Tag Archives: boxing workout

Natural Sleep Aids After Workout Help Achieve Better Recovery


By Bryanna Fissori

There are several factors that may contribute to restlessness after a workout or athletic competition. The increase in heart rate over an extended time, along with an increase in core temperature and sweating, has an effect on the nervous and endocrine system. This excited state triggers the hormones cortisol and norepinephrine, which may play a role in keeping you up. Adrenaline is also released but lasts for a much shorter time than norepinephrine, which can have an influence for up to 48 hours post-exercise.  

Levels of hydration, core temperature and stimulants taken can also be factors in sleeplessness. These affect homeostasis, which is the body’s natural way of restoring balance. Getting a good night’s sleep is crucial for optimal athletic performance and recovery. Here are some natural sleep aids that may help. 

Natural Sleep Aids Post-Workout 

Melatonin

Melatonin is a hormone naturally produced by the body, which signals your brain that it is time to sleep. This is great for combating those evenings when your mind will not shut off. It has been shown to reduce the amount of time it takes to fall asleep and increase the quality of sleep. It can also help regulate sleep schedules. Melatonin is one of several natural sleep aids that can be found in most drug stores, often in tablet or gummy form. 

Hemp Oil (CBD) 

CBD is a patented antioxidant. As an antioxidant, CBD plays an important role in helping your body restore homeostasis or balance. In some cases, pain and discomfort are caused by an imbalance in your body, which can ultimately result in poor sleep. Using CBD for sleep improvements when you are in pain or discomfort, is likely to help you fall fast asleep. Receptra Naturals is one brand that is used by many boxers and MMA fighters. 

Chamomile or Sleepy Tea

If you are a tea drinker chamomile or teas specifically marketed for sleep aid (usually containing chamomile) may help, just remember not to load up on the sugar or honey. One of the active compounds in the chamomile plant is apigenin has been found to reduce the need for the body to move frequently, inducing a calming effect that promotes better sleep. 

Warm Milk and Honey

This may sound like something your grandma would do, but there is justification. Milk contains tryptophan, which is a sleep-inducing amino acid. This increases the amount of serotonin in the brain, which works as a natural sedative. The honey is a carb and works to transmit the hormone faster to the brain making it one of the tastier natural sleep aids. Just don’t overdo it on the honey. 

Lavender Aromatherapy

Studies have proven that lavender aids in sleep. The calming aroma can be dabbed on the skin, used as an essential oil in a diffuser or sprayed on a pillow before bed. There are even pillows available for purchase that are pre-filled with lavender. 

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Heavy Bag Workout for Strength and Conditioning


 By Bryanna Fissori 

Heavy bag workouts are an important part of any boxing routine. They allow the body to develop muscle memory for specific combinations with varying rhythms and intensity. Bag work also helps to build endurance, strength, and speed. This workout is designed to work both sides of your body without excluding your core and lower body. Enjoy! 

Warm Up:

Round One (Two Minutes):

Your combination for Heavy Bag Workout round one is: 

Round Two (Two Minutes) 

Your combination for Heavy Bag Workout round two is: 

Round Three (Two Minutes):

Your combination for Heavy Bag Workout round three is

Repeat Rounds One Two and Three exactly as explained with each round containing two minutes of bag work and an additional exercise. These will be rounds Four, Five and Six. 

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Young woman hitting punching bag

Round Seven (Two Minutes):

Freestyle on the heavy bag using whatever combinations desired. 

Cool Down: 

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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. 

 

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Push-Ups for Endurance and Power in Boxing


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. 

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. 

Explosive Power

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. 

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Boxing Fitness Myths


By Bryanna Fissori

There are a number of myths about the proper way to training for boxers. Some of this is from watching too many old-school boxing moves and some are just from a general lack of knowledge. Here are some things you should know about the most common boxing fitness myths

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, 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 fitness 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 effective boxing fitness 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 do 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

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.

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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. 

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The Boxing Details that Make You Look Like a Pro


By Bryanna Fissori

When watching people hit the heavy bag there are a couple of factors that determine who looks like they know what they are doing and who does not. Details are crucial! Here are a few boxing details you can use to clean up your technique and box like a pro.

No Chicken Wings!

It is important to keep your elbows from flaring out when you punch. It is common for beginners to start their punches by lifting the elbow. Doing this leaves you vulnerable to body punches and takes longer for your punch to reach its destination. There are several ways to correct this using some serious mental focus.

