boxing may at times look easy when watching from the comfort of your living room, however the basics of the sport require a great deal of mental skill and strategy and of course a tremendous amount of physical training. A boxing workout is long, tiring and made of many types of exercise.
Understanding the Sport To understand why a boxing workout is so involved, it helps to understand the basics of the sport. Televised professional boxing puts a lot of emphasis on knockouts and injuries--they make for good television after all. But amateur and Olympic boxing puts its emphasis on landing good touches while keeping your opponent from touching you. A touch happens when your glove makes contact with your opponent. You can touch them on the head, face, body and arms, but nothing below the belt. In order to get your gloves near their body, you must be fast, have great endurance, decent flexibility and strength.
Shadow Boxing: Facing a mirror so that you can check your form, practice each of the moves you would use in the ring. Start with a simple combination and work your way up to something more complicated. For example, start with a simple 1-2-3-4 combination (jab, cross, hook, uppercut) and work up to a more complicated combination of moves. The objective here is to check form and keep your heart rate up.
Jump Rope: Jump roping keeps the heart rate up, strengthens arms and legs, and teaches quick footwork. Try jump roping for 3 minutes at a time, then resting for a minute--the same pattern of time you would be boxing in a ring. As you jump rope, switch up the way you are jumping. Try jumping with your feet moving in a shuffle pattern, crossing your arms as you jump or double jumping--making the rope move twice under your feet before your feet hit the ground again. Strength Moves Building muscle serves two purposes in boxing. It helps you land stronger, faster punches and helps protect you when you get hit. Pushups and crunches are the best basic moves for boxers to practice. These moves train the areas where you will be getting hit and require no additional equipment. Try these variations to add even more power to your workout.
Pushup Variations Standard pushups - Legs are straight out behind you while hands are under your shoulders. Diamonds - Legs are in a V-shape you. Hands are together with the forefingers and thumbs touching to make a diamond shape under your chest. Wide grips - Legs are straight out behind you. Hands are set farther away from your body so that your body makes a "y" shape. Knuckles - Legs are straight out behind you. Hands are in fists under your shoulders. Fingertips - Legs are straight out behind you. Hands are in the standard pushup position, however you will balance yourself on your fingertips.
Crunch Variations Basic crunch - Hands are behind the head. Feet are flat on the floor so that the knees are bent at a 45-degree angle. Obliques 1 - Hands are behind the head. One foot is flat on the floor so that the knee is bent at a 45-degree angle. The other foot rests on the opposite knee. Repeat on each side. Obliques 2 - Hands are behind the head. Legs lay to one side, resting on top of each other. Repeat for each side. Rope climb - Hands are straight out from the chest at a right angle from the body. Legs are extended up at right angle from the body. As you crunch, move your arms as though you are climbing a rope. Mitt and Bag Work After your body is well warmed up, it is time to actually hit something.
Speed Bag - Use the speed bag to practice precise movements. You do not need to hit the speed bag very hard. Instead, you should focus on hitting it accurately--making it swing the same amount after each hit and being able to hit it again when it swings back. Heavy Bag - Use the heavy bag to practice all the punches and to add strength to your punches. You can practice each of the four punches on the bag, now concentrating on landing each punch with power. Mitt Work - Use a partner wearing mitts to practice hitting a moving target. This will also show you why cardio training is so important because you will have to control your breathing as well as your punches.
Make sure that your partner moves around as they hold the mitts that you are working to hit. Like the shadow boxing warm up, start with a simple combination and work up to something more complicated.