At first glance, yoga and boxing seem to be at different ends of the exercise spectrum, but in truth, these two practices complement each other brilliantly.
Yoga holds an immense number of benefits for physical, mental, and emotional health. Regular yoga practice can have a noticeably positive impact on your athletic performance. Yoga increases strength, flexibility, and improves balance – goals that all boxers and kickboxers have.
Does yoga help boxing?
Yes! Practicing yoga will level-up your boxing training. Yoga poses require concentration, flexibility, balance, and strength which are all hallmarks of boxing. It’s great for cross-training as well. Increasing range of motion and movement in the joints will help boxers reduce the risk of injury.
Is yoga good for kickboxing?
Yoga is great for kickboxing, too. Kickboxing engages the legs in complex kicking combinations, demanding even more flexibility than boxing alone. Increasing your flexibility requires a lot of stretching over time – and yoga is arguably one of the most effective methods of dynamic stretching.
Here are five (5) benefits of yoga that apply directly to boxing and kickboxing:
Benefits of Yoga for Boxing and Kickboxing:
Yoga uses the body’s own weight to strengthen and tone the muscles. The unique poses, or asanas, of yoga challenge many of our otherwise seldom-used muscles--muscles that are commonly missed through traditional weight training and boxing practice.
Many people incorporate popular yoga poses in their regular stretching routines – for good reason. Consistent yoga practice is one of the best ways to increase overall flexibility. Again, many yoga poses target muscles that are often overlooked, which allows for a more thorough and deeper stretch which elongates the muscle fibers over time. Flexibility is critical in boxing and kickboxing for accuracy, endurance, and injury prevention.
Yoga is all about balance, and balance is crucial to boxing and kickboxing. Boxers and kickboxers train hard to achieve good balance. It can mean the difference between staying in the ring or getting knocked out.
While your muscles are benefitting from that deep tissue stretch in those contorted poses, they are also fighting to maintain your body’s balance. Beginners in yoga may find that holding still while in a position is the most difficult part. The more you practice, the more steady you will get and your balance will improve over time.
Mindful breathing is fundamental to yoga – and to life. The deep, controlled breathing that is a central component of all yoga practice has its own list of benefits, from decreasing anxiety and stress to increasing endurance.
Learning to pay attention to your breath helps lower your heart rate, maintain oxygenation levels in your muscles, and clear your mind. This becomes especially useful during a competitive fight - or when you just want to push yourself a little harder.
Many boxers and kickboxers know the feeling of being ‘in the zone’ during a particularly rewarding workout – but practicing yoga can help you put yourself 'in the zone’ before the workout even begins.
Along with having more awareness of your breath, yoga requires you to be more aware of your whole body. Practicing yoga is very much about being present, which is an enormously positive exercise for everyone to learn for well-being.
Do boxers do yoga?
According to Premier Boxing Champions, many boxers do yoga, including many professional fighters. “Boxing and yoga go hand in hand, but you’d never know unless you try it. I would encourage anyone to do it,” says WBC World Welterweight Champion Shawn Porter.
Yoga holds so many benefits for the body and mind, in many of the same ways that boxing does. Though the methodology is vastly different, both yoga and boxing are full-body workouts that improve overall physical and mental health. More boxers are introducing yoga into their training, not only to sharpen their physical abilities but to really reach for their full potential from the inside out - creating a deeper line of communication between mind and body.
The FightCamp trainers all regularly incorporate yoga into their workout and recovery schedules. So if you want to really improve your fierceness on the boxing bag, start with a yoga flow on the mat! For more ways to enhance your boxing and kickboxing training visit and subscribe to the FightCamp YouTube channel to get the latest workouts and pro tips.