When you are new to the sport, the world of boxing can be very intimidating. After all, it’s a sport that centers around the idea of fit, tough people smashing each other in the face. Needless to say, being a beginner will involve a little trip through the “school of hard knocks,” but it doesn’t have to be as hard as you might think. In general, boxers tend to have a greater sense of sportsmanship and work ethic than most others, so there is no need to worry about being judged unfairly.
In this article, we will focus on the skills and training that a boxing beginner will need in order to cross the gap and become the athlete that they have always wanted to be. At the very least, we believe this workout will set your feet on the path to success.
A Boxing Workout For Beginners
There are many boxing workouts that have been published. Many different trainers have publicized their methods, whether fully or in part. Thus, you have a lot of places that you can turn for advice. There is nothing wrong with pursuing every avenue of knowledge, but we recommend that you begin with the basic workout outlined below. You can always experiment with different ideas later on, but first, you need a solid foundation. This basic workout is intended to give you just that.
Start by doing a full-body stretch. Don’t skimp out on this part, as you need every muscle in your body to be as flexible as possible. You should spend 10-15 minutes stretching for the best results. After that, do a few push-ups and/or some quick jumps to fully prime your body for battle.
Anyone can throw a punch, but the art of a boxer involves stringing those punches together into effective combinations. A lot of martial arts also use combination strikes, and you might consider looking at some of them for training ideas. It is best to have a punching bag of some sort, and a heavy bag is preferred. However, you can “shadowbox” if you don’t have a bag.
Here are some common boxing combinations to get you started:
- Jab, cross
- Jab, jab, cross
- Jab, cross, hook
- Jab, cross, hook, cross
- Jab, cross, uppercut, cross
- Jab, uppercut, hook, cross
- Cross, hook, cross
- Power Cross Circling Drill
Stand in front of the bag and throw the best right cross you can do. If you’re a southpaw fighter, use your left hand (of course). After punching, immediately take a circling step around the bag and strike again in the same way. This drill is meant to improve punching power, and also to improve your ability to circle your opponent. The right cross is a very common knockout tool, so you need to make sure that it’s well-developed. Think of it as your biggest cannon.
Now, we’re going to practice some punching to the inside. Cross punches come from the outside, while uppercuts tend to come from the inside range. In this context, “outside” means that you are not directly in front of the opponent. Think of it like this: Imagine your opponent throws a straight punch. You have to move out of the way or get hit. You can go to the left or the right, and we will assume that the opponent is punching with the right hand. If you go to the right, toward your opponent’s face, you are going to the inside. If you go to the left, away from your opponent’s face, you are going to the outside.
To do this exercise, you stand in front of the bag and deliver alternating left and right uppercuts. Between each punch, roll your head as if you are avoiding a punch. The dodge and the uppercut should be one smooth motion and should be performed without wasted movement. Remember, you are going for speed and evasiveness here.
Sparring is a part of your training that should not be avoided. Sure, it can be a little more inconvenient to set up a session with a partner, but it’s worth the trouble. There is just no way to accurately simulate the feel of a real opponent who is trying to beat you. Besides, sparring gives you a useful way to measure your skills and see how far you have come.
Boxers need to be in excellent shape. There is no doubt that boxing is a physically demanding sport, and it takes a lot of energy to make it through even a single match. Thus, all good boxers spend a lot of time making their bodies stronger, faster, tougher, and more agile. Here is a list of conditioning exercises that are commonly used in boxing:
- Jumping rope
- Running up hills and stairs
- Leg raises
- Forearm planks
General Tips For Beginners
Let’s consider the general qualities that a good boxer must have in order to excel at the sweet science. Your training should always be goal-oriented, and these are the goals to follow.
Punching power is obviously a very important thing for a boxer. If you want an idea of how much difference punching power can make, take a look at Mike Tyson. Most would agree that he is not a finesse fighter by any means. However, he had a very successful career, and much of this was due to his amazing punching power.
Punching power does not just come from the arm. You might think that the answer is to do bicep curls and tricep curls and deltoid extensions until you get arms like tree trunks. However, this is not the correct attitude. Coordination is actually better than pure strength when you want maximum punching power.
You see, The force of the punch begins at the feet and is propelled forward with the legs. The fist is merely the end-point of all the force that your body can deliver. The whole body works together as one cohesive unit. By learning how to use your body weight effectively, you can deliver punches that are much more powerful than what the arm alone can deliver. Think of it this way: If you weigh 200 pounds, you should be able to deliver 200 pounds of force on the end of your fist.
Hand speed is also very important for boxers. A powerful punch won’t do you a whole lot of good if you can’t deliver it to the target. Hand speed is also vitally important for defense, as you need quick hands to maintain a good guard. There are many ways to develop speed, but the best way is to practice. When you shadowbox or hit the heavy bag, you should try to get as much explosive speed as possible. The more you do it, the more natural it will become.
You might also consider the use of wrist weights. The concept is simple: Weights will always slow your hands down. Thus, a person who can punch quickly (while wearing wrist weights) will be that much faster when the weights are removed. Not only that, but weighted punching is a great way to tone your arms and keep them strong. You might be surprised at what a difference this method can make. When you take those weights off your wrists and start punching the bag, you will find that you can deliver fast and powerful punches with noticeably less effort than before.
The longest boxing match ever took place in 1893. It was fought between Andy Bowen and Jack Burke and lasted seven hours and nineteen minutes. While you are unlikely to experience such a long fight, it is always good to prepare for the worst. A boxer has to have levels of endurance that some people would find to be superhuman.
This is why jumping rope, running, and cardio are so important for a boxer. Without these things, you will quickly get worn down and will lose due to fatigue rather than anything else. It is very frustrating to lose a fight merely because you got tired, and not because of any lack of skill on your part.
Footwork is the king of the ring. Although the average boxing fan may not realize it, footwork is one of the things that separates the amateurs from the pros. There are several reasons that footwork plays such a crucial role, and a lot of them come down to movement and stability. You need stability to keep from being knocked down by the first hard hit. You also need mobility to keep from being hit, and also to attack your opponent accurately from the best possible angle.
There are many things you can do to work on your footwork. We might begin with the ladder drills. Basically, you take a rope ladder and lay it on the floor. This creates a “grid” that can be used like a hopscotch square. By learning how to weave in and out of this grid, you can greatly increase the speed and coordination of your feet. Football players use this method quite often, and there is no reason that a boxer cannot do the same.
Your defense is something that should never be neglected. Obviously, one of your goals in a boxing match is to avoid being hit, but there is more to the story than that. An evasive defense can do a lot to frustrate your opponent, making it something of a psychological warfare tactic. The best way to hone your defenses is through regular sparring, but you can also use dodging drills like the bob-and-weave drill above.
You might also enlist a friend or fellow athlete to throw rubber balls at your head so that you can practice dodging them. You can also develop your defense with specialized sparring sessions. Instead of having a free spar, one person is limited to attack only, and the other person is limited to defense only. By forcing yourself to concentrate on defense alone, you can isolate this crucial part of your game and bring it up to the level that you need.
Of course, even if you follow this routine to a “T”, we cannot guarantee that you will gain victory and success in the ring. That part of the equation depends entirely on you. Although these methods will help you to become a better boxer, you still have to worry about all the other people, who are presumably also trying to be the best that they can be.
What will make the difference between a winner and a loser? Pure determination. If you decide to train like a lazy bum, you will fight like a lazy bum. But, if you train like a champion, you’re a lot more likely to actually become a champion. We hope that we have inspired you to get in the ring, stop complaining, and knock someone to the mat properly. If so, please show your appreciation by following us on Facebook using the link below.