Warm-Up Exercises for Boxing

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A man's chest as he holds a jump rope looped around his neck. (Image: GeorgeRudy/iStock/Getty Images)

Boxing is an intense sport that requires maximum effort from its participants. To get your body ready for boxing, you should always warm up before training or a fight. A boxer's warm-up should be general so that it prepares the muscles and organs for the bout, but also specific for practicing the skills needed in the ring.

Jump Rope

Jumping rope is a familiar exercise to most boxers. Jumping rope will raise your core temperature, elevate your heart and breathing rate and get you ready for more strenuous warm-up exercises to follow. Start jumping rope with your feet together before progressing on to an alternating heel to toe action and running on the spot with high knees. Finish off by two rope turns per jump—an exercise called double unders. Continue jumping rope for five to 10 minutes before moving on to the next part of your warm-up.

Duck Under/Step Over

Stand with your feet together and your hands by your sides. Imagine there is a hip-high barrier immediately to your left. Raise your left leg and step over the imaginary barrier and immediately follow with your right leg. Next, move to your right and duck under the barrier. Try to get as low to the ground as you can and duck your head. Repeat this over/under maneuver for five to 10 reps before reversing direction.

Shadow Boxing

Shadow boxing provides you with the opportunity to practice your boxing skills before throwing any punches against an opponent. Start off by throwing single jabs and crosses before adding hooks and uppercuts, building up to throwing multiple punch combinations. Practice your footwork while throwing combinations as though you were attacking, evading and counter-punching a real opponent. Try to increase the speed of your punches.

Pad Work

Finish your boxing warm-up by throwing combinations of punches into hook and jab pads held by your trainer or sparring partner. Start by making light contact with the pads and increase the speed and power of your punches over a few minutes. To sharpen your reactions, have your partner throw light noncontact punches toward you to evade. Only perform enough pad work to finish your warm-up and avoid doing so much that you begin to fatigue before the bout begins.

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