Saturday, February 12, 2011

Train like a boxer

Agility. Endurance. Accuracy. Today I went to Hit to Fit for the second time this week. While I love the circuit, because I get a full body workout, I have to admit that my favourite part is when I get to the punching bags. Not because it’s easier. It’s definitely not.

“You don’t play at boxing, like you do some other sports”: Those are the words of 23-year-old UK Olympic hopeful Katie Taylor I came across in a Telegraph article. I’m starting to understand what she means (well, I think I am). It's work. There's no time to play around because you always have to be in the moment.

Throwing a punch is technical and it forces me to think quickly and move even faster. On Tuesday night I focused on my first-ever “combo”:

Jab-Jab-Jab. / Straight right. / Left hook. / Straight right. / Jab.

After two minutes of the same combo my left shoulder was crying. My left arm did most of the work, which is weak. But I definitely started to get over my “do I look like I’m trying to hard?” worries. Now I can focus more on learning and starting to get it right.

Today I spent some extra time at the end of the circuit with one of the trainers who has been helping me improve my technical skills. The photo shows me practicing uppercuts on a wall mounted bag. The slightly posed looking photo (ok, it was a pose, but it needed to be to get the camera to focus) shows how an uppercut punch should be landed. Each new punch or combo adds a new complication that I need to get my head around. Some part of you is always moving, and it’s usually not in isolation. How you connect with the target is part one. How you move after you hit the target is part two. What are your legs doing? Your arms? Your hands? Ready to hit again?

The last stop in my circuit was what I believe is called a double end bag. According to a sale site, the double end bag is designed to train boxers “for rhythm, hand-eye coordination, and establishing punching distance.” It’s really hard because the bag moves after it’s hit. I’ll try to get some video footage for next week so you can see what I mean.

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