10 Boxing Drills For Fitness
Aside from running the risk of permanent brain damage, boxing has been a tried and true method for getting in shape—with these top 10 boxing drills for fitness you’ll be shedding fat, toning muscle, and throwing jabs like Floyd Mayweather Jr. before the bell chimes ding-ding.
- “Breathing.” When your high school coach was standing there yelling at you from across the field in his a-little-too-close-for-comfort-short-shorts, it wasn’t all about his deflated ego. No matter what form of exercise, breathing is a crucial part of it. Developing your diaphragm muscles by practicing controlled breathing drills can really up your game. It’s a one way ticket to a KO if your breathing has you half assing it in the ring.
- “Jump-rope.” No, don't guzzle your protein shake, grab your little sisters pink rope and play some double dutch. Boxing fitness is about the coordination of your whole body, both upper and lower. A jump rope drill requires you to work your legs and arms independent of each other so you learn to move in the ring without tripping over yourself. Additionally jump rope forces you to remain light on your feet, giving you the advantage of being a moving target.
- “Shadow Boxing.” Embrace your vanity and get in front of the mirror. Throwing punches at an invisible opponent prepares your body for more intensive workouts later on. More importantly, this one man boxing drill allows you to see where your weaknesses are. Your reflection can show a hanging guard, poor footwork, or that stupid look you get on your face when you’re really concentrating.
- “Ring Circling.” This fitness drill stresses your leg’s muscle memory to develop a map of the ring. Once you’ve mastered moving forward in a straight line, it’s time to move in a circle around the ring, stop, and switch directions. This provides you with the needed special awareness of your surroundings as to position your opponent to your advantage. This also builds strength and speed in your footwork.
- “Line Drills.” Similar to ring circling except you include handwork. Move toward your opponent while striking at the same time. Combining these two efforts develops your coordination and combos. These combos are important when you only have a split second to decide where to move and when you should strike.
- “Heavy Bag.” Most people aren’t going to volunteer their flesh for you to pound on, so investing in a heavy bag as a substitute is a good idea. The heavy bag is a great sparing device because it combines offence and defense training. You need to treat this drill as if you were boxing with someone, never standing in once place, always circling the bag.
- “Duck Rope.” Unless you’re trying to get your face mashed in, this is one of the most important defensive drills. Grab some rope about five to ten feet long and tie them off at two locations to create a line about chin height. Starting on one side, imagining the ripe as the line of fire, duck underneath, while maintaining both foot and handwork. These motions teach the defensive bob and weave technique.
- “Medicine Ball.” That awkward, heavy ball sitting in the corner of your local gym is possibly the most versatile piece of equipment you can own. There are hundreds of core exercises pertinent to boxing fitness. A strong core enables your body to hone your skills more efficiently. Stronger core fitness is directly related to your success as a boxer.
- “Sprint Punching.” Extremely exhausting like any NPR broadcast, sprint punching is pure endurance. While maintaining your boxing stance, throw one-two punches over and over. Add a weight (one to five pounds) and observe how quickly your form and speed wither. This practice is vital if you want to be the last man standing in a bout.
- “Speed Bag.” It’s pretty simple math, if you can hit the opponent more often than he can hit you, you will inflict more damage (assuming you don’t hit like an infant). The speed bag drill teaches your arms and hands to function as pummeling tools. High velocity strikes make contact with the more vulnerable targets of the body because the opponent lacks time to utilize defensive measures.