xing is a sport that requires explosive strength in both the upper body and the legs. PLyometric training can help boxers develop the speed and explosiveness they need in the ring, provided the athlete is building on a foundation of good technique and a decent level of strength.
Upper body exercises
Two good plyometric exercises relevant to boxing are medicine ball throws and jumping push-ups.
To perform plyometric medicine ball throws, you need a partner. Some people suggest a solo exercise of throwing the ball overhead and catching it, but I have found that working with a partner is better, as they can throw with the right amount of force and speed. Your partner should throw the ball partner pretty hard directly at your chest. Your aim is to catch is with as little jarring as possible, smoothly absorbing the force, then immediately throw it back to them. Only do about 5 reps back and forth at a time, as fatigue will make your technique deteriorate.
Jumping push-ups are the same basic movement, a forward pressing movement from the chest. (This is similar enought to a punch that there will be some carryover of strength gained here to the ring.) From the bottom of a push-up position, thrust yourself up into the air as powerfully as possible, ‘jumping’ into the air with your upper body as high as you can. Land silently and smoothly, like a cat. Some people like to clap their hands in mid-air, but this is a useless gimmick that just distracts from good technique.
Lower body exercises
Lower body plyometric exercises are essentially the same for boxing as for any other sport. Human legs were really only designed to do a few basic movements; regardless of the sport, the more explosively you can bend an straighten your hips, the better you are.
Shock jumps are a princely exercise. Jump off the box and absorb the force as smoothly as possible. The key is using the right height plyometrics box.
Depth jumps begin the same way, jumping off a box and landing, but then you jump straight up into the air as high as possible. You will need a slightly lower box for depth jumps than shock jumps.
Plyometrics are a great training methodology, well-proven and tested on thousands of athletes and researc subjects. Plyometrics work. Yet, unfortunately, the average person who tries to use p[lyomterics to improve their sporting performance, without the guidance of an experienced coach, will not see results.
This is mostly because of misinformation and the wrong attitude. Plyometrics are a delicate training modality. The work required is actually very small, and this is the problem. It can be a deceptively small amount of work, and people read a regime like our suggested plyometric workout and think “This little effort can’t produce results. I better increase the workload.”
This is a mistake. People think of the body in industrial terms: the more you put in, the more you get out. But the body is a complex, adaptive organism. Training is not like adding something to your body; it is more like pushing the right keys to charm a certain response out of your body. This is why a tiny amount of training – if it is carefully devised – can yield disproportionately large results. The potential is already within your body, and the training just tells it to come out.
An excessive worload is harmful in another way as well – plyometrics is nervous system training, and depends entirely on quality of movement. This means that training to any kind of fatigue is disastrous. The more you tire yourself – with the idea that huge effort is needed to produce huge results – the more the quality of your movement deteriorates. By training when fatigued, you are training your nervous system to perform low-quality movements. Train fresh to enforce good habits of high-quality movements.
That’s all for now. Be strong. Train well.
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