Been going for boxing fitness classes to keep yourself fit and burn some calories? Good on you because that's one of the better forms of exercises to perform to help strengthen you up while losing some weight. Plus it makes you look like a fighting machine.
However, working in the gym, I have seen many people who take up something like boxing but they do not invest as much commitment to making it more effective for them to attain their fitness goals. Similar to picking something up recreationally like running or a sport, you will have to put in some research into the activity you choose to partake in. But fret not, that's what The Training Geek is here for.
So from a Strength & Conditioning point of view, I am going to give you some tips to help you become more efficient in your boxing so that you can fully utilize it in your training whether it's using mitts, or bag work or sparring.
1. Keep Moving Around. - Do not stick to the same spot and position. Move around and work angles. - If you are the one holding the mitts, make sure you move about so that you allow the person boxing to move and strike at different angles. - By doing so, the person boxing is able to work on his footwork which translates to his mobility and stability. Good for the shoulder and hip stabilizing muscles.
2. Engage While Moving. - Similar to the first point, you need to learn to strike while moving, be it a bag moving away from you or the trainer holding the mitts. - This means being able to apply the same amount of force while you move. - Being able to perform this effectively allows for better timing for striking and being more energy efficient. - It also means dynamic stability as you are able to stabilize the core/spine and still perform a powerful movement.
3. Using of The Hips for Striking. - Common mistake made by amateurs who start boxing is to use pure upper body strength to generate the striking drive or power. - The arms are smaller body segments and the muscles involved in moving the arms are smaller and less resistance to fatigue over periods of intermittent work. - Correct method of producing force in striking movements (i.e. Punches/kicks) is to generate rotational force from the hips and transferring the force from the torso to the limbs. - The scientific name of this is the summation of forces where each movement produced generates force and adds up as the next movement takes over. E.g. The hips rotate, generating force for the shoulders to move forward then into the arms which straighten into the punch. - The more effective the summation of forces, the easier and more powerful your punches will be! - One way to correct this is to punch long and reach. For kicks, think of "flipping" your hips over while you kick.
4. Paint A Mental Picture. - As the title speaks for itself, imagine a face on the mitts or the bag you are working on. - Mental imagery allows you to gain more motivation while training as well as puts training into a realistic perspective. - By doing so, you also train with a purpose. That is to take that face off!
So, 4 simple tips to help improve your striking when you go for a boxing class, or any boxing training. Practice this at home in front of the mirror or someone to make sure you are doing it right. You will notice the difference in your strikes and soon you will be striking like one of the guys who are capable of a knockout victory!
Stay Strong and Keep Striking, The Training Geek.