Charles Woodson Boxes His Way Into Shape–And So Can You!

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Charles Woodson Boxes His Way Into Shape–And So Can You!

Charles Woodson is a Heisman Trophy winner — an honor he beat out Peyton Manning for in 1997.  He’s a seasoned NFL defensive back.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  He’s also getting up there in years.  Woodson will turn 34 this season and he needs smart ways to keep his body in shape.

When you’ve spent 12 years in the NFL, the game starts to take its toll. This also makes it harder for players to stay in shape.

As you can imagine, the more it hurts — the less you want to workout.  Woodson takes a unique approach to getting in shape and he uses boxing to do his “thing.”

This sort of workout helps if you need to get some more definition on your shoulders. It works if you need to strengthen your shoulders after injury.  Heck, it even works if you want broader shoulders to get your “Phil Jackson” on!

Woodson credits his “boxing success” with bringing him down 10 pounds to his playing weight of 200 lbs. He not only stayed in shape in the off-season, but he lost the “last 10″ that so many people struggle with.

You can find boxing routines that target many different parts of your body — not just your shoulders — and it may not even require “boxing.”  Whether punching is your thing or not you can get a good workout.

Take a Class

The easiest way to get into boxing is to take a boxing class like Woodson did. This means you don’t have to fight anyone or take any punches.

Even a tough NFL player like Woodson told Greg Bedard of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel:

“It’s some of the toughest work I’ve done. Just an hour a day and you’d be dying. Not sparring though. I can’t take the hits.”

That says a ton — coming from a guy who gets knocked around and slapped on the butt for a living!

Your typical boxing class will be more like a “boxing circuit” with an instructor.                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Classes like this not only work on boxing skill, but they push your heart rate up and make a great cardio substitute for those of you who hate running and spinning.  Take a look at what you can do in a boxing class:

Shadowboxing — Yes, the same thing you do when you’re pretending to fight someone. Shadowboxing requires your feet to stay in constant motion. The more you’re moving the more you’re burning.

Heavy Bag – The heavy bag is a great place to work on “body blows,” which require a great deal of strength. You’re flexing your abdomen with every punch as well as strengthening your shoulders.

Speed Bag — This is an even better place to build definition in your arms and shoulders. Plus, improving your reaction time helps with all sports — not just football and boxing.

Jump Rope – –Besides the fact that you can burn up to 1,000 calories an hour jumping rope — it’s just fun! Some of us did it in our childhood and now it’s another great cardio substitute.

Mitts – This is the closest you will get to sparring in a class, but it improves agility and reaction time. Chasing your instructors around the gym while they try to swipe you with the mitt is definitely a good workout.

Any combination of these exercises would make up a great class at a gym or at home with a partner.  Some folks may even want to buy the equipment and keep the workout exclusively at home.

Some of you may not want to “pretend” to box, and you may be able to find a “boxing gym” with a ring where sparring instructors are available.  You’ll get a similar workout, but you’ll have to take some shots!

“Hit” the Medicine Ball

If you want to sculpt your body the way boxers do — and who can think of a fat boxer besides “Butterbean”– then you need to “hit” the gym. You improved your boxing skills and did some amazing cardio in your boxing class, but this take things to a new level.

Boxers don’t just lift weights. Because boxing requires so much agility and stamina there is a unique combination of speed and power going on with a medicine ball.

I know you’re thinking, “I’ll just buy a medicine ball and do this at home.” While that sounds like a good idea, some of these exercises require hoisting the ball or tossing it.

Medicine balls are heavy, but don’t look so heavy. They lull you into a false sense of security until you drop it on your foot and take yourself out of action for 6 weeks. Just head to the gym — you can do some of these exercises with a partner or spotter.

Plus, the ball, and your “gym friends,” are free!

The Swing — Hold the ball between your hands and squat down. As you stand, swing the ball up and in front of you. As you squat down, lower the ball and your arms.

For added intensity you can use a lighter ball and toss the ball to a partner. As you stand toss the ball to your partner. When they catch it, they will squat and repeat the process to toss it back.

The Twist – Hold the ball out in front of you with both hands. Twist your body at your hips to your full range of motion. This will force you to clench your abs as you swing back and forth.

Lying Vertical Toss — Lay down on the floor holding the ball above your chest – not your head. Toss the ball straight up in the air. This will force your to concentrate on your chest and triceps.

If you aren’t a great shot, a spotter/partner will help. Also, that partner can help you push to exhaustion. Many folks say that a partner can help you get 10 more reps at the end of an exercise.

Sit-Ups — Do this one with a partner. Get down on the floor for your sit-ups, and have your partner stand just a few feet back from you. As you “sit up,” toss the ball to your partner.

Your partner will toss the ball back to you when you are laying down. Then you toss the ball back as you come up again. Once again, work to exhaustion and, with the help of your partner, you can increase your reps with a little “cheer leading”.

Don’t Mess with Success

Taking your workout to the next level with boxing or with a “boxing regimen” will help you lose weight, build muscle and lose inches off your frame. Plus, it’s a great way to relieve stress. Who doesn’t need a punching bag every now and then?

Had a “boxing routine” not worked for Charles Woodson, the Packers would have made him lose the “last 10″ at training camp.  And he makes a good point, “For me to be at my playing weight already is a big bonus.”

Don’t we all want to be at our “playing weight”?

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