The determination and mental strength expected from a fighter is different from other sports. Boxing is one of the most physically demanding anaerobic sports.
Though the traditional training techniques related to boxing have evolved over time, the principles remain unchanged.
Throwing punches while competing with a stronger opponent is indeed a challenging task. So having strong legs and quick feet is essential for getting in and out of trouble.
Sprinting, being an anaerobic form of interval running is an effective way to improve on these attributes. It is in fact the basis of high intensity interval training.
#1. Strengthen Your Body
To increase the possibility of running quicker, you have to be physically stronger. Explosive leg strength is the key. Your hamstrings are the most important muscles for a fast sprint, followed by your quadriceps. Plyometric exercises such as box jumps are perfect for boosting your push and strides, and also leg endurance.
The Neck, Shoulders and Back
Your neck, shoulders and back muscles play a very important role in building momentum. They give the your body the necessary drive it needs to accelerate at a fast pace simply by being able to pump your arms more efficiently. It also helps you to maintain a firm posture. You can utilize these tips to build your neck muscles.
#2. Raise Your Breathing Speed
Muscle endurance is not the only factor that matters, especially in cases where runners feel tired due to low oxygen intake capacity. Most runners fail to run fast because they are unable to breathe fast.
Energy is impelled into your muscles via blood and oxygen. You have to remember that explosive sprinting requires explosive breathing which most people do not concentrate on.
You need to spend few minutes every day breathing fast. Each set should include 30 seconds of frantic breathing. You can work each set up to one minute, provided that your do it slowly.
Breathe through your nose for and out with your mouth. Make sure that it’s in rhythm and do not try to hold your breath. This exercise enables your body to adapt to being overloaded with oxygen.
#3. Vary Your Sprints
When you practice your sprints, it’s a good idea to vary the distances from 20, 40, 60, 80, 100, to 200 meters. The longer the sprint, then the better you’ll be tested for leg endurance.
To keep it challenging, try and get a partner to run with you. Preferably someone who is faster than you, so you have a target to aim for. If you don’t have a partner, then always time your runs so you can track your times, and then improve on them.
#4. Hold The Correct Posture
Too many runners misuse their energy swaying their body parts sideways. They do not acknowledge the fact that they waste their power because of a bad habit of moving sideways while running. Make sure that you:
- Look straight ahead while running and not at the ground. This technique ensures that your breathing isn’t impaired in any way.
- Keep a straight form, which means no unnecessary swaying.
- Rotating and twisting your torso and shoulder for extra velocity.
- Your arms should be at an angle of 45 degrees throughout the entire run. So essentially, it should be an L shape.
- Swing your arms so that your hand reaches your chin and your elbow goes as far back as possible without hindering your comfort.
- Keep loose and relieve any tension in your body before running.
Fatigue is another important factor responsible for sideways movement of a runner. Do not break your form, even if you are tired.
#5. Explode out the Blocks
Making a good start allows you to accelerate at a much faster pace in a shorter amount of time. To get a good start, you must follow these rules.
- The angle of your leg when you’re on the starting block should be at a 45 degree angle.
- During your entire run, especially when you’re coming out the blocks, your strides should be short.
Claw the Ground
You must sprint on the balls of your feet, not heels. Some people try to push the ground backwards while running, which is not the right approach. Your feet touch the ground too many times when you try to push it back. You must focus on trying to brush the surface back as quickly as possible. This will enable your body to move forward through the air more efficiently.
The biggest difference between recreational distance runners and world class runners is the ground contact time. Highly-skilled sprinters spend as little time as possible on the ground.
Although speed training is as good for boxers as for other athletes, it is advisable to do it in a moderate fashion. Your muscles’ strength increases with rest.
If you do not allow them to recover, they would not maximize their power-gain. Follow a hard exercise routine with a rest day. Proper relaxation is necessary during your training year for both mental and physical recovery.
Written by: April Jones
To get the most out of your training, I highly recommend the following articles:
► How to Increase Punching Power
► 10 Tips to Improve Boxing Footwork
► Boxing Basics
► Top 10 Best Heavy Punching Bags
► Top 10 Best Boxing Gloves