Monday, January 9, 2012

Boxing Exercises to Strengthen Back & Reduce Pain

Back pain -- especially lower back pain -- is an excruciating problem for many adults. If you struggle with recurring back pain, you should follow your doctor's advice for proper treatment. In many cases, however, your doctor may recommend that you attempt to strengthen your core muscles to better protect your back, according to the Mayo Clinic. Since boxers rely heavily on powerful cores to throw punches, many of the same exercises a boxer uses to target these muscles may be beneficial to you in reducing your back pain.
Situp Punches
A common core strengthening exercise used by many boxers is situp punches. Lie on the floor in front of a heavy bag, gripping the bottom of the bag between your knees or feet. Perform an ordinary situp so that you are leaning close to the bag at the top of the motion; before returning to the starting position, throw a punch to the bag. On the next rep, throw a punch with the opposite hand. This will target many different core muscles at one time. For an added challenge, throw a punch with each hand between each situp.
Partner Rotations
Another effective core exercise is performed with a partner mirroring your movements. Sit back-to-back with your partner with both your back straight and your feet planted on the floor to drive you together. Hold a medicine ball at chest level in both hands, then rotate your core and hand the ball to your partner. Your partner rotates the opposite direction, rotating the ball in a complete circle around you both and handing it back to you. The American Council on Exercise recommends that you reverse the direction of the movement after a set number of reps to work your core completely.
Perform supermans simply by lying face down on a mat with your arms straight above your head. Flexing the muscles of your lower back, raise your legs, arms and chest off the ground. Only your stomach should still be in contact with the ground. Hold the position for several seconds, relax and repeat.
Blast Series
Blast drills are extremely effective for both core strength and cardiovascular conditioning. Several possible variations of the drill exist; in the most common, you should simply stand in front of a heavy bag and throw straight punches as fast as possible, alternating left and right hands. To work your core differently, stand closer to the bag and alternate left and right hooks, instead of straights. Make sure you pivot fully through each punch. If you are not actually trained in boxing, make sure you practice under the supervision of a qualified boxing coach.

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