HOW TO BOXER SKIP
Boxing has become one of the most popular combat sports worldwide, and not just because of the professional scene, but for the common person to exercise with a more structured purpose. Many people across the globe are joining in boxercise classes, and traditional boxing training to increase their fitness, so they can lead a healthier lifestyle. Some people are more adapted to a traditional gym workout, and even though that can still be excellent for their health, and fitness levels, engaging in boxing classes is a completely different aspect of fitness training. Boxers are among some of the fittest combat athletes in the world, and this is because of their strenuous, and dynamic workout routines.
What this article covers
There are many different exercise routines that a professional boxer will engage in, and for a common person doing boxing training. There are many ways to improve their skills in boxing, like shadow boxing, which is one of the best ways to build up comprehensive skills in movement, coordination, and punching fluency. Another great way to build up footwork skills, and extreme cardiorespiratory endurance is a boxing jump rope workout routine. Some people may turn their head at the thought of using a skipping rope, but all professional athletes will put in extensive work into jumping over the skipping rope. This type of exercise is one of the best for boxing, and is due to its diverse range of cardio benefits, as well as a range of extensive footwork skills.
WHAT IS A BOXER SKIP
A boxer skip is a certain type of skipping motion that all boxing athletes use to improve their skills in footwork. There is more than meets the eye to how a boxer should skip over a boxing rope, as the more complex versions of skipping can add significant footwork attributes into their arsenal.
The boxer's skip is a fundamental exercise workout that incorporates grace, weight distribution, and timing. To execute this boxing jump rope technique the athlete will start with the rope handles in each hand, and with the rope sitting behind their feet. As the athlete flings the rope over their head, they will jump almost one footed, as they switch their weight on each foot with every rotation of the rope. This drill is designed to help an athlete emulate how they will want to move when they are in the middle of the boxing ring.
WHY DO BOXERS SKIP ROPE
Boxing is a highly dynamic, and professional combat sport, that requires all athletes to become extremely fit. There are a multitude of different workout exercises that boxers can use to achieve higher levels of cardiovascular ability, and aside from the intense sessions of hitting the bags, hitting the mitts, and traditional shadow boxing, skipping is one of the best forms of cardio. Athletes will develop their boxing jump rope footwork by skipping continuously for regular periods of time. The act of skipping has three major benefits that boxing athletes will always take advantage of. The first is cardio, and this is because skipping for extended periods of time will build up a significant cardiorespiratory endurance, which is highly pivotal to a boxer inside of the ring. Boxing matches can last for twelve rounds, and all boxing athletes need to be able to last the distance, and still have a wealth of power, and speed in the last round.
Another reason why skipping in boxing is highly recommended to an athlete, is because of the physical benefits to the athlete's muscles, and bones. Continually skipping will build up explosive strength in their core, and their legs, which is exactly what a boxer needs to become proficient inside of a boxing match. Building up strength in an athlete's muscles, tendons, ligaments, and bones is crucial to success in a match, and is even more vital to longevity as a professional athlete. Skipping has also proven to increase mineral bone density in the hips, the legs, and the lower back, which will help an athlete thrive, while steering them away from later stages of osteoporosis.
The main reason that boxers will jump over a skipping rope continuously during their training sessions is to increase their ability to move around the ring. Increasing their footwork skills is critical to becoming a professional boxer, or just gaining the ability to use proficient boxing skills. Many of the different skipping exercises require athletes to change their weight distribution from their left foot to their right foot, as they explore different ways to move, and this is so they can infiltrate their opponents' range. Fine tuning an athlete's footwork takes considerable effort, and continuity to their training systems. All boxers need to be fast on their feet, and capable of changing direction quickly, this is why footwork drills on the skipping rope is a crucial part of boxing training.
WHY IS FOOTWORK SO IMPORTANT
In boxing all power is generated from the feet, and utilising perfect footwork is the catalyst for sourcing that power. Getting in close to an opponent takes more than simply stepping into sight, and throwing punches, there is a considerable amount of strategy that goes into the smallest of intricacies in boxing. Every step is a strategically placed movement that allows a boxer to infiltrate their opponents range, and set them up for the finishing blows. There are two major concepts to dynamic footwork work, and that is offensive and defensive footwork. Being offensive with a boxer's footwork, means they will need to incorporate different movements like lateral shuffling, forward and backward shuffling, lateral hopping, or diagonally moving. This is so the athlete can change the angle in order to administer various punching combinations. All boxers will try to trap their opponents in the corner of the ring, and by limiting their opponent's movement, the athlete will be able to dominate the match, and do significant punching damage.
Defensive footwork is just as important as offensive, as all boxing athletes need to learn evasive skills. Getting into range can be dynamic, but without knowing the proper way to exit out of range, they can often find themselves in deep trouble. Being nimble on their feet means they will be able to move backwards, sideways, or even duck or roll under punches to escape from their opponents counter strikes. Sometimes all it takes is a simple step backwards, combined with head movement, which will force their opponent to overcommit their punch, which allows the athlete to step back in with offensive footwork and land the finishing punch.
