Punch specific fitness is import because it works the exact muscles used when punching. You will be using the same muscles but adding intensity and other exercises around it. Although general fitness and physical preparation is important in any sport, sports specific fitness is extremely import too. You see a lot of combat athletes that perform Bodybuilding routines that have no purpose to their sport. We will be looking at function fitness and increase the strength, speed and endurance of your punching. We will use different techniques, angles and tools to simulate all of the common punches.
This is an incredible form of fitness, mainly because it costs nothing and can be done anywhere at any time. Isometrics require holding a position with maximum muscle tension for a period of time. You can find speed gains (one to five second holds), strength gains (five to seven second holds) and muscular endurance gains (over ten second holds) from Isometrics.
All Isometric Punching requires is a wall and a pair of boxing gloves. You can work any punching motion. An example would be the jab. You can train this at close, medium and long range and see increased speed and power specifically to that movement and the muscles involved. An example routine is below:
- Jab close range x5 seconds
- Jab medium range x5 seconds
- Jab long range x5 seconds
- Barbell Punch x10
Remember to squeeze your muscles with maximum tension. Do not rest in between ranges, rest in between rounds. This type of punch specific fitness is something I learnt from Strength and Conditioning expert, Ross Enamait (http://www.rosstraining.com/).
When perform your normal circuit training workouts, consider adding exercises that simulate punching movements. You can increases punching endurance and experience muscular endurance gains from other exercises. Movements could increase Medicine Ball Shout-puts (simulate a jab or cross), Barbell Punches, Dumbbell Hooks or Dumbbell Uppercuts. See example below:
Circuit Consisting of
- Press-ups x20
- Barbell Punches x10 each side
- Pull-ups x10
- Dumbbell Uppercuts x10 each side
- Shadow Box x30 seconds (throw hard and fast punches)
This is a brilliant workout for rounding off your arms and adding snap to your punch as two exercises work primary the front of your arm and two primarily hit the back.
Much of a fighter’s strength and endurance is rotary. This is logically as boxers turn their bodies to punch (from their feet, through their legs, hips and torso). A fighter’s general strength and conditioning could be great but if they are lacking in the rotational department, this can really show in a bout. That’s why I recommend including a lot of movements that rotate the body in your training plan, such as Russian Twists, Broomstick Twists and Woodchoppers. Remember, when you are training you need to think specifically and functionally!