Exercises in a boxing circuit focus on the three main components of the sport: strength, endurance and speed. Circuit training maximizes fitness benefits by strengthening cardiovascular and muscle health simultaneously. For boxers, circuit training also mimics the timing of a round in the boxing ring and allows them to improve their stamina.
Jumping Rope and Cardio Training
Cardio training and jumping rope increase speed and endurance. In a boxing circuit, cardio training exercises typically include footwork, also known as “dancing,” jogging in place or jumping jacks. These exercises may be done at the beginning of a circuit to warm up and then again toward the middle to improve fitness levels. Jumping rope increases speed, endurance and cardio health by strengthening leg muscles and lungs simultaneously. Jumping rope should be considered a separate activity to cardio training, and therefore have its own place in the circuit. Don’t jump rope directly after a cardio training interval, unless that interval is the warm-up, as the body will tire quicker. A typical boxing circuit may begin with a one-minute slow jog in place and then use a 30-second interval of jumping rope as the second or third interval in the circuit.
Shadowboxing and Heavy Bag Work
Shadowboxing and working with a heavy bag improve reflexes and boxing skill and techniques. Shadowboxing may be done with or without gloves, but using weighted gloves helps strengthen arm muscles and get boxers used to how to move with the gloves. Heavy bag work should never be attempted without gloves as serious damage to the hands can result. Shadowboxing or heavy bag exercises include body punches, head punches and combinations. The interval in the circuit should be about 30 seconds, or more if the workout is longer. A typical boxing circuit will use shadowboxing or heavy bag work in the beginning as these skills and movements are most pertinent to boxing.
Weight Trainging and Strength Exercises
The last part of a boxing circuit consists of weight training and strengthening exercises. These exercises include sit-ups, push-ups and weightlifting. Strengthening exercises are performed before weightlifting exercises to warm up muscles and maximize the previous interval’s cardiovascular effects. Begin the strength interval with 30 seconds of smooth push-ups, then roll onto the back and complete 30 seconds of sit-ups. Continue to the weight lifting interval and complete 30 seconds of the following exercises: bicep curls, military presses and a combination of both. For legs, complete 30 seconds of the following exercises: left lunge, right lunge and weighted squats. Alternate weight training days, working out arms one day and legs the next. The whole circuit should be completed twice for the optimal workout and weights and interval times should be increased by five pounds or five seconds per week.
- Photo Credit Shadow boxing image by Andrei vishnyakov from Fotolia.com
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