Football-Inspired Workouts for Boxers

Each sport comes with its own set of physical and mental requirements. Some sports require more brute strength, while others rely on reflexes and quick thinking. Boxing has many mental and physical requirements. You have to be strong, agile, fast, and precise all at once. Thankfully, there are specific exercises which develop these skills.


Other sports, like football, require similar skills to those needed in boxing. Incorporating drills from various sports can add variety to your training and help you develop your boxing skills. It can also be great fun to change your usual training routine from time to time.


Athletic Qualities Needed In Boxing And Football

Some of the boxing and football skills that overlap include:

·         Speed and quick reflexes- Football players may need to cover large amounts of distance across the football pitch, but boxers have to have very quick movements and need to be able to dodge their opponent’s punches, move around the ring, and change directions quickly.

·         Agility- Both boxers and football players need full command over their bodies and must be able to deliver swift and precise movements. Whether it be for catching or throwing a ball across a field, or for throwing decent punches, agility and athletic ability go hand-in-hand.

·         Flexibility- Having good flexibility can increase an athlete’s range of motion as well as prevent injuries.

·         Strength- Both football players and boxers need to perform powerful movements and withstand numerous hard blows to the body. For this, they need full-body strength.

·         Conditioning and endurance- Both football and boxing are tough sports, which can lead to many serious injuries if players are not properly physically conditioned to withstand the constant heavy impact. Boxers and football players also need endurance to maintain prolonged periods of energy expenditure.


Common Training Techniques for Football Players and Boxers

To develop the qualities needed to win, football players and boxers are advised to use various types of exercise including:


Plyometric Exercises

Plyometric exercises have been gaining popularity in the sport and fitness world because of their numerous proven benefits. Among those benefits is drastically increasing physical power, which forms the foundation of almost all athletic ability. Plyometrics uses maximum body or muscle exertion in minimal time with the goal of drastically increasing strength, power, and agility.These exercises involve a lot of body weight exercises and explosive jumping movements, which challenge many muscle groups at the same time and push the body to its limit.


Cardiovascular Exercise

Cardio is any exercise that gets the blood pumping and the lungs working harder. Steady state cardio, like running at a steady pace for a long time, helps develop endurance. Cardio can also be High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) that pushes the body to its limits in short bursts of intensity. HIIT is an effective go-to training technique as it can combine cardio with strength training in a short amount of time and often using minimum equipment.


Strength Training

To increase muscle strength, a variety of muscle-challenging exercises are used, including bodyweight exercises and weight-training with dumbbells, barbells, sandbags, kettlebells or various weight machines.


Speed and Coordination Drills

These drills help to maintain and improve form, muscle memory and reflexes when performing certain movements needed for the sport. The drills can consist of a variety of specific exercises as well as exercise combinations which mimic movements used in fights. Football players may practice throwing, catching of a ball, various tackling and defensive movements, while boxers will drill certain punching blocking and footwork combinations.


Dynamic Stretching

Dynamic stretching is used to increase flexibility, speed-up recovery, and condition the body against injuries. These stretches incorporate movement into the stretch, and work well as a warm up before intense physical activity.



Squat Jump

This exercise strengthens the hips, knees, and ankles.  It helps boxers and football players create power for fast leg movements, footwork, and battling an opponent.


Instructions:

  1. Stand with feet just more than shoulder-width apart.

  2. Squat down as if to sit in a chair and then jump vertically, as high as you can.

  3. Land softly and resume the squat position. Be sure to keep your hips pulled back and not to let your knees extend past your feet.

  4. Hold the squat position for up to 3 seconds and repeat as many times as you can, or in desired sets.


Hurdle Drill

This drill helps develop quick feet by improving coordination, speed, and agility. It also improves your body’s ability to change direction quickly and make quick decisions.


Instructions:

1.       You will need to set aside adequate space to move-- at least six feet.

2.       Create a series of hurdles in your workout space about 6-10 inches in height and two feet apart.

3.       Starting before the first hurdle, rapidly side-step over each hurdle, one leg at a time, while making sure not to touch the hurdles, nor to cross your feet.

4.       Reverse directions and repeat.

5.       Repeat this as many times as you like, going faster each time.


Single-Leg Hurdle Hop

This exercise teaches an athlete to land in a way that absorbs force absorb, reducing the possibility of injuries common in both football and boxing.


Instructions:

  1. Create a setup, similar to the hurdle drill above. You may want to set the hurdles slightly lower this time as this exercise is a bit more challenging.

  2. This time, hop over the hurdles with one leg, landing softly.

  3. Be sure to take your time to master form, before speeding up gradually.


Ankle Jump

This exercise can build explosive power in the lower legs.  It also develops ankle flexibility, as ankles are often a potential source of injury due to quick movements and sudden falls prevalent in boxing.


Instructions:

  1. Stand straight, with legs hip-width apart.

  2. Lift toes up toward shins, while keeping heels and balls of feet on ground.

  3. Jump up and down, using balls of feet and heels to lift off and land, keeping toes pointed up.

  4. Be sure to go slow and controlled, landing as softly as possible.


Foam Rolling

Foam rolling is a form of Self Myofascial Release (SMFR) and uses deep compression to roll out muscle tension, spasms, and imbalances that develop during training. By relaxing the muscles and encouraging blood flow, SMFR helps the body recover faster after training.

A simple foam roller is becoming increasingly popular as it offers loads of benefits for training recovery and pain relief. It can enhance joint ROM ( range of motion) as well as pre and post workout muscle performance. Foam rolling has also proven effective in reducing DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness)


Instructions:

  1. Simply roll the foam roller back and forth around any area where you feel extra tension.

  2. If you find a sore spot, apply static pressure until it begins to dissipate.


Trigger Point Massage

Trigger point massage is an age-old technique for relieving chronic foot pain and fascial tightness, both of which can hinder your performance. Foot pain and tightness is often a result of playing or training on hard surfaces for long periods.


Instructions:

  1. Using a tennis, lacrosse or similar hardball, roll the arch of your foot back and forth over the ball, varying pressure.

  2. If you have tension in areas that are hard to reach with a foam roller, you can also apply this technique there.


Talk to your Gloveworx Coaches for More Help

These are just a few exercises to change your training routine up a bit. To get the full benefit of your boxing training, you need a plan that is tailored to you and expert supervision. Any of our qualified coaches will find exercises from a range of different sports as well as classic boxing exercises to keep your workouts fresh, safe, and effective!


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