Boxing is such an intricate sport. There are so many little nuances and details that go into every technique. It may seem simple on the surface, but beneath its easy charm and appeal is a technicality that is borderline science. It’s no wonder that many boxing pundits and aficionados refer to the art as ‘The Sweet Science’.
Practitioners usually take years to master certain aspects of pugilism. Hours upon hours of time spent in the boxing gym perfecting the craft is required to reach a certain level. Repetition plays a huge role in the development of every boxer, to the point that the body begins to operate on muscle memory.
The greatest boxers and technical fighters focus on the small details. Every little movement in boxing is significant to each technique. One of the most often overlooked aspects of technique is proper breathing.
Proper breathing in boxing is very important and can ensure that a boxer is maximizing every technique’s potential. It affects more of a boxer’s game than you may think initially and is a very big factor in how a boxer performs in a fight.
There are many reasons why proper breathing is something every boxer should be training. Today, Evolve Daily shares four reasons why proper breathing technique is important in boxing.
1) It prevents you from running out of gas
One of the biggest problems that plague both beginner and advanced boxers alike is unoptimized energy expenditure. Every punch a boxer throws, every movement, every feint, it requires a certain amount of energy to execute. A boxer has only so much energy in any given bout. Once it runs out, it is very hard to catch a second wind.
This is where proper breathing technique is essential. By practicing proper breathing, especially when executing high impact techniques on offense and defense, boxers can optimize their energy expenditure.
Over the course of a 12-round bout, this could prove the difference between victory and defeat. This is also the reason why some boxers appear fresher than others late into fights. Stamina and conditioning is an important aspect of every boxing match and one that prospective boxers should strive to manage better.
2) It gives you more energy down the stretch
Many fights are won on conditioning alone. More often than not, the supremely conditioned athlete can outlast a lesser conditioned foe. This is why professional boxers invest so much time in a training camp, putting themselves through the rigors, and why there is a need for them to hire a specialized strength and conditioning coach.
Proper breathing technique makes sure that you are utilizing the least amount of energy and effort required to be effective with your techniques.
Down the stretch, in the so-called “championship rounds” is where this truly matters. By having more energy than your opponent at the end of fights, you can better impose your will. Of course, proper breathing is practiced in conjunction with sound technique. There should be a focus on no wasted movements in every fight.
3) You will move more fluidly
With the lack of oxygen coursing through the body due to non-optimal breathing practices, muscles aren’t fed the nutrients they need to execute and flow with efficiency. There is constant movement in boxing, and with constant movement comes maximum utilization of the lower body. If oxygen isn’t regulated properly in the body, this results in lethargy.
In boxing, this is aptly dubbed ‘sea legs’.
Imagine trying to move underwater, with your muscles burdened by the added weight of the ocean. This is what it feels like when you don’t practice proper breathing and your muscles are not receiving enough oxygen to function at capacity.
By practicing proper breathing and remaining calm in a fight, you can avoid getting sea legs and in turn, you will move more fluidly. Float like a butterfly and sting like a bee, as they say.
4) It gives you more power
Last but certainly not the least, proper breathing, ensures you are maximizing the power behind your offense. Although it may not seem like breathing plays any significant role in punching power, this is absolutely the case and must be taken into consideration with every strike a boxer throws.
The general rule of thumb is that boxers should exhale through the nose sharply every time they throw a punch. This sudden release of oxygen invites an influx of air immediately once the punch is retracted, feeding nutrients and oxygen back into the muscles. This consistent cycle allows boxers to execute punches while putting power behind it. Proper breathing technique while throwing punches not only maximizes power output, it also enhances a fighter’s speed as well.
There is much to be said about proper breathing technique in boxing, but one thing is for sure. It is something every aspiring boxer should pay attention to early in training. By practicing proper breathing early, you can get into a rhythm and habit that will ultimately benefit you in the long run.
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