  1. Imagine you are throwing your elbow rather than your fist. This boxing detail should help propel your elbow forward rather than to the side.
  2. Focus on pinching your elbows to your sides until the last second of your punch.
  3. Pretend you are Superman and someone tries to attack you in your phone booth (There is a chance you may be too young to know what a phone booth is). The space is too small to flare your elbows. Focus on punching the bad guy straight ahead of you in your limited space.

Be So-FIST-icated

You are high class and that includes in boxing. Sophisticated people drink tea with their pinky finger up. When you punch, keep your fist closed, but angle that pinky finger up like you are sipping a cup of tea. This will help straighten out your punches and allow you to connect with your first and second knuckles, which is ideal. This angling of the wrist also assists in splitting someone’s guard (punching between their gloves). This technique may also help correct the chicken winging because if you were to bring your elbow out before throwing with the pinky up, it is going to feel kinda weird.

Keep Your Hands Up

The number one sign of a newbie is that their hands do not return to their face after each punch. It is an EXTREMELY obvious indicator of inexperience and not difficult to correct. There should never be a time when one of your gloves is not touching your face. This would mean that you were punching with both hands at the same time. That’s a no-no. Please don’t do that. As far as boxing details go, this might be the most important. 

Keeping your hands up is not only crucial for defense, but also for proper punching technique. Your punches should never start from your hip. (Yes, there are exceptions to this, but until you can move like Floyd Mayweather you better keep your hands on your face!). Your punch should initiate from the defensive position against your cheek, extend out to your opponent and then come right back. A punch is a great toy to play with, but we have to put our toys back where we got them.

Keep your hands up or you will look like this!

Flat Stance

In order to generate power, you have to be able to engage your hips and core while maintaining stability. Standing with both feet parallel to the heavy bag is going to leave you powerless and off balance. In a fight, it will get you knocked out faster than you can say “jab-cross!”

Your specific stance will strongly depend on whether you are right-handed or left-handed. If you are right handed you will generally stand with your left foot forward. This is an “orthodox” stance. Left-handed people generally stand with the right foot forward and this is called the “southpaw” stance. The front leg should be facing forward and the rear leg angled slightly (45 degrees or so) to the outside. Your weight should be on the balls of your feet for ease of movement.

An easy way to check your stance and balance is to have a training partner push you (not hard) from each side, as well as front and back. You should be able to easily adjust to not fall over or stumble.

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Get Great Calves with This Boxing Workout


By Bryanna Fissori

Just because there are no kicks in boxing does not mean you get to skip leg day. Power starts from the ground up. Follow this boxing workout to build beautiful calves and generate power in those punches.

Warm Up:

Jog around your boxing workout space or outside if necessary.
1 minute: Jog normally
30 seconds: High knees- raise your knees to at least waist level as you jog
30 seconds: Butt kickers- kick the heels of your feet toward your butt as you jog
30 seconds: Shuffle to the inside (keep legs wide and hips low)
30 seconds: Shuffle similarly to the outside
30 seconds: Skip like you are bigfoot. Jump high and swing your arms freely
30 seconds: Jog normally
30 Seconds: Shoot hoops- Plant both feet and jump up as high as you can, swinging your hands upward just like as if you were shooting a basketball. Take several jogging steps between shots.
30 seconds: Jog normally
30 seconds: Job backwards (carefully)
30 seconds: Walk/recover

Use this 1-3 minutes of rest time to stretch out your calves. This can be done by placing your hands on the ground (like downward dog in yoga) and shifting your weight from one heel to the other, causing a stretch in the calf of the downed heel.

2 minutes: Jump Rope (jump rope is often used as part of a boxing warm up but for this workout it is part of the exercise routine)

1 minute: Frog jumps – start standing with your feet parallel. Jump forward as far as you can, landing in a low squat position to absorb impact. These will assist in explosive boxing movement.

1 minute: Inch Worms- Place your hand by your feet as if you were touching your toes. Leave your feet planted on the ground and walk your hands as far forward as possible without falling on your face. Then walk your feet up to your hands and repeat. This serves as an ab workout as well as a stretch to increase mobility in the legs, primarily calves and hamstrings.

*This is a low intensity move and should also serve as a recovery period.

