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5 WAYS TO IMPROVE PUNCHING SPEED

Being able to punch faster than your opponent is a vital part of winning boxing matches. If your speed needs improvement or your progress seems to be slowing down with your current regime, try these five ways to improve punching speed.

Quick to put into action and see results, you still need to be consistent with your training to succeed – in boxing there are no shortcuts.

IMPROVE YOUR PUNCHING SPEED BY…

1) SPEED BALL WORKOUTS

Try a range of forced hand speed exercises using a speed ball or floor to ceiling ball. These balls force you to think fast, move your hands fast and punch even when you might not want to. This is important for fights as you will need to punch proactively and reactively, whenever you can.

Even when you’re tired, push pass the fatigue and your limits. You’ll always need to react quickly with a speed ball, as well as think quickly. Combine 2 or 3 rounds on a speed ball with 2 or 3 rounds on a floor to ceiling ball, seeing how many times you can punch in set periods of time. Remember to punch through the target, not just tap it.

2) SHADOW BOXING

This training technique of punching in the air prepares you physically and mentally for fast punches. Shadow box before a workout to loosen your muscles and perfect your technique. Practise each type of punch – jab, right hook – in front of a mirror and add hand weights for even better results.

Start loose and build up your speed over a number of 2/3 min rounds, adding in long combination punches where you can practice your breathing. The process will loosen your muscles and build muscle memory, which makes punches flow more naturally without hesitation and with less errors. Learn the basics of shadow boxing here.

3) QUICK BREATHING

Focus on improving your breathing technique while punching, with a particular determination to breathe faster. If you’re tensing up and keeping in your breathe to punch, it’ll be holding you back. You need to inhale and exhale to the rhythm of your punches, and keep your shoulders loose and relaxed as you punch.

Why does this work? Breathing keeps your blood charged with oxygen, which helps keep your mind focused and your muscles fuelled. The act of breathing also tightens your core, which adds power to your punch. Understand that one big breathe in, can produce many smaller breathes out as you move and punch!

4) COMBINATION PUNCHES

Specifically training to deliver lighter combination punches makes your mind think fast, which is the basis of moving fast. To begin, punch as fast as you can in intervals of 15 to 20 seconds using a punch bag, then add in some different combinations that you’d use in the ring. Keeping the punches light is key to increasing speed.

Then, take these techniques and spar with a partner, focusing on fast hits and disrupting their rhythm. Try not to get too hung up on each individual punch, but instead work towards an easy flow of different combinations; thinking too much on one punch rather than multiple punches can slow you down. Sometimes try the preferred boxing gloves that are used in competition, so you’re training with the equipment you’ll use when it counts.

5) FASTER FOOTWORK

Short sprints, intense skipping exercises and sparring with a partner are all effective ways to increase the speed of your footwork, which will speed up your whole performance.

Interval sprinting will train your body to move faster increasing your potential speed for boxing, while skipping will build on the muscle endurance and improve agility. Combine these with a sparring session where you focus on your stance, weight distribution and movement into the punches.

By following these steps, you should be able to improve your punching speed and overall performance in bouts. As your endurance improves, your punches should also be more consistently solid, which is vital in later rounds.

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7 INJURY PREVENTION TIPS WHEN PUNCHING THE HEAVY BAG

Ever had that excruciating sharp pain that just shoots through your arm at the speed of lightning following a misplaced punch on a heavy bag?

If this feeling sounds all too familiar to you, then the chances are that you probably didn’t punch or lift anything heavy for a while. The heavy punching bag is the equipment of choice for most fighters but it’s also the thing that causes the most injuries; injuries that likely could have been prevented.

If your hands, wrists or even shoulders are prone to injury, then follow these crucial tips before you go ballastic on the heavy bag next time.

1. USE A TOP QUALITY HEAVY BAG

There are many different types of heavy bags but the ones you want to avoid are the ones that transforms into a rock at the bottom after taking a beating. It’s not hard to see how punching a rock hard object can damage your hands.

There are a few reasons why this may happen – the wrong type of filling used, the bag being poorly filled, not enough foam surrounding the filling, or all three. However, you shouldn’t mistake this for a brand new heavy bag that just needs to be broken in (i.e. softened up via a beating).

It’s quite common for a sand or grain filled bag to have its contents settle at the bottom, causing the bottom to be a lot harder than the top. As a result, many decent manufacturers now use high density fabrics instead. There are even water filled heavy bags that generally remain consistent throughout.

2. WRAP YOUR HANDS PROPERLY

I cringe whenever I see someone slip on a pair of boxing gloves with just their bare hands. Not only is this unhygienic, but the hands and wrists are also a lot more susceptible to injury as there’s nothing supporting them from the sustained stress caused by a heavy bag session.

Get yourself a decent pair of handwraps and learn how to properly wrap your hands. There are different ways to wrap hands and none of them are particularly wrong, as long as you make sure every part of your wrist and hands are secured several times over.

3. PUNCH WITH THE CORRECT TECHNIQUE

If there’s any inconsistency in your body movement when throwing a punch, you’re going to feel it after a while. It may not have an immediate effect, but punching the heavy bag with the wrong technique over and over again will eventually take its toll.

Work on the technique of your punches by shadowboxing in the mirror. If you’re lost as to what the correct technique is, then you’ll find these guides useful:

When you do hit the heavy bag, don’t go full steam but instead, punch it lightly with the correct technique. It may not be as fun as going ham on the bag, but sharpening up your punches will make you feel more powerful than ever before.

