6 Essential Warmups For All Boxers

Warming up before your boxing training sessions allows you to get more out of your workouts while reducing your risk of injury. Your body will thank you for it, as it reduces soreness after your workouts, which gives you more time to work out at the gym.

Warming up prepares your body for more intense exercise by increasing blood flow to your muscles, loosening your joints, and getting your muscles prepared to do more strenuous work. Make warming up a fixed part of your training routine, and it will pay major dividends down the road. 

Effectively warming up before your boxing training sessions improves oxygen delivery to your cells, reaction time, and force development. Not warming up properly prevents you from training effectively since you end up doing too much or not doing enough. Don’t do enough, and you won’t progress fast enough; do too much, and your body might make you pay for it.

Successful boxing displays are typically the result of psychological, physical, tactical, and technical preparation. However, the most vital part is the warmup. Warming up properly allows you to train and fight at your full potential. Fail to warm up properly, and you might find yourself losing to less skilled boxers who come better prepared. 

Your warmup should consist of multiple exercises to get your body ready to perform at its optimal capabilities. It should include some type of light cardio exercise that elevates your heart rate, some resistance training to get blood flowing to your muscles, and some boxing-based training like shadowboxing or hitting focus mitts to get your brain ready to fight.

The benefits of warming up correctly are more than physical. Warming up can also help reduce tension, anxiety, and tension before training. Many boxing trainers recommend having a warmup ritual when you train and compete to help get you in the right frame of mind to fight. The physical exercise gets your body ready to fight, while the familiarity of the ritual relaxes you and gets you ready to compete. 


Essential Warmups Boxers Should Add To Their Workouts

Here are six simple exercises you should perform before your main boxing workouts to prepare yourself for boxing training:


1) Jogging

ritu running treadmill

Roadwork has been a massive part of boxing training for decades, and it’s still an effective way to get your body ready for more rigorous training. A light jog before your training session gets your blood flowing and raises your core body temperature. It loosens your joints, so you’re ready for more rigorous boxing training.

Try not to overexert yourself on your runs when using them as a warmup. You don’t want to be exhausted before you start training. You want to do just enough to get your body ready. Restrict yourself to no more than ten minutes of jogging or running before you train.


2) Jumping Rope

hiroki jump rope workout

Jump rope is another exercise that’s pretty common with boxers, and it’s often used as a warmup. Skipping for a few minutes raises your heart rate and prepares your body for more rigorous exercise. 

Start your jump rope session lightly by exercising with both feet together before moving on to more advanced movements like high knees. Jump rope for about five to ten minutes. 


3) Shadowboxing

Shadowboxing is excellent for fine-tuning your boxing technique and preparing your body for more rigorous exercises like hitting a heavy bag. Imagine you have a real opponent in front of you when shadowboxing and fight as if they were throwing punches at you and moving around a ring. 

Close the distance on your imaginary opponent, touch them with a few straight punches to gauge the distance, use head movement and footwork to evade their punches, and throw a few combinations. Repeat the process continuously during your shadowboxing sessions. Only do things and use techniques you would use during a sparring match or competition. 

About five to ten minutes of shadowboxing prepares your body for more intense exercises. Feel free to wrap a resistance band around your legs, a little bit over your thigh, to make your shadowboxing sessions more challenging. 


4) Calisthenics

Rich-Franklin planks

Calisthenics can also be used to prepare your body for boxing sessions. You don’t want to get a full calisthenic workout in before a rigorous boxing workout; you want to do just enough to raise your body temperature and get the blood flowing to your muscles. 

A simple calisthenics workout could be a circuit of push-ups, sit-ups, planks, bodyweight squats, and pull-ups. There is no need to perform as many reps as you can on any exercise. Just go for about ten reps of each exercise and try not to rest until the end of your circuit. 

Aim to perform calisthenic warmups after several minutes of light cardio, like jogging. That will loosen your body up for the calisthenics. 


5) Dynamic Stretches

Dynamic stretches are an excellent way to finish up your warmup sessions. Once your body is a little warmer, you can perform dynamic stretches like jumping jacks, neck mobility exercises, calf bounces, leg swings, shoulder circles, and arm circles. Aim for ten reps of each dynamic stretch before moving on to the next. Avoid performing static stretches before your workout since they serve better as cooldowns. 


6) Focus Mitt Drills

Hiroki Akimoto hitting pads in boxing class

You can also finish your warmup sessions with higher-intensity exercises like focus mitt drills to prepare your body for more vigorous work like sparring or heavy bag work. You don’t need to work with an instructor when warming up with focus mitts. Just grab a training partner and have them hold the mitts while you throw punches at them. 

Start by making light contact with the mitts and slowly increase your speed and power. Aim for about three to six minutes when warming up with focus mitts. You don’t want to tire yourself out before your main workout. You should never be out of breath when warming up for more intense exercise. You should be able to hold a conversation while performing your exercises. 


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