2 minutes: Jump Rope

Try and stay on the ball of your foot
30 seconds: Hop back and forth on one foot
30 seconds: Switch and hop back and forth on the other foot
30 seconds: Hop side to side on one foot
30 seconds: Switch and hop side to side on the other foot
10 second: break
30 seconds: With both feet together hop front to back
30 seconds: With both feet together hop side to side
These will assist in balance and endurance

1 minute: Inch Worms

2 minutes: Jump Rope

1 minute: Bounding:- Standing on one foot in a fighting stance or with feet even. Leap with one foot as far as comfortably possible either at an angle or side to side depending on your space. Once you land on you lead foot, quickly regain balance push off in the opposite direction leading with your other foot. This should create a zigzag pattern if moving forward at 45 degrees per leap, or side to side if space does not a lot forward motion. This will help with explosive lateral boxing movement.

1 minute: Inch Worms

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Top 10 Protein Supplement Types for Boxers


By Bryanna Fissori 

Protein supplements dominate the fitness nutrition world. Muscle and strength are built on a foundation of protein. Not only does protein build the muscles with which you punch and block, it also assists in recovery of those muscles so that you can get back in the ring tomorrow. 

Athletes use protein supplements primarily to repair and rebuild muscle that is broken down during exercise. Protein also serves to enhance carbohydrate storage in the form of glycogen, which is used for energy. All of this is crucial to optimize training and performance.

There are countless brands of protein supplements to meet this need, and they vary in more than just cost and flavor. Different types of protein may serve to satisfy various needs. All protein is not created equal. BoxingInsider.com has broken down the basics of 10 of the most popular protein types that you may come across. 

 Animal Proteins

1. Egg Albumin is not commonly used in the powder form, but rather bought in a carton or container and cooked. People may have thought Rocky Balboa was crazy for drinking his eggs, but he knew what he was doing. Eggs are fat-free and high in protein, which is great for weight-loss, plans. They are also versatile because unlike most other supplements they can be consumed in liquid or solid form.

2. Casein Protein is the only form recognized for its benefits during sleeping hours. This is due to its ability to keep the body anabolic throughout the night. It takes anywhere from 5-7 hours to fully break down. When used during the day it helps to curb hunger.

3. Whey Concentrate is the least expensive and most common form of whey protein. It can be used for both pre and post workout or as a snack between meals. One downside of whey concentrate is the occasional digestive irritation, which may leave some consumers a bit bloated.

4. Whey Isolates are quick absorbing and pair well with low carbohydrate or low sugar diets. Isolates are different from concentrates in that they yield a higher percentage of pure protein and can be filtered to become virtually carb, fat, cholesterol and lactose-free.

5. Whey Protein Hydrolysate is enzymatically predigested for maximum absorption speed. This process provides a rapid spike in blood amino acids is beneficial for protein synthesis as well as the breakdown of amino acids for energy. Though this boost may be especially helpful during a long workout or post-workout/ pre-day job, it is not ideal for those looking for storage of the protein for continual use. It is also on the pricey side.

6. Milk Protein Isolate (MPI) is a combination of 80 percent casein and 20 percent whey protein. Because casein is slow to digest and whey is quick to digest, the combination of the two provides short-term and long-term muscle recovery. Most forms of MPI are not lactose-free. 

Vegetable Protein Sources

 7. Pea Protein is also highly digestible and as an added benefit, research shows that it may help prevent hypertension and kidney disease. It is also gluten-free and is a good choice to also curb appetite. Studies have shown that pea protein supplements lead to better satiety than milk or whey protein.

8. Soy Protein is made from soybean meal that has been dehulled or defatted. Aside from being a good vegetarian option, it is loaded with glutamine, which assists in recovery. Soy has been found to boost thyroid hormone output, speed up metabolism and support cholesterol health.

9. Hemp Protein is said to be easier for the body to digest in comparison to soy. It also contains essential fatty acids, omega-3 and omega-6 in a three-to-one ratio. Its overall protein content is not as high as other forms, but it is high in dietary fiber.

10. Brown Rice Protein powder is also gluten-free and has nearly as high a protein concentration as soy. It is also a good option for those who may have gastrointestinal issues, though it is not always easy to find.

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The Importance of Keeping Your Hands Up for Fitness Boxing


By Bryanna Fissori

 

Ok, let’s be real for a minute. If you are taking a fitness boxing class, you are probably primarily hitting things that aren’t hitting back. There is nothing wrong with that at all, but you may be tempted to slack on your defensive technique. We at BoxingInsider.com strongly urge you to make a conscious effort to keep your hands up regardless of if someone is punching back or not and here is why:

Arm Strength and Tone

Returning your glove back to your face can simulate a lot of movements that are crucial to building epic muscle tone in the upper body. Pulling the arm back from a jab or cross simulates the act of standing row workouts. Bringing the arm back up from a body shot or uppercut is much like a bicep curl.

