· Nov 05, 2021
Why Boxing Is the Best Cross-Training Workout for Any Sport
Professional boxers are some of the most well-rounded athletes in the world, needing the right balance of muscular strength, explosive power, cardiovascular endurance, and mental toughness to come out victorious.
This is what makes boxing one of the best cross-training activities for any sport, from team sports like soccer or baseball, to individual sports like golf, running, weightlifting, or cycling.
Boxing helps fill the gaps you might be missing in your training or supplements your routine with distinct movements unique to punching; . plus the thrilling nature of the sport makes it an exciting addition to any workout routine.
With Litesport you can reap the benefits of boxing while experiencing the physicality, rhythm, and emotion of sparring right from the convenience of your own home.
Scroll down as we highlight each of the below boxing benefits and the sports they best support:
- Explosive power
- Hand-eye coordination
- Mental agility
Several NFL players, including Russ Wilson, quarterback for the Seattle Seahawks, enjoy boxing as a part of their workout routine. Check out Russ training with former professional boxer Freddie Roach:
Boxing is a full-body strength exercise, targeting almost every major muscle group. Not only do all those jabs, crosses, and left and right uppercuts build upper body strength, but you need glute, core, and leg strength to bob, weave and deliver explosive power with every punch.
Boxing also helps engage your muscles in a different way than many other sports and activities, . Allowing you to switch up your routine while still supplementing your strength training. Here are some of the sports and activities that benefit from the added strength training of boxing:
- Powerlifting or weightlifting: As a full-body exercise, boxing can provide a helpful break from weights while still strengthening the muscles you need to power your lifts.
- Running, baseball, basketball, soccer: Athletes in any sport that involves running need strong stabilizer muscles such as the abs, back, and hips. By strengthening your core with boxing you can help prevent injury while improving the power behind your stride.
- Golf or baseball: You need a lot of strength in your upper, core, and lower body to deliver a powerful golf or baseball swing. Just like in boxing, the power in your swing comes from your lower body and core while your upper body delivers the impact. As a full-body exercise, boxing can help strengthen the muscles you need while improving your range of motion in the process.
In boxing, you need to be able to deliver explosive bursts of force at a moment’s notice. The fast-paced action of the sport helps develop both the strength and quick muscle response that are helpful for many other sports and activities:
- Weightlifting or Powerlifting: Crazy feats of strength are made possible by your ability to generate explosive bursts of power. Build this explosive power through a different type of movement with boxing by learning how to target your punch with the right timing and force to get an accurate hit.
- Team sports: In both boxing and team sports like basketball, soccer, football, or hockey, you need explosive power and speed to catch your opponents off guard. The ability to generate explosive force at a moment’s notice is crucial both offensively and defensively. Punches like the uppercut punch help train athletes on how to effectively generate power from the legs up to the shoulders.
- Golf and baseball: The movement of throwing a punch is a lot like a golf or baseball swing. For both, you need to generate a lot of power from your entire body while activating the right muscles to drive force on an accurate trajectory.. Utilizing your core as the critical connector of your power, boxing helps train that explosiveness and muscle reaction in a way that’s transferable to your swing.
- Cycling: With cycling, you need explosive leg power to summit a hill or race through the finish line. Although you don’t immediately think of your lower body as an area that’s engaged when boxing, it’s actually your hips, core, and legs that generate a lot of the power and speed behind your punch.
There’s a reason why we tell you to stay on the balls of your feet in boxing; it’s because this sport requires constant movement. and a high level of energy to keep up the momentum with each passing round.
As a result, boxing is a great cardio challenge that’ll elevate your heart rate and leave you sweating. It’s such an effective cardiovascular activity that a 185-pound person can burn over 370 calories in less than 30 minutes of boxing. This kind of training cardiovascular training complements a lot of different sports:
- Weightlifting or Powerlifting : While weightlifting involves a lot of strength and explosive movement one thing that it lacks is high-intensity cardiovascular training. Adding boxing to your routine ensures that you’re not just getting stronger, but that you can also maintain that power over a longer period.
- Running or cycling: Although running and cycling are incredible cardiovascular high-endurance activities, it’s easy to get burnt out from constant training in these sports. Boxing a few times a week helps keep your body in great cardio shape while giving your legs a break from the repetitive impact of the running or cycling-specific motions.
- Basketball, soccer, and football: Sports like these involve a lot of running and put an incredible amount of demand on the lower body. By cross-training with boxing, you can improve your cardiovascular fitness while reducing your lower body impact.
While boxing, you build up important core stabilizer muscles while also learning how to keep your body balanced as you generate force. Most, if not all, sports require some form of balance to be successful, making boxing a helpful addition to your workout routine:
- Basketball, soccer, and football: Without balance, pivoting to quickly change direction at a moment’s notice can be both a difficult and injury-provoking task. By cross-training with boxing, you can improve your body’s stabilization and balance with every hit, punch, duck, and roll.
- Hockey: Skating is core to a hockey player’s success - and balance is core to skating. Without it, you’re bound to hit the ice, let alone be able to keep up with your opponent as you constantly change direction. Boxing can help improve your balance as you cross-train on dry land.
- Golf: Learning how to move your body through a golf swing with consistency and proper form requires balance. For the days you can’t get on the course, boxing can be a great way to practice that balance as you drive consistency and form with every punch.
Agility is the ability to accelerate, decelerate, stabilize, and quickly change direction. Agility is core to boxing as you need to be quick on your feet and fast with your punch. By training your speed, footwork, reaction time, and rhythm with boxing you can help increase your agility in other sports and activities:
- Football, soccer, basketball, and hockey: All the pivots, shuffles, and quick steps you take in boxing directly translate to the movement patterns you need to master on the field, court, or ice. In these sports, the quicker you can be on your feet and the faster you can change direction, the better.
- Running: Running, especially trail running, requires a lot of quick moving and thinking on your feet. Although there’s less acceleration and deceleration than you might find in a football match, for example, it’s still helpful to train your agility to avoid injury.
Boxing, especially when you’re boxing to the beat of top-charting music with Litesport, trains your brain to respond quickly. This improves your reaction time and your ability to coordinate movement, both of which are crucial for sports involving a lot of hand-eye coordination.
- Golf: Many golfers struggle with hitting at the ball instead of through the ball, and a lot of that comes from your hand-eye coordination. Boxing is a great way to switch up your training while practicing this all-important skill.
- Basketball, baseball, soccer, football, hockey: Although boxing doesn’t involve a ball or puck, it does help focus your brain’s awareness on where you are in relation to a target. With Litesport, you’re trained to track the path of the LED lights on the Liteshield, indicating which target to punch and when. Hitting an accurate punch results in a green light indicator, reinforcing your hand-eye coordination.
Boxing forces you to be mentally focused because reaction time is crucial. Being able to think fast and react even faster while under pressure could mean the difference between an accurate punch and an injury.
With practice, boxing creates a fine-tuned understanding of what’s going on in your body and the world around you, and how to react accordingly.
- All sports: Improving your ability to stay calm and approach each challenge as it arises is an important skill for anyone, especially those participating in any kind of high-stress activity or competitive sport.
There’s nothing more confidence-boosting than landing a good punch. And with performance tracking and results from Litesport, it’s easy to see your improvement over time. That means with every accurate jab and cross, timed to the beat of the music, you’re building up your confidence..
- All sports: No matter the activity or sport, an increase in confidence can lead to increased performance, enduring less stress, and having more fun. After all, believing in yourself is half the battle.
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