Sometimes you get in a rut at the gym. You work your way through the same tired-ass routine and come out feeling like you’re not making any major moves forward in your game. Sometimes it just takes a simple suggestion or a new idea to get you moving again. Check out the four tactics below for a refreshing change from the same ol’, same ol’. (Skip straight to number four if you love pain.)
1. Four Punch Combos
My sparring partner (and pro fighter) Yvonne gets credit for this one. Most new boxers throw one punch at a time. Even experienced boxers can easily default to single- and double-punch patterns. It’s so common, it’s a cliché: Give it the old “one-two.” The jab-and-a-right (if you’re an orthodox fighter) is as common and predictible as shave-and-a-haircut (two bits).
To be sure, you can win a fight with ones and twos. But what if you trained yourself to throw three or four punches at a time, rather than one or two? Not only would you significantly increase your potential score, you also throw your opponent off her game, and interrupt the two-punch tradeoff rhythm. Now you’re in control, racking up the score, and forcing your opponent to move and defend.
Train in four-punch combos. Do it for an entire round. Hell, do it for FOUR rounds. (Can you tell I’m getting off on this whole “four” thing?)
Don’t make all your shots right-left-right-left; that can be the fastest way to get your shots off, but it can also get predictable in the ring. Mix it up, badass. Toss in a slip, or throw two in a row from the same side now and then.
I like the guy in the video below, although some of his “crosses” look like straight rights to me… Still, he’s got some shit, right? I would be motivated to stay outta his way.
2. Four Punch Combo Slip Drills
It’s easy to work four punch combos into a drill. Ditch your gloves so that you both remember to work for speed rather than strength. Now shadow box with a partner and trade off four-shot combos. She throws four (and moves her feet), then you throw four. Don’t work for touches, work to ingrain the habit of throwing four in a row. Then practice it in sparring later.
3. Video Yourself
I hate this one; there’s nothing worse than seeing yourself suck on the replay. But, it also helps you improve. If you’re neurotic like me, try not to pick everything apart. Just get your four shots while moving down.
Btw, Coach’s Eye is a great app for capturing boxing video, because it lets you slow down the motion and markup the replay.
4. Four Punch Tabita-Style Sprints
Wanna kick your own motherfuckin’ ass? Dude, dial summa this up. When my coach is feeling pissy, he has us do these for an entire round. You know, like at the end of a workout. Uh-huh.