12 Secret Old-School Boxing Exercises (From legendary boxers)

Secret exercises for boxers from the old-school masters. In this article, you will find out 12 unusual exercises that were done by famous boxers from the last century till today. Boxing is closely connected with physical training. Each boxer performs a series of general training exercises. However, each champion has his trick that makes this boxer special in one way or another.

Handstand Walking – Archie Moore

The greatest welterweight and multiple heavyweight title contender. Archie, in his memories of his flight training, mentioned handstand walking. Even after his fighting career ended, he started every morning with a walk on his hands around the house (about 70 meters).

No wonder the “Old Mongoose” (his nickname) had such a strong shoulders girdle. This exercise builds up the shoulders and also the feeling of balance. Also, it has a positive effect on the cardiovascular system. Learn more about Archie Moore’s boxing style.

Crocodile Crawl – Naseem Hamed

The shocking British boxer. He is known for his flamboyant exits to the ring and his perfect mastery of his body. In Brendan Ingle’s gym, the so-called crocodile walk was one of the main exercises for arm muscle improvement. Nasim got into a standing position on his fists. After that, he lowered himself down.

He stayed in that position and moved back and forth across the gym, alternating his limbs. It is a great and difficult exercise. Already, after 1-2 meters, the arm muscles get tired. Hamed did this exercise at the end of the training, moving about 40-50 meters. Learn more about Naseem Hamed’s boxing style.

Muscle Ups – Roberto Duran

The famous boxer from Panama is known for his outstanding physical strength. Many boxing experts thought it was genetic. But it is worth seeing Roberto’s strength training program. After that, it became clear that he knew a lot about strength improvement.

Not every strong man can do a clean and quality exit on force on the horizontal bar. This exercise requires a lot of physical strength and the right execution technique. Also this exercise gives a great hormonal response as well. It simply cannot be executed with being overweight and in bad physical shape.

Durand regularly exited on the force. He could do five or six reps per set. No wonder he simply smashed his opponents with huge physical strength. Learn more about Roberto Duran’s boxing style.

Single-Leg Squat – Andre Ward

He is one of the best boxers of the 21st century, who finished his career as an undefeated world champion. A tactical genius of boxing. But he had no less professional approach to strength training. Single-leg squats (pistol squats) perfectly train leg muscles. Not every athlete can perform such an exercise with perfect technique. Andre did it regularly.

Catching Fish by Hand – Ricardo Mayorga

This unusual exercise was not only performed by Ricardo. The old boxing masters of the Nicaraguan school of boxing improved their reactions by catching fish with their hands. At first, it seems impossible. But any skill can be mastered. Mayorga noted the usefulness of this exercise more than once in his interviews.

Surfing – Sergio Martinez

The Argentinian boxer used this exercise regularly in his training. He used to go to the beach and improve his balance with a surfboard. Now, many devices are used to improve balance, like BOSU (balance trainer ball), for example. Surfing is one way to develop control over your body.

Maybe that’s why Martinez was in control and balanced every second of his fights.

Hammer and Nails – Julio Cesar Chavez

An unusual exercise to improve the forearm strength was regularly done by the legendary Chavez. He took large nails, a piece of wood, and a heavy hammer and nailed them individually. He did this both with his right and left hand. Blacksmiths and carpenters have well-developed muscles of the forearm and hand.

And these muscles are responsible for the punching power. The great secret exercise gave him the strength he needed to deliver his powerful punches. I think athletes now also do some variation of this exercise, hitting the tire with a sledgehammer.

Back Clap Push-Ups – Larry Holmes

Perhaps the most difficult of all push-up variations. No one will be surprised by the standard claps in front of the chest or against the chest. But push-ups with clapping behind the back are the ultimate exercise. It’s even more amazing, One-Handedg when it was done by a guy who weighs about 220 pounds.

Larry Holmes’ explosive strength was very high at his best times. He regularly executed this most difficult exercise, impressing the viewers in the gym.

One Handed Push-Ups – Wladimir Klitschko

The Ukrainian champion said that he did one-handed push-ups only at the beginning of the training camp. The exercise is very difficult, and there is a high risk of injury. But it gives a hormonal response and allows you to strengthen your arm. Also, this exercise’s load on the chest and triceps muscles is fantastic.

Juggling Medicine Balls – Edwin Valero

Edwin did this exercise regularly. He could even do it with three balls simultaneously (each weighing 11-13 pounds). It requires not only good physical strength but also excellent coordination.

The Burpee – Rocky Graziano

These days, burpees are a well-known exercise. But at the beginning of the 20th century, not every athlete was familiar with this complex multi-joint exercise. As Graziano himself said, the only useful thing he learned from his army experience was the burpee exercise. One of the officers showed him how to do it. The legendary champion regularly did the exercise at the end of his training.

Shadow Boxing in the Water – Rocky Marciano

There are legends about Rocky’s training. He trained very hard, and only because of this did he reach incredible results, not having excellent physical data. One of Marciano’s favorite exercises was shadow fighting in the pool. The resistance of the water gave the necessary load on his muscles. After that, his hands flew into the target easily and freely.

I hope this article was useful to you. Good luck in boxing.

Gregori Povolotski

I have been practicing martial arts since 2007. For as long as I can remember, I have always had a huge passion for combat sports, especially Muay Thai and boxing. Helping people on their martial arts journey is what drives me to keep training and learn new things. Read More About Me

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