5 Ways to Improve Flexibility and Mobility for a Boxing Fight

Flexibility determines the range of your movements and the ease with which you can bend and exercise. Training to increase flexibility is important for any athlete, but is a component of boxing training that is sometimes ignored in favor of more aggressive approaches like sparring. Exercises which are slower and rely largely on stretching and form, such as yoga, are stereotyped as ‘feminine’ and their benefits are pushed to the side. Let’s talk about why focusing on flexibility and mobility is important for every fighter, and what can be done to improve them. 

The Importance of Flexibility and Mobility Training 

Mobility exercises for boxers result in increased power and better recovery. The rate at which your body moves as well as your strength are reliant on good form and alignment, as is your recovery. Stretches that are specific to improving form, posture and mobility hence are your greatest asset, helping you move more efficiently. Essentially, these make you like a well-oiled machine, which also aids in boosting recovery due to better circulation.

Another benefit is injury prevention: when you improve your body’s movements and mind-muscle connection, it reduces your risk of injury because you are hyperaware of how much you can push yourself and which angle work for you. Better positioning and co-ordination mean you’re less likely to take a hit.

Let’s not forget enhanced focus, which is beneficial in both training and the ring. Mental fortitude is as important for boxing as physical strength, and exercises that increase both have double the benefits.

Mobility Exercises for Boxers 

Flexibility and mobility aren’t simply genetic: dedicated static and dynamic stretches are your answer for how to become more flexible. Try incorporating these stretches below into your daily workout to see all the benefits of mobility training.

1) Standing Stretch for Calf and Achilles 

Footwork can wear a body out. To make sure your sensitive Achilles tendon is taken care of and strengthened, try this stretch: 

  • Standing upright, place the front (the ‘ball’) of your foot onto a raised surface, such as a step or platform.  
  • Bend your knee: a straight leg will place emphasis on your upper calf, while bending your leg focuses on the lower calf 
  • Lean forward into your leg slowly and hold that position. 

Standing Stretch for Calf and Achilles

2) Neck Stretch  

The back of your neck is home to multiple important nerves, and must be kept strong so as to protect these and maintain good posture. 

  • Standing straight, place your right hand onto the left side of your head, palm down on the top of the head 
  • Gently pull your head down towards your right shoulder, stretching it 
  • Count thirty seconds, holding your head in the same position 
  • Relax your neck, bringing it back to the center 
  • Repeat on the other side 

Neck Stretch

3) Rotating Core Stretch 

Boxing makes use of the oblique muscles to a large extent: twisting at the waist is a part of punching, and so this part of your body needs dedicated stretching to keep the muscles in top shape. 

  • Lay face down 
  • Bring your hands upwards, and place them close to your shoulders, palms down 
  • Keep your hips flat on the ground 
  • Looking forward, pick yourself up off the ground by straightening your arms 
  • Bend one of your arms, rotating that shoulder down. You should feel this in your shoulders, arms and your obliques. 

Rotating Core Stretch

4) Chest Stretch  

This is vital to keep your chest open for good posture as well as to stretch out your full wingspan, which is very important in boxing. 

  • Stand straight making an effort to align your spine all the way to your head 
  • Take both your arms behind your back, and clasp your hands together 
  • Straighten out your arms, still keeping your hands clasped 
  • Move your arms upwards slowly 
  • Keep this position for between 15 to 30 seconds 
  • Now bring your arms forward 
  • Clasp your hands at shoulder level, pulling them forward 
  • Hold this position for between 15 to 30 seconds 

Chest Stretch

5) Downward Roll Stretch  

This stretch is a longer, full-body one to loosen up your back, hamstrings and arms. 

  • Start with your feet a hip-width apart 
  • Inhale, and lift your arms above your head while doing so 
  • Exhale, and take your body downwards in a soft, rolling position, letting your arms hang down as well 
  • As you exhale, engage your core and pull your abs inward 
  • Make sure your knees have a slight bend 
  • Keep going down until your hands touch your feet (or as far as you can comfortably go) 
  • Slowly straighten out your legs 
  • Let your head hang down, relaxed 
  • Keep this position for 15 to 30 seconds, breathing well throughout 
  • Move back to a standing position slowly 

Downward Roll Stretch

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