How to Breathe in Boxing: Breathing Techniques for Boxing

Are you exhausted and tired during every fight without reason?

Do you run out of air in the middle of fights every time?

This is the typical example of a boxer with no knowledge or practice of breathing.

 Breathing exercise is mostly ignored by the beginners as well as the advanced as their major focus remains on techniques and fighting movements that result in the undermining of their performance.

In this article, we have tried to provide knowledge of the importance of breathing exercises in the life of a boxer.

How Do Boxers Breathe?

Breathing in the right way is the most significant asset for a boxer while defending or punching the opponent.

The boxers need to breathe properly to exert maximum power while either punching the opponent or defending themselves from the attacks therefore it should never be taken lightly in any circumstance.

How boxers breathe during punching

The boxers need to learn the basic breathing techniques during the early training sessions that would help them to enhance their forms and climb up the levels smoothly.

Every movement is imperative in the technique of boxing as it leads to the making of the greatest boxers and any details ignored can not only lower your performance but also lead to a major injury.

The boxers follow the general thumb rule of exhaling the air out severely through their nose while throwing punches.

This rapid release of oxygen summonses an inflow of air instantaneously that is utilized to deliver the required amount of nutrients and oxygen to the muscles as the punches withdraw.

This method of breathing allows the boxers to drive maximum power output from the muscles for each attack without injuring the muscles and also helps to increase the speed of the punches.

This is a very common but effective technique. In almost every gym, you can boxers using this technique to throw punches on a standing punching bag, and learn to fight.

Sometimes, even MMA and Muay Thai fighters use this breathing technique to land a kick on the bag. If you try that, make sure to wear shin guards for kickboxing.

Why do you need to breathe differently for different movements?

The different movements in boxing require different ways of breathing as the body extracts the energy for each technique in a different way.

The breathing depends entirely on the movements of the boxer and the kind of punches they are planning to throw.

The fast and the explosive movements require fast and explosive breaths whereas the slow and deep movements require slow and deep breaths.

The slow and deep movements with fast and explosive breathing or the fast and explosive movements with slow and deep breaths will completely paralyze the players and lead to incompetent throws of punches.

It is quite evident for beginners as well as advanced boxers to learn the accurate way of breathing for every unique movement or technique as the breathing and muscle contraction work hand in hand.

Different Breathing Techniques

Different Boxing Breathing Techniques

Slow Breathing Techniques

Slow breathing is essential to revitalize the boxer and calm the nerves down as well as muscle. This offers the boxer to rest their body and strategize their next move while moving around the ring.

Slow breathing helps to save the required amount of energy for the next attacks. Slow breathing is also advised while moving around the ring and in between the rounds.

Breathing through the nose is preferred over the mouth as it allows deep and slow breaths that can reach all the way deep into the stomach and offer the body more oxygen.  The technique to breathe slowly is quite easy and includes inhaling as well as exhaling slowly through the nose.

The boxers should never confuse slow breathing withholding one’s breathe or taking almost forever to inhale/exhale. 

Slow breathing is basically to relax the boxer’s muscles and calm the mind while working on their game plan. The best boxers work remarkably hard on slow breathing as it allows them to save up energy for the sudden fast burst of energy while throwing strong, hard punches. 

The most efficient way to practice slow breathing is to indulge in fast and explosive movements like rope jumping while breathing slowly.

Another way to practice slow breathing for the beginners is to breathe slowly while moving around the ring while asking your training partner to throw light tapping shots to the elbows.

Fast Breathing Techniques

The fast breathing pairs up competently with fast and bursting movements like punching, defending, slipping, and fast footwork.

These movements require an instant burst of energy from the body that can be achieved through fast breathing. However, it is advised to never overdo fast breathing as it may leave the boxer tired and exhausted.

The most preferred way of breathing fast is to inhale slowly through the nose and the least preferred method is through the nose. And then exhale quickly through the nose with each burst or punch.

The slow inhaling lets the boxer gather a sufficient amount of air for the sudden release of energy during exchanges that can be inhaled through the mouth. 

However, it would be wise to try inhaling the air without completely opening the mouth as it involves the risk of breaking the jaw if punched.

While inhaling through the mouth, try to inhale deep into the stomach rather than the chest as it would offer the boxer an optimum amount of power through strong punches with high speed.

The best way to practice fast breathing is through fast combination movements like throwing punches on the heavy bag or through quick explosive movements during shadowboxing.

Practicing regularly can help the boxers to inhale a sufficient amount of air so that they can exhale enough amount of air for each movement to be effective without exhausting them.

You can use these breathing techniques to improve your boxing. Just practice them while punching on a dummy bag to give you more feel, and you’ll start to improve slowly.

Almost all the boxers use jump rope for practice. This not only helps in breathing but also builds stamina and reflexes. If you want to know more about them, I have shared an article about jump ropes for boxers, you can check that.

Final Words

Breathing is quite an important function for the boxers even before the technique and fighting movements thus it is important to work hard, practice, and learn regularly different breathing methodologies for each movement to excel in the game. 

Fighters may forget to breathe as they are distracted by all the fighting movements however with regular practice it comes naturally to a boxer as breathing came naturally to you anyway.

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