Keen boxers and ambitious beginners may be eager to find new and interesting ways to improve their boxing technique – perhaps even in places they would have never thought of before. Luckily, boxing skills can be improved and refined even outside the confines of your neighbourhood gym, and although one may struggle to imagine any similarity between a boxing ring and a swimming pool, the latter may very well become your next training haven.
The versatile and low-impact elements of swimming are praised by boxers hoping to strengthen their core foundations and build more confident attacking and defensive stances. Here is your chance to uncover the secret to improving your boxing – and it all comes down to swimming.
Improving boxing balance
Whether you are punching away at boxing or throwing some fierce kicks at kickboxing, you will scarcely hit anything but air without a secure balance. It is easy to get carried away trying to emulate professionals’ unforgiving jabs and relentless kicks, but behind each of these terrific moves stands an unwavering balance.
Boxing and kickboxing both rely greatly on power and precision. The most powerful kicks can easily fall short of their opponent without accurate aim, just like slow but precise punches will do little more than waste precious energy. This is precisely where a strong balance comes in to harness the body’s explosive power and help control it in order to meet the target with precision.
Having such mastery over your centre gravity not only helps you move about the ring with more agility and confidence, it is also an invaluable asset to any defensive strategy. Whether it is dodging an attack or receiving it without getting knocked to the ground, improving your balance is the foundation to boxing and even more so to kickboxing which will require you to stand as securely on one foot as on two.
The secret to a steady balance revolves around a strong back and core, two muscle groups which are the target of any swim style or technique. Indeed, it is those muscles which help keep one above the water going from one side of the pool to the next. Swimming helps strengthen the lower back and abdomen as well as the sides to help support the body and stabilise it.
Improving boxing endurance
Whether you are having a go at boxing for the fun of the sport or with the aim to compete in actual fights against other opponents, endurance is key to helping you extend your time in the ring. Boxing and kickboxing are intense and exhausting sports, both physically and mentally. Endurance has been cited for boxing success almost as often as strength, even couched for by most professional fights which are kept to just six rounds despite the maximum limit being double.
Swimming offers great endurance training for all levels and ages with a strong focus on increasing lung capacity and controlled breathing. The low-impact nature of the sport is also ideal for anyone recovering from injuries or wishing to prevent one.
Improving boxing flexibility and coordination
There is scarcely a swimming style that doesn’t require one to stretch out both arms, legs and shoulders. Boasting a remarkable range of motions, swimming can help make joints more flexible and increase hip rotations. Such flexibility is welcomed by boxers to help them keep their guard up and bring more power to their punches. Kickboxing is also heavily reliant on flexibility along the legs to increase both the range of kicks and their force.
Improving boxing reaction time
Anyone who has ever been in or seen a boxing fight will know that blinking is rarely forgiven, with the best punches often playing out within milliseconds. Where TV watchers will appreciate the slow-motion replays, boxers cannot enjoy such additional time and instead need to rely solely on their reaction time.
For striking, dodging or counter-striking, fast reflexes can save you from a knock down or even win you the fight. Although swimmers are not physically fighting for their win, their reaction time is just as precious when it comes to winning a race. Swimming can help improve reaction time through diving training off the starting blocks. Such practice aims to crunch down on the time it takes for you to dive off the block once the start signal is heard and hence sharpen your reflexes once back in the boxing ring.
The training that works for you
Swimming offers to help aspiring boxers and kickboxers improve upon various aspects of their performance, but it is not alone in boasting such benefits. Indeed, sports like kickboxing can return the favour to swimmers just as effectively by helping them find ways to train for swimming out of the pool.
No matter which goals you wish to reach, the best way to bring all these various aspects together and integrate them into your boxing training is with a private lesson. Going Swimmingly London offers private boxing and kickboxing lessons near South West London alongside a range of private swimming classes catered to all ages and skill levels. With a knowledgeable and enthusiastic instructor like Adam, you can optimise your training and progress all in one, whether it comes to boxing or swimming. Just like you should lead with your hand at boxing, private lessons let your own schedule and goals take the lead of your training.