Solo Drills for Evasive Boxing Head Movement
By Bryanna Fissori
Blocking and evading are the two general ways to defend yourself when boxing. Blocking involves allowing the punch to touch you in a controlled way to minimize damage. Evading is the act of avoiding contact altogether. There is a time and a place for both methods of defense, and both are crucial to being successful in boxing. In this article, we will give you some tips on how to practice your evasive boxing head movement techniques on your own.
Slip Drills – Used to avoid straight punches by moving head out of the way
Slips are an important part of boxing head movement. Stand in front of a full-length mirror. Most gyms will have a mirror somewhere in the facility and often for this purpose. Choose a spot in the middle of the mirror or place a piece of tape on the mirror. Stand in your fighting stance with your hands up and knees slightly bent like you are ready for action. Lean or “slip” to one side of the tape. Your elbow should touch your hip as if you were doing a side crunch. Repeat to the other side. Continue to do this for a certain period of time or number of slips.
Duck Drills- Used to duck lower than a straight punch thrown to the head
Stand in your fighting stance, hands up and knees slightly bent like you are actually getting ready to fight. Essentially all you are going to do is a squat. Do not transition out of your fight stance. There is no need to drop all the way down (a** to the grass), but you should since down at least six inches.
Roll Drills – Used to avoid hooks to the head
Use an extra hand wrap or a rope of some sort to tie from one point to another. The rope or wrap should be positioned approximately six to eight inches below head level to encourage proper level changing. If there is a fixture such as a pole or heavy bag to use as anchors, that would be helpful.
Stand on one side of the rope, in your fight stance with your head close to the rope. Dip down and roll yourself underneath the rope so that your head is all the way to the other side. Step forward as you roll under the rope. Repeat, stepping forward with each roll. You may also do this same drill walking backward.
More Training and Conditioning
Boxing Training Myths
By Bryanna Fissori
There are a number of boxing training myths about the proper way to improve and stay in shape. Some of this is from watching too many old-school boxing movies and some is just from a general lack of knowledge. Here are some things you should know:
Six Packs are not built on 1000 crunches a day
Having a strong core is crucial for boxers and also aesthetically pleasing. The concept of completing 1000 crunches a day is helpful, but not the best way to achieve visual results. The appearance of abs heavily dependent upon body fat percentage. The lower the body fat, the more evident the abs. This is why even people who are undernourished may have evidence of abs without the gym time. This does not mean that abdominal exercises are not important for core strength. They are very much so, but this also involves targeting different areas of the core to promote stability rather than focusing on the short movement of crunches. Essentially, six packs are made in the kitchen.
Shadowboxing with dumbbells
It sounds like a good idea. Adding weight to your punches should make them faster and make you stronger. Unfortunately, this is a boxing training myth. The torque and strain that the extra weight places on the shoulders and lumbar spine have been known to result in injury. There are a number of other strength and speed building exercises that have been shown to produce results with significantly less risk. Boxing can already be painful enough. Don’t make it worse by unnecessarily wearing down your joints and tendons.
Long Slow Distance is the best roadwork
Roadwork is the cardio based effort that is put in to complement training in a specific sport. Many people are under the assumption that the more miles you run, the better your conditioning will be. Though endurance training is helpful, it is not the end all be all. Energy systems used for boxing are primarily anaerobic, comprised of short bursts 70 to 80 percent of the time. This means that high intensity training is crucial for affective roadwork.
Weight Training will make you slower
Some athletes are naturally gifted with muscular genetics. Fighters like Mike Tyson may not need to hit the weight room because their power and physique does not require that specific training, but for the vast majority of athletes, weight training provides a significant advantage. If two fighters have the same skill level and one is stronger, the stronger has a higher chance of victory. Weight lifting will not hinder speed unless the fighter does not train speed and flexibility.
Hitting hard all the time makes your punches more powerful
Building power from just hitting stuff hard is a boxing training myth. Technique is key for improving punching power. That is all there is to it. You can stand in front of a heavy bag and throw everything you have at it, but unless you are using proper technique, your power will not increase.
More Training and Conditioning
Building a Better Body with Solid Basic Boxing Technique
By Bryanna Fissori
There are really only a few basic punches that are crucial for boxing. These are the punches you will be using the most in boxing classes. Having the proper mechanics for your punches will not only make them more effective, but it will cause less stress on your body and promote muscle growth and weight loss in all the right areas. Solid basic boxing technique is sure to get you in fighting shape!
This is a quick punch that extends from your lead arm straight out in front of your face. The fist goes straight from point A to point B and back without any elbow curvature. To increase power and speed it is recommended to snap the punch out, finishing with the thumb pointed slightly down. Your lead foot should step slightly forward at the same time as your arm when you throw the jab.
This punch is used to determine and maintain distance from an opponent. It is also the longest reaching punch. The jab can be used to distract, frustrate and set up more powerful punches.
The cross is the straight punch that is thrown with your rear hand. This is often the most powerful punch because if thrown correctly it will engage much of your legs, core and back to generate momentum. To throw a cross the rear hand comes forward in a straight point A to point B line and back, similar to a jab. One big difference is that instead of stepping, the back foot pivots toward the center of the body causing the hips to rotate bringing the rear shoulder forward to extend the punch with force.
The cross usually follows the jab but can be thrown as a lead punch. The majority of knockouts come from the cross or other similar punches thrown from the rear hand.
This punch, though basic, is one of the more difficult techniques to master. It can be thrown from either side. In a numbered progression of punches, it is typically learned first coming from the same side as the jab. There are a number of ways to throw a hook depending on your instructor’s style. Generally, a hook is thrown to the side of the body (or heavy bag) with the elbow bent. The power for a hook is generated in the torso and hips as they turn with the arm. The elbow should come up as the punch is thrown and stay elevated as the punch lands.
The hook is a great punch that can be hidden behind straight punches as an opponent focuses on blocking the front of their face or body. It is also ideal for building a strong and toned core.
The uppercut is a sneaky punch thrown at close range. Unlike the other punches, it comes from below the opponent’s line of vision. Targets for the uppercut are usually the ribs or under the chin. The rotation in the body is again, where the power is generated. Your knees start the punch slightly bent. As the body rotates upward the first drives upward toward the target.
The uppercut can be a game changer in competition and can be practiced on a heavy bag or a teardrop bag.
Basic Boxing Technique Benefits
Remember that each punch should return immediately back to the blocking position at face level. This is proper technique not only for defense, but to reload for the next punch to be thrown. Using solid mechanics when mastering basic boxing technique will be crucial in forming the lean athletic build that fitness boxing is sure to help you achieve.