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Squats for Boxers?

Question for the boxers (and maybe other stand-up fighters…)

I’ve been having some trouble ducking underneath an incoming punch; that is, when you have i.e. a hook coming so you drop quickly into a squat-ish position and snap back up with a punch. My problem is twofold.

First, I keep positioning my body incorrectly, usually with my butt sticking out too far or otherwise not just dropping straight down. Second, I have trouble doing it quickly enough. Third, it kind of hurts my knees. So I am thinking that adding squats into my workouts might help.

Do you think that squats are the way to go here? Or something else like lunges or pistols? Jump squats maybe? And what kind of sets/reps scheme? If heavy squats would help me here that’s OK; my genetics (and diet) are such that I don’t have to worry about getting too big/heavy from strength training.

I don’t know much about boxing so take what I say with a grain of salt.

I think for your specific needs, learning the catch portion of the clean or snatch would be more effective. This would focus more on the speed of getting under the bar.

Having said that, you should be squatting regardless

just my 2 cents

[quote]whoisdisjosh wrote:
I think for your specific needs, learning the catch portion of the clean or snatch would be more effective. This would focus more on the speed of getting under the bar.[/quote]

Can you recommend any particular assists for this? Thanks!!

No, doing snatches or cleans will not help you dip under a punch. You are looking to weights to solve what is a technique problem, and the two won’t mesh.

There are many drills that will help you with this… padwork being one of them, and other specific ones- the one I’m thinking of is where your trainer puts his arm on one of your shoulders and you dip back and forth under it.

Concentrate on learning that technique and getting it perfect. Do it as slowly as you need to. After a couple months, when you’ve got it down to a t, start doing it faster. You’ll get it. And as far as your knees hurting, I’m willing to bet that doing it incorrectly is what is causing the problem with your knees.

Squatting once a week for a couple sets isn’t a bad idea, but it’s not going to help your technique at all. Learn the technique properly.

[quote]FightinIrish26 wrote:
No, doing snatches or cleans will not help you dip under a punch. You are looking to weights to solve what is a technique problem, and the two won’t mesh.

There are many drills that will help you with this… padwork being one of them, and other specific ones- the one I’m thinking of is where your trainer puts his arm on one of your shoulders and you dip back and forth under it.

Concentrate on learning that technique and getting it perfect. Do it as slowly as you need to. After a couple months, when you’ve got it down to a t, start doing it faster. You’ll get it. And as far as your knees hurting, I’m willing to bet that doing it incorrectly is what is causing the problem with your knees.

Squatting once a week for a couple sets isn’t a bad idea, but it’s not going to help your technique at all. Learn the technique properly. [/quote]

Yep, that is what I am doing now. Lots of padwork with my coach, and also tying a rope from one corner of the ring to another and ducking under it while moving/punching. I was wondering if I need to build more knee strength with i.e. squats, but if it’s just a technique issue then I can work on that more.

Rocky Marciano all but fought in a squatted stance. As stated above, weights are not the answer. Try starting in a squatted stance, as reacting to a punch and trying to get there repeatedly is just going to reinforce bad habits. Get used to being in that stance, then work on getting there reacting to a punch.

[quote]floridagirl wrote:

Yep, that is what I am doing now. Lots of padwork with my coach, and also tying a rope from one corner of the ring to another and ducking under it while moving/punching. I was wondering if I need to build more knee strength with i.e. squats, but if it’s just a technique issue then I can work on that more.
[/quote]

Squatting isn’t a bad idea in moderation- like I said, maybe a couple times a week with 3 sets of 5. But it would be for overall strength, not to cure knee pain.

But I think once you get the technique right, your knees will stop bothering you.

Do BW squats till you’re blue in the face. BW squats are essential for all stand up arts. They really should be part of your warm up. Barbell squats and all variations are dependant on your goals; gaining strength, being more explosive and the like. Do them…and do a bunch of them.

I agree with Irish. Sounds like you are working the right drills to build the technique. You might want to see a doctor about the knee.

It’s a technique issue… You basically need to drill it over and over and over at varying speeds with various partners so you get a different “look” at it.

Also, look into stretching and some soft tissue work (foam roller/myofascial release). If you’re having pain and other issues squatting WITHOUT weight, then adding weight is not going to solve a damn thing. It sounds like you have some kind of limiting issue that doesn’t have to do with your strength- THOUGH it could be a muscle imbalance.

take home point: work on improving your range of motion

I gotta agree, it’s the technique that’s the issue. You’re sticking your butt out so you can bend at the waist. Which is wrong. You’re not going to learn the biomechanics required from simple back squats.

You need to maintain a slight bend at the knees, so that you can just drop down under punches, which basically happens when you pull your legs to your body and let gravity take care of the rest. You can only duck as quickly as gravity will allow (rate of acceleration = 9.8m/s etc…). You can’t go any quicker without your feet being literally strapped to the canvas. All you can do is bring the necessarybiomechanic preparation, keeping your knees bent so you can just drop down, so you can get as close as possible to 9.8m/s.

There’s a balance that must be struck between bobbing really quickly and maintaining balance in order to counterpunch etc…etc…

Tyson… at 2:32… that’s the basic idea…

[quote]Xen Nova wrote:
If you’re having pain and other issues squatting WITHOUT weight, then adding weight is not going to solve a damn thing.[/quote]

I don’t have any pain from doing regular squats, BW or weighted, even ass-to-grass. Occasionally I get some knee pain from lunges, particularly in my left knee. I think that the element that causes it to hurt in boxing is the rotation through the movement; that is, bringing my hip around to throw a cross as I drop down and pop back up.

