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2015.10.09, Friday

Cool Training for Basketball

Tired of the same old workouts?

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One day in an intramural university basketball league, we played a team composed of players who signed up individually. On this team there were a few guys who started boxing a few months before the basketball league started. After having a couple beers with the guys after the game we were talking to the guys who were in a boxing training program, and we were shocked to hear them say that not only was it an insane workout, but that the boxing workout really crossed over to basketball nicely.

They were so convincing that I decided to look into it myself. Boxing was something that always interested me and there were enough local gyms around that I figured why not. First of all, I highly recommend it just because it’s fun, an incredible workout, and isn’t as intimidating or dangerous as one may think. The bonus was that it was really cheap, and all I ready needed to buy for equipment were boxing gloves. I used the following site to pick the best boxing gloves for me.

So what about improving for basketball?

Back to the main point of this article. I agree with my opponents from that intramural basketball game. Boxing is a great form of cross training for basketball. Where I really noticed it helped was with footwork, upper body strengthening (primarily shoulders), and of course it drastically improved my cardio.

Boxing helped my footwork for basketball because it focuses on quick feet, but also lots of pivoting and “smart” footwork to maintain a low center of gravity at all times. Boxing was also great for upper body strengthening without putting on weight, which pound-for-pound put me one step ahead of the competition, and I’ve never been so in shape cardio-wise.

I’m still going to my local gym on a regular basis and love this sport. I don’t play it as much as basketball, and similar to working out at a normal gym, I’ve taken time off at times, but overall it’s a great experience and a perfect way to boost your fitness.

Any downsides?

The only thing I would have done differently is not worn my good basketball shoes to boxing. They perform ok with most surfaces in the boxing gym, but with all the pivoting, planting, and twisting involved in boxing footwork, I wore them out way too fast and they were really expensive. I think normal running shoes would be fine, but there are also lots of guides out there for really good shoes for boxing.

When I talk about boxing to other people, they often perceive it as being very dangerous or intimidating. I totally understand this, but at least in my experience, that’s not true at all. The boxing gym I went to was very careful about letting people spar, and always made sure they were more than ready. There’s lots of supervision and everyone respects the rules. Moreover, everyone was really into boxing and had fun with it, so often times there would be some teamwork involved and I met a lot of cool people.

Our Recommendation

At the end of the day, I highly recommend boxing as a form of cross-trainign for basketball, or just training in general. Although basketball remain by far my favorite sport, boxing may be creeping up as a runner up!

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