Know Your Body Systems that Work as You Box
Boxing is a long-established sport where two contenders aim to land as much powerful punches as they can on their opponent within the two to three minute round inside the ring.
It requires the skills in throwing and receiving punches, good body coordination and high tolerance to pain. Due to its intense high physical demand, it is significant to determine the roles of the different essential body systems during the performance of boxing.
One of these is the energy systems that largely contribute to a boxer’s performance in the ring. Boxers use both aerobic and anaerobic energy pathways during a single round.
To rapidly change the eccentric muscle contraction to concentric contractions to produce punches with greater force, the anaerobic system is used. It is also utilized during sudden rapid attacks of the boxers to their opponents.
A well-trained anaerobic system increases the tolerance to lactic acid build up. Lactic acid accumulation causes muscle cramps due to the inadequate supply of oxygen.
Equally important is the aerobic system to boxing training. The aerobic system works with the cardiopulmonary system to provide a recovery mechanism and to counter the byproducts of the anaerobic system.
Aerobic training increases maximal oxygen consumption; thus, endurance is developed. This can be achieved by providing a one-minute rest in between rounds. Consequently, the boxer can train the anaerobic system at a higher level because it takes greater energy before it is utilized which results to an increase in power.
The muscular system is important as the defensive and offensive line of boxing. The greater the muscle bulk the greater force can be produced in each punch. Well-developed abdominals, pelvic and gluteal muscles, the core muscle group, protect the visceral organs from the blows and contribute to the stability of the body during the fight.
The muscles in the lower extremity, acting mainly as defense, provide agility while maintaining balance. Aside from empowering muscle performance, all boxers must develop range of punches, good body coordination and corresponding tactics to win a game.
The nervous system functions in close association with the muscular system. The mechanisms of this body system provide direct motor control over muscles. This enables the boxer to smoothly coordinate footwork and hand movements in attacks and defense, and also to do mental training.
Mental training is a technique used in improving focus and concentration in directing desired muscle to work in the desired way. It is also used to contemplate appropriate tactics a boxer might employ in a given competitive situation; enabling the fighter to replay images of a successfully executed maneuver to counteract the techniques of the opponent.
Lastly, the nervous system adapts in a way to tolerate pain through increase in endorphin production to alter pain recognition.
Athletes must train in a sport-specific way so that their body systems are developed according to their fighting strategy. Boxing is largely anaerobic in nature and so an athlete should focus on developing the anaerobic system for strength and power training.
However, developing one system should not be any athlete’s goal. A holistic training of athletes must be done because no sport involves only one system.
In boxing, the neuromuscular and cardiopulmonary systems must be trained to prepare a boxer for a fight, targeting the different body systems in order to achieve the goal desired. Together with the intense training, the body systems adapt or react in order to supply the demands of an intensive boxing training.