PhysioRoom.com’s top boxing techniques for beginners
The global surge of the UFC brand and the catch all sport of MMA has probably done more for the world of martial arts than the Rocky franchise combined. Yet still, every time I wrap my hands and warm up with a rope, I still hear that synonymous riff and that pounding vocal; “it’s the, eye of the tiger”. Ageless, timeless, brilliance. Our resident punchbag Toby Cryne talks boxing techniques for beginners.
Martial arts training, and I include boxing in that field, is one of the most effective ways to get in shape. Whether you’re looking to spar, fight or simply to get fighting fit – boxing, MMA and fight style classes such as boxercise are fantastic ways to lose the pounds and develop functional muscle. The high intensity interval style training sessions revolve around big muscle groups alongside speed and endurance training – and what’s more, classes are exceptionally fun!
Before you start beating the beef out of a cow corpse you first need to create a solid base on which to stand. A basic boxing stance is achieved by taking a small step with your lead (non-dominant) leg. Rotate both feet outwards by about 45˚ stand forward slightly on the front foot. The right footwork will stop you from being grounded, falling over your own feet and will enable you to jostle your opponent like Apollo Creed himself – he’s a character 90’s kids. The following video is a great resource to working your ideal boxing stance.
Hefty right hands may knock people out but combinations score points – and points, make prizes. Though many different attacking combinations exist in stand up sports, the first combinations that you are likely learn will no doubt be the jab, cross and various hooks. These techniques are best learned separately from each other and worked slowly into combinations with each punch leading or following another based on the movement required at the time. For example, a jab may be the least effective punch in terms of damage but when applied as a set up for a cross it can be devastating.
Shadow boxing around a mirror is a great way to work on the mechanics of each movement and practice fluid, slick punches. Remember that what goes out, must come back in immediately as throwing a punch opens up the guard to the possibility of attack leaving the body open to exploitation. Minimise the possibility of this and maximise your output by performing a learned combination. Check out the resources available here for tips on how to create the best combination attacks.
It may not be exactly glamorous but then neither are a couple of black eyes. A solid defence is one of the most important aspects of boxing and beds its roots in both footwork and a solid guard. A strong guard is close to the chin with the elbows tucked in towards the stomach for easy defence of the abdomen.
By manipulating the position of the body and the hands the boxer can either block, parry, evade or intercept a punch or combination. Blocking may be the most common way to avert disaster and evading may look the slickest but parrying and intercepting attacks are by far the most effective in terms of returning blows. Interception requires a great level of insight as to the opponents fighting style and can be horrifically effective as the oppositions energy and momentum is met by yours. Parrying a shot is also a sure fire way to get inside your opponent as it uses their own momentum to knock them off balance and open up areas of the body usually closed off via the guard. Want to know more about the guard? Check out this website for more information.
Hand wraps: The first point of contact in boxing, the hands, take an enormous amount of impact due to the energy transfer from your body to a bag – or the head of your opponent. Hand wraps offer protection to the wrist and knuckles during impact which reduces the chance of injury to these areas.
Gloves: Generally speaking, the heavier the glove – the harder your workout. This is due to the constant static motion the hands up during the guard and the added weight whilst throwing punches. For those simply looking to hit the bag around and occasionally work some HIIT training into their routine a lighter glove will be more than sufficient but for those wanting to spar, fight or even just burn more calories a heavier glove is a great way to improve your upper body strength and arm power quickly. Remember it’s about protection for the hands, not style!
Bag: Though most boxing gyms are incredibly receiving of new starters, the idea of dingy gyms and shared sweat doesn’t sit well with everyone. For those just wanting to stay in shape and workout on their own a punch bag is a fantastic way to get some HIIT training into your routine and a strong upper body and core. Just like with the gloves, the heavier the bag – the harder the workout. PhysioRoom.com stocks various sizes of bags and fittings for your home gym.