“My father taught me, in boxing, that when you - particularly when you get hit in the face for the first time - you're going to panic. That instead of panicking, just accept it. Stay calm. And any time anybody hits you, they always leave themselves open to be hit.” - Rudy Giuliani
The popularity of boxing and wrestling has driven growth in the sports club sector. There’s been a 10.2% rise in sports clubs across the UK, with 6,587 operating in the UK.
However, if you want to box professionally, you need to have a licence from the British Boxing Board of Control (BBBofC). A lot of people take up boxing to improve their physical fitness, gain discipline, and learn how to defend themselves.
Experienced boxers can offer private boxing coaching. In this article, we’ll show you how to put together a training session.
Warming Up for Boxing Coaching Sessions
Boxing, like other combat sports and martial arts, can be very physically demanding. You need to work on almost every part of your body and improve your endurance. Thus, you need to prepare through training and learn tactics and technique whether you’re a beginner or an experienced boxer.
Whether you’re coaching doing traditional boxing, Muay Thai, savate, or kickboxing, you’ll need to make sure that your clients are warming up before they start. Warming up is essential for avoiding injury and improving cardio performance. Don’t hesitate to dedicate between a quarter of an hour to half an hour to warm up. These warm-ups will mainly include cardio exercises since a boxer’s "resting position" is being in constant movement so make sure your clients never stop moving.
This will help them improve their endurance. You might want to suggest that they spend a few minutes with the skipping rope. At the start, they won’t need to do anything complicated, just skip without getting it wrong. This exercise is great for their cardio and speed as they’ll learn to move around quickly for extended periods.
Boxing uses your whole body so they’ll also need to tone muscle and work on their agility. While most muscle groups are used, you may want to pay particular attention to the abs, obliques, deltoids, trapezius.
It’s recommended that you focus on muscle-toning exercises. When it comes to the abs, you may want to focus on hypopressive exercises; exercises that reduce and tone the abdominal muscles, the pelvic floor, and spine stabilisers.
If you’re teaching a boxing discipline that allows kicking, you’ll also want to focus on flexibility in the legs so that your clients can kick more quickly and precisely without injuring themselves.
In short, warm-up exercises should include:
- Cardio exercises such as skipping
- Muscle-toning exercises
- Flexibility exercises for disciplines that allow kicking
Working on Technique in Boxing Training Sessions
The second part of a boxing training session should include working on your technique. This can last between half an hour to an hour depending on the length of the session. Just like in a boxing club, you’ll teach your client different techniques and combos.
The first techniques to teach your budding boxers is the proper stance. This is when they stand with their left arm ahead of their right arm (or the reverse if they’re left-handed or southpaw). They also need to correctly position their body with their legs bent ready to spring into action. If they’re stiff, they won’t be stable and they’ll struggle to stay balanced if they get hit. Their stance also plays a vital role in how well they can punch. You’ll need to keep going over the proper stance until your students get it right. Don’t hesitate to lightly push them to show whether or not they’re getting it right.
Once they’ve got their stance right, they’ll be able to move onto the different attacks: jab, cross, hook, uppercut, etc. In other disciplines such as savate, Thai boxing, or kick-boxing, there are also all the kicks to go through. Start by showing them the proper technique and let them try it out for themselves on some pads. You can then teach them combos to put together the various techniques that they’ve learnt. This is also the part of the session where you may go over techniques such as blocks and dodges.
You can suggest shadow boxing, which is when you practising fighting against an imaginary opponent. This is a good way to practise footwork, too.
There should be some time during the session put aside for working the punching bag if you have one at your house or in the boxing club where your sessions take place.
At the end of the technical part of the session, it’s a good idea to practise the combos learnt so that they get used to doing them against a sparring partner if they’re in a group session. The goal isn’t to take part in an actual fight with one another but just to practise their technique.
In short, the technical part of the session can include:
- Learning proper stance.
- Learning different punches (and kicks) and working on previously-learnt techniques.
- Chaining together different attacks and different combos.
- Training on punching bags or speed bags.
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Stretches at the End of a Session
After a lot of exercise, you should stretch to that you avoid injury and soreness later on. This is also a way to relax the body to the state it was in before the session.
The stretches must focus on the muscles used during the session. Joints take a lot of the brunt so make sure you stretch the muscles around them. It’s a good idea to do the stretches with your students so that you can make sure that they’re doing them correctly.
Make sure they stretch their heels and arches. Sit down and fold the right leg over the left leg. Then slowly make circles in one direction with the heel and then the other and massage the arch. Do the same with the other leg on top.
The shoulders also can be stretched out by grabbing your right elbow with your left hand. Pull your right arm across and under your chin and wrap your hand around the back of your neck. Use your left arm to pull on the right elbow to stretch out your shoulder. You can also do this by lying on your stomach with your arms crossed with your palms facing downwards. You then have to delicately roll onto one shoulder, hold this position for a few seconds, and then do the same with the other shoulder.
To stretch out your back muscles, you’ll need to stand and bend forward towards the ground. Bend your knees and let your upper body relax and sway from right to left. To stretch out the adductors, you’ll need to stand up and gently try to touch each foot without bending your knees.
The yoga cobra pose is good for stretching out your waist and your abs. Lie on your stomach and lift your shoulders upwards while looking directly in front of you with your elbows and palms on the floor.
You can stretch your arms by raising your right elbow upwards. Your right hand should touch the back of your neck with your left hand pulling gently downwards on your elbow. Do the same but on the other side. To stretch your forearms, hold your right arm out in front of you with the palm facing outwards. Use the other hand to stretch your fingers towards the body.
In short, stretches usually focus on:
- Ankles and arches.
- Dorsal muscles.
- Abs and waist.
Now you should have a better idea of how to put together a boxing coaching session.
Learn more about making a name for yourself as a boxing coach.
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