In recent years many schools, colleges and universities have emphasised the importance of keeping fit and healthy through the use of free sport for students. This is something that I feel is an excellent means of encouraging people to keep active and fit on a day to day basis. The problem is due to government cut backs a lot of educational and council funded establishment alike are subsequently having to cut back on their range and promotions of free sport, which in hand, is deterring many people from taking up any sports, not just boxing. The main reason I took up boxing other than to see how I could turn my aggression into something productive, was because my university offered boxing training sessions coached by an English heavy weight boxing champion, completely for free, other than the optional expense of buying your own kit. Due to the changes to university funding and how individual universities are subsequently changing their distribution of spending, our university for example is having to alter the layout and degree of free sports available. Because of this, I am one of many people who is having to consider lowering my level of participation in sports at the university, simply due to not having £40 a month spare for hobbies, just like a vast amount of the nationwide student population.
Despite these changes to university and sport funding, I urge you to get involved in sports and fitness related activities while they are still free. This isn’t just in terms of boxing I’m talking about, I mean all sports and fitness activities ranging from everything from table tennis and equestrian sports to boxing and rugby. There are multiple benefits that can be obtained by participating in sports whether they are free or not! To begin with I guarantee you will feel a sense of accomplishment after learning about the new abilities and skills you have obtained through attending a new sport, all the way to making new friends for life along the way where you share the same tastes and hobbies due to the sport. In addition to this, there is also the obvious health benefits of getting involved in sport, regardless of the sport. Any sport is healthier than being a couch potato!!
Last time we covered the basics and how to build from the ground up with basic jabs and punches. This week we’ll build up on that and concentrate on hooks and uppercuts. As said last week, they key to learning these quickly and effectively is to start slow, forget about applying power to the swing and slowly build up the speed, adding the strength and power as you go.
If we start with the uppercut, the best way to get to grips with this punch is to take up the basic boxing stance discussed last time. Following from this you’ve got to consider what hand you’re throwing the punch with. If its your leading hand, your jab hand, that you’d drop your arm and rapidly bring it up with the aim of either sustaining a blow to your opponents stomach or head. As you raise your arm up you’d twist your front foot out slightly but quickly as it allows you to twist your body more, allowing a faster and more powerful punch. Its the same with your other hand although it’ll most likely be much more powerful, given that you twist the back foot out to allow the body to twist providing more power to the swing. An uppercut is arguably the most important punch when you’ve got your opponent against the ropes and you can unleash a barrage of blows to both the stomach and head while they try and protect themselves. Even if they put their arms around you to limit how many punches you can throw, it’ll be easier than a hook to successfully land a hit as you can go up the middle between the arms and hit critical areas.
Similarly to this, a hook is another type of throw that can have effective results on an opponent. It follows the same principle of the uppercut, if you’re swinging with your jab hand, you swing your arm out and twist the corresponding foot to allow more strength in the swing, if it’s your rear hand than you swing forward while twisting the rear foot. It’s best to try and keep your elbow bent at about 90 degrees, keeping your hand at shoulder height while throwing a hook as this will allow you to target either the body or the head, which ever is less protected and more vulnerable.
To show how effective uppercuts and hooks can be, here are 10 expert examples of world champion boxer Mike Tyson showing how they can be applied to devastate and knockout any opponent, arguably much more effective than any jab or cross:
When it comes to eating we all know that there are perks that come with a healthy and balanced diet, the problem is, if you’re like me, you don’t particularly like eating healthy. I for one much prefer snacking on sugary treats and drinks as well as sitting down for playing a few hours of Battlefield or Call of Duty with a nice plate of pizza or curry which, as you can imagine… Isn’t the most healthy of diets. It is hard to say what the ideal diet is so I’m not going to hammer one particular diet plan into your mind because everyone has a different body and numerous things such as metabolism and level of health play important factors in determining what type of diet is correct for each individual. But saying that, it is clear to see that not eating a balanced diet will adversely effect your health in a negative way. Even i you go to the gym four or 5 times a week, you’ll be making those sessions pointless if you’re piling down the calories as soon as you leave.
It is important to also consider that if you’re looking to gain muscle you’ll need a calorie surplus, where your body has more than just the calories it needs to maintain itself so that there is energy and calories left to repair and grow further levels of muscle mass. However, as important as a calorie surplus is, it is important to make sure you achieve it through eating the correct foods, it won’t work if you hit this surplus via eating cakes and fizzy drinks, you need to do it with a balanced diet of healthy sugars from fruit, carbohydrates such as brown bread, rice and pasta and numerous forms of protein that can be found in multiple types of food items such as meat and muscle supplements. Remember to enhance your muscle growing and boxing capability to keep up with gym and boxing training to get the most out of your body. So the moral of the story for this post is consider the dietary information of what you’re eating before you eat it, plan what your’re going to eat for the day as that’ll help a lot and last but not least, drop the crisps and do some dips!