Conditioning Exercises for Boxing

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The sweet science of boxing relies heavily on multiple muscle groups in your body, namely the biceps muscles in your upper arms, your abs and core, as well as the deltoid muscles in your shoulders. A proper balance of cardio and strength-training exercises can keep your body conditioned for boxing.

Work the Biceps

To keep your biceps in peak condition, try the barbell curl. Stand straight up with your feet shoulder-width apart, your head aligned with your back. Hold a barbell with your arms extended down in front of your body, so it rests around thigh-level. Flex your arms at the same time, bringing the barbell up to your chest. Lower your arms back down for one rep.

Prone and Plank

The prone plank is an excellent exercise to build strength in the abs and core, which are essential to keep in shape since they contribute to balance and coordination. Start in a basic push-up position on the floor, so you're resting on the palms of your hands and the balls of your feet. Hold this position for 30 seconds to a minute, then rest and repeat, holding it longer each time.

Crunch It Up

Crunch up exercises work the rectus abdominis muscles as well as the obliques and hip flexor muscles. Lie flat on the floor face-up with your legs and arms extended straight in the air. Engage your core and flex at the waist, meeting your fingers with your toes, then go back down to your starting position.

Try the Arnold on for Size

To keep your shoulders and back strong, the dumbbell Arnold press is one of the most integral exercises to include in your routine. With dumbbells in hand, take a seated position at the end of a weight bench, feet flat on the floor, with your arms bent in front of you. Your palms should face toward your chest. Raise your arms together out to the sides and up over your head, so your palms are facing forward. Return to your starting position.

The Importance of Cardio

Regular cardio is a must for boxers. Do at least four to five 30-minute sessions of moderate to intense cardio exercise -- brisk walking, running, cycling, rowing, jumping rope in a weekly exercise regime. This helps keep your fat-to-muscle ratio low and also improves your cardiovascular fitness.

Planning Your Conditioning Workout

Proper planning of your conditioning workout is always important. It should be done three to four times a week at all times. During the six to eight weeks leading up to a fight, gradually increase that amount to five or six times. The few days immediately preceding a fight, give your body some time to rest. Stick to brisk walking, running, or cycling, all activities that will keep your body moving without overly exerting your energy.