When you’re blessed with good weather, training outside is one of the best ways to mix things up. Although this allows you to change up the scenery some people aren’t used to training out in the elements. So this summer, I’ve put together this quick guide to summer outdoor boxing training full of tips to help maximize your time in the sun!
There are 3 cardinal rules to outdoor training, everything else is a bit more laissez-faire.
The first thing to do is make sure you are prepared. Bring about 1.5 times as much water as you would to a gym, pack sunscreen and a towel, and maybe even bring an after workout snack, depending on how remote your training location is.
Keep it short. You’re going to find yourself ‘burning out’ way faster outdoors. That’s because it's hotter outside and the ground is less even, meaning your stabilizing muscles are working harder. So I’d plan to only train 3/4 as long as you would for a gym workout.
Focus on smooth movement, not speed, because the ground is less uniform, there’s more chance for injury if you move too fast (I’ve learned that from experience). Outdoor boxing training is a fantastic time to work on smooth, even technique (which is just a pretty way of saying maintain a steady rhythm). If you’re doing pushups, move slow. This is actually harder than moving fast. If you’re doing sprints, keep them short and on the smoothest piece of ground, you can find.
Bonus tip: Bring a buddy! Training with a friend is always more fun. If you’ve got a friend who likes to work out, take them along!
How to use different locations
The beach is awesome for training and if you have access to one I strongly suggest using it. Sand, water, and large open spaces are fantastic for cardio and lower muscle endurance and proprioception training! Here are a few of my favorite exercises (and some of Flo Master’s) to do when I visit the beach:
Running: Running and sprinting on sand is absolutely killer for your calves and the small muscles that control your toes. Now those may not sound important, but remember that one of the main methods of positioning and speed in the ring is bouncing on the balls of your feet. I suggest getting a few good 10-30 second sprints any time you visit the beach, just remember to do a dynamic warm-up first
Shadowboxing: Second verse same as the first… moving in the sand is a great way to focus on footwork and to get your body working. It also teaches you to manage your balance by manipulating your center of gravity rather than only your legs, which will make you more efficient in the ring.
Swimming: Swimming is a great low-impact, full-body workout. Just look out for riptides and swim zones.
Parks are great because they’re usually a little cooler thanks to tree shade and many have running trails! Some of the best things to do here are:
Roadwork: Parks are a great place to do long-distance runs. As I said, they can be cooler, they’ve got nice scenery, and most have a running trail. Keep a calm, even pace, and focus on your breathing.
Push-ups: If you’re going to do strength training outdoors, it's best to do them in a park because the ground will be a little less hot. I still suggest putting a towel down for your hands so you don’t scald them.
Jump Rope: I actually LOVE doing jump rope in the grass because it is less impact and forces you to put a little bit more rotation on your wrists to keep the rope moving. Highly recommend giving this one a try, just don’t get discouraged if it takes you a bit to get used to the new rhythm.
Who says you have to be next to a park or a beach to enjoy the weather? Training in your backyard is a great way to get some fresh air without leaving the comfort of your home (I did this a lot during the pandemic isolation). Here are some great exercises:
High Knees: High knees are a great cardio exercise you can do with very little space, and they allow you to stay in one place in case you have a patio or some shaded area you want to stay in.
Heavy Bag Workouts: If you have a portable bag, such as the FightCamp free-standing punching bag, pull that sucker outside and get a heavy bag workout with some fresh air! Just be careful with your footwork if you’re training on the grass, the last thing you want is to turn an ankle.
Side to Sides: Side to sides (bouncing as far as you can laterally from one foot to the other in a wide stance) are another super space-efficient exercise that is killer on your calves, toes, and thighs. For an added challenge, add a tennis ball that you toss at the wall and catch to work hand-eye coordination.
Have Some Fun in the Sun
There are tons of other exercises and locations that aren’t mentioned here, and we’d love to hear about some of your favorite outdoor boxing exercises so be sure to let us know on the FightCamp Facebook Community page! Don’t forget to stay hydrated and beat the heat while training outside.
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