List Of Boxing Exercises
Boxing is a sport that is physically intensive. This means that lots of training before a match can even take place! Training can involve exercises that use gear or exercises that only use your own bodyweight. Additionally, some exercises during training can take the place of using gear and work on the same skills.
List of Boxing Exercises
- Power Skipping
- High Knees
- Light Bodyweight Fitness
- Situps and Crunches
- Jump Rope
- Shadow Boxing
- Speed Bag
- Pad Work
- Heavy Bag
- Cobra Bag
- Ball Drops
- Punch Drops
- Wall Ball
- Variations on Bodyweight Exercises
- Wrist Weights
- Substitutes for Heavy Bags
Warm Up/Dynamic Boxing Exercises
Power skipping encompasses skipping and jumping as high as possible, powering one’s legs into the air on each skip. As you power skip you’ll want to move forward over the course of a certain linear distance. This will increase blood flow to your legs while also helping to stretch out your hips.
One at a time, bring your knees up parallel to the ground. Do this alternating in repetition at a quick pace. This exercise can also help strengthen and loosen your legs.
Make small and large circles with your arms held out in line with your shoulders. This brings blood flow to your shoulders and arms, preparing you to throw jabs and crosses as needed.
Stretching should be an integral part of any athlete's training repertoire, and boxing is no exception. Regular stretching should be done in a way that includes the full body and lasts for 10-15 seconds per muscle group. Stretches can alternatively be done with a partner that progressively adds tension to the muscles and stretches the fibers more. There are countless stretches a boxer can utilize to get ready for a training session, with each allowing a boxer to loosen up and avoid injuries during more intense exercises.
Light Bodyweight Fitness
Lighter bodyweight exercises will bring blood and warm up the rest of your body. Additionally, because this style of training will strictly utilize bodyweight, additional equipment is almost never needed. Bodyweight exercises will be used in your actual exercise and fitness as well.
Traditional Boxing Exercises
With wraps, these will be done on your knuckles (wraps will prevent you from putting your palm on the ground, so closing your fist and doing the pushups on your knuckles will be easier). The different styles of push ups will help condition the pectoralis major and minor (chest), latissimus dorsi (lats), and triceps and biceps brachii (arm muscles). There are several smaller muscle groups in between the shoulder blades that push ups also help condition. All around, push ups are a solid base to start with.
Situps and Crunches
Building a tight core is necessary for boxing. Your core is how you breathe, where your base is, aids in stability, and is the softest tissue on the front half of your body. Having a strong core means that at the end of the day, you are a stronger individual and you are going to be safer when boxing.
Different types of cardio (running, swimming, stairs) will aid in your boxing ability. The longer your muscles can work, the longer you will stay in the fight. Boxing itself is cardio, so supplementing other types of cardio will also get you into a better place with your boxing. Additionally, cardio can help fighters spar for longer on account of the improved cardiovascular endurance commonly associated with cardio exercises.
Jump rope is an intensive cardiovascular workout that boxers have used for the longest time in order to get into fighting shape. Jump ropes are easy to find in just about any boxing gym, and offer a historically proven way to get into tip top boxing shape.
Shadowboxing is a tried and true method of exercise. Traditionally done in front of a mirror, shadowboxing warms up and gets a light workout on the muscles that you will use to box. Additionally, it will let you watch your form and correct mistakes that you see!
The speed bag works hand-eye coordination. Watching the rebound of the bag and working on timing of punches is helpful for every aspect of boxing. Speed bags in general are a neat workout because timing is essential, meaning it gives your brain a workout. A lot of boxing involves repetition and following instruction of a coach, so a speed bag giving your brain a boost is a good change of pace.
Hit pads are held by a partner or a coach, who also coordinate the combinations the boxer will throw. Thus, using hit pads works on hand eye coordination, while also working on listening to the direction of another person. Pad work will help you get better at visualizing where your punches need to be when you throw them.
The heavy bag is where strength training comes into play. Whether the bag is held by another person or not, and whether or not your punches are being called by another person, the heavy bag will tax your stamina and give your muscles a workout. Being able to do several consecutive rounds on a heavy bag will prepare you for an actual match.
A cobra bag is a slightly more obscure punching bag that is specifically targeted for uppercuts. An issue that boxers run into is that their uppercuts are difficult to throw against the traditional heavy bag. A bag called the cobra bag was developed, and it has an angle extremely similar to an individual’s jawline for practicing technique and punching power on an opponent’s face. This type of bag does not hang, but is mounted to a column!
Non-Traditional Boxing Exercises
Hold the tennis ball at about shoulder height and put your opposite hand behind your back. Drop the ball and catch it with your hand that was behind your back. Progressively move lower until you are barely able to catch the ball.
Hold the tennis ball out as though you are punching a one or a two with your off hand at your face like you were in stance. Drop the ball and try to catch it with the hand not already extended, then get into position as though you had just punched with that hand.
Throw the ball against a wall and catch it one or two handed, as though you were a baseball player. This exercise helps improve hand eye coordination and reaction time.
Variations on Bodyweight Exercises
Varying your bodyweight exercises to target the muscle groups that the heavy bag does will help be a supplement and a replacement for the bag itself. Bodyweight exercises require minimal equipment, which means you can put them to use almost anywhere.
A cheaper alternative to a heavy bag would be wrist weights to add resistance to your punches. Caution: Heavy weights on the wrists can add too much tension to your joints and could cause injury.
Substitutes for Heavy Bags
We have already talked about how there are some variations and substitutes that can be used for speed bags and for the fitness gained from a heavy bag, but for the skill garnered from punching a heavy bag there is no substitute besides hard work and practice. Sparring or hit pads are the alternatives for the experience of actually throwing punches against a moving target or against a set target itself.