Complete Boxing Training Guide
Few things in life are as exhilarating as taking a fist to the face and then returning the favor by landing a jaw-rocking hook on your opponent’s face. If you can’t understand that, then you’re not ready to become a boxer. However, if violent head-on combat sports excite you, then chances are that you’re going to love boxing training.
Boxing is the ultimate workout. It brings us closer to our primal natures than we’ve ever been, and is a great way to increase cardiovascular endurance, full-body strength, and aerobic capacity. If you’ve got stress on your mind, it’s the best way to let it all out, and if you want to get the best workout that you’ve gotten in your life then boxing is the way to go.
The great thing about boxing is that you can work your way up over time. You can start with virtually no skill whatsoever, but with a few months of intense training and dedication you can be skilled enough to register for your first fight.
The good thing is that you don’t need a lot to be a successful boxer. All you need is some basic boxing gloves, a pair of decent running shoes, a jump rope, and access to a punching bag, sparring partner, or boxing gym membership.
Today, we’re going to be going over all of these points and tell you everything that you need to know to be the next championship boxer.
List of Equipments for Boxing Workouts
Before you show up to your first day of boxing, you’ll need to get some basic boxing equipment. These are both for your own safety and the safety of your opponent. Boxing without gear quickly turns an organized and regulated fight into a no-holds-barred, violent street fight with the possibility of serious injury or even death. This is not what you want happening.
Here are the basics that you’re going to need to pick up.
A good pair of boxing gloves is probably going to be your most important investment. If you’re just starting out, you’ll want a pair of all-purpose gloves that will allow you to train, hit the bag, and do some light sparring with. If you’ve got the extra cash, though, you should start with two pairs. A light pair of training and bag work, and a heavier pair for sparring.
If you plan on sparring with a partner, then you’re definitely going to want to buy yourself a decent headgear. While the mouthguard just protects your teeth, the headgear wraps around your entire head and protects your head from concussions, your nose and eyes from direct hits and your jaw from dislocation.
Boxing involves a lot of fast paced moments where you'll be using your feet a lot and cutting angles. You'll need a good pair of training shoes to avoid ankle and foot injuries. Shoes designed for boxing provide better footwork allowing you to throw your combinations effectively.
Hand Wraps for Boxing
In addition to gloves, you’ll also want to get yourself some hand wraps. This is going to be the cheapest part of your get-up. Boxing hand wraps are long 2-inch wide wraps that you’ll be required to wrap around your wrists, hands, and fingers. They provide extra stability and prevent your wrist from fracturing or straining whenever you land a heavy punch.
High Quality Mouthguard
If you value your teeth and want to avoid paying $40,000 for a new set of dental implants, then you’re going to want to wear a mouthguard. These rubber guards are going to provide a protective barrier for your gums and teeth and prevent them from being knockout out or loosened in the event that you take a few hits to the face (which you will).
Warm Up Drills
Your warm up is going to be the most important part of your workout. Unfortunately, it’s also the part that most amateurs tend to skip. Once they get their first painful muscle strain, though, you’ll never see them forget a warm up ever again.
A warm up gets your blood pumping, your muscles stretched out, and oxygen flowing through your body. This means that you’re going to be more flexible, and less likely to sustain sudden stress injuries that are the result of putting high tension on cold muscles.
Let’s briefly go over how to go through your warm up routine.
You should always start your routine with some dynamic stretches. Unlike static stretches which can actually overstretch the muscle, dynamic stretches involve short repetitions, and active motions which stretch your muscles and ligaments to get them ready to perform high-intensity movements.
Check out this video from boxing legend Vasyl Lomachenko going through his stretching routine. Be sure to incorporate these into your routine.
The next step is to get your blood pumping a bit. The best way to do this is with some jump roping. Rocky Balboa didn’t spend hours on the rope for nothing. Jump roping is hands-down the best way to increase the fast-twitch reaction of your feet and lower legs while giving yourself an awesome cardio workout to warm you up.
We recommended 3x3 minute rounds in the following order:
For advanced athletes, round 2 would be 3 minutes of straight speed rope and round 3 would be 3 minutes of high knees.
After your intense bout of jumping rope, you’re going to want to cool down and slowly bring your body back to its base heart rate. The best way to achieve this is to go on a brief jog. Hop on the treadmill and run a short half mile or jog around your gym for a few minutes. Finish out your warm up routine with another brief stretch to ensure that your muscles are completely ready for the oncoming onslaught of your boxing workout.
