A great way to improve your aerobic endurance is to perform activities in intervals. This consists of repeat exercises of both low and high intensity activities.
Doing this helps your breathing and your ability to perform in short bursts over a longer period of time. It’s essential that you maintain the right type of diet also, therefore, I recommend you to take a look at the 30 Day Fighter’s Diet.
Here are 5 great and simple ways to maximize your cardio.
1) Interval Running
One of the most common ways to improve your cardio is interval running. Preferably outdoors in the park or at a place where the air is clear. Set a goal you that you believe you can achieve and aim for it. For example:
- Jog at a steady pace for 2 minutes
- Increase to running race for 30 seconds
- Repeat this exercise for 20 minutes
Once you’re able to sustain that level over a period of time, then you’re ready to raise the bar a bit higher. This will work on the endurance of your breathing and legs.
2) Heavy Bag Workout
If you have a boxing area at your gym, then you should utilize the use of their equipment especially the heavy bag. For the duration of one professional round (3 minutes) You can:
- Hit the bag at a light pace (most basic combination is jab, jab, straight)
- Increase the pace and switch up the combination to just left and right hooks for the last 30 seconds
- Rest for a minute and repeat this exercise
This effectively improves your cardio as well as working on your upper body flexibility, strength and muscle groups.
You must be careful not to over extend your arms when punching as this can damage your joints. Keep within a good range of the heavy bag at all times.
3) Rope Skipping
If you’ve never skipped rope before then you should start now. It’s a great way to increase endurance to your breathing, legs and improves your balance and co-ordination. Here’s an example of an effective rope skipping exercise:
- Light skip for 2 minutes
- Increase pace for 30 seconds and lift your knees right up when skipping
- Repeat for 15 minutes
There are many different skipping techniques but the most common and easiest one to start off with is the stationary running technique (you’re just basically running on the spot while timing the rope).
Nearly all boxers implement this for better footwork. As you get better, you may want to practice different techniques, not only does it look good but it’s also fun.
4) Cycling – Gear Shifting
This will only work if you have a mountain bike with gears. This form of exercise will strengthen your legs as well as improve your cardio. You need to:
- Cycle at a gear that you’re comfortable with for 3 minutes
- Increase the gears by one or top notches and cycle for 1 minutes
- Resume back to normal gear and repeat for the rest of your journey
The distance and duration all depends on what you feel comfortable with. Think of a destination to cycle to and then work out the distance on Google Maps. It also helps if the path is clear like in large parks which doesn’t involve many hills and slopes.
5) Swimming Laps
Swimming is an excellent way to work on your breathing technique, which is essential to maximizing your cardio potential. Perform the following activity using a stroke that you’re most comfortable with:
- Swim from one end of the pool to the other at a fast pace
- Repeat for several laps (depends on size of pool) without any breaks in between
- Rest for 2 minutes and repeat
If the pool size is relatively small (5-10 meters) then around 4-5 laps would be recommended. Time your swims and whatever time you get at the end, your aim is to beat it on your next go.
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