Boxers are known as some of the best, if not the best, conditioned athletes in the world. Floyd Mayweather, who reigned supreme in his conditioning level, never got tired in his fights no matter how many rounds they went to. While you might expect an elite level boxer like Mayweather to rely on highly advanced and technical exercises to get them into shape, they often focus on simple yet effective moves that anyone could replicate in their own gym.
A typical morning for a boxer would begin with a 5-8 mile run followed by an hour of work on the heavy bags. When it comes time for functional training and core work, here are five of our favorite exercises to get yourself into Mayweather-level shape:
• Jump Rope – The jump rope is one of the most universally used tools to get boxers into top shape and build skills directly applicable to what they use in the ring. Similar to running, jump rope helps boxers build their stamina and endurance to keep them fresh in the later rounds in a fight. Besides the high level of both aerobic and anaerobic work that you can get from a jump rope, it also helps with footwork and rhythm, which are key components for a boxer. While jump roping, you have to stay light on your feet and aware of every step you take, which seamlessly translates to fundamental skills that boxers never stop working on.
• Medicine Ball Rotation – Medicine Ball rotations are a simple yet effective move for boxers to build their core strength while focusing on their obliques and rotational power. Holding a Medicine Ball straight away from your body, you rotate your upper body side to side. This back and forth movement increases mobility and strengthens the obliques, allowing boxers to have more stability and power with each offensive punch and defensive move, such as a slip or slide. This move helps boxers build the strength to remain more elusive against their opponents.
• Sit Up to Stand Ups: One of Mayweather’s signature moves, a Sit Up to Stand Up is when the boxer lies on their back while a coach or partner holds their feet down on the ground. The boxer then sits ups and continues to build momentum as they completely stand up. This move engages nearly all of the core muscles such as the abs, lower back and obliques. This is a move that Mayweather made famous in his training regimen. It is also a great exercise to do with a workout buddy, which helps with motivation during a workout.
• Pull-ups: Pull-ups are another exercise used universally by boxers to build strength and power in their boxing styles. Pull-ups primarily work the lats, but also work the biceps, trapezius, pecs and teres major and minor. Boxing relies heavily on shoulder strength so boxers will be able to throw strong punches and keep their hands to their face to protect them throughout the whole fight. Pull-ups are an effective way to isolate the lats and stabilize the whole shoulder, preventing boxers from getting tired in a fight.
Those are five of our favorite exercises to train and perform like Mayweather himself. Variations can be made to each exercise to cater to different levels of fitness and ability. Now what are you waiting for? Let’s get training!