Being a champion means training like a champion! Take a look at these Boxing exercises before you get into the ring!
"Take care of your body, it's the only place you have to live in."
- Jim Rohn
So you're ready to get into English Boxing? Pros and serious enthusiasts call it the "Sweet Science", but you might still be hesitant to get into the ring as the idea of a KO or the grueling road to becoming a boxer seems like an insurmountable obstacle! As someone once said, obstacles are what we see when we're not focusing on what we want, so let's take a good look at what constitutes a serious English Boxing workout worthy of that sweet nickname!
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Don't worry, everyone will be able to cash in on serious English Boxing training, either in an English boxing club (officially affiliated to a Boxing Federation) or, more intimately, with a serious boxing coach.
Your teacher will know how to adapt to your level, but everything will depend mainly on your partners: we must be careful to work this hook and this jab with boxers of the same level as you - preferably a little better!
From there, the backbone of any boxing training program will be roughly the same, from the lighter to the heavier weights, from the amateur boxer to the English boxing world champion!
Warning: these following exercises are designed to improve your Classic Western Boxing/English Boxing, and not tailored for other styles of boxing.
If you're looking for Savate/French Boxing, Thai Boxing, kickboxing, MMA (free fight) and full-contact American Boxing, you will have to look elsewhere!
First and foremost, do not forget to learn the rules that every boxing champion needs to know!
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1. Time to Warm Up Before You Workout
Getting ready to train is almost as important as training itself. When preparing for a boxing workout a little more warming up will go a long way into ensuring that your workout is productive and injury free! Your workout will be wasted if you aren't properly loose!
Combat sports are by definition taxing for your body, this is why it is advised to employ a no muscle left behind tactic as to warm up the whole body! A way to ensure this is to start stretching from the bottom up. This will also make the blood circulation do a lot of the work as it moves uniformly across the body.
Once you have done some light stretching, (we don't want to pull anything) you can start by doing a small stride jog in order to get your limbs loose to the point where you can stretch properly. Once you have stretched, try augmenting your rhythm and intensity by going from jogging to light running to lunges and finally to whatever exercises you may feel appropriate--such as jumps and power shuffles and finally your sprint! Once you feel nice and loose it's time for the jump rope! The boxer's best friend!
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As for boxing equipment, if martial arts (aikido, kung fu, karate, taekwondo, viet vo dao, tai chi, jujitsu, budo, kendo or Japanese fencing...) often require kimono and tatami in a dojo, boxing amateurs require - for themselves - boxing shoes, a mouthguard, a boxing helmet, under-gloves, hand wraps, boxing shorts (or a tracksuit for training), bag gloves and classic boxing gloves.
As for the boxing gym, it will require a jumprope, a boxing ring, a dummy, multiple types of punch bags, a punching ball, and a pull up bar. Medicine balls, a power rower and a treadmill are always welcomed but not essential additions.
Most boxing clubs, and usually sports clubs in general, will require a certificate of good health. Make sure you ask your club beforehand and follow all their guidelines and suggestions. After all, they are there to help you achieve your goals!
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2. Get Fast on the Speed Ball
There must always be enough equipment when dealing with a class. However, if there are more students than say speed bags, a circuit can be used to make sure everyone gets a go in the same order!
So have you just started training and are still full of energy and starting to sweat? No problem - the Instructor will now direct you to the speed bag!
When dealing with a speed bag the idea is to keep the ball alive, that means don't let it stop! Seems easy right? It's not! The rhythm of the speed bag is very intense and once you get the hang of it its allure will be hard to resist as you will feel like the Tyson of your training session! Let it have it!
You can proceed in sets, for example dividing it into three-minute sessions (like a round).
This cardio-boxing will boost your heartbeat, which will be perfect for the next set of exercises.
Keep in mind that from time to time, you will have to do more jogging and/or additional cardio training to keep fit. You saw how much Rocky ran!
