If you are looking to adopt some slightly left-field exercise routines to freshen up your home workouts, there is definitely lots to be learned from looking at how the leading boxers get in shape for a big fight.
At the top level, professional boxing can last up for up to 12 three minute rounds, and for the entirety of those 36 minutes the fighters are constantly on the move, working from a base of strong legs and light feet before calling upon a solid core and a hefty ‘snap’ in their arms to deliver that all-important punch power.
Sounds tiring, right? It’s no coincidence that boxers are among the fittest athletes on the planet – even in the heavyweight division, where pugilists routinely tip the scales at 250lb and more.
For inspiration, look no further than the story of Tyson Fury. The Gypsy King, as he is known, has faced a number of demons in the past couple of years, and at one point he tipped the scales at more than 28 stone (400lb+) after being banned from the sport. But the Brit rediscovered his discipline and love of boxing, and shed a staggering ten stone (142lbs) to get back to his fighting weight.
Down and out in 2016, Fury battled back and got into the best physical shape of his life, and by February 2020 he was fighting for the WBC world heavyweight title against the dangerous Deontay Wilder. The champion was no match for Fury’s enhanced power and physicality, and one of the most amazing comeback stories in sport was complete. He is even a favorite in the latest boxing odds for Fury vs Joshua should they meet in a unification bout, such is the Gypsy King’s renaissance.
So, to shake up your training program, why not adopt some of the exercises most commonly found in a boxer’s regime? We can’t promise they will turn you into a world champion, but it’s a start at least!
On the Ropes
Anyone that has watched the Rocky franchise of movies will know that Sylvester Stallone is rarely seen without a skipping rope in hand.
Skipping is an excellent exercise for boxers of all levels. It builds cardio, coordination and leg strength, while building a certain lightness of foot – essential for evading punches and getting into good positions in the ring.
So grab a rope and get jumping. You can start with the simple skipping on the spot, before trying more advanced techniques like criss-crossing and double jumps.
Bag It Up
Both heavyweight punch bags and lighter, more portable options are affordable and can be stored easily in your home.
These are a fantastic way to exercise pretty much every muscle group from head to toe, and the key is to stay continuously on the move rather than just standing on the spot and leathering the bag as hard as you can – this will test your cardio while toning your arms, legs and core.
If you opt for the lighter punchbag, you can really test your aerobic capabilities by pretending you are in a mock ‘fight’ – imagine you’re in a six-round contest, punching and moving continuously for three minutes then take a one minute break before the next.
In the Shadows
If you are a bit short of cash or lack storage space in your home for a punchbag, shadow boxing is a free way to get yourself moving.
You are, quite literally, punching thin air when you shadow box, and so you will need to use your imagination as you size up your opponent.
But shadow boxing offers a fantastic cardio workout, and you will find your resistance and strength grows as you go through your repertoire of jabs, hooks and uppercuts.
Boxing is a fantastic way to get fit and add variety to your exercise program… you might even unleash some pent-up frustration, too!