Breathing and Boxing

Written by
Mary Malie
On
Friday, November 8, 2019

Breathing and Boxing

If you’re new to boxing, you might notice how quickly you get tired in the ring or when working the heavy bag. One reason for this is the fact that boxing classes, like those offered at Legends Boxing, are great exercise. They are designed to give you a good workout.


Another reason new boxers get tired quickly, though, is that they haven’t yet mastered their breathing technique. Another thing to master, you ask? That’s right! Even with all the footwork, defense, and combinations you learn in boxing class, breathing is one of the most important things to perfect.


These breathing techniques will help you improve your boxing and get more out of your workouts. Once you get them down, they will become second nature and you won’t have to think about it while you box.

Take It Slow

The most important thing to remember about breathing when boxing is to breathe slowly. That might sound like a contradiction since you often find yourself moving quickly in the ring, but controlling your breathing will work wonders for you. Beginning boxers often breathe too quickly or they hold their breath. Either of these will make you tire more quickly.


Breathing slowing does two very important things for you while boxing. First, it calms you down—it is natural to get tense when sparring and this can affect your concentration, which in turn can lead to exaggerated movements and poor technique. Breathing slowly helps you control your jitters so you can stay focused and relaxed.


Second, breathing slowly keeps you from getting tired so quickly. You physically get tired faster when you breathe quickly. If you slow down your breath, you can keep your energy up longer.

Let Your Breathing Match Your Movements

Breathing slowly is fine when you’re dancing around the ring, you might say, but what about when you engage your opponent? Surprisingly, you still keep it slow. The difference is that you let out your breath differently during explosive actions. When sparring, hitting the heavy bag, or shadow boxing, you still want to breathe in slowly, preferably through your nose.


When you punch, let out a short, quick breath. You know those loud sounds boxers make then they punch? That’s what they do. They don’t let out all of their breath, they just let out a short burst and then cut it off. One short burst of air for each explosive movement.


The overall breathing pattern is still slow. Long, slow breaths in through the nose, short bursts out when striking. When not moving explosively, your breathing will be a slow in-out, in-out. When you engage, you go slowly in, then out-out-out with each strike, then slowly in again.


How to Practice Breathing Slowly for Boxing

Like any boxing technique, you want to practice this over and over outside the ring, so you can bring it with you when you box. You can practice breathing at the heavy bag. Keep your breathing slow, and let out short bursts when you hit the bag.


Practice with a partner, too. Boxing friends are the best! Your partner can monitor your breathing while holding the bag for you and let you know when you’re breathing too fast. You need to know when you’re holding your breath, which is also something you should avoid. You and your partner can also practice breathing in the ring. Have your partner throw light strikes at your arms to help you simulate boxing action while practicing proper breathing.


You can also practice your breathing when you exercise outside of boxing class. Next time you take a run, breathe slowly through your nose like you will want to do when boxing. You can even wear your mouthguard to help remind yourself how to breathe.


Once you get the hang of these breathing techniques while boxing and exercising, you will notice how effective it is. You will stay calmer in the ring, you will have more energy, and your explosive movements will become even more explosive.


Written by
Mary Malie
On
Friday, November 8, 2019