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Basic Plyometric Training for Boxers

Successful boxers are athletic, technically sound, and tactically savvy in the ring. Spending long hours in the gym makes you more technical and tactical. With an effective workout routine and the right training, your coordination, quickness, and explosiveness should improve as well. This guide focuses on improving athletic ability with Plyometric training — an essential piece of the training puzzle for serious boxers.

Plyometrics Explained

Plyometrics train your nervous system to trigger quick, powerful muscle contractions. Workouts include high-intensity exercises that emphasize short bursts of energy. Over time, your body recognizes particular patterns and becomes more efficient as you continue to train. This guide touches on some of the most basic Plyometric exercises to improve many of your boxing-related movements.

Upper Body

Plyometrics truly have the ability to improve the performance of any muscle in the body. The two exercises described below target the core and upper body in particular.

Plyo Pushup

In order to complete a Plyometric pushup, follow these steps:

  1. Get in a normal pushup position (plank position with your feet together and hands slightly farther than shoulder-width apart.)
  2. Lower yourself down to the floor slowly and with control.
  3. Allow your chest to touch the ground, and then push up in an explosive manner. Fully extend your arms and allow your hands to come off the ground at full extension.
  4. Brace your fall with your hands, and then slowly lower yourself back down.
  5. Repeat for a predetermined number of reps and sets.
Hot Tip: On Your Knees

If you have trouble completing plyo pushups from a normal pushup position then try them with your knees on the ground. This should make the exercise much easier.

Overhead Medicine Ball Throws

This exercise requires a medicine ball and a wall that’s sturdy enough to throw the ball against. Medicine balls vary in weight, usually falling within the range of 2 to 25 pounds. Find a ball that suits your ability and follow these steps:

  1. Stand approximately ten feet away from the wall with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  2. Place one foot in front of the other so that you’re in a staggered stance.
  3. Bring the medicine ball over your head with two hands.
  4. Throw the ball against the wall as hard as possible.
  5. Allow the ball to bounce off the wall and the ground before your grab it.
  6. Repeat for a predetermined number of reps and sets.
Hot Tip: Medicine Ball Pointers

Use a powerful throwing motion. Rebound the ball and repeat as quickly as possible, but always maintain control while throwing. After completing this exercise with one foot in front, place the other foot in front and repeat the drill.

Lower Body

Your feet and legs are your foundation. Quick feet allow you to move gracefully in the ring, while also improving your offensive and defensive abilities (like bobbing and weaving). Likewise, strong legs allow you to throw powerful punches. The following exercises focus on the lower body:

Jump Squats

Jump squats are a full-body exercise that improve explosiveness. This exercise produces noticeable results when practiced consistently. To complete a jump squat, follow these steps:

  1. Stand with your feet spread about shoulder-width apart.
  2. Place your hands at your sides and bend your legs until you feel like you’re sitting in a chair.
  3. Explode upward in a jumping motion.
  4. As you jump, raise your arms upward toward the sky.
  5. Land back on your feet.
  6. Regain your balance as quickly as possible and repeat for a predetermined number of reps and sets.

Lateral Bound

The following exercise requires a workout step or small box that can hold your weight. This drill improves your overall coordination and lateral movement. Complete the exercise by following these steps:

  1. Stand to the side of the step with your right foot on the ground and left foot on the step. Your body should be positioned so that you’d bump into the step if you were to move laterally to the left.
  2. Jump up, bringing your left foot to the ground on the left side of the step. Simultaneously land with your right foot atop the step.
  3. Jump up once again, bringing your right foot to the ground on the right sideof the step. Simultaneously land with your left foot atop the step.
  4. Alternate going side to side for a predetermined number of reps and sets.

Alternating Feet

This drill encourages foot-coordination and quickness. It also requires a workout step or small box that can sustain your bodyweight. Complete like so:

  1. Begin in front of the step with feet shoulder-width apart. Your body should be positioned so that if you were to walk forward, you’d hit the step.
  2. Place one foot on the edge of the step in front of you.
  3. Quickly change the foot atop the step by bringing the other foot back to the ground.
  4. Continue to switch feet. You can either do this exercise for a specified amount of time or a specified amount of reps.

Eyes Forward

Focus your eyes on an imaginary target in front of you as you engage in Plyometrics. The target you select represents your opponent in the ring. You constantly multitask while boxing, and Plyometric training improves your ability to focus. It takes a great deal of concentration to gaze forward while performing a difficult maneuver with your hands or feet.

Every boxer wants to become quicker and more explosive. This guide focuses on some basic Plyometric drills that improve those abilities.
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