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!
• 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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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