LEG WORKOUT FOR BOXERS
Boxing is an extremely popular combat sport, in fact it is still the most popular form of combat in the United States of America. Many young Americans are training in this Martial Art, and are excelling at all of the boxing components. Training for such a high impact combat sport takes courage, hard work, and determination, and all athletes that employ these attributes will become successful inside of the ring. There are many different factors that will turn an athlete into a boxer, and implementing all of these training aspects are pivotal. Athletes need to increase their boxing footwork angles so they can catch their opponents off guard, and execute a high level of boxing combinations.
What this article covers:
To become a high level striker, all athletes need to build skills in many different facets of the boxing game. Punching technique is critical, and this includes speed, power, and fluency, and without this an athlete will be unable to match it with any competent strikers. Balance, posture, coordination, and agility are also crucial elements, and these all fit into dynamic boxing footwork. Flexibility, and mobility are also important, so an athlete can sustain many of the different movements that are required during a boxing fight. Cardio based workouts, and strength and conditioning workouts are highly valuable to a competitive boxer, and this is especially true with leg strength, as this is how a boxer can develop the best boxing footwork they possibly can.
IS STRENGTH AND CONDITIONING IMPORTANT FOR BOXERS
Boxing is a highly dynamic form of Martial Arts, which involves a considerable amount of energy, and a high aptitude for strategic warfare. Competing at the higher levels of boxing can be extremely challenging, and this is because athletes can fight for up to twelve rounds in a boxing match. Fighting this many rounds is not for the faint hearted, as a typical boxing athlete will have the necessary skills, and conditioning needed to become successful. This type of combat sport requires athletes to use mental toughness, and physical conditioning to endure through such an intense form of Martial Arts. Athletes must build a comprehensive level of strength and conditioning, and this includes explosive power in their muscles, endurance in their muscles, and a high percentage of cardiorespiratory endurance. All athletes need to be fit when they are competing in a combat sport like boxing, and the stronger, and fitter an athlete is, the higher the chance of becoming successful inside of the ring.
There are many different kinds of strength and conditioning workouts that athletes can implement into their training regimes. Traditional weight training can be beneficial to the athlete, but does come at a risk of injury, as well as burning out the neural pathways, as opposed to building a functional strength for boxing. Becoming stronger does not necessarily mean lifting extremely heavy weights, as an athlete can simply lift lighter weight with more repetition, which is a better way of building strength for combat sports. Kettlebell training is a good method of strength and conditioning, where athletes can engage in exercises like kettlebell swings, turkish get ups, kettlebell lunges, kettlebell deadlifts, and various other kinds of workout routines.
Utilising traditional strength exercises like push ups, chin ups, dips, lunges, and squats are some of the best ways an athlete can build up their core strength. Functional exercises like these are always going to be less strenuous on an athlete's body, and will result in a more effective game style. Lifting heavy weights can leave an athlete too bulky in the upper torso, which is not ideal for boxing, as the art requires athletes to be lean, and more all round with their strength and conditioning. Boxing is a very stringent Martial Art, and athletes will need speed, evasiveness, and explosion, and this is why all athletes need to build functional explosive power, in order to become a formidable boxer inside of the ring. Resistance bands are another good way to create a functional strength exercise, and will result in an increased ability in all aspects of boxing, with very little impact on an athlete's body.
HOW TO BUILD LEG STRENGTH
There are many ways that boxers can build leg strength, and building explosive power, and endurance is equally important. Explosive strength in the lower body can boost an athlete's performance in combat sports, and through a number of different exercises all athletes can increase their skill level in punching ability, and boxing footwork techniques considerably. Squat jumps are extremely beneficial to a combat sports athlete, and switching from a slow and methodical movement into a quick and dynamic jump is a great way to build explosive power in the legs. Athletes will start in the standing position with their legs a shoulders width apart, before lowering themself towards the floor. From here the athlete will then use the power in their legs to jump as high as they possibly can, but it is vitally important that they land softly, so they don't cause any type of injury to themselves.
Lunges are one of the most underrated exercises that a combat athlete can practice. There are different sorts of lunges like the traditional lunge, a multi directional lunge, a jumping lunge, or lunges with weights. All of these different types of lunges will benefit athletes by building a significant amount of strength within their legs. A jumping lunge is a highly effective exercise, and involves firstly lowering themself into the lunge position. From here the athlete will explosively jump up, and switch legs while in mid air, and landing back in a lunge position. It is crucial that athletes land with soft knees, and not let the back of their knee touch the ground. This type of workout exercise can be highly effective, and even though it has some danger attached, as long as the athlete is mindful, and exercises with caution, it can be extremely rewarding in terms of their leg strength.
Using medicine balls is a good way to build core strength, and in a combat sport like boxing, this is a crucial element. Athletes can hold a medicine ball, and lower themselves into a squat position, before bringing the ball down towards their feet. From here they can extend their hips, making sure to keep their knees straight, as they throw the ball up in the air. The athlete can then catch the ball, and use the momentum to go straight into the next repetition. The lunge and twist is another great exercise to use with the medicine ball, and athletes will start by standing in a squared up position with the ball held out in front in a ninety degree position. From here they can lunge forward with one leg, as they tense their stomach muscles, and twist their torso to the same side as their extended leg. This is a great drill that can build a comprehensive series of functional strength into an athlete's core muscles.
