The Best Cardio Warm-up Exercises for Boxing Training
What’s the first thing we do in the morning, long before we put on our clothes or brush our teeth or fire up the coffee machine? We stretch. What’s the first thing we do with our car, before we change gears and begin our morning commute? We warm up the engine for a few seconds, if not a few minutes.
And why do we do them? Because we’re trying to prime both “machines” to be ready for the stresses that are about to be placed on them.
As we all are well aware, the same principles apply when exercising. Contrary to popular belief, warming up won’t directly make you faster or stronger, but it plays an important role. Warm-up exercises prepare your body for the upcoming training session, allowing you to successfully complete the workout of your choice.
As you might have guessed, such training sessions also include boxing. So let’s dig a bit further into the subject.
Why It's Important To Warm Up
Interestingly enough, there is a debate as to just how much of a difference in the subsequent training output you’ll see if you warm up versus if you don’t. If you’re in the camp of warm-ups being essential, or if you’re in the camp of warm-ups not being essential, you can easily find arguments and data to back up your stance.
However, most exercise professionals will tell you that warming up isn’t as much about improving exercise output as it is about preventing injuries. In fact, some professionals will go as far as saying that the warm-up is more important than the workout, because if you don’t get your blood flowing, you could sustain an injury that prevents you from exercising for an extended period of time.
If nothing else, warm-ups are seen as a way to prime the mind, as much as the body, in preparation of a workout. In other words, our minds become accustomed to performing warm-up exercises are the first step in our “ritual” of working out, and making sure we take this first step gives us the confidence for a successful upcoming workout.
Importance Of Warming Up When Boxing
The idea of using your warm-up exercises to prepare your body for the workout to come is certainly applicable in the case of boxing. In general, boxers perform a host of warm-up exercises prior to undertaking any direct boxing-related activities, as those warm-up exercises are directly applicable and attributable to boxing-related movements.
Interestingly enough, despite some of the conflicting research on the idea of pre-workout warm-ups at a universal level, there is conclusive research showing that performing a warm-up routine that lasts as little as eight minutes can lead to significant improvements the ability to generate power in boxing movements.
Simply translated, warming up before boxing can allow you to hit harder and move around faster, which are two of the most fundamental concepts in boxing.
Our Favorite Cardio Warm-up exercises
While there are many exercises that'll get you sufficiently "loosened up" to begin your boxing session, there are several tried and true exercises that are not only the favorites among boxers of all skill levels, but they're also directly applicable to the abilities and skills you'll need as a boxer.
Here are several that we recommend.
It’s very fair to say that no exercise is more commonly found in the arsenal of workout routines for boxers than jumping rope. In addition to the fact that jumping rope elevates your heart rate and serves as a great way to improve your overall conditioning, jumping rope also helps you build the footwork and coordination that are needed in the boxing ring.
As any boxer knows, they're only as good as their footwork and the way they utilize their muscles in their lower body. As you get better at jumping rope, you'll become a better boxer along the way, because the coordination you need to turn the rope and skip over it primes your body to use your lower body to set up your upper body.
As anyone who's ever boxed, or taken a boxing training session can tell you: just performing the basic boxing-related movements for a short period of time will engage your body in a way that many other types of sports or exercises will not.
That's exactly why shadowboxing is an excellent way to warm up: because there are few other ways that will truly get your blood flowing. Even a three minute round of practicing your combinations, moving around a hypothetical boxing ring, and moving your body to avoid the strikes of your pretend opponent will work up a sweat.
Of course, the other benefit of shadow boxing is that you’re actually exercising in a way that translates directly in terms of boxing. In the same way a baseball pitcher throws the ball around, or a golfer takes casual and elongated repetitions of their swing, shadow boxing is the way to truly practice and refine your boxing techniques.
Running up steep hills or endless flights of stairs has long been a practice of boxers seeking to get in better cardiovascular shape. But what about those contenders who are limited by issues pertaining to joints that would be taxed in such exercises, such as your knees or ankles?
That's where the VersaClimber machine provides an excellent alternative. Designed to simulate a motion that's a blend of mounting climbing and stair climbing, the VersaClimber will provide you with many of the same cardiovascular benefits of running on a treadmill and/or on stairs, without having to worry about the impact on the joints.
In fact, studies have shown that the Versaclimber machine can elicit a higher VO2 max -- a measure of overall cardiovascular fitness -- than running on a treadmill.
The First Step In A Successful Fitness Journey
Our goal for every contender who walks into a Gloveworx training session is to make them go through a highly engaging but challenging workout that’ll be sure to create the body-changing results and subsequent desire to keep coming back.
To bring about those results, our coaches ensure that each training session begins with a series of dynamic warm-up exercises, that prepare our contenders for the work they’re about to perform, and allows them to fully enjoy the benefits of their efforts. If you’re ready to put in the work, check out our wide variety of high-energy training sessions.