5 Midsection Strengthening Drills For Boxing

Strength and conditioning play a major role in boxing, which is why there’s always a great deal of emphasis placed on getting into top shape during training. Well-conditioned athletes are better equipped to handle the unique pace of a fight, be it on offense or defense. On defense, having a strong body means you’re able to handle pressure coming from your opponent and potentially absorb damage. This is where fortifying your midsection is key, and the reason why boxers have chiseled abs and a rock-solid core.

The abdominal muscles and obliques serve as hypothetical body armor against the opponent’s punches, protecting vital organs such as the kidneys, liver, and skeletal structures like the ribs from serious damage. If you’re looking to strengthen your midsection and increase your punch resistance, especially when absorbing punishment to the body, there are many great drills and exercises that will help you achieve this goal.

Today, Evolve Daily shares five drills to strengthen your midsection for boxing.


1) Mayweather Sit-Ups

This is an amazing ab workout made popular by pound-for-pound legend Floyd “Money” Mayweather Jr. himself. One of Mayweather’s signature routines aptly is called the Mayweather Sit-Ups, which you’ll see Mayweather doing extensively in his training camps. This is an effective workout that trains in an exploding forward motion, not just concentrating on a small area of your abdominal muscles, but engaging your entire core, as well as the base of your legs.

This workout also incorporates boxing movements, which further bakes techniques into your muscle memory during the exercise, so you’re not just conditioning your core but also practicing your techniques at the same time. Talk about killing two birds with a stone.

Take note that for this workout, you will need a partner. Here’s how to do the Mayweather Sit-Ups:

  • Start by laying down in a sit-up position, with your partner placing his weight on your feet and holding your legs down providing stability.
  • Once you’re ready, begin with a full-range sit-up, and then immediately transition into a standing position.
  • Once you’re at the top, throw in a 2-4 jab combination and slowly sit back down in one smooth motion. That counts as one rep.

Remember that you should focus on having the full range motion rather than the speed of the exercise because your emphasis should be on working your core.


2) Russian Twists

The Russian Twist is a boxing favorite. It will help give you those washboard abs, fully rounding out your abdominal muscles, the external intercostal muscles, and the internal and external obliques. In addition, it engages the sides of your core which helps increase your range of motion by improving your rotational strength. This not only aids in giving you a stronger midsection, but also fortifies the snapping and twisting motion of your torso when throwing punches. Here’s how to perform the Russian Twist:

  • Sit on the floor with your knees slightly bent, and feet touching the floor.
  • Next, get in position by slowly lifting your feet off the ground and holding for a few seconds to ensure you find the balance in the center of gravity.
  • Once you’re ready, slowly twist and turn your hips 90 degrees to the right, and then swing back in the other direction before re-centering your core and dropping back to the floor. That counts as one repetition.

Tip: You can also modify your workout by holding a light weight or a medicine ball in your hands while you perform this exercise. This provides you with extra resistance that will help fortify your midsection even more in addition to working with your body weight.


3) Bicycle Crunches

Like Russian Twists, Bicycle Crunches target the full range of your abdomen by engaging your lower abdominal muscles with the unique motion of this exercise.

Here’s how to perform the bicycle crunch:

  • Begin in the standard sit-up position with your back flat on the floor, knees bent and feet on the ground.
  • From this position, you’re going to bring your head up, lifting your shoulders off the ground. With your hands behind your head and your elbows flared outward, bring your right knee up toward your left elbow, crunching your midsection to accommodate the motion.
  • Re-center and bring your left knee up toward your right elbow. This simulates a pedaling motion, as if you were riding a bicycle, hence the name. Repeat this process.

Start by doing a minute of Bicycle Crunches until you gain enough strength to last three minutes. Much like Russian Twists, this is another extremely challenging ab workout that will leave your core shredded after a few weeks of constant repetition.


4) Bear Crawl

The Bear Crawl is another amazing ab workout that targets the full washboard, especially the rectus abdominis muscles, and the transverse abs. Here’s how to perform it:

  • Start in the push-up position, resting with your knees on the ground, shoulders over your wrists, and your knees below your hips. This position would mimic how a bear would normally posture up.
  • Next, lift your knees just slightly above the ground, take note that it should only be a few inches off or two fists height.
  • Once you’re ready, raise your right hand and your left foot forward, doing the same for your left hand and right foot.
  • After moving forward, repeat the motion, but this time move backward and return to your starting position. Make sure you keep your core tight and engaged throughout the entire workout.

Tip: This also works best when you pretend you’re an actual bear and try to move like one, hence the name of this exercise. Do this work out for a minute each set, and rest only a few seconds in between. Bear Crawls work great to engage all of your major core muscles, improving their endurance. Try to speed this workout up and you’ll be improving your cardio too.


5) Elevator Plank

Last but not least is the elevator plank. It resembles a normal plank, but with the added difficulty of constantly changing levels. This workout helps tighten your core, training your explosive shell, which is essential for managing punishment to the body.

Here’s how to perform the elevator plank:

  • Start in the normal plank position, palms flat on the floor, shoulder-width apart. Your feet should be close together as per normal, knees extended, and the arch of your back in a straight line.
  • With your core engaged, you want to bend your right arm, touching your right elbow on the ground while laying your forearm flat.
  • Next, you want to do the same with your left arm. With both your elbows and forearms flat on the ground, you want to reverse the motion first with your right arm, followed by your left. This completes the elevator plank motion.

Try adding these workouts into your workout regime and gradually you’ll achieve your tougher, rock-solid middle section!


You may also like:

5 Effective Ab Exercises You Should Do At Home


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