Rather than reinventing the wheel I was reading a short and succinct article about boxing by a well known sports scientist David Joyce who is highly regarded for his work in international Rugby and with Olympians.
Joycey Says “One of the key things with boxing training is to ensure that the ‘core’ is strong and stable. The reason we need this is not so much to avoid back pain (although this is clearly a critical consideration), but more to transfer the force between the limbs quickly, efficiently and without leaking energy.
You see, a punch begins at the ground. The boxers who are able to deliver a knock-out punch do so by planting very firmly through their feet, driving hard into the ring. In turn, the ring pushes back up, allowing for an explosion of force back up the legs, across the low back and pelvis and then, finally through the shoulders and into the fist.
If you’re not sure if this makes sense or not, conduct a little experiment. See if you can punch harder when seated and legs dangling, or standing. This is much the same as in throwing or serving in tennis. This is why it makes perfect sense to look at the entire kinetic chain when training athletes or rehabilitating injuries.
Another key thing to consider is the development of the energy system needed to support the mechanical demands of the sport. A strong aerobic engine is necessary to be able to support the very high metabolic demands of the sport. On top of this, a well-developed anaerobic system is crucial to be able to fuel the rapid increases in tempo that we see during a flurry of fists.
To add to all these demands, top boxers need agility, precision, technique and technical awareness, mental resilience, incredible self-belief and a jaw made of cement. When we break down the demands of the sport in this way, you can see that it makes perfect sense for it to become a very useful adjunct in contact sports such as rugby.
Some may disagree on the grounds that it is not specific to their sport but this argument is flawed because the only thing that is specific to the sport…is the sport. Instead, we need to think of the concept of ‘sport relevancy’. When we do this, we look for the similarities between activities, as opposed to the differences.
If we do this, we will be able to see just how relevant boxing is to many other sports.”
And you know what I definitely agree!
To train your core look at exercises that save your spine by avoiding flexion and extension. I.e The Plank with a reach, Commando’s, Push up reaches are all great exercises but the meccha of all anti- extensions exercises is that old thing known as the ‘ab wheel’. Progress from performing roll-outs on the swiss ball and gradually get lower and lower by reducing the size of the ball as well as then using a barbell before your hit the ab wheel. BUT use with precaution as you will be extremely sore in the abs if you go hard to soon!
Get strong guys and enjoy!