The boxing world began to welcome women in the early years of the 21st century. Women's boxing became the subject of the hit -- no pun intended -- movie "Million Dollar Baby," and attracted widespread attention at the 2012 Olympic Games in London. Even if you never intend to throw a punch at another person, boxing workouts are a great way to get fit and lose weight. Plyometric exercises are a big part of boxing workouts, since they build the type of explosive strength a boxer needs to move with agility in the ring while throwing combinations of punches.
Plyometrics was given its name by track coach Yuri Verkhoshansky about 40 years ago. Struck by the explosiveness of Russian athletes at the Olympic Games, he observed their training routines, then known as "shock training," and began to popularize the Russian exercises in the United States. As Fitness.com expains, plyometric exercises are high-intensity exercises that use the strength and elasticity of muscle tissues to increase speed and force. There are two phases to a plyometric exercise. First, you lengthen and load the muscles you are focusing on, which is akin to stretching a rubber band. Second, you perform a fast, explosive movement which contracts the muscles. Eventually, plyometric exercises increase your fast-twitch muscles and enable you to jump higher, run faster and punch harder.
iSport Boxing calls plyometric training "an essential piece of the training puzzle for serious boxers." It recommends two basic exercises for the core and upper body. A plyometric pushup begins as a regular pushup, but as soon as you lower your chest to the ground, you explode upward, fully extending your arms and allowing your hands to come off the ground. You can also do an easier form of plyo pushups with your knees on ground. An overhead medicine ball throw against a wall about 10 feet in front of you -- throw the ball as hard as you can and repeat a number of times -- is another excellent upper body plyometric exercise. For your lower body, jump squats are a fundamental exercise. Bend you legs and squat until you feel like you're sitting in a chair and then jump explosively upward while throwing your hands toward the sky.
Circuit Training for Boxers
Plyometric circuit training exercises for boxers simulates the movements of an actual fight. It takes two minutes, the time of a round in amateur boxing. You do each exercise at high intensity for about 15 seconds. The circuit includes vertical jumps, chin-ups, medicine ball throws, punches with dumbbells, abdominal crunches and side jumps with a jump rope.
You need other types of conditioning to get in shape for boxing. Cardio workouts are an essential. MotleyHealth.com recommends interval training, which also mirrors the demands of two- or three-minute rounds. The cardio workout might consist of a warm-up jog of about 1 mile, plus some jogging, hopping and short sprints. Intervals might be at 600 meters with three reps and 200 meters with three reps, followed by an 800-meter cool-down.
Jim Thomas has been a freelance writer since 1978. He wrote a book about professional golfers and has written magazine articles about sports, politics, legal issues, travel and business for national and Northwest publications. He received a Juris Doctor from Duke Law School and a Bachelor of Science in political science from Whitman College.