BOXING SPEED VS POWER
Boxing is a highly dynamic, and effective form of striking combat. The popularity of this combat sport is still as strong as ever, as the crossover between boxing vs ufc fighters has become prominent. Athletes like Connor McGregor, and Anderson Silva debuted inside of the boxing ring against prime time fighters like Floyd Mayweather, and the controversial Jake Paul respectively. Many boxing athletes have stepped into the octagon too, with formidable athletes like Jon Jones, Ciryl Gane, Junior Dos Santos, and the Diaz brothers, all showcasing their effective boxing skill sets. Boxing has an extremely high strike rate, and all athletes that incorporate this form of combat into their repertoire have become extremely successful.
There are many different systematic functions that make boxers extremely dynamic inside of the ring. What can commonly happen though is a boxing athlete will give up their power to become faster, or they will give up some speed to become more powerful. This is an aspect that needs specific attention, and athletes will need to incorporate a good balance between both. Being able to move quickly in and out of an opponent's range is crucial to their success, but if they are lacking in power within their punches then this can be detrimental to winning a fight. Speed and power is extremely important, and this all starts from their footwork, and their stance. Boxing athletes will commonly switch between a southpaw vs orthodox boxing stance, and this is a good way to confuse an opponent enough to infiltrate their range.
What this article covers:
- Training Systems for Boxing
- Is Speed More Important than Power
- How to Increase Boxing Speed
- How to Increase Boxing Power
TRAINING SYSTEMS FOR BOXING
There are a number of different ways that an athlete can enhance their skills in boxing. All competitive athletes need to be fit, and strong, and conditioning the body is a crucial element in the fight game. Athletes can utilise weight lifting to increase their strength, or they can use kettlebell exercises, which is a more portable workout tool. Ideally increasing strength in combat sports should be functional, and this is why athletes will engage in some old school tactics like simple lunging exercises, squats, squat jumps, push ups, sit ups, and pull ups. Another important training function is to build up an athlete's cardiorespiratory endurance, and this can be done by pure running, sprinting, swimming, skipping, shadow boxing, and doing rounds on the bag, or against a training partner in a full contact sparring session.
Shadow boxing is one of the best training workouts for boxing and martial arts like kick boxing, kung fu, and karate. Shadow boxing is a great functional way that an athlete can fine tune all of their boxing skills. This type of workout can be broken up into sections, where an athlete can focus on their footwork, and use it to move in and out of range of their opponents. They can also incorporate evasive maneuvers like slipping punches, rolling under punches, changing levels, or lateral and diagonal shuffling. Good shadow boxing techniques will help an athlete work on their fluency of punching, as well as their speed, and the cohesion between their footwork, and how they generate enough rotational power in their hips for their punches.
Hitting the focus mitts is one of the most important aspects of becoming a competent boxer. Hitting these pads can not be done as a solo drill, and all boxing athletes need a good boxing trainer that knows how to hold the pads. A good trainer will not only call out different combinations for a boxer to hit, they will also throw in their own strikes which will enable the athlete to use their evasive skills to duck underneath, and then throw counter strikes. The focus mitts are used to work on an athlete's speed of punching, their accuracy of punching, and even the power within their combination punches. These types of punching drills can also be utilised on the boxing bag, and athletes will generally work on their power on the heavy bag, work on their evasive movements, and counter striking on the double ended bag, and their speed and timing on the speed bag. These are all extremely important boxing tools that will help an athlete become proficient in the art of boxing.
Another extremely important training measure is for athletes to engage in full contact sparring. Even though this can be dangerous, due to an athlete sustaining injuries, or being locked into a battle of ego between them and their training partners, the act of full contact sparring is as close as they will get to a real life boxing match. It is important to get a taste of what it feels like to be in the middle of the ring, and training against another high level boxing training partner will help an athlete adapt their game style into a more structured, and systematic form of striking. Full contact sparring can have two different levels, with the first being an extremely light form so athletes can work on their game style, while the other being extremely brutal, and will simulate real conditioning in a real fight.
The fundamentals of boxing are extremely important for building up a reputable, and reliable system of striking. An athlete's stance, and the footwork they use from this position is a pivotal aspect of the foundations of boxing. Utilising a proper stance will put an athlete's body in the ideal position to throw more effective punches, it can also help an athlete to block punches, evade punches, and use a series of head movements that can help an athlete develop their striking processes. A poor stance, or sloppy footwork will often lead to an athlete that becomes vulnerable to attacks from their opponent. Using the right weight distribution between their feet will only help an athlete to become more balanced, which leads to better coordination, and a faster, and more accurate system of punching capabilities.
Defense is one of the most overlooked aspects in a boxer's arsenal, and having a lightning fast attack is pointless if they cannot defend punches from their opponents. A solid defense means an athlete will have the ability to move out of range to avoid counter punches, and have a significant reaction time. This is extremely important so they can block, evade, or parry an opponent's attacks. Staying guarded is a non negotiable in the art of boxing, and an athlete that leaves their chin, or their vital areas exposed will be looking at spending a lot of time getting to know the canvas. The old saying "a good offense is a strong defense" could not be more true, as all athletes will need to bolster their defenses before they go out all guns blazing with their attack formations.
