When you’re training sometimes it is clear to see how beneficial having someone else there to train with can be! At least it is for me, if I’m on my own in the gym, I will push myself as far as I feel I can physically go, and then some. The same applies to when the gloves are on, if you’re not on the verge of your limits you’re not working hard enough. However, sometimes it is so beneficial to have a mate or training partner with you, for numerous reasons! To begin with, if you’re in the gym and you’ve got someone spotting you than you mentally feel more comfortable and driven to push your limits and hit those new personal bests, because the fear of being stuck with a weight on you that you can’t lift is gone! It’s a similar case in the boxing gym with the gloves on. There’s only so much you can do on your own, sure you can use the bag or some weights but if you’ve got someone there to do some pad work with than you can get in some of that crucial technique practice that you otherwise wouldn’t be able to do alone! In addition to this, it works both ways they’re not just there to help you, you’re also there to help and push them! With someone there to shout at you and say you’re not a quitter you will have the drive to push further and break those boundaries! Check out how beneficial having a pad work or sparing partner can be be with this quick video right here!
One thing I’ve noticed whilst being at university and participating in boxing, which I’m sure many others who box have experienced the same issue, is that a lot of people stigmatise you simply because of your sport. To put it bluntly, this is unbelievably stupid and you can tell instantly that they are poorly informed of the sport to make these assumptions. It even went as far as an employer instantly assuming I was a violent and aggressive person whom they wouldn’t want working in their store when I replied to their question of do I actively participate in sports of any kind!
To begin with, one of the first things any coach or boxer will tell you is that boxing is primarily a sport of mental power, mental strength and mental conditioning, subsequently, any god boxer won’t get in punch ups outside of the ring, they’re an animal in the ring, but a gentleman when they leave the ring. Following on from this, people are quick to assume that all boxers are mean, rude grunts. The best way to answer that is look at the top of the championships, look at the world champion boxers like Muhammad Ali and Anthony Joshua, they’re clearly not rude, nasty people. In fact only when it’s necessary and are actually quite friendly people. There are actually many more sports where the players are much more violent and aggressive outside of the sports ground, at university at least, such as American football, football and of course, rugby.
The key things with what I’m trying to say is don’t let people’s incorrect stigmas of such a great sport deter you from taking it up, don’t let them put you off, if you think boxing is right for you and you want to give it a shot, you give it the best shot you’ve got because you never know, you may well be the next heavy weight champion!
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:
Whether you’re looking to take boxing seriously or just as a fitness hobby, it is important to take the work outside of the gym once your workouts finished! This is done in numerous forms, such as dieting, sleeping and mentality, fitness outside the gym and treating injuries. In this blog we will cover the simple, but important art of sleeping and mentality!
Now if you’re like me than you’re a night owl, a person who simple cannot sleep until its past 1/2 am. If you’re also like me… You hate that fact! Some people don’t get reap any problems with going to bed so early and getting up in 6 or 7 hours time but unfortunately not everyone can be the same. To make sure you get enough sleep and aren’t tired in the morning its important to ensure that you go to bed at a more reasonable time and don’t stay up once in bed. If you get enough sleep than you shouldn’t feel too tired or worn down when you wake up, given you wake up at a reasonable time, around 7-10 am. Not many people will put two and two together but by getting enough sleep you will positively influence your mentality and attitude towards working out, eating healthily and working hard towards your goals, whether they are financial, physical or academic! This is because if you’re getting up after a short night of bad quality sleep than you’re more likely to feel much less motivated to go to gym, will much rather stay in bed for longer and effectively waste more of the day, being much less productive. If you’re awake and refreshed after a long, great quality, nights sleep than you will be so much more likely to get up early, get things done and make sure you get as much productivity out of the day. Even if you manage to get down the gym while feeling fatigued, you’re not going to push yourself anywhere near your personal goals and much the session very productive at all and in terms of boxing or sparring, you will simply not have anywhere near enough energy to get in the ring and throw or take punches!
In essence, remember the importance of getting a good nights sleep as it’ll effect a lot more of the following day than you’d first think!