Friday, January 13, 2012

Abs Workouts for Boxing

Boxing is a challenging sport requiring aerobic fitness, endurance, strength and power in equal measure. Boxers train hard to develop the necessary physical attributes to be successful in the ring. One area of a boxer's body that is especially important is the abdomen.
About the Abdominal Muscles
The term "abs" is often used as an abbreviation for rectus abdominus, which is the muscle that runs up the front of your stomach. Abs is also the term used to describe the muscles of the midsection, commonly referred to as your core. Along with your rectus abdominus muscles, your core consists of your oblique or waist muscles, the erector spinea muscles of your lower back and your transverse abdominus, which is the natural "girdle" that compresses your abdominal cavity contents. As significant as your rectus abdominus is, these other muscles are equally important in boxing.
Strong Abs for Protection
As a boxer, you need strong abs for two main reasons, one of which is protection. Strong abs provide a barrier between your internal organs and the powerful body blows your opponent lands during a bout. Weak abs mean that body blows will be more painful and are more likely to result in you getting winded and possibly losing the bout. Strengthen your abs to protect yourself from body blows' effects.
Strong Abs for Performance
The second reason you need strong abs for boxing is performance. Most movements in boxing are initiated by your abdominal muscles. Ducking, dodging and especially punching require a strong midsection. Your core is the link between your arms and legs, and any weakness in this area will result in lost power and energy. Stronger abs will transfer to all aspects of your boxing.
Ab Training Exercises
Perform a variety of exercises for your midsection to ensure your abs are up to the demands boxing places on them. Select exercises that work your abdominals from all angles so that you develop all-around core strength. Performing variations of crunches, side bends, leg raises, planks, cable twists and back extensions will ensure your midsection is strong from all directions. Variety is key for successful boxing ab training.
Developing Stronger Abs
Developing strength requires that you place a significant overload on your muscles---and your abdominals are no different. Although many ab exercises use body weight for resistance, you will probably find that over time you will need to use equipment such as medicine balls and cables to continually strengthen your core. High reps, 20 or more, are effective for developing muscular endurance, but punching harder, ducking quicker and absorbing big body blows is more reliant on muscular strength. To develop your abs for boxing, try to perform exercises that keep your reps below 12 per set to focus more on strength and less on endurance.

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