Practice, Practice and more Practice! Getting the basics right is the most important starting point. Boxing is a very complex art and requires a lot of skill to excel.
Training to become a boxer takes hours of drilling with pad work, shadow boxing, heavy bag, sparring etc. Every athlete that excels in their sport has done the hours of perfecting it…
There really are no short cuts!
Defense is important to learn before even throwing a punch. Top level fighters such as Floyd Mayweather Jr could go through whole rounds hardly being touched and stinging the opponent with counter punches. Learning weave, step, duck, slip, whilst maintaining balance and control is imperative to any boxing athlete.
Shadow boxing is great for this in your own time… it focuses your mind and allows you to find your feet, load your lower limbs and throw a counter punch from different positions. You can think mentally strong and positive thoughts while shadow boxing against a mirror and get your body used to doing what you’ve practised.
You may be a magician on the pads during your Saturday morning box-fit class but a possum in the headlights when it comes to sparring. It’s tough when your opponent is constantly on the move and throwing punches back, the intensity is high and people tend to make plenty of mistakes such as shutting their eyes despite knowing better.
You need to learn to read your opponent and look for patterns. This is hard when you’re busy thinking about your next move. This will become natural over time.
How to throw a punch
If you punch without using ground loaded force you’ll never learn to throw a punch worthy of knocking out an opponent. A recent study by the Sport Performance Research Institute of New Zealand revealed that the most skilled boxes transferred a whopping 38.6% of their total force of a rear hand punch thorough their legs.
Each punch has particular qualities and no punch is exactly the same. It takes hours of practice to master the art of force production and also selecting the right punch or combo at the right moment. So again work on the basics such as snappy jabs at different ranges and generating power, balance and technique then move onto the next punch. Once you start developing those jabs, crosses, uppers and hooks you can think about combinations.
Best gym moves
The best moves in the gym to develop punching power in the gym according to Phil Richards (Welsh Strength and Conditioning Coach who worked with Amir Khan) in this order are:
Clean and Jerk
I agree with this as they are big compound, complex movements working every part of your body. Obviously your volume and supersets with other movements may feature when planning workouts but put these staples in your program and get strong and skilled in these movements.
If you’re training to meet a weight category and not put on too much bulk it’s best to become neurologically developed by keeping the load heavy (near maximal) and the rep range low (around 1-4). If you increase your repetitions above this range you will be heading towards the Hypertrophy (cellular) rep range which will increase muscle mass.
So if you are training to become a boxer, whether it’s for a White Collar charity event or taking the steps to become a champion, surround yourself with experienced people. Learn your stance, footwork and skill and become a nuisance in the ring. Don’t become an easy target by utilising footwork, changing your angles and skill set in the ring.
Connect here with Expert Luke Marshall.