It goes without saying that fitness makes up a huge part of boxing, more specifically a huge part of fitness is related to running in its various forms, whether that be your long slow and steady jogs or your more intense faster paced running such as sprinting, you have to give due care to your cardio health if you are to make the most of your talent inside the ring.
There is a lot of debate over which type of running one should be doing with some of the more recent schools of thought suggesting sprinting and high intensity interval running should be the only form of running you should do and that the long steady runs was an old school way of doing things. If you have read some of my previous articles you will already know I am an advocate of both so combining both sprinting with jogging and its long runs. In this article though I will focus solely on why sprinting is such a great choice for boxing and the number one reason it has to be in your training program.
This is number one reason sprinting must be used by boxers. quite simply, sprinting makes you do everything quicker and in boxing speed kills. We’re not just talking foot speed here, you will also punch faster and when you return to jogging you will notice your natural jogging pace will have automatically quickened as a result of doing sprints.
Sprinting is the most dynamic form of exercise you can do, there’s a host of reasons why sprinting is so good for you, I am not going to go over all of those here, the purpose of this article is just to give you what is in my opinion the best reason for you to be doing sprints regularly.
Sprinting makes you faster, it trains the fast twitch muscles which means your whole body becomes quicker, more explosive and more powerful – what boxer would not be happy with an exercise which does all three for you?
There is a saying you fight how you train, so if you are not training at a fast pace, it carries over into your fighting and sparring. If all you do is jogging at a slow and steady pace, then that is going to impact the rate at which you can fight at, the body adapts and stays within the zone of your training pace. By adding sprinting to your running program, you will notice your jogging speed on your long running days will become quicker, this is real reason why sprinting is so useful, the more you sprint and the faster you do these, the quicker your jogging pace becomes and the more your fast twitch muscles are being trained. This then carries over into your training, into your sparring and into the ring, everything you do becomes faster. I often have people ask me, how do I increase my speed? Well sprinting would be the first place to start if you want to get faster. Sprinting is able to increase the speed of your jogging because it increases your maximal oxygen uptake and endurance capacity(perform more intensely) so you will find when jogging you can increase the pace throughout your long run and complete the same run in less time.
Sprinting provides a host of benefits, it is not just the natural increase in jogging pace, the increase in endurance capacity and maximal oxygen uptake which we have already mentioned, but it will also lead to faster fat loss, improved conditioning, better muscle tone, improved lung function(you will really feel your lungs opening up after a hard sprint session), mental toughness(make no mistake, sprint sessions are very hard and powering through the pain will help you push through those last rounds and last seconds in the ring) and compared to the long steady state running, sprinting can be completed much quicker so saves you time!
So that is my number one reason you must sprint for boxing – so start sprinting and you will soon notice everything you do becomes quicker and you’ll be a much better fighter as a result.
Boxing Coach Strength and Conditioning Coach Boxing Author of: The Boxing Cheat Sheet - Your Ultimate Guide to Ring Survival Strength and Conditioning for Boxing - Work out Hits to get you Fighting Fit! Forgotten Legends of the Ring - Ten Past Masters of the Squared Circle
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