Jumping rope is an integral part of any boxing workout.
Visit any boxing club or gym and you will see athletes exercising in a similar manner, but with completely different workout goals. Cardio boxing and traditional boxing are both effective ways to get in shape, but while the former is designed strictly for fitness, dedication to the latter often means you plan to compete in the ring. Even if you don’t dream of being the next champion, a boxing workout provides a unique challenge.
Warmups for Everyone
Whether you take a cardio boxing class at the gym or are an amateur fighter preparing for your next bout, you’ll warm up for your workout in virtually the same way. Although specific warm-up drills vary by instructor, cardio boxing and boxing classes typically begin with a combination of jumping rope and calisthenics, which are ideal ways to warm up your body and build endurance. Many instructors also focus on up-tempo calisthenics, such as jumping jacks, mountain climbers, running on the spot and burpees.
Heavy Hitting Cardio
A cardio boxing class typically focuses on a vigorous workout full of movement, rather than a fine tuning of your boxing skills. Cardio boxing can include a combination of shadowboxing next to a mirror or with a partner, hitting the heavy bag and often has an aerobics class-like nature but with a focus on boxing. For example, a teacher might stand in front of her students much in the same manner as a step aerobics teacher, but lead the class through up-tempo footwork, movement and punches.
Working the Bag for Sport
Although part of the goal of a boxing workout is to keep you in shape, its main focus is developing your fundamentals for competition. A boxing workout includes shadowboxing and bag work, but a trainer will closely evaluate your technique as you perform specific drills. Whereas a cardio boxing trainer often just emphasizes maintaining a quick tempo in your drills, a boxing instructor will stop your workout and provide teaching points. Other elements of a boxing workout include hitting the speed bag, focus pads and double-end bag, sport-specific strength training and plyometrics.
While a cardio boxing class member might cringe at the thought of sparring, boxers build up to this vitally important training exercise. Sparring isn’t a reckless free-for-all; it’s a precise way to hone your skills under the watchful eye of a trainer. Many sparring sessions are technical; fighters might only use their left hand or only throw jabs and crosses, for example. Fighters often spar at top speed but reduced power and, as a fight gets closer, the sparring session’s intensity will increase to simulate a real bout.
By : William McCoy, Demand Media