BOXING FOR BEGINNERS AT HOME
Boxing is a combat sport that offers a high level of intensity, and a niche for striking ability. To develop skills in boxing athletes will need to get themselves into shape by boosting their cardiovascular ability, and their strength and conditioning systems. Gaining coordination skills and other important elements like balance, posture, flexibility, agility, and dexterity are essential for building a reputable style of boxing. All athletes will need to put in a series of hard work, and dedication elements, because workouts in boxing can be extremely grueling, and conditioning a person for combat can take a physical, and a mental toll on an athlete.
What this article covers:
Some athletes will question can you learn boxing at home, and because boxing is one of those combat sports that can be developed in solo drills, improving an athlete's boxing ability is easily achievable. Athletes can utilise a range of different training methods, and one of the best systems is shadow boxing. This drill is an iconic form of conditioning that helps athletes develop many aspects of boxing, and is employed by many professional athletes. Using boxing bags is another iconic form of training, and athletes can set them up in their own home gym, where they will work through a variety of different boxing combinations. Using different types of boxing bags will help athletes to work on their power, their speed, their accuracy, their fluency, and their evasive techniques.
HOW TO START BOXING
Picking up a pair of boxing gloves, and beginning to train in an art form like boxing takes commitment from the beginning. It always comes down to mentality for a beginner as each individual will commonly have a different reason for starting Martial Arts. It highly depends on whether the athlete is in it for professional competition, for self defense, or for fun and fitness.
People need to have their own motivation for training, and this is a key factor in keeping up a consistent balance of training patterns. People can simply just walk into a boxing gym, pay the membership fees, and start their journey into this popular combat sport, or they can choose to set up their own gym, and learn boxing at home. These days the accessibility of online content has become increasingly popular, and platforms like YouTube and dynamic striking websites are influencing many people, which is giving them an opportunity to learn fundamental boxing techniques.
BASIC BOXING STANCES
Boxing is a sport that can be relatively simple, and quite often students can make the art form more complicated than it needs to be. The reality of boxing is the more basic the technique, the more effective it can be in a real competition match. Fighting stances are the classic example, as a beginner will use the most traditional of stances, while the more experienced boxing athlete will usually use more complex, or high risk boxing stances like the hands down, or the peek a boo. A beginner should steer clear of these more intricate stances, and make sure they are building a strong foundation of fundamental principles in the boxing art. This is highly important, so they do not get too far ahead of themselves when they attempt to fight in the middle of the ring.
The first stance that is taught to a beginner is the traditional orthodox stance, and this is the most common stance in the game. The athlete will stand with their feet a shoulder's width apart, with their left foot slightly forward, and their right foot slightly backwards. The athlete will keep both of their hands up guarding their chin with their left hand slightly forward, so they can access the jab, while their right hand is slightly backwards, and is used for the power shots like the cross, the hook, the uppercut, or the overhand. Both of the athlete's elbows should be tucked into their ribs so they can protect their vital areas, and this is a great stance to circle around an opponent, and look to maximise opportunities to attack with punching combinations.
The southpaw stance is the second most utilised stance in boxing, and this is basically an orthodox stance to a left hander. This stance incorporates the same positioning as the orthodox stance, where athletes will stand with their feet a shoulder's width apart. The difference between stances is that an athlete will be standing with their right foot slightly forward, and their left foot slightly backwards. Both hands will still guard the chin, except the right hand is the jab hand, and the left hand is the power punch. This stance is commonly used by left handers, and is also used by a traditional right hander as a way to switch their stance, and confuse and hinder the attacking patterns of their opponents.
BASIC BOXING DRILLS
There are many different boxing drills at home that athletes can utilise, and many of them will help develop footwork, punching technique, punching fluency, and the power of their punches. All athletes must start by learning footwork skills, and a good place to start is the lateral shuffle drill. This involves using a sideways shuffle by stepping their left foot laterally, before following the movement with their right foot. This drill will improve an athlete's sideways movements, and keeping their hands up guarding their face is a good way to build good habits for when they are competing in a real boxing match. Athletes can also use a lateral jump, and in boxing using fast jumps to the side can be highly effective.
The square drill is another basic footwork drill that will help athletes learn to control the space inside of the ring. This drill will also introduce an athlete to diagonal movements, as they will commonly use this in a competitive fight. The square drill requires an athlete to mark out a square on the mats, or utilise the square in the boxing ring, as they start off in one corner of the square in their traditional fight stance. From here the athlete will use their footwork to move diagonally forward until they hit the opposite corner of the square. They can then shuffle laterally to the other corner, before moving diagonally backwards to the last corner. This drill is great for ring control, and athletes should practise this drill with their hands guarding their face, and they can even throw shadow boxing punches to maximise their evolution of their striking capabilities.
Simple drills can be employed by setting up a heavy boxing bag, as athletes will practise moving in and out of range. The boxing bag will represent an opponent, as the athlete will practise circling around the bag, as they manage their distance, and land attacking opportunities. Understanding positional awareness, and how to close the distance, as well as escaping out of range is pivotal to succeeding inside of the ring. This drill can be an extensive workout if the athlete picks up their intensity, or they can use it in a more simplistic manner to practise the technique of their punches, with the combination of their footwork. The heavy bag can also be used for practising power punches, and this means working combinations, and finishing off with a hard straight punch, a powerful hook, or a heavy overhand punch. There are many different uses for the heavy bag, but an important tip to remember, especially for beginners is to first use a hand wrap underneath their boxing gloves, and this will ensure the athlete does not damage their hands.
