For decades, elite athletes have been prescribed boxing as part of their strength and conditioning programming to prepare them for competition, regardless of whether or not they’re involved in a contact sport. There are many benefits to boxing, but for professional athletes, these are 5 key reasons why their coaches make sure they incorporate boxing into their sports preparation:
Boxing is a full-body activity, which involves movements combining the lower and upper body, as well as the trunk (core). This combination leads to a very intense cardio activity when performed at speed over any duration. With the added benefit of having very low injury risk when performing bag or pad work with the correct form and technique, making it the perfect addition to any athletes training program. The 6 week training camp currently taking place at 12RND fitness; is a full body, high intensity, functional training circuit program with a focus on boxing. It is designed to mimic a championship boxing title fight i.e 12x 3-min rounds with 30 seconds rest between rounds.
Padwork often involves learning combinations and flow drills, which can be made of both punches and evasion, where you need to stick to a sequence or be aware of certain patterns to ensure you don’t get hit. The ability to remember these movements, and avoid the shots coming your way will keep you moving your body quickly and staying alert. Practising this overtime has been shown to improve cognitive function and visual processing speed, which both contribute towards improved reaction time.
Throwing a punch with power and speed, requires the transition of power generated from your lower body through to the punch thrown with your upper body. Understanding how to control your body in this way, and strengthening those movement patterns through repetition with padwork and bag work, allows athletes to translate this to their own sport and movement requirements.
To be a great boxer, you need to first master your footwork and stance to maintain balance through each movement and learn how to be swift and agile in the ring. It also requires absolute accuracy in how you throw your punches to land a hit on your opponent, which all comes from ‘being on balance’. Padwork and sparring challenges this, by forcing you to stay in control of your movements, from your feet to your hands, so when the opportunity to strike is there, you can take advantage of it.
This article was written by Tim West, Founder of 12RND