Bad Habits: Avoiding Injury in Boxing Training

by Fran on March 24, 2015

This is a freelance article written by Helen Oxford

The importance of training efficiently in any sport cannot be stressed enough. A high-impact sport like boxing is no exception – especially when avoiding injury makes up a big part of the game strategy itself. Boxing involves two different environments where injury must be avoided: the boxing ring, and the gym.

Some of the most serious injuries don’t occur on the ropes and beneath the limelight, but during the training session. While it is impossible to safeguard against injury completely, adopting healthy lifestyle habits, a disciplined training session and allowing some flexibility is essential not only for delivering a successful performance in boxing, but for investing in a healthy lease of life.

Knowing Your Strengths and Weaknesses

Boxing can be enjoyed by just about everyone at a basic level, but it’s important to understand your body and what techniques work effectively. W­hen aspiring boxers start to get serious in their game then exercise and training regimes need to be adjusted to accommodate that person’s needs and ability. This isn’t just important for improving performance and preventing an athlete from hitting a plateau, but for preventing injury and fatigue.

As in many sports, boxing training isn’t just about how much, but how well. Crunches en masse will not achieve the same result as carefully constructed, properly executed crunches which focus on specific parts of the body. This is true for anaerobic and aerobic training as well as muscle building, cardio, and endurance. Not only will this help individuals to properly perform and learn how to be more “in tune” with their bodies and recognise what to work on, but it will help develop an awareness of where injury may be prone to happen.

Curbing Enthusiasm

Injury runs the greatest risk of occurring when an athlete over-trains. Again, this raises the issue of quantity vs. quality. Knowing when to stop and give the body time to recover is equally important to the duration of time used with training and exercising. Muscle needs downtime to repair tissue and regenerate as well as detox, and this incorporates the elements of healthy sleep, hydration, nutrition, and even specific treatments to achieve properly – it’s not just a matter of taking a break.

However, recovery time can be overlooked by even the most conscientious of athletes who have established a routine and persist in a program which exceeds their abilities and causes harm to the body. Spurring on by the competition and the gratification of successful results are just a few factors which can lead to exercise addiction, which can inflict long-term damage on the body. Exercise addiction, like many addictions, can have several complex motivators, such as an over-zealous drive to succeed, misconceptions about body image, and so on. In a sport as highly competitive as boxing, exercise addiction can be a common occurrence.

Being addicted to exercise will not improve one’s game. In the short-term, it will fail to yield the desired results, paradoxically urging the athlete to work even harder. In the long-term, it can lead to an untimely end of career and serious health issues like joint damage, loss of muscle mass, strains, sprains, tears, reduced bone density, biological changes and further psychological distress which can manifest itself in eating disorders. The key to avoiding exercise addiction isn’t always straightforward because there may often be deep-rooted psychological factors playing a role, but as athletes, individuals can help prevent a lifestyle lapse by exercising with the help of a professional trainer who can offer an objective perspective and recognise warning signs if necessary.

Warming Down

Warming up plays an integral role in any serious training and exercise programme, and warming down is equally important. As well as preventing injury, it allows muscles to relax and is beneficial for the mind as well. A dedicated athlete will set aside a specific space in their mind for a workout, and working into that zone as well as coming out of it provides an essential distance between training and other aspects of life. With this in mind, every boxer should make these factors a priority in order to ensure success in training.

This is a freelance article written by Helen Oxford

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