To become an expert boxer, you must have enough stamina to last for the whole match. You can remember the first time you stepped into a ring or the first sparring match you had. How was it? You must have been out of breath by the end or even given up way before. It takes a lot of endurance to last the complete fight from start to finish.
It’s quite a challenge to keep your gloves on for the whole match. They end up feeling like heavy stones wearing you down. This is because your body is not yet conditioned to the rigorous life of a boxer. It takes time and training to build the required endurance to not only win on the ring but last on the ring too.
Endurance is one of the most vital skills you must master in boxing if you are to have a successful career. It will see you last through all the rounds in a boxing match. When you have endurance, you’re bound to remain energetic and not easily tire out. To build endurance, you must build a routine that you keep to until you’re able to last on the ring without vomiting or being out of breath.
Conditioning that Builds Endurance
1. Cardio Training
With cardio training, you can increase the level at which your breath in and retain oxygen. Taking in more oxygen ensures you don’t easily run out of breath as you train. Cardio training is done at a pre-determined pace for a set period. The main aim is to make your heart rate stronger and slower which results in having more energy to last on the ring.
2. Strength Training
Strength training focuses on training your muscles even beyond their limits. With strength training, you get to work on your fast-twitch muscles that you will need for continuous punches in the ring. Each punch you throw in the ring needs to be powerful and precise to warrant a reaction from your opponent.
3. Exercises to Build Endurance
The continuous movement on a ring by as boxer can easily drain your energy levels. You must condition your body to endure the rigorous movement that will see you last the whole match without tiring out. There are certain exercises you can partake in to build your levels of endurance.
i) Rope Skipping
Every film you’ve seen about boxing always features a portion where the pro-boxer is involved in serious rope skipping. Rope skipping is a vital form of exercise for a boxer because it helps you improve your footwork. You’re always on your feet on the ring, never standing still. You need to learn to endure the constant movement on the ring and skipping rope is one way to do so.
Creating and following a rope-skipping routine will see you create more endurance for the constant movement on the ring. Skip for 2-3 minute intervals at a time at a good pace. A good rope skipping routine will see your lung capacity increase to take in more oxygen and improve your endurance levels. Keep increasing the intensity of your rope routine to push beyond your limits.
ii) Mitt Workouts
Working with mitts can be a great way to build endurance. Have a partner hold up mitt for you to do certain drills with. Using the mitts, you can have your partner engage you like a real opponent helping to build your endurance and sharpen your skills too. Mitt drills can improve your skills by having your partner feign throwing punches that you respond to or duck against.
Create a routine for working with mitts where you set a timer to throw different punching combinations at the mitts. Continuously punching mitts can lead to exhaustion, push through it to improve your endurance levels. Do serious rapid punches until you’re out of breath and energy. Rest a little and repeat. You’ll start to notice changes in your endurance after some time.
All sports encourage running as a way to improve endurance and boxing is no different. Start running today if you don’t already do so. Run for 30-60 minutes at a time to build your endurance. Combine running with sprints that are required in boxing training. Sprints are more ideal than running because you get to sprint and rest.
A sprint mimics a boxing match where you get to box for a short time then take a break before resuming. This goes on until the match is done or one fighter gets knocked out. Training using sprinting and resting will help you have lasting energy levels on the ring too.
iv) Punching a Heavy Bag
A heavy bag is built to weight 2/3 your weight and the first time you land a punch on it will certainly be one to remember. It takes all the endurance you can master to complete a full drill of punching drills on a heavy bag. Heavy bag punches help improve your technique, eye-hand coordination, and the power of each punch you throw.
On the ring, you have to land as many punches as you can while defending yourself from those of your opponent. You cannot run out of energy while on the ring because this gives your opponent room to punch you severely and even knock you out. Training with a heavy bag will build your stamina on the ring.
v) Speed Bag Training
A boxer must train on the speed bag. All boxing gyms have them available. Training on a speed bag will help not only improve your hand-eye coordination but your arm endurance level too. You must keep your hands up the whole time you are facing your opponent. Letting your arms fall to the side opens you up to getting punched.
Keeping your hands up throughout is easier said than done. Gove it a try as a beginner and you’ll see why training using a speed bag is important to build your arm endurance.
vi) Shadow Boxing
Create a routine using shadowboxing to mimic facing a live opponent. You can try and shadow box for a similar period as a live match with a live opponent. Time how long you last every time you’re shadow boxing. Slowly keep reducing the amount of time you have to rest.