4. USE THE RIGHT BOXING GLOVES

To the uninformed gym goer, any pair of boxing gloves will do, but if you hit the heavy bag frequently or actually train in boxing, you’ll know that not all boxing gloves are made equal; each type will serve a different purpose.

There are all-purpose gloves that are designed for all aspects of boxing training from sparring to bag work, but for the purpose of hitting the heavy bag, you really want to use well padded gloves from a good brand that weighs at least 14 oz., which helps to absorb the impact of a punch.

5. CONTROL YOUR POWER

Some fighters love to hit the heavy bag with full force on every single punch, while other fighters prefer to take a more measured approach and be a bit more selective with their power punches. If your hands are prone to injury, then be that second fighter.

Decide which punches are going to be thrown with power and which punches will serve another purpose other than causing damage. Implementing feints and set up punches in your game is great for improvising a real fight. It forces you to use brains instead of brawn, and you know what they say – boxing is a thinking man’s sport.

6. STRENGTHEN YOUR HANDS AND WRISTS

A boxer’s hands are the most precious parts of their body so it makes sense to protect them. It’s better to go a step further to strengthen them as much as possible so that you can punch harder while decreasing the possibility of fractures or broken bones.

I must admit, there isn’t exactly an endless amount of hand strengthening methods and you must be careful as some of them may ending doing more harm than good. With that being said, you can check out some effective and proven methods here.

Floyd Mayweather in a Cryogenic Chamber, designed to help the body recover after intense exercise.

7. ALLOW YOUR BODY TO RECUPERATE

Rest is just as important as work. Taking a day or two off from the gym will often leave you feeling mentally and physically refreshed with a new sense of vigour. If you cannot stay away from the gym, then at least stay away from the activities that are hurting you.

If you’ve had hand and wrist injuries before, and you have even the slightest feeling of pain in your hands and wrists, then it’s probably a sign that you should give it a rest until it fully heals.

As a fighter, you probably feel like you can fight through the pain, but unless it’s an actual fight, you should swallow your pride and do the smart thing. Better yet, turn this situation into a positive by focusing on other aspects of boxing training that doesn’t impede your health such as your stamina, technique and explosiveness.

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FAT LOSS FRAMEWORK

Hey Everybody –

For the next 3 weeks, I’ll be doing a mini-series for you on how to approach fat loss. My goal is to help you prioritize your time and focus on the things that really move the needle.

I generally think of fat loss as three components:
Commitment & attitude
Diet
Training
We’re going to work our way up from ‘least’ important, to most important.

So today is all about training. Specifically, something called EPOC (excess post-exercise oxygen consumption).

What is it? The simplest way to think of EPOC is to relate it to your car engine. You’ve probably either never noticed or cared, but each time you drive your car for a modest period and then shift into park and shut it down the engine doesn’t immediately cool off. Rather, it’s a gradual process.

If trained properly, your body will exhibit a similar effect except rather than just ‘cooling off’ you’re actually continuing to burn calories long after you’ve finished your workout.

How? Two simple approaches:
HIIT or High-Intensity Interval Training
Heavy resistance training, with short rest periods
For cardio lovers: When it comes to programming your training try to avoid slow steady state cardio. Rather, opt for short explosive intervals. Think sprinter vs. ultra-marathoner.

You can do this on a treadmill or outside.

Here is an example treadmill workout:
30min total workout
1 min walk
30 sec sprint
1min walk
1min sprint
1min walk
30 sec sprint
1min sprint
etc.

If you can shorten the rest period to 30sec, go for it.

For meat heads: try utilizing complexes in your programming such as:

Row
Hang Clean
Front Squat
Push Press
Back Squat

Perform 4 sets with 8 reps for each exercise 2x week. Complete all 8 reps before moving onto the next exercise. The bar should never touch the ground aka it never leaves your hands.

Start with a light weight. This is much harder than it looks.

In short –
EPOC is influenced by the intensity, not the duration of exercise.

Best of luck.

NOW GO EAT,

-Joe
SUBSCRIBE to my channel! http://www.youtube.com/c/CoachJoeD411

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LAB RATS WANTED…..

MacFitnessLabRat (1)…..in the iron sweat lab for 8 weeks of controlled experimentation.  You and another 9 participants will be placed under deep scrutiny by the unblinking eye of the A&P performance microscope.  For the next 8 weeks your body will not be registered as it was previously, and all rights and choices previously made by your former self have been relinquished!  You will now only be known as sample A,B,C….X,Y and Z respectively.  A personalized evaluation and fitness program with specific training protocols will be administered to each participant following and in accordance to all preliminary findings.  You are free to choose from a limited selection of predetermined fitness categories which will be released upon inquiry.  Through these four blocks of training I can only promise one thing, and that is you will never be the same again!  You may then find it quite difficult to convince your family, friends and co-workers of your new existence and that you are really YOU!  Following the 8 weeks of treatment, it is only then that you will understand that what you thought was the END is only the BEGINNING!

*Sign up today!

WHO: You and 9 others. *limited availability!

WHAT: mentioned above.

WHERE: The MAC Gym Laboratory and Research Institute.

WHY: Because we want you to live a life of positive health and well-being!

WHEN: Mid September. Deadline for entry is September 1,2016.

HOW: Contact Coach Joe D for further details: fistnfitness@gmail.com or in person @ MAC Gym.