Whether you are a competitive boxer or simply someone who likes to put on the gloves now and again, warming up is a critical part of your workout routine. A proper warm-up can help prevent injuries by increasing the blood and nutrient flow to your heart and muscles, prepare your body for the upcoming workout by lubricating your joints and help you use oxygen efficiently during the high-intensity workout you will go through once you get in the ring.
A Proper Warm-Up and Performance
A proper warm-up can prepare your body for a high-intensity workout like boxing by improving blood flow to increase the amount of nutrients reaching your muscles and organs. It can improve your performance by minimizing the early formation of lactic acid in your muscles, allowing you to work out at a higher intensity for a longer period of time. Another benefit is a proper warm-up heats up your body, increasing the metabolic rate of your cells, making them more efficient during your workout.
The general warm-up for a boxing workout is used to help loosen your joints, helping prepare them for the upcoming workout. This can be done by simple joint rotations that help you work the joints you’re going to use through their full range of motion. A second critical component of the general warm-up is getting your heart rate up in preparation for the training session. Activities such as jumping rope and shadow boxing help boost your heart rate into your target training zone, increasing the flow of blood and nutrients into your muscles.
Although it isn't actually warming up your body, stretching is important part of the warm-up because it can help prevent muscular injuries during a high-intensity training session. Stretching exercises should include both static stretching where you stretch your muscles as far as you can without injury and holding the stretch, and dynamic stretching where you stretch but do not hold the stretch for long periods of time. Dynamic stretching with exercises such as the walking lunge can help you gradually increase your range of motion in preparation for your workout.
Sport Specific Warm-Up
After getting your body warm during the general warm-up and stretching, it is important to include some sport specific movements in your pre-boxing warm-up. The benefit of using sport specific activities in your warm-up includes using the specific muscle groups that will be used in boxing. These sport specific activities can include shadow boxing, working the double bag or working the target pads.
Keith Strange spent more than a decade as a staff writer for newspapers in the southeastern United States, winning numerous awards for his work. He has a B.S. in wellness/sports medicine from Averett University and completed graduate work in exercise physiology. Strange is a former competitive martial artist and holds a third-degree black belt in tae kwon do.