How to Become Physically Fit for Boxing

Smiling female boxer resting her elbows on the ring side, looking away, low angle view

The art of boxing requires total body fitness. You need cardiovascular endurance to withstand several minutes of constant movement in the ring. You need arm, leg and core strength to give power to your punches. And you need speed and agility to deliver accurate punches while you avoid getting hit. Practicing drills with a punching bag and sparring with partners will help to develop your speed, agility and accuracy. Other exercises, outside the ring, can improve your cardiovascular endurance and strength.

Cardiovascular Conditioning

Calculate your cardiovascular training heart-rate zone. The cardiovascular, or aerobic, zone should be 70 to 80 percent of your maximum heart rate. Subtract your age from 220 and multiply the result by 0.7 and 0.8 to get your target range, measured in beats per minute, or bpm. For example, the lower end of a 20-year-old man’s target range is 140 bpm, and the upper end is 160 bpm.

Use a heart-rate monitor. It allows you to watch your heart rate as you exercise to ensure that you are working in the target zone.

Perform cardiovascular exercise for at least 30 minutes, at least 20 minutes of which should be in the target zone. For the best results, do a weight-bearing exercise such as running, jogging or jumping rope, which also conditions the joints and muscles in your legs.

Engage in cardiovascular exercise most days of the week. On training days, do the cardiovascular exercise before your regular ring sessions.

Strength and Core Conditioning: Walking Planks

Lie face down on the floor with your hands beneath your shoulders and your elbows at your sides.

Push up into the top part of a pushup. Your body should make a straight line from your heels to the back of your head. Your weight should be balanced on your hands and toes.

Engage your abs and “walk” your arms and legs three steps to the right and do three full pushups. “Walk” back to the left and do three full pushups. Rest for 10 seconds. Repeat the plank exercise 10 times.

Strength and Core Conditioning: Squat Punches

Stand with your feet shoulder distance apart and with a 5- to 10-lb. dumbbell in each hand.

Bend your elbows and hold the dumbbells at shoulder height. Lower into a squat until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Keep your shoulders in line with your hips.

Maintain the squat and punch left-to-right five times. Return to the start position for 10 seconds. Repeat the squat exercise 10 times.