Boxing Tips in 90 Seconds(ish) – How to Breathe???

Boxing Tips in 90 Seconds(ish) – How to Breathe???

by Fran on February 8, 2017


I must admit that this is unlikely to be the most exciting boxing tips video that you watch today.

However, it could be the most important boxing tips video that you watch today.

For anyone who is a member of my Boxing Training Foundation you will know that I am fanatical it comes to effective breathing.

Effective breathing results in maximised oxygenation of the muscles which in turns leads to the best possible chance of remaining fight effective.

Check out the video and then below is a bit more information:

Keeping it simple, I find it helpful to put breathing into 3 categories:

  • Breathing during the round
  • Breathing when punching
  • Breathing during the rest period.

Breathing During the Round

When you are tired, or even when the excitement of ‘the fight’ hits you, you can get the urge to breath shallow.  Basically you pant like a dog.

Shallow breathing is the least effective way to oxygenate.

Whenever you disengage and move to the edge of range or out of range, take the opportunity to take in a couple of deep, controlled breaths.  Breathe in through the nose then out through the mouth.

Same when the referee shouts ‘Stop Boxing’.  Move out of range (with your guard high) and take some deep breaths before you re-engage with the fight.

Breathing When Punching

Generally you exhale when you punch, often in the same way that tennis players exhale when they hit a ball.

Boxers often make different sounds, ranging from ‘Hzz-Hzz’ to ‘arghh arghh’ 🙂

When throwing fast combinations this can alter for obvious reasons – you don’t want to hyper-ventilate.

A word of warning though – don’t get too loud!

I have witnessed referees issuing warnings when boxers are excessively loud, so don’t get carried away!

Breathing During the Rest Period

Deep, controlled breathing during the rest period is absolutely crucial.

In boxing being tired is a fact of life.

Even when working the heavy bag you need to work to the maximum rate and therefore you will tire.

The key is that during your rest period you oxygenate and get your heart rate back down.

Controlled breathing is at the heart of remaining fight effective.

As I said, not the most exciting of the boxing tips video series but certainly one of the most important of the boxing tips videos.

Comments or questions below please.



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{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Anders Kristensen March 10, 2017 at 10:44 am

Thanks for the important and helpful information.
I agree it’s essential to remember to breathe properly during a fight and between rounds. And as a trainer to focus on breathing the first 20-30 seconds between rounds in my opinion before coahing the boxer.


Fran March 12, 2017 at 8:01 pm

You’re welcome Anders. Very much agree with your views.


vicente san teodoro February 17, 2017 at 9:00 pm

Dear Fran,

thanks a lot for your advice. I was thinking to ask you for breathing advise before your video. By the way may I ask you for advise of training the eyes. Since head movements are very fast and targets are moving also fast I find hard to see properly. Also the chin down it doesnt help. Are there any exercise or advise about it???

many thanks for your kind attention and help!!!


Fran February 22, 2017 at 9:33 am

Hi Vicente

No problem with the breathing video – good timing!

With training the eyes it’s really just practice with someone actually in front of you trying to hit you. You will spot signs. Use feints a lot in the meantime, create the situation where you make the opponent throw their punches – much easier to ‘see’ them coming 🙂


vicente san teodoro February 23, 2017 at 8:05 pm

Thanks a lot!!!!


Fran March 2, 2017 at 8:31 pm

You are welcome Vicente 🙂


pug February 8, 2017 at 9:49 pm

Timely advice again Fran. I have just been going over a technique advocated by Dr. Jason Selk, Phd, Sport Psychologist that he calls the ‘centering breath’. Inhale for a count of 6 seconds, hold for 2, exhale for 7 seconds. For a total of 15 seconds. Athletes under the age of twelve he recommends 11 seconds, ie. breathe in for 4 seconds, hold for 2 and exhale for 5 seconds. I use this for the rest interval but it is not applicable during the bout or punching when punching where a couple deep breaths, as you describe is all you have time for. So important in boxing!


Fran February 10, 2017 at 8:10 pm

You know what Ric, this is why I love your contributions to the posts I make. Good science and research, maximum oxygenation and also a mind-settling/relaxation inducing approach. That’s getting tried in the gym next week, thanks very much!


Justin Smutz February 8, 2017 at 9:43 pm

Thank you for all of your information coach!


David Waterman February 8, 2017 at 9:29 pm

That’s 90 seconds of gold, Fran.


Fran February 8, 2017 at 9:44 pm

Cheers David. I do get fanatical about breathing properly, it can make the difference in the dying seconds of an intense round


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