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How To Train Like Heavyweight Boxing Champions

Last Updated: 04.07.22



If you perform boxing or MMA as a sport, you most probably envision yourself leaving the MMA punching bags and the heavy bags at a certain point and taking everything you’ve learned in the ring. Add some custom boxing shorts just like champions wear, the audience roaring with excitement, and the adrenaline before a big match to complete the scenario.

Many boxers, if not all of them, dream of getting there yet building what it takes to reach that level involves lots of hard work and physical and mental training. To help you get one step closer to that, we have described below some of the exercises and training tips heavyweight boxing champions go for. Have a word with your personal trainer and see which ones you should try.


Functional fitness

Usually, boxing workouts include certain types of exercises. A personalized workout program is, however, recommended since not all boxers, whether beginners or advanced fighters, have the same exact physical condition.

If you’re interested in adding a few new exercises or do what heavyweight champions do to train for victory, you might want to give the following exercises a try. Some of the leading characters in the boxing field go for functional fitness to up their performance. Functional training tools can help you build speedy reflexes and enhanced strength. We will highlight some of them below.


Rope exercises

As we’ve mentioned in other articles, rope training is part of many boxers’ program, given their many benefits. Champions like Anthony Joshua use battle ropes to develop core stability and power.

What makes such exercises great is that they help the fighters develop superior endurance, which plays a pivotal role in fatigue management and which can decide whether you win or not. Many fighters are worried about losing energy in the ring yet with the proper training, endurance can be enhanced so you can fight longer without losing your breath or energy.

Although rope training may seem to be limited as far as the movements involved are regarded, this type of exercise will actually help you target multiple muscles as there is a variety of rope styles and steps you can use.

Training with a Bulgarian bag

Another tool appreciated by boxers worldwide and used by boxing champs is the so-called Bulgarian bag. The importance of this item is given by the benefits you get to enjoy when using it. This tool is preferred by fighters because it helps develop superior rotational power and conditioning.

Training with this bag will work the core and get you more shoulder strength and mobility, and boxing requires lots of that. By including this tool into your workouts, you will develop the strength and mobility needed for successful rotational movements, which are required when throwing punches forcefully.

Using this Bulgarian bag will also improve the aerobic and anaerobic fitness, which is essential when getting ready to box. It can be used by boxers of all levels interested in developing strength, cardiovascular fitness, endurance, and core power.


Tires for strength and stamina

There are many ways to train for your boxing matches, some of them less popular than others. Tire training is also part of Anthony Joshua’s workouts. The reasons why that’s so are simple. Even if tire flips are usually employed for strongman training, they are used by many athletes for stamina and strength.

Such exercises target multiple muscles including the core, back, shoulder, leg, and arm muscles. By working these muscles, you’re only getting one step closer to what a boxer needs when fighting. Ask your trainer about this and include such workouts into your program to up the game.


Slam balls for core explosiveness

Throwing forceful punches requires core power. Lots of it. Including slam balls into your training is thus a thing you might want to do. Lifting a slam ball above your head and slamming it down forcefully will help you improve your muscle power as these movements target your core and upper and lower body.

All that triggers better athletic performance and helps you develop core explosiveness. Without that, you can’t deliver powerful punches. Include the slam ball workout into your program to see how it can improve your power and performance.

Shadowboxing on the beach

Although it might seem a bit awkward to think of that as your boxing workout, it is actually a great way to work your cardio endurance. If you can’t shadowbox on the beach, then find a gym or a place that has a sand area for such exercises.

By running and moving your legs in the sand, you will take your footwork to the next level and develop leg strength. This workout is popular among Brazilian soccer players, which is one of the reasons why they’ve enjoyed great performance and results throughout time.

It is true that working your legs on an uneven surface will make your training more difficult but that will also make you stronger and increase your ability to adapt and this will further make things easier in the ring. Think of how unpredictable boxing can become at times and the way sand works. It will help you sharpen your reflex for those moments when anything can happen.


And some more

The range of exercises you can perform to get your body and mind ready for the challenges of a boxing match includes more than what we’ve described above. To spice up your training and get even in better shape, you can also consider neck holds since neck strength is needed to withstand powerful punches.

Building strength at the back of your neck to avoid injuries is necessary yet you should do neck holds while being supervised. Remember that training your body for boxing is not enough. You also need to train your mind to stay focused and agile.

Therefore, get a custom workout plan and pair it with mental training as well. Don’t forget about your nutrition and how much sleep you get. Everything will eventually add up and help you deliver the desired performance.




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