3. Training With Shadowboxing!
It's now time for a one-on-one bout with...yourself! As you might have guessed from the name, shadowboxing is a technique and art form that amateurs and pros alike use to hone and master their craft. It's also an incredible workout!
One of the main aspects of shadowboxing is dodging the invisible combos your opponent throws. The more you focus and visualize the more intense your training and your results will be!
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This will be an opportunity to review your classic combos and punches, such as the uppercut and the jab, but it will also be a great chance to simulate, if your intensity is right, the conditions and feelings of a real boxing match!
This exercise is not specific to the sports training and conditioning of English Boxing as it can also be incorporated into a routine of boxercise.
In a boxing class, a teacher will observe you in order to explain how to gain strength, speed and tone while avoiding bad reflexes and habits!
4. Training with The Use of a Punching Bag
After time spent warming up and doing more reflex and craft based work, all boxers love when they finally get to approach the bag!
This time, the sports equipment in question - usually suspended by a chain - has heavy padding that looks like it's quite heavy. No more jumping rope! Time to deliver some lethal combos!
Hitting such a stern and unflinching opponent requires a lot of punch and the use of gloves to avoid breaking your fingers!
The punching bag is one of the essential boxing accessories and, fortunately, it is not very expensive to buy.
You will use your triceps and biceps, as well as your pecs, while increasing your self-control and self-confidence and letting out all the built up steam you can muster! This "sweet science" requires time, dedication and devotion! The old adage "you reap what you sow" will ring true to any boxer as they notice a weekly increase in the gym completely associated with their lifestyle and training intensity!
5. Don't Forget Weights!
Thay say that you need to look the part to play it, so it follows that hitting the weights plays an important role in the foundations of a boxer!
If you want to pack some punch in your punches you will have to be strong!
The bodybuilder's tools are also essential to the boxer. You will be hard pressed to find a gym without weights! These are the building blocks of any muscle!
Of course there are other ways to gain strength and size such as push-ups for your chest and back, pilates and yoga for your glutes and overall flexibility and harmony, abs and squats for your abdominals etc.
Using a varied approach to your training will go a long way into ensuring that your body never retreats into habit, a place where routine saps the muscles of that shock which they thrive on! A coach will go a long way towards ensuring that your body is given no quarter so that every workout is as effective and useful as the first!
Remember that your body is like a chain: it's only as strong as its weakest link! Using steroids or unnatural substances will only damage you in the end! Plus nothing beats the pump of a solid and natural workout!
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6. Time to Spar!
After a long and productive training session in the gym, hopefully following the delineated guidelines, it's time to spar!
Sparring is a form of training common to many combat sports but born from Western Boxing practices. It is essentially relatively 'free-form' fighting, with enough rules, customs, or agreements to make injuries unlikely. From pro boxer to rookie, sparring is shadowboxing with a live opponent.
Training on equipment only develops your technique. Training in the ring develops your fighting skills! Keep that in mind and keep the sparring session clean and safe!
Why spar? It's time to work on your defense as well as your offensive combinations. You can also communicate with your sparring partner beforehand if one of you is trying to work on a precise combo or counter attack. In professional boxing the sparring partner is trained and selected as to mimic and mirror the capabilities, weaknesses and combos of the upcoming fighter.
Work and communicate with your partner for an effective result!
7. Stretching and Post-Workout
Once you have finished your main workout you'd be foolish to skip out on a serious and thought out stretching and cool down period. Doing this will go a long way towards feeling fresh and healthy next time you workout, not to mention keeping those potential injuries far away from you!
Using the elliptical and/or the bike is a good transition into your final stretching routine. Many boxers also leave their abs as the last set of their workout if they haven't incorporated them into a super set or routine before.
The perfect training routine is the jewel in the boxer's crown!
It has been scientifically proven that stretching helps with the creation of new muscle. Not only will your recovery times be shortened, you will also avoid injury and increase concentration! Stretching lightly before and deeply after a workout should be a must on everyone's list!
Now that you've trained like a champion you can finally relax - that is - until tomorrow! See you in the gym!
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