Balance is something you don’t really think about (until you don’t have it) but is extremely important for sporting performance and a key component of functional fitness. Balance can be defined as the ability to maintain the centre of gravity within a base of support. Research shows consistent links between balance and multiple performance measures, with higher level athletes consistently demonstrating superior balance abilities. However, deficits in static and dynamic balance have been associated with a greater risk of injury.
Maintaining balance starts with having the correct base and stance. This will improve your overall boxing performance, not to mention prevent injury. Awareness of your centre of gravity allows you to execute your punches with maximum power and efficiency. The ability to produce smooth, coordinated, balanced movements involve deliberate practice, not just the capacity to produce force. Taking a varied approach to your training will help enhance body awareness and balance.
Practicing the fundamentals will set you up for success. Incorporating footwork, shadowboxing, and technique drills into your training will help improve muscular coordination and neuromuscular efficiency. Shadow boxing allows you to practice your technique without punching a bag. When you move around, the aim is to keep your upper body aligned over your lower body, having an active awareness of your body’s centre of gravity.
By bending your knees in a fighting stance, you are lowering your centre of gravity, therefore increasing your stability. This will also help you generate force from the lower body through to the fist. Rotational power and speed are enhanced by coordinating the movements of the upper and lower body for maximum transfer of force through the kinetic chain. Through rapid rotation of the hips and torso you can apply the full force of your body weight to execute a more powerful punch!
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