Boxers must train consistently and frequently to succeed at their sport. Boxing is a very physically demanding activity that requires numerous athletic skills and abilities. Planning a workout that’s specific to boxing involves first looking at the demands the boxer faces and then developing a training program around those demands.
Boxing is a difficult sport in that it requires many different physical capabilities. You must be able to keep moving for long periods of time, which requires cardiovascular endurance. You must possess strength and power in both your upper body, to throw punches quickly, and your lower body, so you can move quickly on your feet. Boxers also require a significant amount of coordination and skill to enable them to be accurate and precise with their movements.
Boxers build their cardiovascular endurance by incorporating running and jumping rope into their routines. It’s likely you’ll develop some level of endurance during actual boxing practice, but to further increase your cardiovascular capabilities so you can excel in the ring, run three or four days per week. Run in intervals that are specific to boxing. Running a half a mile would be close to the duration of a single three-minute round in boxing. Jump rope as a warm-up activity at the start of each boxing session.
A strength base will improve your boxing performance and also allow you to go for longer periods without becoming fatigued. Incorporate an overall weight training program to develop all of the major muscle groups. Use body weight and free weight exercises, such as squats, lunges, deadlifts, push-ups, standing military presses and pull-ups, as they mimic the demands of the sport better than other exercises and will help improve your coordination and balance. Lift two or three days per week with 48 hours of rest in between lifting sessions.
A boxer requires power and explosive capabilities in both the upper body and lower body. Plyometrics, or jumping exercises, also are effective at increasing lower body power. Activities such as box jumps, squat jumps and split squat jumps will build explosive abilities. Upper body plyometric exercises, such as plyo push-ups, medicine ball chest passes and medicine ball smashes, will help to develop chest and shoulder explosiveness. Incorporate more specific upper body plyometric exercises by holding a light dumbbell as you go through your variety of punches, including the jab, straight, hook, cross and uppercut. Plyometric training should be done twice per week with 72 hours of rest in between training sessions.
Boxers can improve their fitness level with cardiovascular exercise and power and strength training, but they won’t become better at boxing unless they consistently practice the sport. A typical skill-building boxing workout includes rounds on the heavy bag, speed bag and double-end bag, shadow boxing in front of a mirror or with a partner and focus mitt drills with your trainer.