Strength and Biomechanical Characteristics
Hand Grip Strength may be related to boxing performance . Hand grip average readings of 58.2kgs (+/-6.9kgs) were found to be highly related (r=0.81) to boxing competition ranking among eight elite Italian amateur boxers.
Further Investigations into muscle involvement in boxing show that muscles such as deltoid, triceps and Trapezius were activated to a different extend depending on the type of punches. The Trapezius was found to be most active in all punching movements, while triceps activity was surprisingly negligible.
Biomechanical analysis of one of the most commonly used techniques in boxing; “the straight rear- cross” reveal that most of the power is generated by a movement that is a combination of ankle plantar flexion, knee and hip extension, trunk rotation and arm extension, often termed “Kinetic Linking”.This is contrary to most opinions among strength and conditioning professionals who have previously believed that the power from a straight punch is generated from the muscles of the arm .
The relative contribution of the arm muscles was found to be only 24% as compared with 37% and 39% for the trunk and legs and as with most other sports it is the coordinated, sequential summation of forces that ultimately dictate the impact of the force delivered.
Research clearly identifies the importance of leg extension at the ankle, knee and hip actions involving the gastrocnemius, rectus femoris and biceps femoris muscles are required if the boxing athlete is to deliver forceful punch techniques.
Maximum punching force and speed starts with the recruitment of muscles in the legs and a pathway of force travels through the human body to the point of impact.
The strength and conditioning specialist should consider focusing on developing such muscular recruitment sequence patterns, especially with young boxers and combat athletes.
This article is an extract from the e-book
The Conditioning of Boxers & Combat Athletes by Sports Scientist Luke Delvecchio.
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