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How To Condition Like A Boxer


There are so many different styles of fitness that there is no possible way to ever get bored with your workouts.  Bodyweight training, free weights, machines, cross training and HIIT are just naming a few.  

Boxing can be seen as just another way to get fit and conditioned.

For anyone who loves the sport, it can be easy to adapt your fitness routine to condition like a boxer and join your interest and your workout together.  

It’s time to let the inner warrior strikeout.  Conditioning like a boxer is simple, fun and breaks down into some basic fundamentals you should train.  It conditions the whole body to be quick, lean, muscled, agile and to have high stamina, all aspects a boxer needs when he steps into the ring.  

Jumping Rope

If you ever watch a boxer train or condition, you will eventually see them pick up a jump rope.  Jumping rope helps them increase stamina, agility, and speed for their footwork.  It boosts endurance like no other exercise.  They have to be able to avoid being hit as much as throwing the right punch.  

There is a well-known video of Floyd Mayweather showing off his crazy jump rope skills.  You don’t have to be this skilled to condition your body like a boxer, but just picking up a speed cable rope and starting to do single jumps will set you on the right track.

Video by FightHype.com

Here are some jump rope workouts you can try to get you started:

  • 30-second single jump
  • 30-second high knee
  • 30-second heal toe
  • 30-second left/right foot jump
  • Rest - repeat x3

Shadow Boxing

The key to conditioning like a boxer is all about intensity.  You are trying to mimic what it might be light in the right but in our case, we are just releasing stress, getting a good workout in, and having fun.  But if you really want to train like a boxer then you need to learn how to shadow box.

You can do this with an expensive punching bag, small hand weights or you can try using a tool like the StrikeMMAsk at home, strapped to a tree.  

You should first learn the three basic punches are the jab, the cross, and the hook.  

  • Jab: This is the lead hand punch thrown straight ahead with your nondominant hand. It’s not a power punch but instead is used to set up other punches and be quick.
  • Cross: The cross is thrown with the rear, dominant hand, which is farthest away from your target. It’s also thrown straight but much more powerfully, using your legs and torso to generate force.
  • Hook: Unlike the others, this isn’t a straight punch: Its aim is to come at your target from the side, using your hips and legs for power. “The hook travels out from your shoulder and turns in toward your target halfway through the punch,” Strout explains.

Once you understand how to execute each punch, you can practice using these common combinations:

  • Jab-cross
  • Jab-cross-hook
  • Jab-jab-cross
  • Jab-hook-cross
  • Cross-hook-cross
  • Hook-cross-hook
  • Jab-cross-hook-cross
  • Jab-cross-jab-cross-hook-hook

Core Strength

You don’t really see a lot of boxing training with heavy weights or big machines at the gym.  They need to condition their body for agility, speed and toned muscles that are flexible and will carry them in and out of striking range.

A  boxers core strength training is done using bodyweight training like performing planks, sit-ups, hanging leg raises and even ab wheel rollouts.  But the key is they are done in rapid succession with little to no resting period.  

If you are just starting your boxing conditioning, this might seem impossible.  However, stay consistent and determined and you will see results.  

Ready for some abs on fire?  Check out champion boxer Gennady Golovkin’s ab workout and note the use of sit up variations and the speed and intensity of this workout.

Video by Fight Hub TV

Circuit Training/Full Body Conditioning

Of course, we can’t train like a boxer without full body conditioning.  Upper body strength is important for a boxer to throw harder, faster punches but speed is the key a boxer lives by.  To condition like a boxer you have to be able to do circuit training which is fast-paced, high in intensity and with little to no resting periods.  

Check out this example of a simple, easy to do boxing circuit training done by PercisionStriking.com

  • 30-second bicycle kicks
  • 30-second push ups
  • 30-second mountain climbers
  • 30-second punch hops
  • 30-second burpees
  • 30-second shoe shine

5 sets, each exercise is performed for 15 seconds with a 30-second break between sets.

The final tip we have for you if you are wanting to condition like a boxer is to actually have the mindset of a boxer.  Which is go big or go home.  When a boxer steps into the ring, they aren’t worried about anything except letting their body do what it was trained to do.  But, a trained boxer has already done the hard work during training.  

When you put in the hard work, you know the results will follow.

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