Ever since the beginning of time, men have been hitting each other with their fists. Boxing is the modern avatar of that prehistoric urge to fight, and that transformed it into a sport in which two boxers have a go against each other wearing boxing gloves, for a series of one to three minute rounds.
Points are awarded for each legal blow that lands on the opponent, and a winner is declared based on who is left standing in the ring, or the boxer who has the most points. While it's a physical and sometimes brutal contact sport, wherein blood is often seen in the ring. It is also sometimes called the sweet science because of the agility, grace, and speed required of boxers.
This article will offer tips and advice on becoming a competitive boxer. You will learn a few training techniques used by boxing coaches, including shadow boxing, jumping rope, and using a speed bag. We will also see the use of a heavy bag and medicine ball for training. If you are an amateur boxer looking for training tips and techniques, let this article show you the basics of this active sport.
One of the most physical and demanding sports in the world, boxing involves a varied training regime. It facilitates the boxer to build up his fitness, technique, footwork, and coordination required in the ring.
Aerobic / Anaerobic Exercises
Boxing, like most sports, is an aerobic sport which demands high endurance and fitness levels. This means that a major part of the boxer's training regime consists of cardiovascular routines and aerobic exercises. Sit ups, press ups, pull ups, and star jumps form a vital part of training, helping to build up muscle and endurance so very important in the ring.
Boxers normally go through a set routine of specific exercises after the training regime, so that their mobility, strength, and stamina are improved. Jogging and sprinting are recommended to build up the aerobic energy required in the ring.
Jump Rope Training
Jump rope training, also known as skipping, is one of the most popular training method and an essential part of a boxer's training plan. Skipping improves agility, footwork, speed, and endurance. For jump rope training, boxers jump over the rope for several 3-minute 'rounds', so that they get used to the stamina and endurance necessary in each round of a fight. There are three ways of using the skipping rope for training.
- Running in Place
In this routine, the boxer runs on the spot, while moving the rope over his head and skipping over the rope. It is considered to be the best exercise for stamina and endurance building.
- Crisscross Jump
The crisscross adds a more challenging dimension to the basic jump rope training. While doing a crisscross, the boxer crosses his arms (and the rope) as the rope passes down in front of the body, skipping through the loop that is formed, uncrossing his arms during the next skip.
Shadowboxing is an essential part of a boxer's training routine, permitting the boxer to prepare his muscles at the start of a training session, before they move on to more intense forms of exercise. In shadowboxing, the boxer works on his own and does not require a partner, often imaging a particular partner as a way to mentally prepare himself for a future fight. In this, the boxer practices in front of a mirror, throwing punches and getting into a fighting rhythm, and identifying techniques to be worked on during the rest of the session.
There are mainly two styles: the short method and the long method. In the long method, the boxer shuffles his feet to rock his body backwards and forwards, while practicing straight shots and jabs. Instead, the short method is used to practice close range body shots. The boxer moves his body from left to right using a side-to-side motion, so that he can practice short punches.
Sparring with a Partner
While the bulk of a boxer's training routine is done outside the ring, another training tip is sparring. Practiced in the ring, it is an important way to practice punches and defense techniques, as well as aiding in a boxer's fitness and endurance levels. The purpose of sparring is for a boxer to work together on a routine, allowing him to improve or master certain techniques and not to fight and beat his sparring partner. While sparring, boxers use extra padding, special gloves, along with a protective headgear, to prevent the possibility of serious injury.
They employ bag training to improve their jabs and punches. It also improves anaerobic conditioning. This uses various kinds of bags to work on various types of attacks.
- Double End Bag
Attached to the ceiling and floor, a double end bag is used to practice accurate jab and punch throwing on a moving target.
- Speed Bag
The speed bag is full of air, and is the smallest type of bag which is fixed at the top to a rebound platform. The purpose of a speed bag is to facilitate the boxer in keeping his hands up in front of his face during a fight.
- Body Simulation Bag
The body opponent bag is made of synthetic materials, and is shaped like a body usually placed on a fixed platform. This helps the boxer to practice his punches on a simulated human opponent.
Last but not the least, one of the most neglected, yet vital tip for boxing is a good balanced diet to stay in shape and keep up with the demands of the hardcore regime. Boxers need to eat well in order to maintain muscle strength and energy in the ring, and avoid feeling tired and sluggish part way through a fight. If you are serious about taking up boxing, it is a good idea to find yourself a trainer.