Boxing, as a sport and as a martial arts discipline, is incredibly popular in Singapore, not just for people looking to lose weight, but also for those who want to learn the ‘Sweet Science.’ Many head off to the boxing gym to learn how to box and defend themselves.
But it simply can’t be denied. Boxing is a fantastic way to get in shape, because of the intense workouts that make up training. One of the biggest components of boxing training is strength and conditioning, and one of the most important areas to develop is the core.
The core muscle group is an integral part of a boxer’s physique, which is why so much attention is placed on strengthening this area. A chiseled midsection is a sign of a well-conditioned athlete. Boxing training routines to fortify the core include ab exercises and ab workouts, all designed to protect a boxer’s midsection from punishment.
WBA Boxing World Champion Drian Francisco from the EVOLVE Fight Team demonstrates a boxing abs workout you can do at home! #StayHome
Posted by Evolve MMA on Wednesday, May 6, 2020
If you’re a boxer, or are thinking of taking up boxing, then you have to focus on developing your core. It’s where you draw power from, a deep well of stamina and energy. At the same time, it’s often the target of your opponents.
Protect yourself from the impact of body shots by training your core. We’ve listed down some of the essential ab exercises you need to be doing, to ensure you have a rock-solid midsection.
Today, Evolve Daily shares five ab exercises that boxers need to do.
These are the most basic of ab workouts. At some point in your life, you’ve done crunches. It’s the very first ab exercise they teach you in gym class. It’s also very important, despite its simplistic nature.
Doing crunches properly and consistently will target your main core muscles. This should be your go-to ab workout, with other ab workouts merely there as supplementary.
Like its distant cousin, the sit-up, crunches help you build and fortify your sternum. Most body punches land in this area, so making sure it’s able to absorb punishment is crucial to a boxer’s conditioning.
Performing crunches also trains this contracting and expanding movement that is a major part of boxing’s explosive shell, otherwise known as a fighter’s ability to contract the midsection just before impact to minimize damage.
2) Oblique Crunches
Targeting the internal and external obliques comes next, via the all-important oblique crunches. It’s yet another basic ab exercise that has a profound impact on the overall strengthening of the core.
A lot of people neglect this area of the midsection, but it’s certainly an amazing way to round out your ab training.
For boxers, in particular, the oblique muscles act as core stabilizers, keeping you balanced with a good center of gravity as you take the hits. They also protect your liver and kidneys from impact, as well as, to a lesser effect, your rib cage.
Opponents love to dig into the body with hooks, and often, the obliques serve as the first line of defense against these punches. Having strong obliques means you can take extra punishment to the body absorbing too much damage.
3) Leg Raise
The last basic ab exercise is the leg raise. Leg raises target your lower abs, the least engaged area of the core muscles. Many people overlook the lower abs because they feel it isn’t necessary to train them. That couldn’t be more false.
Not only does it fortify the lower abdominal muscles, leg raises also improve the strength and flexibility of the hips and lower back.
It allows boxers better use of their base, their legs, in turn, offering improved footwork and movement. Movements such as bobbing and weaving, ducking, changing levels, and upper torso movement are predicated on a strong lower core.
Boxers whose styles focus on constant movement, a strong lower core is essential to victory. Leg raises are an amazing workout to build a rock-solid core.
4) Russian Twists
Veering away from the basic ab workouts, we hit our first advanced ab exercise with Russian twists.
Russian twists are very popular with boxers because it engages every bit of the core muscles from upper to lower and the obliques. In a constant flowing compound movement, Russian twists are able to condition the core with maximum effectiveness.
The beauty of Russian twists is that you can increase the level of difficulty by adding weighted resistance. Using a dumbbell, or a medicine ball, Russian twists become exponentially harder, and force you to squeeze those ab muscles tighter than ever.
Some of the most well-conditioned boxers incorporate Russian twists into their ab workouts. World champions such as Filipino legend Manny Pacquiao, or pound-for-pound great Floyd Mayweather Jr., all do Russian twists whenever they hit the ground.
5) Flutter Kicks
Last but not least, and certainly not the easiest of the bunch, are flutter kicks.
Similar to leg raises, but with a slight variance in movement, flutter kicks also target the lower core muscles such as the lower rectus and hip flexors. They are relatively simple enough to do, but are very challenging, especially if placed towards the end of an ab workout when all your core muscles are basically spent.
This workout can be performed lying flat on your back to target the lower core, and also flat on your stomach to stimulate the back muscles.
Boxers add an extra layer of difficulty when a training partner takes a light medicine ball and drops it from height, targeting the midsection. This simulates the impact of heavy punches on the core.
There are many more ab workouts and exercises that you can do to strengthen your core. These are just some of the essentials. The most important thing of all is that you remain consistent.
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