The extra 8-16 ounces that the gloves carry may not feel like much, but that weight is serving as added resistance to your workout routine. The various angles from which to retrieve your punch can mimic resistance training in numerous ways, rounding out your overall physique. If you don’t bring your glove back to your face, you are letting the glove beat you. You are better than that! Show those gloves who’s boss.

Building Natural Defensive Reactions

Heaven forbid that you may actually ever be in a physical confrontation where you are required to defend yourself. If that does occur, having the natural reaction to place your hands correctly to avoid taking damage could be crucial. Even without the gloves on, protecting yourself with your hands and arms is an important part of self-defense. Instinct can be learned, even from fitness boxing. Train yourself to be ready at all times.

You Look Goofy

No one wants to be that person that is obviously just there for a sweat. Fitness boxing is great, but it is an immediate give away that you are either non-competitive or untrained if you cannot return your hands to your face. You can hit the bag as hard as you want, but without putting your toys (gloves) back where you got them, you are going to be noticeably awkward amongst others also hitting the heavy bag. Seriously, we are just trying to help. Don’t be that person.

See the difference when hands are down?

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Why Fitness Boxing is Perfect for Absolutely Everyone


By Bryanna Fissori 

There are a lot of fitness trends that may sound good, but are just not a great fit for all levels. Basketball may look like fun, but for those who aren’t naturally coordinated it may prove to be a bit of a struggle. Running can be a great way to zone out and get fit but quickly wear on joints and ligaments. Fitness boxing is perfect for a number of reasons. 

Train at your own pace

If you are new to putting on the gloves, there is no real pressure to have to keep up. The heavy bag is not going anywhere. You will not get “left behind.” There is certainly a technique to punching, but really all you are expected to do on day one is put leather to leather. 

Uses the whole body/Plenty of Options 

There is more to fitness boxing than just arm strength; much, much more. Boxing uses the whole body, literally from head to toe. Let’s say your shoulder is feeling a bit sore. That’s a great opportunity to work on footwork! Knee a little tight? Sounds like it is time to work on your straight punches to the head, with a little less bend. With options for core strengthening, legs, arms and even head movement, there is always something that can be done. 

Progressive Intensity

Regardless of age, gender or fitness level, you start where you start. Your level of intensity is dependent completely on your personal progression. If you would like to prioritize technique without power punching, that is up to you. Working out on your own, you have the ability to set your timer for one minute rounds or five minute rounds. You can build at your own pace, easily keeping yourself accountable with the help of a timer or boxing app (yes, that is a thing). 

Literally EVERYBODY

There are old grandmas who take fitness boxing classes, and there are children who are running circles around some of the adults. From professionals to those who have never even seen a heavy bag, the learning curve for basics is not steep. Even those in wheelchairs have been known to get work in with a partner or a coach holding mitts. 

The moral of the story is, drop the excuses, grab your gloves and let’s do this. 

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Squats and Boxing: Build a Better Booty


By Bryanna Fissori

Squats are an underrated part of boxing, but essential for proper movement in the sport. You may be nicely toning up those arms, but don’t forget to work that butt. There are tons of workout routines specifically designed to create a better booty, but if you have found your passion in boxing, there is no need to stray.

Offensive Boxing Squats

If you have spent every single class trying to punch the heavy bag as if it was someone’s face, you may want to try a new class. Punching to the face is only one of many targets.

Work the Body Shots

It is time to change your level and throw right to the gut! Yes, in order to throw a proper body shot it is necessary that you bend your knees and squat down to hit the target. This squatting motion happens right before you throw your punch. As with any squat, it is important to keep good posture with your back straight. Adding to the booty burn and in the spirit of using proper technique, there should also be a little mini lunge involved. When throwing your lead hand punch (jab), you should always step in conjunction with your punch. This adds a little lunge and a lot of power. If you are up for the challenge, try switching your stance to the opposite of your dominant side. This will help keep your tone even on that sexy booty.

Defensive Boxing Squats

Throwing punches in boxing class is an awesome cardio burn, but you are not taking full advantage of the benefits of boxing unless you are also learning to defend punches.

