What Are Plyometric Exercises?
Plyometric exercises are aerobic movements that build muscle power through strength, speed, and endurance training. Examples of plyometric exercises include push-ups, squat jumps, and box jumps. Most plyometric exercises are high-impact, and are highly effective for fitness and sports training.
Why Should Boxers Incorporate Plyometric Exercises Into Their Training?
Plyometric exercises have been popular among athletes for a long time, and both recreational boxers and competitive boxers should incorporate plyometric exercises into their training. These exercises use explosive movements to increase what we call ‘power output’ and improve our body’s ability to turn on a dime and stay agile, especially in the ring.
When we’re boxing, we want to fight with maximum power output. All of our punching power starts in our feet and legs, so boxers should train in exercises that improve their ability to explode from that planted foot and transfer all of that energy and power through the body and into the punch.
More powerful legs = more powerful punches. But the plyometric benefits don’t stop there! These types of exercises also improve our footwork, hand speed, fighter strength and endurance, and cardio!
Here’s a quick and dirty plyometric workout to improve your power in the boxing ring. All you’ll need is a medicine ball and a plyometric box--if you don’t have one available, you can use another sturdy surface.
Plyometric Workout for Boxers
Warm-Up (3 minutes)
Arm Circles (30 seconds each direction)
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and hold your arms out to the sides, parallel to the ground
Use small, controlled motions to circle your arms forward, growing the circles larger over time
Repeat for 30 seconds
Reverse directions and circle your arms backwards for 30 seconds
Walking Lunges (20 each side)
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and step your right leg forward, putting all your weight on your right heel
Bend your right knee until it’s parallel with the floor, and pause for a beat
Make sure your right knee does not extend over your right toes
Without moving your right leg, move your left leg forward and repeat the motion with the left leg
Repeat, “walking” forward on alternating legs
Complete 20 lunches on each leg
High Knees (25 each side)
Stand with your feet hip-width apart and lift your left knee to your chest
Place it back down
Lift your right knee to your chest
Place it back down
Continue alternating knees at a running or sprinting pace, lifting each knee 25 times
Plyometric Push-Ups (3 sets, 8 reps each)
Start in basic push-up position with your hands slightly outside of your shoulders
Lower down into a push-up and stop just shy of touching the floor
Explode upwards so that your hands come up off the ground
Land gently back in push-up position and repeat for 3 sets of 8 push-ups
*If you cannot lift off of the ground, just complete regular push-ups.
Rest (30 seconds)
Medicine Ball Slams (3 sets, 8 reps each)
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and hold a medicine ball over your head with both hands
Bring one foot slightly in front, and explode forward to slam the medicine ball on the ground as hard as possible
Squat to retrieve the ball and repeat the slam for 3 sets of 8 slam reps each
Rest (30 seconds)
Box Jumps (3 sets, 8 reps each)
Begin by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart with an 18” plyometric box 12” in front of you
Bending your knees and using your arms for momentum, jump from the floor to the top of the box
Land softly on top of the box
Jump back down and repeat for 3 sets of 8 jump reps
*If you don’t have a plyometric box, head outside and use a park bench or cement wall that reaches about 18” high.
Rest (30 seconds)
Tuck Jumps (3 sets, 8 reps each)
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your knees slightly bent
Bend your knees and explode from your feet into the highest jump you can reach, bringing your knees up to your chest
Land and repeat for a total of 3 sets of 8 jumps
That’s it! Plyometrics done!
Plyometric exercises are most effective and beneficial when you are “fresh,” so definitely start your workout with these exercises before moving on to the heavy bag or your other boxing training.
Don’t Forget the Three (3) Rules of Plyometric Workouts!
1. Limit Your Plyo Workouts
Plyometric exercises put a lot of stress on your muscles and your joints, so we recommend including them in your training no more than three times per week.
2. Limit Your Total Reps
Plyometrics work best when you complete them quickly, with maximum power and speed. The simplest and safest way to ensure the best training is to complete 3 to 6 sets of 6 to 8 reps.
3. Rest Between Sets
Plyometric workouts without rest become conditioning workouts, which leave you drained rather than more powerful. A good rest period between plyometric sets ranges from 30 to 60 seconds.
Looking for more workouts or other ways to crosstrain for boxing at-home? Find expert advice and tailored workouts from the FightCamp Trainers on our Blog. For workout videos you can do at home, subscribe to our YouTube Channel and get fired up with step-by-step instructions and demonstrations from our pro Trainers!
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