Boxing is a skill-based sport that requires an athlete to have superior punching power combined with agility and speed. While everybody wants to be able to deliver a stunning knockout blow, having incredible punching speed can also be the ticket to victory.
Here are some highly-effective drills any boxer can use to develop the ability to dazzle opponents with a blinding combination of punches. These drills also hone the reflexes and build the endurance necessary to keep up the pace from the first round to the last.
The Extended Round
This punching drill is an intense endurance workout that builds a boxer’s stamina. Master it and a three-minute round feels like a walk in the park.
The same way a runner trains by covering much farther distances than are be needed for his competitive run, the idea is that if you, as a boxer, builds the stamina to fight four- or five-minute rounds, the three-minute rounds of an actual fight won’t heavily impact endurance reserves.
HOW TO DO IT: Punch the heavy bag at a high-intensity level for four 4-minute rounds. The key to getting the most benefit from this drill is to maintain a challenging intensity level; each round should leave the fighter gasping for breath.
Weighted Shadow Boxing
According to a study in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning, strength and power are two variables that significantly affect punching speed. Weighted shadow boxing is a way to apply strength and power to the pursuit of punching speed.
HOW TO DO IT: Begin by holding a one to five-pound dumbbell in each hand. Emphasizing perfect stance and form, throw as many punch combinations as possible for three-minutes. Repeat this drill for three rounds, then do it one more time without the dumbbells to feel your fists fly.
Weighted Glove Heavy Bag Rounds
Using weighted gloves is similar to the weighted shadow boxing, but with the added dimension of a heavy bag. Since it’s a bad idea to damage the heavy bag with dumbbells in each hand, use 16-ounce gloves. Focus on jabs and combinations just like a real fight and always maintain proper form to avoid injuries. Just as with weighted shadow boxing, try for three rounds at full effort. Finish with a fourth round using six- to 10-ounce gloves.
Speed Bag Hundreds
Use no gloves with speed bag hundreds, just wrapped hands, and hit the speed bag. Making sure to alternate hands left to right, counting only the right hand punches until reaching 100. Do this drill four times straight. If a punch misses the bag, start counting from one again and keep going until 100 punches connect with no misses.
Use the Double-end Bag for Realistic Training
The double-end bag is an amazing tool for building punching speed. Aside from improving a boxer’s accuracy, reflexes and coordination, double-end bag drills are fantastic for building real-world skill.
Throwing fast punches is easy when fighters only punch when they feel like it. But, in real fights this is never the case. In an actual fight, fighters are always forced to punch in response to their opponent. The double-end bag, like an opponent, forces you to strike whether you feel like it or not. It doesn’t matter how you drill with the double-end bag, the result will always be finely honed reflexes, instinctive responses and much improved punching speed.