By Bryanna Fissori
Push-ups are a foundation exercise for many athletic training regiments. Boxing is no exception. There are numerous ways push-ups can increase athletic performance with an emphasis on increasing power and endurance.
Boxers have been known to throw 150 punches a round. That is a high end, but it can happen. Regardless, being prepared to throw large volume is important. Push-ups work the chest, shoulders, and triceps, which are the same areas that are used to throw punches in boxing.
Being able to execute push-ups at a high volume trains the relevant muscles to work for extended periods without fatigue. Doing multiple sets of push-ups throughout a training session will help build this type of endurance.
Using plyometric push-up techniques is one way to improve explosive power necessary for boxing. With any plyometric workout, the exercises should be limited to what can be achieved accurately. Most movements are unorthodox and taxing on the muscles, thus more difficult to maintain proper form for long sets when first starting.
Clap Push Ups
One of the best ways to train explosively is using clap push-ups. These are executed by pushing up hard through the hands so that they propel the body high enough off of the ground that you can clap in between pushes. If these are difficult in the beginning, it is recommended to start on the knees. It is not necessary for feet or knees to come off of the ground.
Medicine Ball Push-Ups
There are many variations to using a medicine ball with your push-ups. For this one, start with one hand on the ground and the other on a small medicine ball. Without letting the ball move, explode up and over to the other side, having your opposite hand land on the medicine ball. Be sure to “catch” yourself without hitting the ground and keep the ball in the middle as you go from side to side. A set of 5 to each side is a good starting goal.
How Much is too Much?
According to a 2015 study in the International Journal of Sports Physical Therapy, the quality of your explosive push-ups should determine when you end your set. If you start to feel significantly slower or your form starts to break down, you should stop. Explosive push-ups should be executed as fast as possible.
For explosive push-ups, this means that you may need to limit your sets to 3 -4 sets with no more than 10 reps each. Standard push up can typically have longer sets depending on where you are in your fitness journey.
Push-ups can be frequently incorporated into workouts, but it is necessary to give the muscles a break. Listen to your body to tell you when it is too much.
By Bryanna Fissori
Just like most health foods, its good for you but you may not like it.
Burpees are a type of body weight, a plyometric exercise that fuses multiple exercises into one. It’s a squat, plank and jump all in one. But really it can also be so much more!
Integrating burpees into your fitness routine can be a game-changer. Burpee variations are common for athletes of all levels and sports including boxing. The traditional burpee has the advantage of utilizing most muscle groups while providing endurance, strengthening and aerobic benefits. Burpees can be incorporated into virtually any workout routine.
- Start in a squat position
- Place your hands on the ground
- Kick your feet back, placing your body into a plank or push-up position
- Jump your feet back to the squat position
- Jump up from the squat position
That doesn’t sound so bad right? Drop and give me 20!
Once in the plank/push-up position, drop for a push-up before returning to the squat position (Some will argue that the traditional burpee involves a push-up. It is debatable).
Execute your version of the burpee, but instead of jumping straight up after the squat, perform a box jump (yes, you need a box for this).
Perform the exercise with a kettlebell of moderate weight in each hand. Instead of jumping up at the end of the exercise you will deadlift the kettlebells to return back to the starting position.
Execute the burpee and when you jump up at the end rotate 180 degrees so that you are facing the opposite wall. Then continue your sets.
When you finish your burpee jump forward as far as you reasonably can, landing in the squat position. End each burpee with a jump forward into a squat
By Bryanna Fissori
First of all, you are about to get sweaty. If you aren’t sweating then you need to find a new class. Keep that in mind when choosing what to wear to boxing class. Also, realize that you are going to need full range of motion for much of your body in order to comfortably work out.
There is a lot of up and down bouncing movement in boxing. Please don’t try and do this without a decent sports bra. It is going to be awkward for everyone. Most athletic companies such as Nike or Underarmour have great options, but if you are looking for something that also provides shape, Victoria’s Secret also has an athletic line, and when it comes to anything bra related, they are usually pretty trustworthy.
What you wear over your sports bra, should you choose to wear anything, is very conducive to how you are feeling that day. If you are doing partner drills or drills in a ring where you midsection may be subject to impact by the glove or pressured against the ropes, we do suggest wearing something to avoid discomfort.
