Exercising

The Importance of Good Conditioning

In my career I have met a lot of people who asked me on what they should focus on in order to become better athletes, or to lose more weight, or to achieve certain goals. Right away, I found the perfect answer: conditioning. You do not have to focus only on strength training, or running for miles, or a single physical activity. I believe that true conditioning comes from the heart, but it helps knowing how to vary your physical challenges and activities in order to become better, stronger, faster, more flexible and so on. I am now going to talk to you about conditioning, in its various forms, so you can start training like you should.

lv2

How cardio conditioning helps you with any kind of physical activity

Focusing only on the type of physical activity you are involved with is not a clever thing to do. If there is one thing I recommend to all my students is to never forget about the importance of cardio conditioning. This type of training helps you with strengthening your heart and it helps you with almost anything, from jogging to swimming and even weight lifting. Half an hour of cardio training every day or at least once every two days is necessary if you want to be able to run for longer periods of time, develop more endurance and so on.

 

Interval training is recommended for speedy recovery

lv3If you are an athlete or you are often involved in competitive events, you may have noticed how you feel in top shape while you are competing, but you are almost always coming down hard once the event is over. This has to do with your recovery and it depends on you to be able to recover properly. Here is a hint on how to speed up your recovery times and how to avoid feeling so down after going through intensive and strenuous physical effort. Interval training is the most indicated for developing muscle fibers that react and recuperate faster. This type of training involves short bursts of intensive exercise that demand your heart to work at the maximum, followed by rest periods of time.

 

Muscle mass and strength

Having more muscle mass is great for all kinds of activities, even something as low impact as golfing. Muscles are much better at physical activity than anything else in your body. That is why strength training is highly recommended for anyone who practices a sport, no matter which one. Dumbbells are ideal for strength training, or you can add resistance bands to your cardio training.

 

Endurance

More muscles are nice to have, but they should also be able to endure high levels of activity. This is achieved by including resistance training into your routine. Here is how you should go about this type of training. Using resistance bands or weights, you must exercise at about half of your capacity for half a minute, followed by a 15 second break, and repeating the same type of routine for at least half an hour. This way, you will send your muscles into the alert mode, so that they gradually develop ability to face challenges.

lv1

Develop reactive power

Your core is not called this way for no reason. A strong core is at the center of a strong, flexible body that can take on any kind of physical challenge. That is why I highly recommend core training, so you can develop more reactive power. The faster you can spin, bend or twist, without straining or even hurting your muscles, the better athlete you will be. For any kind of sport, core training is the kind of conditioning I recommend for achieving great results.

Basic boxing training routines

It’s not uncommon for people to avoid adding boxing routines to their workouts simply because they think that these workouts might be to hard for them. I often say this is due to watching too many “Rocky” movies, and if you want to be the next champion than you should expect the workouts to be ridiculously hard. On the other hand if you just want to improve your overall health, and change up your regular workout plan adding a basic boxing training routine might be perfect for you. Best of all basic boxing training routines are relatively easy to follow, and can be done by almost anyone. Here is an example of one of the routines I often put my clients through.

 

  1.  5 to 10 minutes of warming up.

 

This is one of the most important steps to follow in any workout routine. Your muscles need time to warm up, which means to basically loosen up. Just by spending a few minutes jogging, stretching or even jumping rope will significantly reduce your risk for injury. Trust me, straining or tearing a muscle is painful and it can be easily prevented just by warming up.

 

  1.  The stance

lv2

Before I let my clients start swing at a punching bag or sparring with each other they must know the proper way to stand. While this might sound silly, your stance is important since it is responsible for stability, balance and even the amount of power you put behind your swing. The first few minutes of the basic training routine deals with the proper stances for attacking and defending. This is also a good low impact cardio workout, which is always beneficial for your overall health.

 

  1. Punches and jabs

 

Once my clients have mastered the footwork, or are at least familiar with it, I move onto the basic boxing punches. One of the first tips I have is to remember to breathe, and to stay relaxed. Pivoting, stepping back and throwing a punch or jab at the same time can be overwhelming, and this is way I like to divide the routine into sections.

lv1

The amount of time that my clients spend workout out with the bag really depends on their fitness level. I have trained some that can punch, jab, attack and defend for 20 minutes before feeling winded, whiles others can also push themselves for 5 to 10 minutes. There is nothing wrong with working out with the punching bag for a shorter amount of time, especially since if you stick with the training you will soon be able to go a full round in the ring.

 

  1. Cool down

 

The final 5 minutes of the basic boxing training routine is always devoted to cooling down. This signals your muscles that it is time to relax, and can help prevent painful cramping that often occurs after a workout. Since you want your muscles to cool down and your breathing to steady, I usually have my clients relax on a mat and slowly stretch everything out.