Boxing workouts are notoriously tough. Top-level boxers need to have excellent fitness. They must have excellent cardiovascular endurance to keep moving for the duration of a fight. They need explosive strength to generate power in their punches, and they need to sustain this strength and power throughout the fight. These competing demands necessitate a varied and strenuous workout that is also helpful for nonatheletes looking to get fit or lose weight.
Boxing training is rooted in tradition. Most boxing trainers rely on the same time-tested staples to build endurance in their fighters, with the emphasis on high repetitions of body-weight exercises as well as running, jumping rope, weight lifting and specific boxing drills to build a high degree of functional fitness. A boxing workout will include a number of these different components in order to work different aspects of fitness.
Your boxing workout will contain a lot of boxing drills. If you have a trainer or a partner, then you can incorporate hitting focus mitts, taking turns to hold mitts for the other to hit, as well as technical boxing drills such as practicing slipping and blocking punching techniques thrown by your partner. If you are alone or if you are more focused on fitness than technique, you can also use a punch bag and practice throwing punches with power. When performing boxing drills, you will normally work for three-minute rounds with a minute break in between to simulate a real boxing match.
The condition of your legs is hugely important in boxing. Proper boxing technique requires you to drive through your legs to generate power in your punches, and the best and most mobile fighters will constantly dance around the ring. Roadwork, or running, is a vital part of this. Most boxers will incorporate long-distance runs into their workouts. Others prefer jumping rope, as this builds coordination in the arms and legs, while others prefer shorter, more intense workouts based around sprinting, which also improves power in the legs. You should work on building a good base level of fitness through running and jumping rope before moving on to higher intensity training.
Strength and Endurance
While running and jumping rope builds cardiovascular endurance, boxers also require muscular endurance so that they can generate power throughout a fight. Body-weight exercises are a common way of achieving this, with many boxers often performing large numbers of pushups, situps, burpees and squats in any given workout. To perform a complete boxing workout, you should incorporate all these aspects into your program. Begin by warming up with a run or jumping rope as well as some calisthenics. Incorporate drills such as hitting mitts or a punching bag; at higher levels you can also practice sparring. Exercises such as weight lifting or interval training can supplement your main workout.
- Boxing Mastery; Mark Hatmaker
- Ross Boxing: Fitness Boxing: The Ideal Cross-Training Alternative
- Jupiterimages/Goodshoot/Getty Images
This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or JillianMichaels.com.