What’s the craziest drill you’ve done in a boxing class? Chances are, you’ve seen Rocky Balboa chase chickens in the original 1976 film and wondered, did that actually work? Well, his real-life counterpart Rocky Marciano and other legendary boxers such as Joe Louis, Jack Dempsey, and Sugar Ray Robinson used to do it too. It turns out, unconventional training methods were very popular back then.
Now that we’re in the modern era of boxing, however, everything is streamlined. Training consists of standard practice such as heavy bag workouts and focus pads, shadowboxing, and the like. We have all the latest gear, and everything has been engineered to maximize your training.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t switch your training up and try something new.
These boxing “hacks” may sound crazy and unconventional, but they do work. And some of the best boxers today use these simple but effective workouts to build power, strength, speed, and agility to become better fighters. You may be surprised as to how much these can actually help you improve your game.
If you are tired of the same old boxing training routine, perhaps you’d like to give these training hacks a try. Today, Evolve Daily shares five of the best boxing training hacks to improve your game.
1) Strengthen Your Knuckles
Having a powerful punch is, no doubt, a valuable asset as a boxer. But our hands are naturally brittle, so it’s a great idea to work to strengthen them, particularly our knuckles.
Hard knuckles make punches stronger and your hands more durable. Putting pressure on bones allows them to adapt and evolve. Certain training methods can lead to hand hardening if performed in the correct manner. If you want stronger hands, make knuckle conditioning a part of your regular training.
Techniques like walling, which has you putting pressure on the knuckles by pushing them against a hard wall, not only strengthen the knuckles but the forearms too.
— Evolve MMA (@EvolveMMA) December 30, 2019
Some boxers punch into a bucket filled with rice and then grab and twist handfuls to fortify their grip. Some perform knuckle pushups, which are extremely difficult but will no doubt harden your hands in no time. Others work the heavy bag with just hand wraps and no gloves. There are many ways to go about this.
When bones heal, they build a stronger structure. The process is repeated over and over, creating microfractures and then strengthening again and again. Your knuckles adapt to the stress and, in turn, solidify.
2) Shadowbox Blindfolded
Every boxer knows how to shadowbox, it’s one of the very first training drills you learn when first picking up the sport. Traditionally, shadowboxing is performed in front of a mirror, so you can pay attention to your form and how you are executing your techniques. Once you’ve mastered this however, it’s time to take your shadowboxing to the next level.
Try shadowboxing blindfolded or with your eyes closed. Step into the ring and put your blindfold on. Listening to the sound of the round timer, work in three-minute rounds, resting a minute in between rounds. When you are shadowboxing with your eyes closed, keep in mind an imaginary opponent. Move around the ring based on what your opponent is doing and react as you would in a real fight.
— Evolve MMA (@EvolveMMA) November 20, 2019
When you shadow boxing in front of a mirror, sometimes you lose your train of thought and go on autopilot. Shadow boxing, in essence, is supposed to allow you to train your mind to move according to the ebb and flow of a real fight. Closing your eyes will help you imagine your opponent and train your mind how to move your body.
It’s an easy boxing hack to practice, but one that will no doubt help you become a more fluid fighter in the long run.
3) Movement Drills in the Sand
Movement is one of the most important things in boxing, especially at the highest levels. As a boxer, you never want to be flat-footed. You always want to be able to maneuver yourself around the ring, and run circles around your opponents with ease. If you have good movement and mobility, you instantly become a better fighter.
One hack you can do is to perform your standard boxing movement drills in the sand. Another great thing about this is you get to visit the beach.
Posted by Anthony Joshua on Tuesday, March 6, 2018
So workouts like jogging and sprinting, bobbing and weaving, shadow boxing, jumping jacks, and the like, when performed in the sand, add an exponential degree of difficulty. It’s so hard to move in the sand, and it places a lot of stress on the legs. This also helps to strengthen your lower body and core.
If you can learn how to move better in the sand, imagine who fluidly you will be able to glide across the ring canvas.
4) Use Body Weights
Another amazing way to build hand and foot speed, strength, stamina, and endurance is by adding body weights to your ankles and wrists to supplement your training. The added resistance will help tone and condition your fast-twitch muscle fibers, making your combinations and movements more explosive.
You can also try weighted vests, which adds resistance to your upper torso. This will help strengthen your core and allow for more range of motion, especially for defensive drills like slipping punches, bobbing and weaving, and pivoting.
In addition, having that extra degree of difficulty makes you mentally tougher and more confident in delivering your techniques.
Ideally, you should train with body weights once or twice a week to supplement your regular training. This will ensure you are gradually building strength and not overexerting yourself too quickly. Athletes from all kinds of sports use body weights in various ways. For boxers, they are amazing tools to use to sharpen your weapons.
5) Tennis Ball Drill With Your Trainer
Posted by Anthony Joshua on Friday, March 31, 2017
One of the more popular boxing training hacks is performed with tennis balls and with your coach/trainer. The idea is for your trainer to stand about seven feet away from you, and while holding two to three tennis balls, basically play catch.
Your trainer should throw the tennis balls at you with consistent speed and varying intervals, targeting different quadrants as you try and catch the balls and throw them back. What this does is improve your hand-eye coordination, build better reflexes, and generally conditions your mind to stay focused and remain sharp.
It’s a great training routine that, although may sound simple, has tremendous effects on boxers, making them more accurate with their offense and defense.
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