The Fun Part | Boxing Training
No fight is going to be exactly the same, so you’re going to want to mix up some of your hit combinations, and add combos to your repertoire. This will make it harder for you opponent to guess your next move and make you a more versatile fighter.
Here are some basic combinations to practice the next time that you’re shadow boxing, sparring or working on the bag:
The better you get at basic 1-2 or 1-2-3 combinations, the more complex you can get until eventually you have full fight sequences playing out in your minds eye before you even start to swing.
Focus on your Technique
Your technique and stance are two of the most important things to focus on during your boxing session. Where many amateurs mess up is by boxing with poor technique. By working without technique your training your body to do things the wrong way. This can lead to injury over time and prevent you from reaching your full potential as a fighter.
While practicing, make sure that you’re on your toes, your feet are always face forward, your hands are up protecting your face, and your body positioning gives the slimmest possible target to your opponent. If you practice with good posture and technique, then when it comes time for the actual fight, you won’t even have to think about it.
Shadow Boxing Drills
If you don’t have a partner to spar with or a bag to hit, then the next best option is shadow boxing. One of the greatest benefits of shadow boxing is that you can literally do it anywhere and anytime that you want to.
If you’re on vacation or sitting in your bedroom bored at night, just get up and do a quick 5-minute shadow boxing routine. This will allow you to maintain your form and speed no matter where you are. It’s also a great way to get in some quick high-intensity cardio.
Heavy Bag Drills
The next best thing that is going to be important to increasing your endurance is a heavy bag drill. This involves you putting some serious work into a heavy bag that weighs around 100 to 150 pounds.
The great thing about a heavy bag is that you can really let loose on them. You don’t have to worry about hurting your sparring partner which allows you to apply the full force and power of your punch to your target
Aside from making your punches more powerful, this is also a great way to practice your form while fully exerting yourself. Unlike shadow boxing, you’ll also have to focus on making safe hits with a straightened wrist to avoid injuring yourself. This is important for you to take into your sparring and fights.
Sparring is by far the best thing that you can do to make yourself a better fighter. Practicing with a fast, moving opponent that hits back develops your reflexes, forces you to think creatively, builds your natural rhythm, forces you to learn good defense along with offense. Make sure that you remember to wear your mouthguard and head protection while you’re in the ring.
Boxing Conditioning for Success
Outside of your boxing routines, you’ll also want to maintain a healthy conditioning routine. Whenever you’re not actively hitting the bags and sparring, you should be doing exercise to increase your endurance, power, strength, and keeping your body fat percentage low so that you can qualify for the lowest possible weight class.
One of the best ways to start your daily conditioning routine is with some simple bodyweight exercises. Things like pushups, pullups, situps, dips, burpees, and other exercises are perfect for developing muscle and conditioning your body for endurance.
Bodyweight workouts increase your lean, fast-twitch muscle fibers which give you more explosive power. In addition to this, bodyweight exercises also give you better control over your body which is essential if you want to be stay in control during a fight.
Fighters should always include at least some weight lifting into their training routines. Even Bruce Lee who was one of the shortest and leanest fighters of his time would lift weights for at least an hour every day of the week. Not only does lifting weights build muscle and add to your punching power, but it also conditions your body to work under heavy loads and stress
Once your a few rounds into a match, your entire body is going to feel strained and slowed. If you’ve conditioned it to operate under the strain of a heavy weight lifting workout, then you’re going to be able to maintain your form for longer.
Steady State Cardio
Aside from building strength and power, you’re also going to need to work on your cardiovascular endurance. Often the people who win fights are the people who are able to outlast their opponent. As soon as you get tired, you start losing your form and open yourself up to quick strikes that can cost you the match.
The best way to increase your endurance is by running. Practice running for bouts of 30 to 40 minutes while maintaining a steady raised heart rate that’s around 60% of your max. If you’re legs and feet are too sore to run every day, then supplement with swimming or biking
Boxers are some of the most dedicated athletes on the planet and if you want to be able to compete on a professional level, then you’re going to have to put in a lot of work. However, if you’re just boxing for cardio, it can be a great way to increase your strength, improve personal confidence, and even relieve stress.
As long as you’re equipped with the right gear, maintain a healthy diet, and regular exercise schedule, there is no reason why you can’t excel at the sport at both a personal and professional level.
So what are you waiting for? Grab your gloves and get ready to take your first step into the life changing journey to being a championship fighter.