Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Strength & Cardio Endurance Exercise Workouts for Boxing

Boxing successfully requires many physical traits, among them speed, agility, cardiovascular endurance and simple toughness. Strength, the raw power to put some authority behind your punches, is another of these traits. Boxers use several different training methods to build up their strength while training.
Heavy Bags
Punching a heavy bag builds strength by working muscles in the exact context they will get worked in the ring. When you strike a heavy bag, the weight of the bag resists your punch in the same way a human body would. Resistance, whether it's a heavy bag or a dumb bell, is what makes your muscles work harder and grow stronger. According to world-champion boxing and kickboxing coach Bill Packer, slow and methodical punches are the best choice for building strength on a heavy bag. Although you can use a heavy bag for speed drills and combination work, neither generates the force of individual punches carefully executed.
Core Workout
Only a fraction of the force in a punch comes from the arms. The muscles of your core are what rotates your torso to put your mass behind a punch. The stronger your core muscles are, the stronger your punches will be. Some boxers do a variety of sit-ups and crunches to build their core muscles. Others use exercise equipment including weights. Some even go in for group fitness options such as yoga, Pilates or rigorous dance.
Weight Training
Lifting weights remains the most commonly used method for building strength. Weight training for boxing covers all the major muscle groups, with emphasis on the arms, back, shoulders and legs. Although there are some exceptions, boxers rarely lift to gain mass. Rather, they complete high-rep, medium-weight sets that build strength without adding pounds. Barbells, dumb bells, weight machines, medicine balls and kettlebells are all among the tools in a boxer's weight-training arsenal.
Shadow Boxing
Shadow boxing might involve an actual shadow, a mirror or an imagined opponent. In all three cases, a boxer practices his technique in the air with neither a partner nor an opponent. The purpose of shadow boxing, says coach Dave Coffman, is to refine your form and technique without added distraction. Although this doesn't build muscle strength directly, it contributes to a boxer's punch strength by improving his form. A good punch, thrown with proper footwork and engaging nearly the entire upper body, is many times stronger than a poorly thrown punch. Shadow boxing may not make a boxer stronger, but it trains him to multiply the delivery of what strength he has.

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