Monday, January 9, 2012

4 Ways to Quicken Your Reflexes for Boxing

Reflexes are quick, automatic responses to stimuli that result from nerve impulses traveling faster than thought. Though fast reflexes depend on genetics or innate ability, you can train yourself to respond more quickly in specific situations. Use drills to improve your response to stimuli, or practice plyometric exercises which enhance reaction speed. Consult a physician before starting a new exercise routine.
Developing reflexes means improving your reaction time, or the interval between noticing a stimulus and responding to it. First you must detect the stimulus or cue before you react to it. You must hear the gunshot at the beginning of a race before you start running, for example. Decision-making is also necessary to select a course of action, and finally engaging your muscles to complete the necessary actions. Practice sport-specific exercises to develop the most effective reflexes. A ball-passing drill would not help a competitive swimmer, for example.
Example Drills
Practice drills in which you must respond quickly to a voice command or whistle blow. Lie on the ground until you hear your coach shout "run" or another predetermined word or phrase. Jump up as quickly as possible and run to the sound of your coach's voice. Alternatively, practice dribbling a ball until you hear a direction called out. Run immediately in the direction specified until you hear a stop signal, then return to normal dribbling. Repeat each drill several times.
Plyometric exercises develop controlled impact and maximum power. Power is the ability to move with great strength in a short period of time, so it relates to the response aspect of reflex training. Plymoteric exercises such as box jumps mimic actions from sports, such as dodging moguls in skiing or charging the net in tennis or soccer. Focus on quality instead of quantity to get the most out of plyometric exercises. Avoid plyometrics if you are not already in excellent physical condition, because of the risk of injury.
Box Jumps
Use a 6- to 12-inch box pushed up against the wall for stability. Stand 3 to 6 feet in front of the box and engage your core muscles as you shift your hips backward and bend your knees. Swing your arms behind you as you bend over until your heels want to lift off the ground. Pause briefly at the bottom of the downward phase then jump up powerfully onto the box, swinging your arms forward for momentum. Land as softly and quietly as possible. Repeat box jumps only for as long as you can retain good form.

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