As boxing is a rigorous sport that tests all parts of the body, it’s vital to keep yourself in peak physical condition. Numerous exercise routines will help you do this, from low-intensity warm-ups to high-intensity drills. Let’s look at the 7 best boxing exercise routines to keep you in top shape.
A skipping rope workout is one of the hallmarks of a good boxing warm-up routine. It raises your heart rate, loosens your muscles, and prepares your body for boxing.
You should skip for about 10 minutes to warm up. Start by swapping your steps and then higher your knees after two to three minutes. Towards the end, jump as high as possible and do double jumping – that really gets the blood pumping.
Here’s Flloyd Mayweather with some serious jump rope skills:
Shadow boxing is a warm-up routine that’s used in multiple art forms, not just boxing. You simply move around and throw punches in the air, just like when you’re fighting or sparring.
This routine is vital when training, not just because it gets your heart rate up and the muscles ready for physical activity, but because it improves your technique and movement. It also generates muscle memory, so that you can develop and perform better in the ring.
Start off with a simple jab or cross in the mirror, then mix in some combinations like hooks and uppercuts and bob and weaves. Move your feet to nail your footwork and increase the intensity and pace of your punches over time. Your punch combinations should be 30 seconds to one minute long. Do three to five rounds and rest for one minute in between.
Here’s a video which explains more about shadow boxing and why it’s so beneficial:
Banded shadow boxing is a great way to improve your lateral movements in boxing. You simply add a small resistance band around your knees when you’re shadow boxing. It works your glutes and core harder while you’re punching.
As with almost any sport, boxing demands optimum mobility. Therefore, you need to incorporate mobility exercises into your training programme to enable yourself to move more easily when boxing.
These exercises will improve your range of motion and reduce your risk of injury. On top of this, they’ll help rectify muscle imbalances, which not only affect your posture and movements but also have a knock-on effect on things like punching and pivoting.
Plyometric training, a.k.a. jump training, is used in loads of different sports because it improves your power. Plyometrics are exercises in which your muscles are exerted to their maximum potential in short time periods.
Some common examples of plyometrics are pushups, throwing, running, jumping, and kicking. There are so many plyometric exercises that will help improve your boxing technique, like pogo jumps, ice-skaters, and medicine ball punches.
If you’ve not done plyometric training before, start with a coach to ensure you’re doing the moves properly. You might want to start low and slow and work up to the bigger moves. Doing this will help you avoid injuries to your muscles and tendons.
Bob and weave
The bob and weave is a defensive technique used in boxing. Just in case you’re not familiar with it already, here’s how it works:
- When someone goes to punch you, you swiftly bend at the knees (not the waist) – this is the bobbing part.
- You then move your body to the left or right – this is the weaving part. Usually, you’ll weave to the left.
Mike Tyson was a master at the bob and weave. If you’re shorter than most of your opponents, like Tyson was at 5’11”, the bob and weave is a vital technique to learn. It puts you in a better position to dip underneath their punches, and the more this happens, the more they’ll get worn out. So, the bob and weave routine provides a two-pronged advantage.
To practice the move, you can tie some string from one side of the ring to the other and place your right shoulder under the string. Do a 1-2 punch, duck underneath the string, come back up, move forward, and do another 1-2 punch. Keep doing it and moving forward, then go back the same way. You want to cross the ring about four to six times to get some meaningful practice in.
The below video from Moreno Boxing demonstrates how you can apply this strategy to your training drills:
Parrying is a defensive technique used in boxing. Instead of blocking a punch, you deflect it (and the opponent’s energy) in another direction. Once you master parrying, you can deflect punches whilst conserving lots of energy, unlike blocking.
There are many reasons you would perform this workout routine. You have good vision because you don’t need your arms high to block, and it makes your opponent unsteady, weak, and susceptible to counters. Plus, the more intense your opponent’s punch, the easier your parry is.
If you’re new to all of this, you should start with the easiest parrying technique, the down parry, where you parry down the opponent’s punch. You can also try the side parry, forearm parry, circle parry, and low parry.
Boxing pad work
Working with pads is common in boxing and martial arts. There are loads of benefits to doing boxing pad work:
- It improves your technique and precision
You have to punch the target pad, and over time your aim will improve, as will your hand-eye coordination. You’ll also improve your power, speed, and reaction times. Plus, the moves you execute will be built into your muscle memory over time.
- It helps you suss out distance
When starting out, it can be difficult to gauge where you should stand to reach your opponent. You can opt for arm’s length or work even closer than that. Practising with pad work enables you to work out where you perform best and gain that essential spatial awareness.
- It prepares you for a boxing match
Like any sport, simulating a real game helps you for the real event. Not only does it allow you to practise moves you’ll use, but it does wonders for your confidence which, in turn, improves your performance. If something becomes second nature to you, it’s less daunting.
Specialist boxing insurance from Ripe Sport
Hopefully, you’ll go away and try some of these boxing techniques. But before you do, please make sure you have specialist boxing insurance. It’s a dangerous sport and accidents happen, so you need to be protected.
At Ripe Sport, we provide comprehensive cover for boxers, and boxing coaches and instructors. This cover includes Public Liability insurance, Personal Accident cover, Equipment cover, and more. Plus, you can tailor your policy to your needs.
Get an online quote in minutes and see what we can do for you.