Duck the Punches

There are countless techniques to block and evade punches, but one of the most basic and widely used is a simple squat. Yes, a basic squat. To execute this evasive technique and avoid getting bopped in the head the instructions are simple. Stay in your boxing fight stance (one foot forward) and squat straight down. Don’t lean to the side or get fancy. Just squat. If someone is throwing a punch straight at your head, squat down underneath the punch. Tada! Not only are you building a better booty, you are also using proper boxing skills.

Fun Boxing Drill for a Better Booty

If you have a partner to train with, make it fun. Take turns having your partner throw a jab right at your head. When you see the punch coming, duck directly below it. A good partner will throw the punch straight and not chase your head down as you duck. In most real boxing situations the boxer throwing will be committed to throwing the jab straight out.

While you are down there, instead of popping right back up, step forward and throw a punch the body of your partner. Keep in mind that if you hit your partner like a heavy bag, you will probably not have a partner anymore. Switch on and off with your partner so you both get some work in.

Once you are more advanced you may add hooks and rolling underneath the punches.

Don’t Settle for an Average Butt

There is so much more to boxing than just punching stuff. Take full advantage of your instructor’s knowledge. As questions and get the all-around athletic boxing body you are looking for.

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Boxing Core Workout for Amazing Abs


By Bryanna Fissori

Your “core” consists of all the muscles in your abdomen and lower back, which include muscles associated with your spine and hip flexors. Not only do they look sexy when defined, but they are also one of the most important muscle groups for virtually any athlete and especially crucial for boxers.

A strong core workout is essential to provide stabilization for your entire body and is the conductor that transfers power from the legs to the upper body and vice versa, essentially adding power to your punches. Boxers aren’t walking around with six-packs just for the photos!

Why Core Muscles are Crucial for Boxers

• Provides proper defense from body shots
• Maximizes rotational torque when delivering a punch
• Enhance transfer of energy during explosive movements
• Increases total body stabilization and balance
• Supports a higher degree of energy transfer from larger muscle groups

Here are a few methods to increase your core strength in conjunction with your boxing workout:

Plank

The plank is one of the simplest exercises for the stomach and is easy to do. . . well, for the first 10 seconds or so. It is a good place to start especially if you are new to core workouts and not sure where your fitness level is. There is no equipment necessary, but make sure you are not on a slippery surface to avoid a belly flop or face plant.

  1. Place your forearms on the floor, stretch the rest of your body out and support yourself on your toes. The only parts of your body touching the floor should be your forearms and toes.
  2. Keeping your torso straight, try not to have a bend in your back. Stay straight as a board (a plank to be exact). Hold the position as long as possible or set a timer.
  3. Once your hips start to drop and your form starts to slip, take a rest.
  4. To modify the move, you can also just hold the top part of a push-up position rather than having your forearms on the floor.

If you want to get fancy and really work those abs, raise one leg upwards slowly and back down, then repeat, maintaining the plank position.

Boat/Dish Hold

For all you yogis out there, this position is basically an ab burning version of “boat,” which can be modified to a position in the gymnastics world, called “Dish hold.” It is a great stabilizing core workout. 

  1. Create your boat by lying on your back with your legs straight and your arms by your sides.
  2. Lift your shoulders, upper back, and legs off the floor, ensuring that you lower back and middle back do not arch, and remain in contact with the ground. Your arms can either be stretched above your head for “dish” or in front of you (as if you are trying to reach your toes) for “boat”.
  3. Maintaining balance, hold this position for as long as possible or set a timer. We recommend you start with boat and work to dish. Once you have those balance moves mastered, you can turn the move into a crunch by touching your fingers to toes from either position.

Side Plank

In order to properly slip out of the way of a punch or to throw a popper body shot the oblique abdominal muscles are crucial. They are located on the sides of the body. One of the easiest ways to work the obliques when just starting a new core workout routine is to return back to our friend, the plank. This move is exactly the same in principle to the normal plank, but is performed with the body in a side position to place more of a demand on the muscles on the side of the torso.

  1. With your body facing the ground as if you were laying on your side, place one forearm on the ground directly below your shoulder.
  2. Stretch your legs out straight, placing the side of your foot on the ground with the other foot resting on top of it.
  3. Keep your body as straight as possible and then hold this position. Keep your core engaged to prevent your hips from dropping.
  4. If you want a little extra burn to sculpt those oblique’s even more, try raising your outer leg upwards slowly and then back down, then repeat. You can also hold your top leg and top arm straight up in the air. This is called the “star” position. Who doesn’t want to be a star?!