THE IMPORTANCE OF AGILITY IN BOXING
All professional sports players need to be agile, and especially for combat athletes, agility is one of the key factors of becoming successful inside of the boxing ring. To be agile means to be able to move suddenly in an opposite direction, so they can evade their opponents' punches, or change the angle in order to attack. In boxing punches need to be fast, and so does the footwork, and this is why athletes need to build a comprehensive series of agility training into their arsenal. Agility training can be done using a skipping rope, but is more commonly executed during shadow boxing workouts, or by using other tools like rope ladders, where the athlete will step in and out of the ladder's rungs to simulate how they would move in a real fight.
Along with the agility concept, athletes will need to be extremely dexterous, and build up flexibility within their hamstrings, groins, calves, thighs, and their hips. This is important so they can execute perfect rotation through their hips, and into their punches. Most boxing techniques take certain footwork, and certain rotation movements to be capable of landing any significant punches on their opponent. This is why boxers will skip over the ropes, because it builds up incredible strength and conditioning, flexibility, dexterity, and mobility through their legs and hips. Athletes that utilise these types of training concepts will be able to build up a high variety of attributes that can help them significantly during their boxing fights. Some of the most famous, and successful boxers of all time utilise agility, and footwork speed like Mohammed Ali, Sugar Ray Leonard, Roy Jones Jr, and Floyd Mayweather.
BASIC SKIPPING DRILLS
Executing basic skipping drills like simply normal freestyle skipping is highly beneficial, especially to beginners of the art. Skipping is an exercise that takes time to master, and if an athlete goes too far down the rabbit hole by looking at complex skipping routines, they may burn out before they have even built up their fundamental skills. It is important to start from the basics, and purely focus on the technique of skipping, and trying to be light on their feet. After a beginner has learned the fundamental skills in jumping over a skipping rope, they can elevate their training by adding in faster repetition, or more rounds to increase their cardiovascular ability. The most important part for beginners is making sure that they get their footwork correct, because the last thing a beginning athlete should be doing is building up bad habits, as this can leak out into their boxing fights.
Skipping on one foot is another reasonably basic drill, which is designed purely to build up strength and conditioning within the athlete's legs. This skipping drill is important for boxers, as they will commonly switch from their left foot to their right foot for extended periods of time, so they can build up enough strength and conditioning to challenge any fighter inside of the ring. This drill can be mixed up, and instead of continuously skipping on one foot, they can hop from their left to their right on each rotation of the rope. This is a little more advanced than basic skipping drills, but is still relatively easy even for beginners of the art. It is important to make sure their weight distribution is correct, so they do not trip over the rope, or injure any parts of their hamstrings, groins, hips, thighs, or their calves.
ADVANCED SKIPPING DRILLS
Even though hopping from left to right is a really basic drill, the boxer skip, or also known as the 'Ali Shuffle' is a more advanced version of hopping from left to right. Boxing athletes will be extremely graceful as they switch the weight from their left foot to their right foot, emulating similar footwork that they would execute during a boxing fight. The athlete's feet should be very close to the ground in order to maintain control, speed, and movement of their limbs. This type of work out drill is important in a boxing match, as it can distract their opponent for long enough so the athlete can land devastating punches. It is also beneficial to an athlete because of the change in weight distribution, as it gives them more power off of their foot, and allows them to execute more precision and speed as they come in for a punch.
Another more advanced drill is called squat jacks, and this drill is a little more complicated, so beginners probably should build up their fundamental skills before attempting this workout. Engaging in this drill requires athletes to lower their body into a half squatted position, and on each rotation of the rope they will jump up, and extend their legs out laterally, as they clear the rope. This will build up significant strength within their groins, and their hamstrings, and will generate a higher level of flexibility throughout their whole footwork system. This drill is more of a strength and conditioning drill, and is highly beneficial to all combat athletes, especially boxers, because of how they move during their fights.
There are other skipping drills that boxing athletes will need to learn like heel to toe skipping. This is a drill where the athlete will bounce off their heels, and transfer the weight into their toes, as they fling the rope around their head. This drill is all about timing, and is an absolute must for athletes that want to incorporate precision footwork into their boxing technique. Another good drill is a two footed jump, and this is a highly unique exercise that involves an athlete jumping off two feet in a forward direction, as they clear the rope, before then jumping backwards off two feet to clear the next repetition of the rope. Athletes can also jump laterally to make the drill even more difficult, which can be challenging. In boxing, being challenged is an everyday occurrence, and boxing athletes will need to put in a lot of hard work, and dedication if they want to increase their skills in footwork, and inevitably become a better fighter inside of the ring.
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