Breathing, as simple as it seems, is one of the most important aspects of boxing. The reason why many boxers are not able to last more than a couple of rounds, be it training or fighting, is because they do not understand the concept of proper breathing.
Boxing combines both an aerobic and anaerobic pace, highlighting the importance of having ample oxygen in your body. Even during lulls in the action, when you’re in a relaxed state, you still need to breathe.
Because boxers use gum shields to protect their teeth and the inside of the mouth from cuts, it’s important to learn how to breathe through the nose. Breathing through the mouth is not ideal, especially in the fast and frenetic pace of fighting. It takes some getting used to, admittedly. That is why we recommend you to start acclimating to using gum shields early.
If you want to become a better boxer, start by understanding why breathing is a big part of boxing, and how you can become better at it. Today, Evolve Daily shares four reasons why breathing is crucial in boxing.
1) Helps Maintain Energy Levels
Breathing is tied to your gas tank as a fighter. Many boxers, especially newer ones, question why they gas out so quickly in a fight. After a couple of rounds, they feel gassed out -arms heavy, panting frantically, furthermore having trouble moving around the ring. That is because the body lacks oxygen, and when the muscles aren’t getting enough oxygen, this results in a lactic acid buildup. Increased levels of lactic acids in the muscles further inhibit anaerobic respiration, which causes fatigue and soreness in your body.
Boxers are always talking about catching that “second wind” when you’re tired in the middle of a fight, and the reality is only by breathing properly, then can you achieve that. Breathe, get sufficient oxygen, and you will have enough energy to last the distance. Without practicing proper breathing techniques, you’ll probably find yourself getting tired easily, which not only affects your physical game but your mind. Having to go through 6 rounds in a gassed-out state is something you do not want to experience.
2) Keeps You Moving
Movement is also another crucial aspect of boxing, and you’re going to be on the move constantly during a heated battle. Forward and back, side to side, upper and lower body, and head movements, all require a certain amount of energy. Without proper breathing techniques, your energy depletes rather quickly.
The more mobile you are as a fighter, the more elusive you become. Being elusive makes you a harder target to hit. At the same time, you gain the ability to constantly move and get to sweet spots in the ring with ease. With enough oxygen flowing through your body, you’ll be able to move gracefully around the ring without tiring.
Who knows, you might even land yourself in pretty tight areas for counters that could help you score points, turning the tides of the game. Conversely, if you’re up against an opponent who is not particularly well-conditioned, they could get tired out faster, giving you a huge advantage, especially as the bout wears on.
3) It Adds Pop To Your Punches
Naturally, you’ll want your opponent to feel power shots. Often, we see how easy it is for boxers like Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather to throw devastating punches that inflict massive damage and knock out their opponents easily. But, little did we know that it has a lot to do with how they breathe and conserve their energy.
The idea is to exhale through the nose sharply whenever you throw a punch and to take in oxygen when you’re not. Oxygen feeds the muscles energy, breaking down glucose, which is essential in creating fuel for your body.
This prevents you from tiring out quickly. Training your aerobic and anaerobic endurance is also crucial to maintaining that knockout power through the duration of a fight. Whether it’s a four-round amateur or a 12-round professional bout, having enough oxygen in the tank is often the difference between victory and defeat.
As muscles have high oxygen requirements, boxers tend to lean up and perform very minimal resistance training. The leaner the fighter is, the more energy-efficient they are, leading to faster and more powerful punches being released.
4) Keeps You Composed
Last but not least, proper breathing helps you have a clear, calm head to make sound decisions in the heat of battle. We all know that boxing is not just a physical but a mental battle. When you’re stressed, the first thing that you can do is not think positively but breathe. Taking a deep breath helps slow things down, allowing you to analyze your train of thought.
When you’re in a firefight in the center of the ring, with punches are flying everywhere, it’s easy to get winded and lose your composure. In these intense moments, you need to be able to make critical choices on the fly. There’s not a lot of room for you to take a step back and figure things out.
Breathing helps keep you relaxed. When you’re in control of your body, you have a far better judgment. One seemingly small choice can make a huge impact in any given fight. Keeping a calm and clear mind will provide you with a mental edge in battle.
You do not want to enter the pocket gassed and winded, while your opponent is firing away. That will leave you defenseless. Remember to breathe in and breathe out while you’re moving and throwing punches.
After learning the importance of breathing, try being more mindful of how you breathe, especially in the early moments of your game. You’ll realize the huge difference in your game, allowing you to last longer and throw stronger punches.
Who knows, perhaps all you needed was to change the way you breathe!
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