Boxing is a sport that requires top-level conditioning. Without peak levels of speed, quickness and reactions, a boxer is at risk of serious injury. Both conditioning and boxing skills are necessary for a boxer to throw hard punches and defend herself during a match. A professional boxing workout includes conditioning, strength-training, sparring and specific boxing skills.
Punching Bag Drills
Hitting a lot and punching hard is important practice outside the ring. Punching the heavy bag builds strength, explosive power, technique and endurance. The speed bag builds quickness. The floor-to-ceiling bag -- which is a circular target hanging on an elastic band -- builds punching accuracy, timing, quickness and confidence. Practice with these tools during one-hour workouts three times each week when preparing for a fight.
One of the most traditional and important training routines for professional boxers involves running for distance. Boxers call this roadwork, and it involves running three to five miles, three or four times per week. Many fighters do their roadwork for at least six weeks prior to a fight. Some fighters run throughout the year, adding distance or sprint training to improve their conditioning level. Running three or more miles per outing helps a fighter's confidence and endurance.
To prepare for a fight, you have to actually test your skills against a live opponent. Wear large gloves -- called sparring gloves -- to cushion the blows and protect your hands and head gear. However, even with the gloves, if you are not ready, the sparring partner can hurt you. A fighter who struggles against a sparring partner is at risk of suffering a serious injury and will probably lack confidence on the night of a fight. However, a fighter who has a sharp outing against a sparring partner because she is delivering quick combinations, an accurate jab and easy defenses goes into the ring with great confidence.
Strength training puts power in your punch, stabilizes your stance and protects your joints from injury, according to Andy Dumas and Jamie Dumas in "Knockout Fitness." During professional boxer training, workout both your lower- and upper-body muscle groups in the same session. For each weight-lifting exercise, use weights heavy enough to lead to exhaustion at the end of the second set of 10 repetitions. Perform strength-training exercises twice a week.
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