Another important part of boxing is an athlete's punching capabilities, and implementing basic punches first will help them to build up a predominant system of striking. Working on each individual punch technique is important, so the athlete knows they are maximising their power, speed, and form of each punch. Once an athlete has a strategic viewpoint of how their punching technique works, they can begin building into a solid form of combination striking. Using the focus mitts is the best tool for athletes, and having a good trainer will fast track the athlete's striking ability, and this is because of the experience in striking and evading then counter striking, that a professional boxing coach possesses. Athletes cannot win fights without becoming extremely effective with their punching form, and mastering these fundamental principles is critical.
THE IMPORTANCE OF A FIGHT STANCE
A fight stance is one of the most important aspects of footwork, and all athletes need to have a structured, and integrated fight stance. Moving between an orthodox and a southpaw fight stance is critical against different opponents, and boxing vs taekwondo for example will show the importance of needing a structured fight stance to deal with the range that a kick boxer may have. A good fight stance incorporates a balanced weight distribution between both of an athlete's legs, with both of their hands guarding their chin, and their elbows protecting their ribs. This is the best way to be defensive, but still be in a position where they can attack from. All athletes should be light on their toes, so they can pivot and move quickly, giving them the best opportunity to use rotation through their hips to execute punches with the most power possible within their athletic capabilities.
IS SPEED MORE IMPORTANT THAN POWER
In boxing, an athlete needs to be extremely well balanced between all aspects of the art. Being extremely powerful, but not having enough speed to attack can be detrimental to their capabilities of winning a fight. This is the same in reverse, as an athlete that is extremely quick but has no power in their punch will often struggle to affect their opponents with any sort of prominent striking. A good balance is what is needed, and all athletes need to have power in their punches, but still have enough speed so they can firstly land punches, and secondly be capable of evading counter punches. Both of these aspects are extremely important, and in terms of which one is more prominent, speed will win over power.
An athlete that has very little speed, but has extremely powerful punches may be capable of landing a knockout blow, but if they cannot move fast enough they will never be able to hit their moving target. On the flip side an athlete that is extremely fast will always be able to infiltrate their opponent's space, and even though they may not have any significant destroying power in their punch, they will still be able to land some extremely prominent striking. If an athlete can train enough to become extremely fast then it is a guarantee that their punches do have some value, and in a lot of cases a boxer can win their fights with fast jabs, and good footwork skills.
HOW TO INCREASE BOXING SPEED
Increasing boxing speed is critical to becoming a world class striker, especially in muay thai or boxing, as these two Martial Arts have exceptionally fast athletes that compete. Increasing speed can be done a number of different ways, and all athletes will need to think about fast footwork, fast evasive movements, and fast punches. Agility training is vital for increasing speed, and all athletes can do this by stepping sideways through a rope ladder in quick succession, as they throw shadow boxing punches. There are many different agility drills that can be used to help improve how fast an athlete can step, and one of the main ways to improve foot speed is on the skipping rope. Engaging in lateral shuffling movements is another great way to gain agility, and this can also help athletes utilise a functional system of footwork.
Increasing the speed of an athlete's punch is just as important as their footwork. Using the speed bag is one of the most traditional ways to increase an athlete's speed, as well as their timing, and even though this can be an extremely hard training drill it is something that must be mastered. Shadow boxing is another great way to improve an athlete's speed of punching, and this is because it is a non impactful way that athletes can explore their striking capabilities, without copping any form of injury, or damage from their training partners. At the end of the day building up a functional system of speed of punching, needs to come from skills and conditioning training, rather than from full contact sparring.
HOW TO INCREASE BOXING POWER
Increasing an athlete's power is an aspect that needs to be addressed, and conditioning an athlete's systems to become dynamic is critical. Most athletes will use the heavy bag to increase the power of their punches, and this is a good way to do so. The heavy bag can be hard on an athlete's knuckles, and wrists, so they must make sure they wrap their hands first with hand wraps before they put their boxing gloves on. This is a good way to protect their hands, which enables them to put in a full amount of energy into their power training. Another good way to build up significant power in their punch is to work on the focus mitts, and once again an athlete needs to have a good boxing coach that can withstand the power that a young athlete can dish out.
Obviously weight training, or strength training is a good way to increase the power in the athlete's punch, and one of the best sources of strength training is by using kettlebell weights. Kettlebell swings is one of the most functional ways to build up strength in an athlete's arms, and due to the compact nature of a kettlebell this can be done at the gym, inside their home, or out in a public area. Obviously other strength exercises like push ups, chin ups, shoulder extensions, and dips will also help considerably in building up muscular endurance, and explosive power within their punches. There are other methods of strengthening an athlete's muscles, and isometrics, and plyometrics are two good ways to build up these attributes.
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