It’s not by accident that boxers have some of the most enviable physiques of all professional athletes.
With low fat percentage, balanced tone, and functional strength, boxers are the epitome of overall health. For many calisthenic athletes, these are the desired goals.
Getting fit is more than just looking bigger; it’s about feeling stronger, healthier, and more functional.
The sport of boxing requires athletes to be light on their feet, agile, strong, and resilient.
It’s a sport of strength and endurance, a lethal combination for those in the ring. But for those who have no desire to lift a belt above their head, there are still numerous benefits boxing calisthenic training can bring.
For those looking for their next fitness challenge, boxing calisthenic exercises could be a great way to progress to a whole new functional fitness level.
Benefits of Boxing Calisthenics
Like other related calisthenic exercises, boxing uses a useful combination of endurance, agility, and strength to produce functional fitness applied to various other sports and activities.
The benefits of boxing calisthenics are far from subtle.
Speed and Agility
Unlike many other exercise programs and routines, boxing calisthenics promotes the growth of fast-twitch muscles that lead to increased agility.
Boxers are required to be strong, yet light on their feet. This development of speed, as well as strength, is vital for the sport.
Many weightlifters and gym rats focus on muscle gain through repetitive exercise and weight progression, yet neglect the fact that agility can suffer when ignored. Often this results in a disproportionate focus on strength rather than speed.
If your goal is to lose weight, tone muscle, and gain functional speed and agility, boxing calisthenics is a great place to start.
We get it; cardio is never fun. In fact, cardio is often the easiest part of an exercise to ignore.
With boxing calisthenics, cardio is unavoidable as it is part of the program. Like other high-intensity training types, boxing calisthenics keeps the heart pumping the entire time and builds endurance congruently with strength.
Boxers learn to endure tough fighting matches, with the deciding factor often coming at the end of a long grueling battle.
Building endurance is an excellent place to start if you’re looking to push your workouts to the next level.
Functional Strength and Injury Prevention
For most of us with no ambition of becoming professional boxers, we can settle for the sport’s more relative benefits. More importantly, we want a routine that will help us in our everyday lives and avoid getting injured.
Functional strength refers to everyday strength or strength that is not just limited to the sport in question. Boxers need to be strong all over, or they risk their opponent exploiting their weaknesses.
Functional strength can be applied to various sports, from running a marathon to bowling a strike.
Let’s face it; most fitness injuries come from pushing ourselves a little bit too hard on the weights.
This is where we strain muscles, tear tendons, and create small problems that can lead to bigger ones.
Calisthenic exercises rely on body weight, and as such, bring a lower risk of injury. Add to this the fact that boxing calisthenics improves flexibility and agility, and you have a great recipe for staying injury-free.
Boxers use exercises to build mental strength as much as they do physical strength. Going for a run is much more than a cardio and leg workout. It’s a mental challenge that has to be completed.
Developing a routine of exercises that provide constant challenges is a great way to stay mentally healthy and progressively driven.
What is one of the best things about boxing calisthenics? There is hardly any equipment necessary.
Mike Tyson claims to have not lifted a single weight while training to become a world champion boxer.
Less equipment means lower investment and greater locational flexibility.
Boxing Calisthenics Exercises
For those looking for a taste of what it’s like to train like a boxer, we will go through some of the most popular boxers’ exercises to build and maintain fitness.
Like we mentioned earlier in this article, going for a run proves a tough mental and physical challenge and can work wonders for endurance.
It’s not just about going for a run; it’s about completing the desired challenge, rain, or shine.
A run can always be completed, regardless of the excuses we give ourselves.
Running every day also increases endurance and stamina, two things which play an integral role in boxing and functional fitness. If you want to train like a boxer, go for a run.
It’s time to dig out that jump rope and incorporate it back into your routine.
The benefits of jumping rope go much further than improving your boxing skills. Jumping rope is perfect for agility, flexibility and functional strength.
Similar to running, jumping rope can also prove an incredible mental challenge that, when overcome, can boost confidence and motivate progression.
One of our favorite calisthenic exercises, the pushup, has long remained a critical exercise among functional athletes.
Besides the apparent benefits of building necessary chest and arm muscles used in the sport, pushups will never get old and will never result in a plateau.
The stronger you get, the more you weigh, the harder they get. Enjoy the progression.
Remember the Rocky movies? If so, you may be reminded of an image of Sylvester Stallone boxing the air vigorously and relentlessly alongside an epic soundtrack beat.
Shadowboxing is an essential exercise for boxers, and a fun way to release stress, build good habits and break a sweat.
With any good shadowboxing routine, it’s important to maintain proper technique and not create bad habits. In other words, no lazy punches.
Boxing Calisthenics Challenge
Are you ready for a quick and easy challenge to get you started? Try this on for size.
Week One (4 Days):
- 30-minute run
- 4 x Circuit of pushups, dips, and sit-ups, each exercise to failure. (1:00 minute rest)
- 10-minute shadowboxing routine
Week Two (5 Days):
- 45-minute run
- 5 x Circuit of pushups, dips, and sit-ups, each exercise to failure (45-second rest)
- 15- minute shadowboxing routine
Chris is an experienced Calisthenics practitioner focused on isometric exercises and street workout. He founded thehybridathlete.com in 2017, which was subsequently acquired by theyhybridathlete.com
He is based in Portland and has been working out using solely his own body weight and bars for the past 6 years.