you might imagine, training in both manners is of high importance for boxers.
The Importance of Strength Training in a Fitness Regimen
Most people think of strength training as lifting really heavy weights and becoming some enormous bodybuilder while wondering how a boxing coach could ever help them in this arena. Incorporating strength training into your fitness regimen to supplement your boxing classes doesn’t mean you’ll turn into the Incredible Hulk, nor does it have to detract time from your favorite sport.
Incorporating strength training into your fitness regimen will make your muscles, joints, and bones stronger, allowing you to improve the quality of your workouts. That, in turn, will help you burn more calories throughout the day and tighten up those “trouble spots” that never seem to get smaller no matter how much time you spend on the treadmill.
The Importance of Conditioning in a Fitness Regimen
While strength training focuses on the major muscle groups in your body, conditioning focuses on the most important muscle of them all: your heart. Incorporating periods of high-intensity cardio can improve your boxing strength and conditioning routine drastically while shaking things up from your usual stream of Instagram photos.
Again, think about it from the “quantity” perspective. When you focus on conditioning, you’re making your heart pump more blood for a longer period. Like any other muscle, when you ask your heart to work a little harder than it’s used to (in moderation!), it strengthens it. That means that the next time you work out, the heart will be able to pump blood and oxygen into your muscles for a longer period.
How To Use Strength Training and Conditioning To Become A Better Boxer
Now that we understand the fundamentals of strength training and conditioning, how do we apply it specifically toward boxing exercises? We’ll discuss a few ways you can utilize strength training exercises that will improve the quality of your movements as a boxer and a few tried-and-true ways to improve your conditioning, such that you’ll be able to perform as a boxer for a longer period.
Best Conditioning Exercises for Boxers – With Equipment
Boxing conditioning is similar to conditioning methods for any other fighting sport. From a pure conditioning standpoint, one of the most fundamental exercises for boxers is jumping rope. Almost every boxer of any skill level will jump rope when warming up and getting ready for more specific boxing-related exercises because it gets your heart rate going, but also because it emphasizes the need to have good footwork and stay light on your feet, both of which are essential for boxers.
Best Conditioning Exercises for Boxers – Without Equipment
One of the easiest ways to improve your conditioning without the use of any equipment is to simply go for a run outside. Lots of avid runners will tell you that they get a better workout when running outdoors for a certain length of time rather than running on a treadmill for the same period. This is because the outdoors offers different terrains, inclines and declines, which challenge and condition your muscles much more effectively than running on the same surface and the same incline on a treadmill.
Feeling Better About Yourself: as a Boxer and a Person
You won’t only see strength and conditioning training in amateur boxing. It’s also common in Muay Thai and mixed martial arts training. That’s because every fighter worth his or her salt knows that training is about more than hitting a punching bag; it’s about improving every aspect of your life to improve your sport.
More often than not, the issue for most people is not motivation. We’re willing to work hard in the gym and eat the right foods at home because we want to enjoy the benefits of a healthy body, and feel good about our overall appearance. However, there is so much confusing and conflicting information out there, that we’re often misled about the best way to achieve our fitness — or boxing — goals.