Boxing Science Strength and Conditioning coach Danny Wilson explains why the squat is one of the most effective strength exercises for boxing, and how it can help you develop explosive punching force.
Research indicates a punch starts from force development in the lower body. The lower-body needs to be strong to transfer this energy to the hips, through the core and to the fist to deliver forceful punches. This is what we call the kinetic chain.
In our data analysis, we discovered strong relationships between jump height and medicine ball throw distance. This suggests the higher you can jump, the harder you can punch.
The ability to jump is reliant on the amount of impulse produced from the lower body. This means that lower body strength training can have a huge impact on a boxers punch force.
Additionally, the ability to produce force in the lower-body is important to run at high speeds during your conditioning. The faster you can run, the more strain you can put your muscular and cardiovascular system to improve fitness.
One of the main moves to develop lower-body strength and speed is … the squat!
Benefits of the Back Squat
- Strengthens the lower body and core. This has a large transfer to any sport that involves running, jumping, throwing or striking movements.
- Promotes a forceful hip extension, which important transferring force generated from floor to the hips and through to the core.
- Develops core strength, this is important for rotational velocity and effective mass during a punch.
- Can increase lean mass of the core, this is the most influential contributor to punching force.
- A large eccentric component to the lift will strengthen hamstrings and glutes, this develops an effective stretch shortening cycle whilst reducing the likelihood of injury.
- Studies show that the back squat improves jump height. From our own research, we know that the higher you jump is related to a harder punch, this is why the squat is prioritised in our strength programs.
Build The Foundations
Before we hit these big moves in our programs, we need to build the foundations using these exercises.
This will help improve movement patterns and strength for safer and more effective patterns for the big lifts, helping greater strength adaptations and reducing the likelihood of injury.
Here is The Goblet Squat … the introductory squat exercise that builds towards the Back Squat:
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