Back Extensions

The core is not only engaged from the front of the body and if you work only the front and not the back, you are going to find yourself weak in a number of areas of your boxing practice.

  1. Lay flat on your stomach with your arms in front of you. Your palms should be facing the ground. To start, have your elbows bent so that if you were standing, your arms would be in the shape of a football goals post.
  2. Lift your arms, chest and legs off the ground. You should feel some tension in the lower back fairly quickly. If you don’t, pick your chest and legs up higher.
  3. Without touching your arms, chest or legs to the ground, pulse the elevated areas as if you are doing a crunch (obviously an upside down crunch).
  4. You can add variation by changing your arm position to straight out in front of you, to the sides like an airplane or at your sides facing behind you with your palms up.

It is important to make sure your core workout is well rounded for stability. Boxing on its own is a great workout for your core, but abs are not built in a day. Keep with it. These moves coupled with your boxing class and good nutrition will have you showing off that six-pack in no time.

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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!

 

The Jab:

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:

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.

 

The Hook:

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:

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.

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Amazing Sexy Arm Tone with Boxing


By Bryanna Fissori 

If you are looking to get some shoulder and arm definition to complement an overall sexy upper body composition, boxing is probably what has been missing in your life. 

The majority of cardio workouts such as running, biking, step aerobics and Zumba are focused heavily on lower body cardio endurance. That is great a general calorie burn but leaves out those upper body muscles. That being said, the first time you put on a pair of boxing gloves don’t be surprised if trying to punch for a minute straight makes your arms feel like death. Don’t give up! You are about to earn yourself some amazing sexy arm tone. Here are the mechanics of how boxing will get those muscles poppin’.

Pectoralis Major:

Your pecs are the largest muscle used in boxing. It is located in the chest spanning from your sternum, clavicles and lower ribs all the way to your upper arms. This is a powerful muscle that is responsible for a lot of the force generated when punching. The pecs are engaged the most when the elbow is elevated which is the case especially when throwing the hook but also active in all other punches. Strengthening your pecs will give you a more defined neckline and has even been said to help perk up the rest of your chest! 

Deltoids

“Delts” are the shoulder muscles that helped to give you the super defined look of a fitness expert. There are three major shoulder muscles that make up your delts: The anterior deltoid, posterior deltoid and medial deltoid.  These are the muscles that are likely to feel the most fatigued after a long session, especially when using proper technique returning the hands to the face. 

Anterior Deltoid: The anterior deltoid is located in the front of the shoulder and is the most active during boxing. It serves the purpose of generating force in your punches working in conjunction with your pec muscles. 

Medial Deltoid: This muscle is triggered every time the arm is lifted especially for a right cross or left hook. 

Posterior Deltoid: These are located toward the back of the shoulder and activate whenever you pull your arm back from punching (which is a lot). 

Triceps

You may hear coach encourage you to snap your punches. This is a fast twitch movement that ads speed and power to your punch primarily generated by the triceps. The triceps are located on the back of your upper arm and is often overlooked in a lot of exercise routines. Sexy arm tone requires an overall workout. Without maintenance, this part of your arm can begin to loosen and sag, which is a great reason to keep those straight punches snappy!

Biceps

This is the muscle that makes people look “buff” or “jacked”. But it really takes little to no conscious effort to tone. The bicep muscle is active the entire time during boxing so long as you are holding your hands up. They are also strengthened more by hitting a heavy bag as opposed to shadow boxing. If you are concerned that your biceps are going to get big and scary, rest assured that usually takes some additional conscious effort and weightlifting to achieve. 

Tips to Optimize your Sexy Arm Tone and Shoulder Workout 

Keep your Hands Up:

Every punch thrown should finish with the glove being brought back to face level, essentially touching the face. This is a good habit to get into to protect yourself and is proper technique. If you have ever watched a sparring practice or live boxing, you may have heard coaches yelling, “Get your hands up!” This is the same for all boxing practices. The act of keeping your hands up will initially fatigue your shoulders and biceps. This may require shorter training sessions in the beginning, but it will get easier and visible results will follow. 

Straight Punches:

A straight punch is a punch that is thrown directly toward the center of an opponent (or heavy bag). If thrown with the lead hand it is called a jab and with the rear hand is called a cross. There are also other terms for these punches but those are common ones. Throwing a punch straight requires the strength to hold your arm out extended repeatedly engaging all the important muscles. Don’t sell yourself short by letting your punches go limp. 

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