Boxing fitness for a hard core

Erica lands a right during a Boxmaster workout at Choices Fitness Studio.

Erica lands a right during a Boxmaster workout at Choices Fitness Studio.


Try boxing fitness for a hard core

To build a solid core and improve hand-eye coordination, train like a fighter.

Punching power begins in the legs and feet, but in order to transfer the power from the lower body, a boxer must have a strong core.

The core is a key link in what’s known as the kinetic chain. Every part of your body link together to pass energy into a movement such as a punch. But the chain is only as strong as its weakest part. It requires a strong, stiff set of core muscles (the abs, the hips, and the lower back) in order to pass as much energy as possible into the punch. 

Have you ever watched a fighter dodge a punch by simply shifting their torso? Sweet Pea Whitaker could lean back, roll to the side, or duck down to avoid an incoming attack. Awesome defensive moves like that depend on having a strong, flexible core.

Core muscles support and stabilize your entire body, especially the upper body. When these muscles are strong, you effectively move your center of gravity lower, allowing you to shift your body in any direction and adjust to the actions of your opponent.  

If your core is weak, then you will find yourself off-balance in situations where you need to change position quickly. If won’t matter how fast your feet are, if your upper body cannot stay balanced in response to your footwork. 

Having a strong core goes much further than the boxing ring, it also helps stabilize folks in everyday life. Need to grab an object off a high shelf? You use your core. Sit down in a chair or stand up again? You use your core. Dance around the ring throwing punches and dodging attacks? You betcha — you’re using your core. 

So if you’re core is weak, and underdeveloped, then all that movement in the ring is going to tire you quickly. 

If you’ve focused on building strength and stamina in your core muscles, though, you’ll find that these movements feel effortless. You simply flow without having to expend much energy at all. You’ll be able to go harder for longer

For a boxer, building core strength is about both stamina and explosive power. Low-intensity exercises like planks and tick-socks will build that base strength. 

High-intensity exercises like the Russian twist and wood chops on a functional tower will develop explosive rotation of the upper body when punching. This is how you build the ability to maximize the energy transfer of the kinetic chain.

David Stone