When muscles are challenged with a high level of resistance or damaged, these need recovery to grow and function as usual.
Whether you are doing standard training like bag drills or spar with another boxing enthusiast, your muscles go through these processes all the time.
And if your muscles aren’t ready for the next workout, you may not benefit from it as much as you would like and training with sore muscles can be real torture. On top of that, there is more likelihood of injuring your muscles which prevents you from going to the boxing gym for an extended period of time. This can be detrimental to your progress especially if you are a newbie.
So now you know the importance of it and how vital it is for boxing, let’s find out how we can recover effectively.
Recovery Tips and Methods
I need to emphasize that some of the methods below are quite popular and used by many athletes and these helped them became champions, win tournaments. However; according to my own experiences, I also added a few tips which are definitely not conventional.
1. Learn the Right Techniques
Obviously learning punch techniques and having a good stance is crucial in boxing but many people don’t even realize they have a shitty form or average technique and they go to boxing classes for years without much improvement!
The good technique provides muscles to face resistance which is normal to them and it does not cause extra damage to bones. So when you don’t have it, your muscles face a resistance that can hurt them and because of this, the recovery may extend which is far from ideal for learning boxing.
2. Warm-up and Stretch!
Thanks to warming up, your body temperature increases before training, and your muscles can be readier for boxing drills.
However, I know exactly how you feel after a tough boxing workout. You are exhausted and really want to drink that cold protein shake and jump in the shower, right? It is really tempting to skip stretching after a hard workout and trust me I have been there. However, many competitive athletes report that it helps with the soreness in muscles. So if you don’t, your muscles will thank you next day.
3. Foam Rollers
Foam rollers help with reducing the stiffness of muscles and increase blood flow to muscles as many other methods on this list. However, there are many types of foam rollers. Some are long, some are short. Also, the texture type can vary a lot.
In addition to these, foam rollers have different hardness levels. And you really don’t want to start using a foam roller which is too firm as it can cause bruises and even more soreness. So using a really hard roller is counterproductive as we want to relieve sore muscles. So you need to prefer one which is softer and once you are comfortable with it and it does not hurt too much while using it on your muscles you can start using a firmer one.
Furthermore, different texture types have different effects on your muscles and this might reduce the soreness even more.
Shortly, choosing gradually harder foam rollers and using ones, which have different textures, can be ideal for optimizing the positive effects.
The following can be considered bro-science as there is no science behind it. However, it works for my body so I want to share it with my readers.
I was quite skeptical about using foam rollers at first and could not see how these can work but once I started using them, I just couldn’t stop using them and even tried very different foam roller types. I also took different approaches for optimizing the benefits.
For example, I use different ones for different muscle groups. I use a hard roller with a big groove for my back and massage my arm muscles with no textured one.
I don’t know whether this can benefit you more or not however trying new methods and finding out what works the best for your own body type should be the way to go for any boxer.
4. Listen to your body
Are you feeling tired?
Do your bruises stay longer than they should?
Do you feel energetic enough to go to a boxing gym without taking pre-workouts?
Do you over-train? Maybe this is the reason why you have aches in your muscles and do not feel fresh when you should.
These are the questions that you need to ask yourself and do what your body needs.
Possible Solution to These Common Problems
- Take a break for a couple of days or even weeks
- You may need to reconsider your nutrition plan
Shortly, applying the methods on this list like increasing protein intake or reconsidering your routine probably can solve these issues for most boxers.
Related Article: Our Reflex Bag Picks
5. Do You Have a Good Nutrition Plan?
According to your regimen and intensity of boxing drills, there should be a solid diet plan which you need to follow.
Boxers need to consume enough macronutrients, which are protein, carbohydrates, and fats, to perform well during training as these affect the energy levels and recovery duration. If a body gets all the macronutrients which it needs, the recovery period will be shorter.
With that being said, we don’t do the same training every day. We practice step-drag maneuvers on Monday and the next day we may try to get better at the pivoting foot. So, everyday calorie expenditure and many other factors, which can change the macronutrients ratio and quantity, may differ. Obviously, a boxer needs to determine the diet plan according to the training.
