If you do what everybody does – you are like everybody. To fight differently, you must train differently. Here we discuss several special exercises and tips that can help you improve on components that may not be particularly good since your birth: coordination, speed, precision, power, etc. These exercises do not require any sophisticated equipment, rather few items common in everybody’s life.
Knuckles and Wrist
Problem: pain in knuckles and wrist when punching.
Description: without strong knuckles and wrist you are not a fighter. Damage to knuckles and wrist injuries can be acquired by hitting heavy bag and opponents. If problems accumulate, your mind starts developing subconscious fear of pain. As a result, this fear will prevent you from hitting hard and you will never throw punches freely.
Solution: there is a great exercise to prepare knuckles, wrists, and other punching parts of hands. It should be done consistently over years, and by increasing amount of repetitions.
Equipment: wooden board or floor.
Place your fists on the floor. Initial position of your body is similar to the one when you do push-ups. Roll the fists inwards, then return them in straight position, then roll the fists outwards.
Several other types of exercises can be found here.
Balance and Equilibrium
Problem: balance, coordination of movements, and dexterity
Description: it is relatively easy to perform exercises alone in front of a mirror, however you experience pressure and fatigue in a fight, you tend to loose control of your actions. Same happens once you get hit.
Solution: generally, to develop extra control of your movements, you need to simulate the condition when your balance and equilibrium center is stressed. The method is similar to the one used to prepare astronauts: centrifuge. Before each round of shadowboxing, do spinning from 2-4 to 10-20 times, so you feel slightly dizzy. Slowly increase amount of spins with time.
Problem: how to increase hand speed?
Description: training home, speed bag or double end bag may not be accessible. Push-ups, power training, shadow boxing and bag hitting do not increase greatly your speed. In fact, training routines similar to what bodybuilders do, can make you even slower.
Solution: there is an interesting exercise. You throw coins and try to catch them. Start with one or two and progress to tree and even four. Generally, this exercise is very useful right after you did power training, so your arms are heavy and slow. It will help you always keep the speed level. Combined with a speed bag later, you can achieve incredible results.
For instance, if you are able to catch 3 coins, then
first round: catch 2 coins, alternating hands
second round: catch 3 coins, alternating hands
Problem: faster react/response on opponent movements and punches.
Description: reaction is a response to movements of your opponent, his punches, etc.
Solution: ask a partner drop coins, so you can try to catch them.
two rounds: one round for each arm.
Problem: how to learn hit accurately with a proper part of the fist in a right spot of the head?
Description: to knock out a person or deliver damage, it is not necessary just to be able to hit hard. Hitting the right spot of the head or body with a proper part of your fist is equally important.
Solution: Hit the tennis ball with two knuckles of your fist (index and middle fingers). The key is to keep the rhyme and always keep the ball more or less in a symmetry plane of your body, so it does not bounce from side to side too much. Typically, the exercise should be done for 5-10 minutes. This exercise can be used as a warming up before you do shadow boxing or power training.
Equipment: to fabricate the device, please, refer to our article from DIY GYM section.
More punching power
Problem: any fighter wants more power in his punches.
Description: punching power is a complicated issue. Here we will not cover all aspects to be considered. However, you can definitely increase your power using few tips below. Most type of punches gets its speed and power from the rotation of shoulder joints, waist, and legs, not from the (hyper)extension of your elbow. This is called “pivot”. The only thing required from your arm is forming strong line from shoulder to wrist without bends in the final stage of a punch. For that, you need strong shoulder, elbow, and wrist joints in the first place.
Tip #1: many of you are doing different kinds of push-ups. Push-ups themselves do not help joints much. However, if at the end of the exercise, you stay statically half-bended for 5-10 seconds, this would greatly condition the ability of your arm to form strong shoulder-hand.
Tip #2: punch should begin from the leg. To develop the habit or instinct to start first with your legs, here is a special drill. You need to emulate the straight punches, pivoting and moving shoulders fast. To avoid injuries, do not extend elbow at all. In the drill, do 2 or 4 or 6 or more punches, thinking all the time about the leg movement comes first.
Problem: to get a little bit of extra stamina during fighting/sparring or before drills.
Description: just to feel better.
Solution: before fights or exercises, many people recommend breathing heavily to expand your lungs. From 10-100 repetitions. Another effect of this exercise, if you focus on breathing, it may help you, to some extent, to overcome anxiety and fear of a coming fight.
Problem #1: ankle and calf pain.
Description: Skipping rope puts a lot of stress right on your calves. Incorrect jumping technique can result in knee and ankle injuries. Here is a tip from sprinters:
Solution: after training, do static exercises for ankles: stand still on your toes. We recommend three series, one minute each.
Problem #2: nose
Description: Nose can be a very problematic area for fighter of certain nationalities, it can bring lots of troubles when bleeding.
Solution: A good way to prevent many injuries is to warm up your nose with a palm of your hand, so the nose gets reddish.
Alternative for rope jumping
Problem #1: training home, sometimes it is not possible to do rope jumping. For instance, there is little space or low ceiling.
Description: training home, sometimes it is not possible to do rope jumping. For instance, there is little space or low ceiling.
Solution: There are several exercises you may do that can partly replace rope jumping. Arguably, at least till some moment, they may help you condition your legs even better than rope jumping, because they do not require skill level.
Jumping Jack: In the initial position, the feet are together and the arms are at the sides. In the final position, legs spread wide, hands touching overhead. Then go back to the initial position, the arms also hit the sides to help tighten the jump.
Alternating Step Ups:
Alternating Bench Hopping:
Problem #1: huge mirror can be expensive.
Description: shadow boxing and other exercise require use of a mirror to control your technique. If you do not have a big mirror, nowadays, there is better, cheaper and more practical solution available.
Solution: webcam with a long cable would allow you to access angles unreachable with the use of a mirror. More importantly, you can always position the screen/monitor in such a way that there is no need to turn your head to see yourself from the side or back. Doing so you will avoid developing bad habits, which are not good in fighting. Positioning a webcam allows you to see your movements from 360 degrees and still look straight in front of you.
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