Boxers are often seen wearing shirts or sweatshirts that have the sleeves cut off. This is done to allow the shoulders to move unrestricted and so that the top can come off easily even if gloves are still on. Most athletic tops without sleeves are going to be comfortable.
There are a number of options for bottom attire. Because you do not kick in boxing, absolute unrestricted mobility is not crucial. You should be able to move forward, backward and laterally as well as up and down in a squatting position. Leggings are almost always acceptable for any athletic adventure. S2ActiveWear.com is a mom and pop company that makes great one-size-fits-all leggings that are thick enough to hold up under pressure, comfortable and available in a number of unique prints.
Cloth shorts are also acceptable. If you wear shorts that are short, you may want to wear compression shorts underneath to avoid any awkward situations. If you thrive on awkward situations and you have a great butt, we will not judge. Professional boxers typically wear long shorts that are loose fitting in the legs, and high waisted with thick elastic at the top. Rarely to people choose practice in that specific attire when deciding what to wear to boxing class.
The type of appropriate footwear will depend on what type of floor surface is present. If you are in a traditional boxing gym with concrete and canvas, please wear shoes! Boxing shoes are available in all different styles, and wrestling shoes are a good alternative if you cannot obtain boxing shoes. Regular athletic shoes can also be used depending on the type of tread. Hiking shoes will not work.
If the flooring is soft mat material then you may be encouraged to practice without shoes on. As a general rule, if the floor looks scary, leave your shoes on. Because of the shuffling motion in boxing, you will want to wear socks if wearing shoes.
Another thing to remember is that if you have long hair you will want to pull it up out of your face. This goes for men and women. In boxing, you should always keep your chin tucked. If your hair is down, it will all fall right into your face, blocking your vision. We recommend you place a backup hair tie in your gym bag just in case.
If you are a dripping mess type of sweaty person, having a small towel with you would also be a good idea.
Whatever you decide to wear, just do it with confidence and make the most of your boxing session.
More Training and Conditioning
By Bryanna Fissori
Prevention of Anxiety
Many forms of anxiety stem from a feeling of fear and helplessness. One of the greatest benefits of boxing is the confidence it instills. This is derived not only from the physical ability of being able to punch someone should the need arise, but also the ability to react instinctively during a physical confrontation. The strength and fitness gained by spending hours a week with gloves on also instill a level of confidence that serves to minimize anxiety.
Many experts on happiness have stated that people who are able to live in the moment experience the most joy. This is easier said than done. Mediation is one method of attempting to block out all of the negative thoughts regarding failures of the past and fears of the future. The goal of mediation is to focus on nothing but breathing in the here and now. Boxing can trigger this same type of static-blocking mediation. Less static equals less stress.
In a bag-oriented fitness class, the instructor is likely to be giving instructions on which combinations to throw and at what speed. Without complete focus on the task at hand, the combination and pace will certainly end in frustration. This is even more true with partner drills in which complete presence in the moment is necessary to not get punched in the face. This type of meditative focus is a relief to the brain.
Sometimes you don’t even have to have something to be upset about in order to really need some sort of emotional release (for many women this is a monthly occurrence.) The emotional release of punching, moving and sweating can help cleans the body, mind and soul much like a reset button.
Physical exercise is proven to stimulate the release of endorphins, which work with receptors in your brain to reduce your perception of pain and stimulate a positive feeling in the body. Boxing reduces stress by your emotions from upset or meh, to oh ya!
People who get at least 150 minutes of exercise a week sleep significantly better and feel more alert during the day according to a study conducted by Bellarmine University assistant professor Paul Loprinzi. The study sampled more then 2600 adult men and women found a 65 percent improvement in sleep quality.
People who achieve adequate quantity and quality of sleep more like to reach the deep level of snoozing called REM sleep which has recently been equated with allowing the brain to reorganize and positively process memories thus subconsciously decreasing stress. This will have you waking up more bright eyed, bushy tailed, and ready to take on the world. All because you didn’t skip out on boxing class!
For a person with a normal healthy level of irritation, boxing can serve as a way to take out the day’s aggression. Everyone has at some point, been so angry they wanted to punch something. Boxing class allows you to safely do that. The act of punching a heavy bag can be very therapeutic. Though your best technique may not shine during these rounds, power and aggression will increase beautifully. The point of using boxing as an anger management tool is not to fuel the fire, but to allow the anger to surface and expel, leaving a level of clarity and calmness so that any real issues can be effectively dealt with.