However, learning how to determine these can be quite difficult. Even though I have a successful boxing site, I get some help from time to time and I suggest you do the same. Because you may know the basics but you might not have the competency to determine carb, protein, fat intake for a particular day.
So if a dietician works in your gym or your boxing trainer is knowledgeable about creating meal plans, definitely consult them as it is one of the major factors for your body to recover.
6. What about Supplements?
Some supplements actually work and there is science behind them and here is the shortlist.
Protein powder: It increases protein synthesis and helps you consume enough protein to repair muscle cells that are damaged during training.
Multivitamins and Minerals: Unfortunately, most people can’t get all the vitamins and minerals which they need with their diets. Multivitamins and mineral supplements can help you overcome this issue as these play a huge role in repairing muscle tissues.
7. Sleep More!
Getting enough sleep helps you build muscle and lose fat. Also don’t you feel better when you have a good night of sleep? Furthermore, you can have a better mood and these contribute to more effective recovery and improved energy levels.
Even Daniel Craig uses this one. When your muscles and bones are exposed to really cold temperatures, these heal quicker. It is similar to putting ice on bruises. However, it is way more effective.
You can choose to apply this therapy to certain body parts like your arms or abs or you can choose to apply this therapy to all of your body. However, there is not any scientific evidence that shows that one helps more than the other. So you can try both of these approaches and see which one works the best for you.
Fighters increase body temperature for fast recovery as it relaxes muscles, blood cells and skin. Spending time in a hot environment increases blood flow to muscles and speeds up your metabolism rate. Thus these improve the blood flow in muscles and healing of injured tissues.
You can increase your body temperature in so many ways. You can get into a sauna or you can train in sauna suits which reputable martial arts companies mostly produce. When you wear one it cuts off the air circulation between your skin and outside. This can make you sweat at a really fast rate.
However, sauna suits may bother you while throwing punch combinations, working out with a heavy bag and you may not want to wear one while doing these and it is totally understandable. However, wearing one for running would not be an issue for most people.
10. Have you tried Contrast Showers?
I explained how cold and warm temperatures can be good for your muscles and skin so I will not go into details here. However, applying heat to your body for a period of time and then switching it to cold can improve these benefits even more.
You can do this with a contrast shower quite effectively and fancy equipment is not needed. It is also proven that it can help people focus more on daily tasks. Thus, it just might be what you need to push more during your workouts!
11. Go to a Massage Center
Many recovery methods’ principle including massage, is the same. Improve the oxygen and blood circulation in muscle cells so soreness in muscles’ can be treated faster.
Also, your muscles might have poor circulation because of some unknown reason and this can cause more ache and soreness. However, regular massages can help to solve this issue as well.
In addition to these, after tough boxing drills, lactic acid can build up in your muscles and this may result in muscle spasms. Massaging can provide more oxygen to muscle cells and it can provide muscles to get rid of lactic acid so you can have a deep sleep without waking up to leg cramps at night!
Thanks to so many benefits of massage, I am a believer that every boxer should see a massage therapist regularly.
12. Train with Protective Gears
This is common sense, right? If your headgear’s foam doesn’t absorb the shock immediately, your head will have more bruises. Your torso and even your entire body can be affected badly by this and this might increase the duration of your rest periods.
I can go on and on about all the equipment and the importance of it for protecting your bones and muscles however you get the picture, right? Definitely, get good equipment with good feedback and thank me later.
Muscle recovery is vital for whether you are a professional boxer or an enthusiast who joins boxing classes for physical benefits. Good muscle recovery allows boxers to improve their performance in the ring, helps them get in better shape physically and they can have a better overall mood.
There are several tips and methods which can provide these and speed up the process dramatically.
- Train with protective gears which minimize the impact
- Have a solid nutrition plan
- Consuming the right supplements at the right time
- Sleep duration and quality also matter
- Taking cold, hot and contrast showers
- Utilize foam rollers to reduce the duration of this period
- Visit a massage center regularly and also spend time in a sauna while you are in the center
- Try out this new method, which is called Cryotherapy, to relieve muscle soreness