Welcome. This Boxing Science article is an introduction to our Strength and Conditioning section. This section will justify the importance of S&C for Boxing by providing reviews of current training misconceptions and scientific literature, our own research and training interventions we use to improve physical performance for Boxing competition.
What to Expect:
- Science Behind The Punch
- General and Specific Training
- Case Studies from Amateur to World Champions
Strength Training Is Like Marmite
Weird title, but the boxing world tend to either love or hate weight training. This is often due to the misconception of ‘Weights make you slow’, although there is no scientific research that confirms this. A successful boxer is perceived to be as strong, fast and agile, however there is still much debate amongst the boxing population about the use of strength training.
Packing The Punch
Punching forces in amateur boxing have been reported to be around ~2500 N, often performed in under six hundredths of a second (>60 ms). Punching forces can differ between weight classifications, body mass and skill. A Heavyweight boxer can record forces around 4500 N for rear hand straight punches, this is approximately three times more force than a Prop produces using his whole body during a rugby scrum (~ 1500 N).
Why Is S&C Important?
In a recent study from our lab, we found that traditional boxing training methods don’t develop the way in which you should produce a knockout punch. But we also found that how high you can jump predicted how far you can throw a medicine ball in a straight punch stance.
What Does This Mean?
If you throw the ball further it means you can likely punch harder. If you can jump higher it means you’ve got the ability to produce a lot of force in your lower body.
So if we can improve the amount of force you can produce in your lower body, we might be able to improve how hard you can punch. We also found relationships for upper body strength and sprinting speed, suggesting that a punch requires a combination of physical characteristics.
Let’s Do It… Where Is The Information?
So with the importance of strength training highlighted, where would a boxer get receive information? Let’s ‘Google’ “Strength training for boxing”. The first few posts ramble on about mechanisms of muscle contraction, with no direct exercise prescription, and numerous big words put together with not much justification or supported research. There is even an article that says boxers should not strength train as it makes them slow, of course there is no research to support this again.
Fitter, Faster, Stronger
Our aim is to provide strength training information supported by scientific research. Boxing science will distribute knowledge for coaches and practitioners to help influence training methods for the next generation of boxing champions.
Yours In Strength
The Boxing Science Team
Strength and Conditioning Authors
Danny Wilson MSc BSc ASCC
Danny has a multivariate strength and conditioning experience following work within a range of sports, including professional and academy football, rugby, rowing, volleyball and much more. Danny has coached over 60 boxers in his role as strength and conditioning coach for Combat Conditioning, with over 20 currently training on regular strength and conditioning programs. As well as preparing professional, national/regional senior and junior amateur champions for competitive bouts, Danny has been a contributing author in a series of scientific journal articles and created the Wilson Boxing Testing Battery. Danny will be contributing to Boxing Science – Strength and Conditioning with science behind the punch, training methods, working with junior athletes, case studies and much more.
Dave Hembrough MSc BSc ASCC
Dave has a wealth of knowledge and experience from his role as lead strength and conditioning coach at Sheffield Hallam University and Great British Weightlifting Coach. Dave has worked with an array of top level athletes, including Team GB Women’s Volleyball at the London 2012 Olympic games and helped recent Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth medallists England Table Tennis and Diving to victory Dave has worked in Boxing at the elite level, providing scientific support to world level boxers such as IBF Welterweight World Champion Kell Brook and Commonwealth Super-Bantamweight Champion Kid Galahad. Dave has a huge passion for Olympic weightlifting, and he is the head coach of Hallam Barbell which is based at Sheffield Hallam University. Dave will be contributing to Boxing Science – Strength and Conditioning with accounts of his experiences working with elite boxers and the benefits of Olympic lifting for Boxing.
Click on images for full biographies