Shadowboxing is the best way to increase your muscle memory. Boxing is both physical and mental. You have to train both your mind and your body too. It takes both to create a unique technique that will help you win on the ring.
vii) Agility Ladder Training
You’ll have to keep moving on the ring. At no point during the match are you to stand still except during breaks. It takes a lot of endurance to keep moving and that’s why it’s important to train in footwork using an agility ladder. Even though you don’t get to kick in boxing, you must keep moving.
To succeed on the ring, you must develop excellent footwork and be able to remain on your feet as long as it is required without easily tiring out. Do multiple ladder drills reducing the rest periods to build your endurance levels.
viii) Compound Movements
Compound movements are exercises that use more than one joint in your body. They include push-ups, step-ups, lunges, and squats. These exercises will play a great role in improving your endurance. Try and do a set of squats and lunges today then try sitting on the loo tomorrow! Feel as your muscles scream in pain, but don’t stop. Do it again tomorrow and the next day learning to endure more and more. These exercises stimulate you enough to build your stamina.
ix) Mix it Up
Going for the normal boxing training is important. It will help you build a great unique technique that will see you emerge winner on the ring. But, it’s important to mix up with other sports too. This helps you get out of your mind, relax, and still exercise. You can decide to swim or play basketball or cycle. Select another sport you do just for fun and go for it pushing your endurance levels as you go along.
Doing something different helps keep your sense sharp and your mind relaxed. This is very important to be a successful boxer. As much as you want to excel in boxing, it’s important to step away now and then.
Tips to Improving Endurance for Boxers
1. Well Balanced Diet
Ensure you eat a balanced diet in all meals you partake in. Don’t go for low carb diets as they are not ideal for the rigorous life of a boxer. Eat your carbs and protein. You need energy and the ability to repair your muscles after intensive training. Eating a balanced diet keeps you healthy and energetic.
2. Hydrate Often
Drink water as you train and after training. A well-hydrated body will help you have enough endurance on the ring. You don’t want to be focused on how parched you feel while face to face with your opponent. Dehydration can lead to poor energy levels on the ring making it easy for your opponent to win the match.
3. Switch Out your Training Routine
Monotony leads to boredom. Boredom is the enemy of progress in boxing. Change up how you train often to inject new stamina into your technique. New ways of a training challenge you beyond your limit helping you endure more than usual. Switching up your routine helps you use muscles that you’ve neglected too.
4. Reduced Resting Time
While doing different drills in the gym, shorten the time you rest between sets of each drill. The shorter the time you have to rest, the longer you have to endure the training. This helps improve your body conditioning by needing less time to recover before you have to get back into the ring and continue with the match.
5. Intensify Strength Training
You may be used to lifting weights at a slow sure pace which is ideal for normal training. But to build endurance in boxing, you need to switch up your strength training routine. Increase the intensity and speed at which you lift weights and endure through the challenge. Increase not only the speed but the number of repetitions too. be safe as you lift but keep increasing that speeds steadily. You’ll break a sweat but you’ll learn to endure more.
6. Start with a Warm-up
It’s advisable to start your training with a warm-up to fire up your body and mind. This is a sure way to get ready for the intense training to come. When you war-up your body, your muscles get ready to endure more. A warm-up opens up your lungs and increases the rate at which blood is pumping all over your body. A good warm-up keeps you alert helping you avoid getting injured.
7. Master Sparring
Strength training is good. It helps to round all the equipment in the gym. But nothing builds your endurance quite like sparring with a live opponent. This pushes your lungs to capacity. To lose focus will get you punched, you have to remain focused and push through the whole session before you can rest. The more you spar, the more you realize your endurance levels are on the rise.
8. Learn to Relax
Endurance goes beyond simply being able to face it physically, it’s mental too. You can’t be able to last on the ring if your mind is not calm and relax. Nervousness is the enemy in boxing. It takes away from your focus and can get you easily knocked out. Strive to remain chill on the ring. Building mental endurance takes more work too.
Endurance is necessary to become a great boxer. You cannot take part in boxing if you get easily tired in the ring. Take time to build your endurance levels. You must be able to keep moving and keep your hands up. It’s not easy and as a beginner, you’ll feel the challenge with every ounce of your body. Take your time to utilize exercises that help build your endurance levels.
It takes time to condition your body to the levels of a boxer. Follow the tips and watch as your body transforms to endure more and more. Sparring and shadow boxing is your greatest friends to build endurance.