For combat sports, your endurance level determines whether you will outlast your opponent. Sports like boxing and MMA require fighters to have enough stamina that keeps them standing till the end of the match.
In boxing, you have to work on your reflexes as well as endurance. It doesn’t help to have so many moves up your sleeve when you are not able to perform them over and over again in an actual fight without getting exhausted in the first few rounds.
To build endurance, experts recommend working on two different types of conditioning - Aerobic and Anaerobic Conditioning. In this next section, we are going to have a brief overview of these two conditioning to help you understand things better.
Aerobic or cardiovascular conditioning involves doing workouts that increase the rate of oxygen intake in your body. These workouts are done at a low pace for a long time while keeping your heart rate steady and stable. These exercises give boxers, Muay Thai fighters, and other combat sports players more energy and stamina to stand in the ring for a long time without running out of breath.
Anaerobic or muscular conditioning aims at training your muscles to respond even when they have reached their lactic acid threshold and are not able to move.
These workouts generate more power for your punches, kicks, elbows, etc., and they help maintain your stamina throughout the match—sprinting, burpees, weight lifting, etc. are some of the main examples of muscle conditioning workouts.
So, these are two conditioning types that you need to work on simultaneously if you wish to have greater endurance for your combat sports. You cannot get the best results if you only work on one type of conditioning.
Tips for Building Endurance for Boxing and Other Combat Sports
Here are some of the most effective ways you can increase your endurance for combat sports
Punching Bag Training
Punching bag training is one of the best ways to get better at boxing. It improves your arms and footwork and develops strength. You can also use a heavy bag to practice your kicks for sports like Muay Thai, Karate, etc.
This type of training helps you get acquainted with pivotal boxing movements and it prepares you to face heavier and stronger opponents head-on. For training, it helps to use high-quality professional training gloves to maximize the efficiency of your boxing practice session.
In combat sports, you need to stay light on your feet at all times. You constantly have to bounce on your feet to avoid the attacks and find the right window to strike a blow.
Skipping rope conditions your legs, calves, and shoulder muscles which helps you become quick on your feet. It also improves your lungs and heart health which further enhances your endurance.
You can train using a jumping rope for two to three minutes in one session, and then after some rest, repeat this workout as many times as you need to. This can develop stamina both in your arms and legs which is quite useful in combat sports.
Running has also been found to increase stamina for combat sports. Boxers can run for two to three minutes constantly and then take some rest after each time interval. This can build the sport-specific endurance that they need in the ring.
Some combat sports experts also recommend running for about 30 to 45 minutes at a constant pace. Sprinting which involves intense running and then rest alternatively, is also a pretty effective approach for building endurance.
You can do a sprint and then rest for one minute, just like you do in a boxing or MMA fight. After that, you can repeat the number of sprints for as many rounds as there are in your specific combat sport.
The most effective way to build endurance in your particular combat sport is to spar with another human being. Sparring and drilling with another person allow you to familiarize your muscles and lungs with the situations you might face in the match.
It shows you what your limits are and how you can push your body even further. So, after every workout session, take some rest, and then spar with your coach or gym buddy to discover your strengths and weak points.
Weight and Resistance Workouts
You can increase your endurance by using weight and resistance workouts like bench presses, squats, push-ups, pull-ups, lunges, and deadlifts. These workouts strengthen your arms and chest which gives more power to your punches.
Deadlift training targets your lower back, abs, and legs. With this training, your muscles become used to releasing short and powerful bursts of intense movement. You can also try stretching with resistance bands to strengthen every major muscle group in your body.
Shadowboxing is usually done in front of a mirror and without using any punching bag or pad. You can do shadowboxing for a long time since there is no resistance to tire you out as there is when you train using a heavy bag.
This exercise improves your boxing posture, technique, footwork, and stamina. You can keep your heart rate elevated for a long time while doing shadowboxing without needing extra equipment or the help of another person in your gym.
You can shadowbox for about 3 to 5 rounds while resting for about one minute between every round to develop endurance for the actual fight.
Combat sports like boxing, MMA, etc., require you to have a certain level of endurance. Without it, your reflexes become dull which means your defense and offense become weak and inaccurate.
To avoid that, you need to incorporate specific cardio and muscular workouts into your training. Working on both the aerobic and anaerobic aspects of endurance training increases your ability as a fighter.
So, try out the above-mentioned endurance-boosting training exercises, and we assure you that you will soon observe a significant improvement in your stamina and fighting technique.