Boxing is a demanding sport fought over successive three-minute rounds with one-minute breaks. The sport requires a high level of fitness, endurance, agility, power and strength. Most boxers train in boxing gyms, but there is a variety of training exercises you can do in your home to supplement your gym time.
Upper body explosive strength is vital for throwing hard punches, and you can develop this trait by performing clapping push-ups.
Adopt the push-up position with your hands directly under your shoulders, your core held tight and your legs straight. Lower your body to the floor by bending your arms--your chest should be about an inch from the floor. Explosively extend your arms and push your body into the air. Quickly clap your hands while in mid air. Extend your arms and land on your hands before descending into another push-up. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.
Burpees develop whole-body muscular endurance and prepare you for the demands of boxing.
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and hands by your sides. Bend down and place your hands outside of your feet. Jump your feet back into the push-up position. Perform one push-up. Jump your feet back so your legs are under your shoulders, then leap explosively into the air. Land on the balls of your feet and repeat.
Jumping rope is a classic boxing exercise that will develop coordination, foot speed, aerobic fitness and agility.
Jumping rope can be performed in a variety of ways: both feet together, using an alternating heel-toe action, running on the spot, lifting your knees and turning the rope twice for every jump. Make sure you always wear supporting, cushioned shoes when jumping rope to minimize the risk of a lower limb injury.
Strong abdominals are vital in boxing. Your abs will have to absorb punches from your opponent and are also responsible for generating a lot of your punching power, so a strong midsection is a must for boxing success. V-sits, a traditional boxing exercise, work your abs very effectively.
Lie on your back with your legs straight and your arms flat on the floor above your head. Simultaneously lift your legs and arms off of the floor. Reach for your toes so that you are balancing on your tail-bone and your body resembles a "V" shape. Lower your body back to the floor and repeat for the desired number of reps.
Rubber Band Punches
Using either a chest expander or rubber exercise bands, this exercise can improve your punching endurance and strength.
Anchor the bands behind you and hold one end of the band in each hand (the bands should be running under your armpits). Stand in a split stance and throw punches against the tension of the band. Make sure you change leading legs set-by-set. Using a light band and throwing a large number of punches will improve your endurance, whereas using a stronger band and throwing fewer punches will improve your strength.
Shadow boxing is a great way to work on your form while getting your heart rate up. Practice your punches and punch combinations with intent. In three minute rounds apiece, work on your technique, weight transfers and balance, and combinations. Always take a minute to rest between rounds and use that time to plan your next moves. Boxing beginners can concentrate on their jabs and straight punches; while intermediate and advanced boxers will add more complicated footwork and punch combinations. Advanced boxers may also exercise at the intermediate level while holding 2 to 3-lb. weights.
- Training for Warriors: The Ultimate Mixed Martial Arts Workout; Martin Rooney
- Boxing Fitness: A Guide to Get Fighting Fit; Ian Oliver
- Knockout Fitness: Boxing Workouts to Get You in the Best Shape of Your Life; Andy Dumas & Jamie Dumas