‘Get stronger and hit harder’

In this article, we’re going to be learning about ‘Strength Training for Boxing’. 

You will learn.:

– Recap of the science behind a forceful punch

– Breakdown on impulse and momentum

– How we can use S&C to punch harder

SCIENCE BEHIND THE PUNCH

Punching forces in amateur boxing are around 2500 N… If you weigh 70 kg (11 stone or 154 lbs), you’ll exert about 700 N of force just stood still.

That makes punching force about 3.5 times body mass. And to make that even more impressive your punch takes around six-hundredths of a second (~60 ms) to throw.

Punching requires rapid force development and can be developed by explosive strength training.

STRENGTH TRAINING

Boxing tradition states that adding muscle mass to a boxer will slow them down. Whilst contemporary S&C coaches argue against the latter.

Depending on the training method, however, both are correct.

A forceful punch is dependent on momentum. This is related to how quickly we can move mass towards the target (glove to head).

So the best way to punch harder is to get bigger, stronger and move faster. That’s why heavyweights with fast hands hit so hard. They generate a lot of force and momentum.

However, boxers are limited to increasing mass because they have to make weight. Therefore, developing momentum without adding excessive muscle mass becomes a priority. This means that a boxer needs to focus on training to develop a neuro-muscular system with the capability to generate force rapidly. To achieve this, we use a range of exercises across the force-velocity curve.

THE FORCE-VELOCITY CURVE

The curve shows an inverse relationship between force and velocity.

This means the heavier the weight you lift (force), the slower you lift it (velocity); and the lighter a weight, the faster you lift it. The image above shows the different types of training that occur at different points of the force-velocity curve.

Maximum strength is at the top left with high force, low-velocity movements and speed training towards the bottom right with lower force, higher velocity.

At Boxing Evolution we use a range of exercises to train boxers across the Force-Velocity curve.

MAX STRENGTH IS THE GOAL

To create a strong, fast and explosive athlete, we should target each of the various areas of the force-velocity curve above. 

Initial strength and conditioning programmes should work towards developing maximum strength. This can be for 2-3 10-week cycles of strength training.

BUILDING THE FOUNDATIONS

Despite maximal strength being the goal, we can’t just go in and smash out heavy reps on squat, bench and dead-lifts.

We need to build the movement and strength foundations working towards maximal strength. This includes regression exercises and higher volume repetitions. 

There are a lot of stumbling blocks to implementing strength training for boxers… here are the different things that can get in the way:

– Mobility issues

– Poor eccentric strength

– Core stability 

– High training loads

– Low calorie diet 

Is strength training the priority? …..

Want to learn more?

Check out Boxing Evolution’s ‘Zero to Hero’ 12 week boxing body transformation course.

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