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.
Warm Up/Dynamic Exercises
Dynamic warmups are a great way to start your warmup because they will help blood flow get to your muscles before you stretch! Having increased blood flow to your muscles helps make your stretching more efficient, and will also prevent injury. A tip for dynamic warm up exercises is to start at a low effort and slowly increase to 50% or 75% of maximal effort. If done in this way, the higher percentages will be short bursts and not long lived. Below are some dynamic warm up exercises.
- Power Skipping
- High Knees
- Light Bodyweight Fitness
Skip and jump as high as possible! Continue for a certain linear distance. This will increase blood flow to your legs.
One at a time, bring your knees up parallel to the ground. Do this in repetition at a quick pace. This is also for 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.
Regular stretching should be done full body and last 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.
This will bring blood flow directly to the muscles you will be using during your training and also let you have a look at your form to make sure it is correct. Shadowboxing is key in traditional boxing exercises as well as non- traditional boxing exercises.
Light Bodyweight Fitness
Lighter bodyweight exercises will bring blood and warm up the rest of your body. Bodyweight exercises will be used in your actual exercise and fitness as well.
Traditional Boxing Exercises
- Bodyweight Workouts
- Situps and Crunches
- Jump Rope
- Shadow Boxing
- Speed Bag
- Pad Work
- Heavy Bag
- Cobra Bag
Your body is the best tool you have. When you step into the ring it's all you will have, so conditioning yourself to be used to how your body moves and be comfortable with that is essential! Below are some common bodyweight exercises; Stay wrapped through all of these if you can.
With wraps, these will be done on your knuckles (with wraps your wrist will not bend to put your palm on the ground, so if you close your fist and do the pushups on your knuckles then it will be easier on you). The different styles of push ups will help condition the pectoralis major and minor (chest), latissimus dorsi (lats), 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 you box.
Different types of cardio (running, swimming, stairs) will aid in your boxing. 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.
Jump rope is an intensive cardiovascular workout that boxers have used for the longest time in order to get into fighting 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 is mindless 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 coordinated by a partner or a coach so this is an exercise that works on hand eye coordination as well, but also works on listening to the direction of another person. Hit pads involve the person who is boxing going through and throwing combinations that are given by the person running the pads. This will help you get better at seeing 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 almost impossible 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!
- Tennis Ball Drills
- Ball Drops
- Punch Drops
- Wall Ball
- Variations on Bodyweight Exercises
- Wrist Weights
- Substitutes for Heavy Bags
Tennis Ball Drills
Tennis balls are cheap and common (in comparison to punching bags or speed bags), so using a tennis ball instead of a speed bag or pads is a good alternative! Below are a few exercises that can be done with a tennis ball.
Hold the tennis ball a 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 handed or two as though you were a baseball player.
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.
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.