Rocky Balboa, running down a crowded street, catching an apple without missing a pace. It seems like running is a core part of boxing, but running actually helping your boxing training? While running is a great cardio workout and proven way to increase your stamina, it can potentially be doing more harm than good if not done correctly.
Running for Cardio
If you’re running for cardio, you may find a better alternative right in your training gym. Running for extended periods of time with A grade running form may not be prove to be an issue. However if your form is lacking, knee starts to hurt, feet begin to ache, it may be time to turn to another cardio workout. Fast, low impact movement is the goal. This can be achieved with high intensity interval workouts such as swim sprints, fast pace bag workouts, or even biking. Remember the goal is to get the heart working, not cause unnecessary injury.
The good news is that there are plenty of options to get your heart racing without heading out for a few miles. Let’s start with the stationary air bike for example. Yes the one with the big fan for the front wheel that you pump with your arms and your legs. In best effort to simulate a boxing match, a great cardio workout is to do 10 sprints for 3 minutes each. With a one minute break in between. You’re sure to get your heart pumping and sweat rolling after that!
The pool is often overlooked by boxers as a great way to get some well needed stamina training. Swimming is another great low impact way to get a similar workout to running. Doing some sprints in the pool, however make sure not to put too much stress and emphasis on your shoulders. Finally, mix in a some jump rope or floor ladder workout to improve your footwork and coordination while still getting the blood pumping.
While running may seem like a core part of boxing training, you don’t need to train like the movies if running isn’t actually helping you advance your training. It’s best to play around with different variations of cardio workouts to see what works best for you, while mitigating risk of injury and strain. Short bursts of sprints, using the air bike, and swimming have proven to be great alternatives to going out for a longer run while still providing the necessary strain to get into shape.