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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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