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Traditional training can be supplemented with different exercises.
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The fiercely competitive nature of boxing drives fighters to some unusual training methods in order to gain an extra edge. Boxers will use some unusual exercises to improve defense, condition the body and strengthen the neck and chin. Introducing different exercises into the tried-and-true regimen will push your body in new ways and fine-tune specific fighting skills.
Tennis Ball Chin Tuck
Keeping your chin tucked in low is essential for effective defense. Boxers tend to forget this as they tire out during a fight. Shadowboxing while holding a tennis ball trapped between your chin and chest reinforces the habit of tucking in your chin whenever you fight. The exercise is done during two-minute rounds for a minimum of five consecutive rounds. Weekly practice will instill a good defensive habit. Once you are proficient, practice holding the tennis ball in place during punching bag training rounds.
Performing punching drills in the shallow end of a swimming pool offers a low-impact, high-resistance and nontraditional method of training. Jabs, crosses, hooks and uppercuts can be done shadowboxing style in two-minute rounds. The constant resistance of the water makes your muscles work extra hard to perform familiar movements. To ramp up the challenge for additional endurance training, move to a deeper part of the pool. Take a deep breath and shadowbox while completely submerged.
Ping-Pong Ball to Head Drill
A boxer's tendency to forget his training as he grows tired in a fight is especially true when it comes to dropping the guard. An unusual way to reinforce your habit of keeping your guard up is to practice holding ping-pong balls to your head. Place a ball between the front of each glove and your head in your normal guard configuration. The curve of the ball will allow your hands to move a little as you do foot drills, but as soon as a ball drops you know your guard has dropped as well. Try doing a set of five two-minute rounds.
Regular and Reverse Neck Bridges
The neck is often overlooked in boxing workouts. A unique way to develop your "chin" is to strengthen your neck. A neck bridge is done by lying on your back with your knees bent. Raise your body upward until the only contact points with the floor are your feet and the back of your head. Slowly roll until the point of contact is almost at your forehead, then roll back. Reverse neck bridges are done with only your feet and forehead touching the floor. Roll forward until the point of contact is the back of your head, then reverse the motion. Try three sets of each exercise, with 15 repetitions for each set.