The Ultimate Fitness Workout Part Three: Agility & Recovery
Many fighters are known for their smooth or slick movements. How do fighters get so “light” on their feet and mobile? Every fighter has their own secret methods as to how they achieve this. Two important factors are agility and recovery.
In this series on the boxing pathway to fitness, we explain how a boxing workout yields incredible results for anyone who undertakes it, regardless whether they ever step into a boxing ring or not. Floyd Mayweather has now made the essentials of the boxing workout accessible to everyone through his new fitness gym franchise, Mayweather Boxing + Fitness.
In our prior posts, we talked about how cardio and strength training are fundamental to the boxing workout. Check out those posts Ultimate Fitness Workout Part 1: Cardio and Ultimate Fitness Workout Part 2: Strength , if you missed them. Now we discuss agility and recovery because after boxers dance on air, they need to get off their feet and help their body recover for muscle health and overall wellness.
For agility it is common for fighters to be seen jump roping for multiple rounds at the beginning or end of their workout. Why do they jump rope? Jumping rope is a good way for fighters to improve their rhythm and strengthen their legs. The quickness of the rope causes fighters to find a pattern in the rope and jump accordingly.
You may have seen on social media or television many athletes using an “agility ladder”. It is common in sports like football, soccer and basketball but it can also be used for boxing. Fighters can use the agility ladder to practice fight-specific movements in a controlled space. The ability to place your feet in the correct area in quick motions can directly benefit you in the ring or in training. The quick movements allow the fighter to move quickly, effectively and practice short bursts of speed. Similar to the jump rope, the agility ladder also helps with developing a fighter’s rhythm.
After all the movement and intensity of the boxing workout, recovery is vital. In fact, recovery can be just as important as the workout itself. How can you expect to perform next time without listening to and preparing your body?
But what is recovery? It is the process of ensuring that the muscles that have been worked in training can heal, repair and grow again. This generally begins at the end of a workout, with stretching and a cool-down period. Here are some essential stretches for the boxing workout from Mayweather Boxing + Fitness: https://mayweather.fit/blog/best-stretches-for-boxers/
Recovery can also be passive, in the form of rest and relaxation afterwards, along with refueling and rehydrating the body. But it can be further supported through active measures, which have some science behind them. For example, here is a survey of recovery techniques published in a reputable science journal: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5932411/
As technology and research advance, new forms of recovery reveal themselves to athletes. When thinking of recovery there are many methods such as the ice bath, stretches, massages and more. Recovery can aid in helping your muscles relax and cause you to be more agile; however, ice baths are not for everyone, but there are some alternatives. Cryotherapy chambers are a shorter way of cooling your body down than ice baths. Hot yoga is another way to create mobility and agility while recovering.
Here are more tips on proper recovery from Mayweather Boxing + Fitness: https://mayweather.fit/blog/the-importance-of-proper-recovery/
And remember, the next time you’re sitting on the couch watching the game, you can explain to whoever wants to know that you’re actually doing the recovery phase of your workout!