Kombat Ready Cardio for the Sweet Science
Boxing is one of the most exciting sports on the planet. Two competitors enter, and the action begins. The action continues round after round, for the better part of 30 minutes. If you want to go the distance in the ring or your daily life, then here are some cardio essentials you need to have in your training.
Roadwork – Cue the Rocky music, it’s time for a running montage. Walking, jogging, or running, get out there and get your feet moving. Shadowbox as you go to get your rhythm of throwing punches while constantly moving. Take a friend.
Jump Rope – What? Did you think I wouldn’t mention the obvious? Skipping develops your cardio, rhythm, and footwork. So do it. It’s worked for a hundred years. Grab a rope and get skipping. It was good enough for The Greatest.
Sprints – The ability to unleash your body’s full potential at will in an explosion of power is paramount in boxing. One of the best ways to do this is sprinting. Giving maximum effort for a short period of time, and then resting and recovering, then doing it again. Your cardiovascular system will get a great boost and your speed and explosiveness will too.
Ladder and Footwork Drills – Just about every aspect of training for boxing can be considered cardio. Training your footwork and foot speed is a staple of every boxer’s training regimen. Beyond skipping, doing ladder and footwork drills also builds up your cardio and mimics the constant movement that boxing entails.
Shadow Boxing and Sparring – How can you mimic what it’s like to be in a boxing match? Well, you mimic a boxing match. Set your timer for 3 minutes, and do some rounds. Offense, defense, footwork, just keep moving. Visualize your opponent, fight against yourself. You are your own training tool. Use it to strengthen your cardio and get your body used to the structure of the rounds.
Bag and Mitt Work – Just like shadow boxing, throwing leather and connecting with something, bag or training mitt, is another multi-benefit training tool that will condition your body, and improve your cardio. Nothing will drain you faster than giving 100% on a heavy bag for multiple rounds. Training with a partner or a Coach and having them put you through the paces with the mitts is a skill building cardio throwdown that will leave you gasping for air.
Plyometric Drills – Just like sprints, training your explosiveness through plyometric drills such as box jumps will help you get your body used to going zero to 100 real quick. Going from a sedentary position to maximum effort helps you develop the proper muscle fibres needed for quick and powerful movements. And as a nice side effect, your cardio will also reap the benefits.
While most of these drills are obvious and are probably already part of your training, (they should be), they are time tested and true. They have been around since the dawn of time and for good reason. Because they work. There are no shortcuts. You come in, you grind, you put in the work and your body gives you feedback. Listen!
Even though this article was written specifically for boxing, the truth is, the training methods above can be transferred into many other sports. This is another beautiful thing about boxing cardio. You can take the training and transition to your own sport with minimal tweaking. On the mat, in the cage, or on the field, having a solid gas tank can make the difference between being a competitor and being a champion.
Come on in to The Kombat Arts Training Academy on Tuesday and Thursday evenings at 7pm to get your education in the Sweet Science!
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