EDIT: That or just plain doing it wrong (sticking my butt out etc)

[quote]Xen Nova wrote:

Also, look into stretching and some soft tissue work (foam roller/myofascial release). If you’re having pain and other issues squatting WITHOUT weight, then adding weight is not going to solve a damn thing. It sounds like you have some kind of limiting issue that doesn’t have to do with your strength- THOUGH it could be a muscle imbalance.
[/quote]

I was thinking this. Just because your knee hurts doesn’t mean your quad is weak. It could very well be that strengthening them will make the problem worse if it is an imbalance.

[quote]admbaum wrote:
Do BW squats till you’re blue in the face. BW squats are essential for all stand up arts. They really should be part of your warm up. Barbell squats and all variations are dependant on your goals; gaining strength, being more explosive and the like. Do them…and do a bunch of them.[/quote]

Bullshit. 90 percent of the fighters over the years never bothered squatting. They are not essential in the least.

  1. What About Flexibility?

Another common myth related to strength training deals with flexibility and range of motion. Many trainers believe that free weights will compromise flexibility. This is completely untrue.

A proper strength program will enhance range of motion. To those who disagree, I ask you to perform this simple experiment. Perform an overhead squat and you will see just how much flexibility can be developed with proper exercise selection.

See the link below for a demonstration of the overhead squat.

Overhead Squat

Olympic lifters also offer a perfect example of power and flexibility. The two competitive Olympic lifts (Snatch and Clean-and-Jerk) demand these two physical attributes. The individuals engaged in Olympic weight lifting are amongst the most powerful athletes in the world. These men and women do not possess the muscle-bound physiques seen in bodybuilding. These individuals are powerful, flexible, and extremely athletic.

For another example, look at the flexibility of a gymnast. These athletes possess tremendous strength, yet remain as flexible as any athlete in the world. Clearly, the strength work of these gymnasts has not compromised their range of motion.

There is no disputing the fact that strength can be developed without harming range of motion and flexibility.

And theres a ton of other stuff on why BW squats are important to a boxer in his book “Warrior Workout” specifically on pg9 in the bonus material. No additional comment needed here, but I can find you more if you cant agree to disagree.

[quote]admbaum wrote:


[/quote]

Awesome link, thanks.

[quote]admbaum wrote:
7. What About Flexibility?

Another common myth related to strength training deals with flexibility and range of motion. Many trainers believe that free weights will compromise flexibility. This is completely untrue.

A proper strength program will enhance range of motion. To those who disagree, I ask you to perform this simple experiment. Perform an overhead squat and you will see just how much flexibility can be developed with proper exercise selection.

See the link below for a demonstration of the overhead squat.

Overhead Squat

Olympic lifters also offer a perfect example of power and flexibility. The two competitive Olympic lifts (Snatch and Clean-and-Jerk) demand these two physical attributes. The individuals engaged in Olympic weight lifting are amongst the most powerful athletes in the world. These men and women do not possess the muscle-bound physiques seen in bodybuilding. These individuals are powerful, flexible, and extremely athletic.

For another example, look at the flexibility of a gymnast. These athletes possess tremendous strength, yet remain as flexible as any athlete in the world. Clearly, the strength work of these gymnasts has not compromised their range of motion.

There is no disputing the fact that strength can be developed without harming range of motion and flexibility.

And theres a ton of other stuff on why BW squats are important to a boxer in his book “Warrior Workout” specifically on pg9 in the bonus material. No additional comment needed here, but I can find you more if you cant agree to disagree.
[/quote]

I said nothing about flexibility, and neither did the OP. It’s not a question of flexibility.

On top of that, I’ve read all of Ross’ work and I agree with it. I also said that squats were a good thing to do. However, they won’t help with this problem that she has, and to say they are “essential” to a fighter because some trainer says it is laughable. As I’ve told you time and again, weightlifting is not essential to fighting. This has been proved time and time again. Now stop whining.

who’s whining you fucking dunce?

just agree to disagree and be done.

I think they are, all the trainers I’ve worked with agree, and a great majority of literature I’ve read on the subject has BW squats in their programming. You dont squat when you bob and weave do you?

Believe what you want Irish. Its easy to issue advise from your keyboard. Making all those posts leads one to believe you spend more time in front of your computer than you do out in the world training. Squatting helps strengthen the knees. EVERYONE except you knows that.

http://www.mckinley.illinois.edu/handouts/overusekneeinjuries/overusekneeinjuries.htm

Not to interrupt you two but let me just leave this right here…

http://www.elitefts.com/documents/knee_pain.htm

[quote]The glute complex and some of the smaller hip external rotator muscles play a crucial part in maintaining knee alignment. Knee valgus and patellar maltracking are not caused by a weak VMO as we once thought. It is actually the inability of these hip muscles to prevent adduction and internal rotation of the femur.
[/quote]

[quote]floridagirl wrote:
Question for the boxers (and maybe other stand-up fighters…)

I’ve been having some trouble ducking underneath an incoming punch; that is, when you have i.e. a hook coming so you drop quickly into a squat-ish position and snap back up with a punch. My problem is twofold.

First, I keep positioning my body incorrectly, usually with my butt sticking out too far or otherwise not just dropping straight down. Second, I have trouble doing it quickly enough. Third, it kind of hurts my knees. So I am thinking that adding squats into my workouts might help.

Do you think that squats are the way to go here? Or something else like lunges or pistols? Jump squats maybe? And what kind of sets/reps scheme? If heavy squats would help me here that’s OK; my genetics (and diet) are such that I don’t have to worry about getting too big/heavy from strength training.[/quote]

worry about your technique and doing some plyometrics. just stand in front of a mirror and keep trying until you get the form down, then keep doing it until you quit messing up, at that point it’ll be second nature.

it sounds like you’re thinking of it as doing a squat; don’t. let gravity take over when you’re going down then use your muscles while going up