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Women boxing for fitness, combined with strength training exercises

Posted Dec 24 2009 5:23am

Although boxers historically eschewed specific strength training believing that it would slow their technique, today's boxers are more open minded to the potential benefits of a strength-training program. Like their male counterparts, female boxers could achieve substantial gains in punching power and muscular endurance by following a strength-training regime.

Squats

Perform and master squats for a good free weight strength builder for the lower body. Squats increase the overall lasting power and strength of the legs, abs, hips, glutes and lower back--all important areas for a boxer. Hold a pair of dumbbells against your chest or a barbell across your upper back. Work your way through a full range of motion and do not cut the exercise short by stopping your descent too early. Sit onto a bench or box about knee height to help serve as a depth target for beginners. Stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart and your feet facing forward or pointed out slightly. Bend at the hips and knees, sitting back as though you are descending into a chair. Stop when your thighs are parallel to the floor and reverse the motion, using the strength of your lower body and core to push the weight back to the starting position. Choose a conservative weight to begin, performing three or four sets of eight to 10 reps, increasing the weight as your leg-strength increases.

Bench Press

Perform bench pressing to increase the strength of the pressing muscles of your upper body--the triceps, shoulders, and chest. These are all important muscle groups for throwing fast, effective punches, making the bench press a staple exercise for training boxers. Perform bench presses using dumbbells to allow for a more free range of motion, allowing more accurate replication of the path that a punch would take. Lie on a bench with your head back and the weights lowered to your chest. Initiate the movement by pressing both dumbbells up at the same time, keeping your elbows tucked in as though you were throwing a jab. Continue pressing until the weight is fully locked out, lowering the weight to your chest again slowly and under control. Repeat for three sets of eight to 12 reps, increasing the weight of the dumbbells as your muscles gain in strength.

Overhead Press

Perform dumbbell overhead presses to further increase the strength and endurance of your shoulders. Grab a pair of dumbbells and hold them in both hands against your chest. Initiate the movement by pressing them both overhead simultaneously and explosively, allowing the sides of the dumbbells to touch together as your elbows lock out. Take one to two full seconds to lower the weight slowly back to your chest under complete control. Repeat this exercise for two to three sets of eight to 10 reps, increasing the weight of the dumbbells as your muscles become stronger.
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