CHRIS TAMM and Danny Withington are the trainers at the No Limits gym in Liverpool,who help fighters like Paul Butler and Matty Fagan with their strength and conditioning. For those unfamiliar with weight-training,the TRX suspension trainer is an excellent tool to begin strength and conditioning. Here, Tamm and Withington provide a circuit to start you off: Before we go into the basics, let’s first take you through the equipment we use in setting up foundations for starting strength.
The TRX suspension trainer is based around bodyweight exercises that are functional and develop balance, proprioception, strength and core stability. When setting up a basic programme, think about working multiple groups of muscles and different planes of movement. Ideally you should concentrate on the basics.
Mastering the fundamentals in our opinion is what separates a good boxer/athlete from an elite one. The following circuit contains a sample of some of the foundation exercises we would use with any boxer before they progress on to resistance work. Perform each exercise for 10 reps. Once the circuit is complete rest for 30 seconds. Repeat three-four times. For more information see www.nolimitsliverpool.com or follow @nolimitsgym_ on Twitter
1. PISTOL SQUAT (RIGHT AND LEFT LEGS)
The first body part we will look at is the legs. The legs provide the balance, stability, power and driving force for a boxer. A good exercise to begin with is the pistol squat. This develops unilateral strength in the quads and glutes. It can identify if one leg is weaker than the other, which can then be worked on.
2. BRIDGED HAMSTRING CURL
We would then look to work the opposing muscle group which is the hamstrings. This is known as a lying hamstring curl. Here, you bridge up from the floor and curl your heels towards your glutes. This is also great for the core muscles that surround the spine.
3. SUPINE ROW
Moving on to the upper body, we begin with a supine row. This exercise is extremely underrated but very important to a boxer. Walk out into a horizontal position with glutes engaged, you then row by squeezing the shoulder blades and pulling your hands into your armpits. This strengthens the lats but also helps develop the rear delts, rhomboids and traps. These muscles are often switched off or underused as almost all of a boxer’s work is done on the anterior side. Working these are vital as they help to decelerate a punch, thus preventing injury.
4. SUSPENDED PRESS-UP
Next is the chest. The suspended press-up is excellent for chest and shoulder strength and mobility as well as great for the core. In a plank position, bend the arms until your chest falls between the handles then drive upwards back to the starting position using the force through you triceps and pecs.
The last exercise is core-related. Again great for a boxer as this improves the strength in the torso, vital in relation to throwing punches and also being able to absorb them. The jacknife has multiple benefits. While stabilising the shoulder joint you also improve core strength, both front and back. Start suspended in a press-up position, keep your lower back in line with your shoulders. Begin to tuck your knees into your chest, then extend the legs back to the start, while maintaining a straight back.