BOXING FOOTWORK DRILLS
Improving a boxer's skills in footwork is critical to becoming a higher level, and successful fighter inside of the ring. Engaging in boxing movement drills is one of the most convincing ways that an athlete can improve their overall boxing skill. Shadow boxing is an iconic footwork drill that is incorporated by all of the top level boxers in the world. The shadow boxing drill has many different faces, as athletes can use this as a warm up, or a strength and conditioning and cardio based workout, or they can use it for helping with a range of different aspects within the boxing arsenal. Shadow boxing is a great way to perfect an athlete's skills in the art, and they will commonly dance around the ring exploring different styles of footwork, while throwing punches into the air. This drill is designed to help an athlete with their evasive skills, as they step in and out of range of an imaginary opponent, and will also help considerably with their punching fluency. Utilising a drill that has no impact on an athlete's body is vital for increasing their overall ability, while staying safe from injury.
The mirror drill incorporates two athletes working cohesively together to perfect each other's defensive capabilities. In this drill one athlete will be the offensive player, while the other is the defensive player. The offensive player would choose any range of striking combinations, or footwork skills they want, and all the defensive player has to do is mimic the movements. Doing this drill will help athletes to learn extraordinary skills in boxing, as they will commonly evade punches, and use dynamic footwork, which will be ingrained into their muscle memory. The mirror drill is an extremely functional workout that involves footwork, counter striking fluency, and evasive maneuvers.
Sparring games is another great way to learn boxing from a real life perspective. Athletes can engage in light sparring, or games that consist of each athlete to throw strikes towards a specific target, like the shoulders. This is a great drilling game that will help athletes increase their evasion techniques, and all while getting in some much needed sparring. Full contact sparring is another extremely important aspect of the learning process, and athletes can seriously develop their skills by throwing hands with their training partners. The only downside to full contact sparring is the dangers of sustaining injuries, but the flipside is that athletes will build a significant resilience, or fight conditioning, which is only usually achievable in a real fight.
Skipping is another high quality boxing footwork drill that has more than one function. Skipping is used as an extensive way to warm up an athlete's body, because increasing the heart rate, and delivering oxygen to the muscles is vitally important for all combat athletes. Utilising skipping routines is critical in developing muscles for the warm up phase, and can also be used as a cardio based workout, or as a strength workout for an athlete's legs. More importantly, skipping is a way to develop fast feet, and in the game of boxing, all athletes need to step quickly, or use hop steps in order to evade punches, or to close the distance, and inflict damage onto their opponents. A skipping workout can be a highly intense training routine, which will effectively turn a beginner of the sport into a hardcore boxing athlete.
The lateral shuffle is another high quality training workout that is used mainly for beginners of the art. In this movement drill an athlete will need to use their fight stance, as they look to move in a sideways direction. Moving laterally is extremely important in a boxing match, and to increase the level of difficulty athletes can also utilise a lateral jump. The lateral jump is also another way to increase an athlete's leg strength, which in turn will build a stronger footwork base. Moving forwards, and backwards, or cutting in on diagonal angles is also extremely important in boxing, and is taught more in the modern forms of the art. Utilising this type of movement is how athletes can infiltrate their opponents, and set them up for surprise attacks like body hooks, or uppercuts to the jaw. Usually an athlete will duck under a punch, and will look to move diagonally, as they hop step straight into a body hook. It is the validity of these movements that will help these athletes become extremely capable on their feet, and become highly successful as an amateur, or a professional boxer.
BUILDING AGILITY ATTRIBUTES
In boxing agility is a critical element for all Martial Artists. The act of using agility in a boxing fight is where they will use speed, coordination, and balance to move in one direction, before switching to a completely opposite direction. This includes moving quickly towards an opponent, and stopping in a sudden movement. Increasing skills in agility can be implemented in a number of different ways, including utilising the ladder drill. This involves placing a rope ladder on the mats, where the athlete will step in and out of the ladder rungs in a coordinated footwork manner. Using a rope ladder is a great way for an athlete to build dexterity in their ankles, and also build strength in their legs, as well as critical coordination skills that will help them move in a more effective manner during a boxing fight.
Another great agility drill is to set out a series of cones that athletes can use to weave in and out of. All athletes will stand with their hands guarded, and look to circle in and out of the cones, while slipping punches, and throwing shadow boxing strikes. The cones can be used a number of different ways, as an athlete can jog forward, before circling around the cone, and then jogging backwards to help build more agility within their legs. No matter which intricate workout system they choose, one thing is for certain that building a comprehensive series of agility movements is a sure fire way to becoming extremely fast on their feet. This will also help athletes to become highly capable of moving at different angles, which will ultimately bewilder their opponents, and give them a pathway towards victory.
CAN ANYONE BECOME A BOXER
Not everyone can simply just become a boxer, because it takes a considerable amount of dedication, hard work, and athleticism to become successful inside of the ring. This does not mean that anyone can't box, it just means that becoming a competitive level boxer takes a considerable amount of energy, and dedication to the cause. Anybody can pick up a pair of boxing gloves, and learn punching techniques, as well as dynamic footwork skills, but to become a high level competent boxer, then an athlete needs to be somewhat obsessive towards the sport of boxing. To actually learn punching techniques for boxing, is a great way for all levels, ages, and sexes, as quite often mothers or children will engage in boxfit, boxercise, or traditional boxing workouts, in order to improve the quality of their self defense, but mainly to gain higher levels of strength, and fitness.
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