Setting up a home gym doesn't need much equipment if the athlete is in it for fun and fitness, but if they are training to become more professional then they need to develop every aspect of the fight game. Working on evasive skills is paramount, and securing a double ended bag is a great piece of boxing equipment that athletes can explore. The double ended bag is secured by elastic from the top, and the bottom of the bag, and this will make the bag extremely maneuverable. Utilising punching combinations, while slipping, and ducking the bag is a great drill that athletes can utilise from their home gyms. The double ended bag is an extremely versatile boxing bag that is designed to help athletes improve all of their evasive skills. Throwing combination punches will effectively force the bag to bounce back quickly, which is great to help these athletes develop their evasive skills.
Employing drills that incorporate head movements are essential to a potential boxing athlete. Slipping punches is crucial, and involves a basic head dodge for incoming punches. The goal of a slip is to move an athlete's head enough to avoid the strike, without losing their balance. The roll is the act of ducking in a U shape, as the athlete lowers their head, but then rolls back up to a postured position. Combining head movements with a shuffle is a great way to bond these elements together into one systematic form of movement. A good drill to incorporate all of these aspects is by slipping from side to side, then rolling from side to side, and then shuffling forward, and then backwards. This movement system will enable an athlete to become more systematic, and engaging their defensive structures by keeping guarded will build good habits.
Punching drills are crucial to a home schooled boxer, and with the availability of online content, they have an incredible amount of knowledge they can access. A good three punch combination is a jab, a cross, and a lead hook. This combination starts with the jab, and it is important to note for a beginner that a jab should always be the same side hand as the athlete's lead foot. The second part of the sequence is to perform a cross with their rear hand, and an athlete must pivot on their back foot so they can rotate their hips, and generate enough power through their hips. The finishing punch in the combination is the lead hook, and this is the same hand as the initial jab. Athletes must be sure to keep their elbow bent, and rotate their hips to land a significant amount of power within their hook.
THE IMPORTANCE OF STRENGTH AND CONDITIONING
Strength and conditioning is one extremely important aspect that all athletes need to work through. Training from home means they will often lack the diversity of repetition against a training partner, and this can be detrimental to their development. athletes can somewhat make up for this by building up a comprehensive form of strength, conditioning and cardio based training. The fitter, and stronger an athlete is the more capable they are within a competitive boxing match, and because boxing usually has twelve three minute rounds, it does take a considerable amount of energy, and conditioning to become highly proficient in the art of boxing.
There are many different forms of strength and conditioning, and athletes will commonly use weight machines, or kettlebells to build significant strength within their repertoire. Boxing requires a high amount of functional strength, and incorporating exercises like push ups, sit ups, squats, lunges, and other traditional exercises are extremely valuable to the make up of a boxer. One of the best forms of conditioning is using a skipping rope, and this is a famous style of working out. Many legends of the sport have included skipping routines into their training to help their physical conditioning, as well as their skills in footwork. Whichever forms of strength and conditioning an athlete chooses they must ensure they continue them on a consistent level, so they can improve the quality of their training.
A good conditioning drill is to start in a traditional fight stance, before dropping down into a burpee, and then jumping up and throwing a punching combination. Repeating this process is essential for building core strength, and athletes will benefit immensely from this type of workout. Athletes can mix up the drill by adding in squat jumps, rotational leg swings, shoulder extensions, or multi directional lunges, while still throwing counter strikes. Evasive maneuvers can also be added into this workout, as an athlete can slip, and roll, then throw a jab, and a cross, before dropping into a sprawl, or a burpee. This is an extensive strength and conditioning drill that will only bolster an athlete's overall muscular strength, and their muscular endurance.
BASIC AGILITY DRILLS
Agility is an extremely important aspect, and this is because a boxer will often need to change direction quickly in order to maximise their attack patterns. Using rope ladders at home is a great way to increase their level of agility, and athletes can employ different tactics to achieve this. Stepping in and out of the rope ladder rungs, while ducking underneath imaginary punches is a good way to connect with those lateral movements. Athletes can also step one foot behind the other to increase the fluency of their footwork. Employing jumping strategies are also good for improving agility, and even though jumping is not the main movement in boxing, in a training sense it will increase their level of agility considerably.
Setting up cones can be extremely effective for increasing agility, and weaving in and out of them is a great way to practise changing direction quickly. Athletes can run fast towards the first cone, before lowering their body, and touching the cone, as they move onto the next cone. This drill will help them to move fast, while practising stopping suddenly, which can be extremely important in a real fight. Another drill can be to simply shuffle forward, and circle around the cone, before shuffling backwards. Repeating this process by running out to the second cone, and the third will build a significant resilience within their movements. This drill is good for developing a systematic form of agility movements, and doing it while keeping their hands up, or even throwing jabs, and crosses will be highly beneficial to a boxer.
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