Monday, 29 February 2016

The Benefits of Shadowboxing

Let’s just put it like this. You are your biggest enemy. You are also your own biggest threat. The only hurdle that’s keeping you from being the best you, is YOU.
Analyze yourself.
Challenge yourself.
Best yourself.

While you might need things like a punching bag, boxing equipment, a coach and training partners to get better – there is one dynamic that only requires the bare minimum, YOU. Shadowboxing is boxing an imaginary foe or better yet, it’s YOU vs YOU. Apart from it being a great work out as well, Shadowboxing is the only way to perfect your boxing technique without the peripheral need of sa gym or equipment – if anything, all you need is a mirror.

The point is to know how well sharpened your tools are. In other words ‘know thyself’. Some might say Shadowboxing it is the KEY to bettering your technique and movement. Fighters will shadow box daily, going through 3 – 5 or 12 rounds, imagining the set and setting in which he/she will be fighting. If you don’t own a punching bag or just DON’T feel like boxing something ‘solid’, then practice your boxing technique by way of mirror reflection or by just standing in the middle of your space and whacking away the demons of competition.

Shadowboxing holistically helps with a range of things in the fight game:

 Footwork and balance

The most underrated and probably the most important part of training. While throwing your strikes, it is easy to fall off balance; upsetting your game plan and leaving you open for counters. Shadowboxing allows you to throw combinations, coordinating foot speed to hand speed, incorporating twitch or drastic movements without losing balance or ruining your stance.

Hand-speed and coordination

Increase hand-speed and the rate of punches while coordinating your eye, feet and hips to throw with precision.

Rhythm and movement

Rhythm and movement allows you to dodge, slip and evade your opponents attack while creating angles of your own. Rhythm is an extremely important part of boxing that creates flow and allows you to determine a response to your opponents attack or defense.

  Defense and stance

How to block the offensive without losing balance or putting yourself in danger while maintaining your stance and a calm demeanor

Attack and form

Throw your fists (or kicks) with flow and precision without leaving too many openings for counters while you’re on the offensive. Correct your form and eradicate bad punching habits that could affect form and damage one’s own body.

Fitness and gives you warm-up

Great pre-workout to warm the body up and get the blood flowing as it trains your entire body – not just for the muscles but for cardio and bone strength too.

Angles and correct punching/kicking technique

Angles are what matter in a fight. Even more than power. Throwing proper technique ensure a good offense while maintaining a good defense. Meaning; angles will help create opening to put your shots in or it’ll create space for you to evade an attack.

  Precision and flow

Precision allows you to throw punches and kicks with minimum power maintaining strength and stamina levels which allows for better movement and ‘flow’.
The list goes on. When you’re Shadowboxing, your only opponent is yourself. Shadowboxing would be the equivalent to how a writer writes in his/her spare time to better their skills. Just like how one opens their personal diary or commences an inner dialogue with the self – such is Shadowboxing; the fighter’s inner-fight to be the best.

Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Weight Lifting Exercises

Want to continue with strength training or weight lifting program? Want to know which exercises can help you? In this article, we will share some beneficial and really helpful weight lifting exercises with you. These exercises are cardio exercises that will help you build muscles and make your body strong. Read on to know.

  1. Cardio respiratory warm-up

Warm-up is the best cardio exercise and it is essential to do before starting any vigorous workout. You can warm up by performing moderate intensity cardio work on any machine, elliptical or treadmill, for 5 to 10 minutes. Walking and jumping or skipping are also beneficial warm-up exercises. These exercises work the large muscles of the body and increase the blood flow.

  2. Dumbbell exercises

This is a weight training exercise in which dumbbells are used. Dumbbell exercises are perhaps ideal weight lifting exercise. Dumbbell presses can help you build biceps, triceps and chest muscles.

3. Barbell exercises

Barbell exercises are more beneficial than dumbbell exercises. Dumbbell is queen while barbell is king. Forget all other equipment and use barbell in your strength training exercises. Barbells can help you lift more weight and lifting heavy is the first step towards getting stronger. After barbell exercise, you can move to dumbbell exercise.

  4. Squat

Squat is another beneficial weight training exercise. This exercise is done by squatting down with your weight held across your upper back and then standing up straight again. Squat is a compound exercise that involves glutes, hamstrings, calves and lower back as well. Weight lifting belts are sometimes used in this exercise to support lower back.

5. Dead lift

This weight training exercise is similar to normal squat but weight are lifted off the floor with hands while standing up. You can keep your palms facing down or one hand down and the other up to prevent dropping. Palms facing up puts excess on the inner arms. It is also a compound exercise that involves lower back, glutes, lats, neck, hamstrings and  calves.Like Squats, weight lifting belts can also be used in dead lifts.

6. Leg extension

This exercise is performed by raising a weight in front of your body with feet while sitting. This exercise works on quadriceps. Leg extension makes the muscles around the knees stronger and are also recommended by physical therapists. However, overtraining is not advisable.

  7. Wall sit

Wall sit, aka static squat, is performed by placing back against the wall with feet apart equal to shoulder width. Hips are lowered until knees and hips both are at right angles. This position is held as long as one can. This exercise strengthens quadriceps. Wall sit is not recommended for those who have knee problems because knees bear most weight during exercise

  8. Hamstring curl

Hamstring curl is another effective weight training exercise. The lying hamstring curl is the exercise that is done using weight machine and strengthens the hamstring muscles. During the exercise, person lies face down on weight bench, positions pad just above the ankles and then knees are slowly bended pulling feet towards buttocks. While doing lying hamstring curls, use hand grip only for support. This exercise works on leg muscles.

Bottom line

There are many weight training exercises. It’s up to you to choose the best suitable routine for you or see a professional.