What Should Boxers do during their Rest Days?

No matter who you are, everyone needs a break.

If you think that professional athletes/boxers do not rest, you are mistaken—in fact, they probably rest more than you think. Many people consider resting as something separate, but in reality, resting is a vital part of training during which your body regenerates and prepares itself for upcoming trainings. In days like these, you might be confused at what you should be doing. And so in this article, we would like to present you with six things you can do during your rest days.

#1: Learn the sweet science of boxing

Big part of becoming better at boxing is actually learning boxing.

When you have a free day, watch boxing videos, study your craft, and read articles (we strongly recommend checking out articles on our website!). It is always good to watch fight videos as they are truly a gold mine of knowledge. I personally recommend watching fight breakdowns—they are particularly good for beginners as they clearly explain what and with what purpose boxers do.

Another excellent idea is to record your sparring and training videos throughout the week and critically analyze them during your rest day. Then, you can see your mistakes and note down what you need to correct. It might sound cliché, but even watching motivational boxing movies like the Rocky series is a good idea if you are hungry for boxing during the rest days. If it motivates you and gives you fuel to get you going, why not?

#2: Light shadowboxing

Few rounds of chill shadowboxing never killed nobody. This exercise when performed lightly, does not take away much energy and is certainly something you can do on your rest day.

Instead of concentrating on power and speed, concentrate on footwork and technique. Emphasis on the technique will make the exercise even less physically demanding, which is precisely the intended outcome. Three to five rounds of light shadowboxing should be enough. Try out new combos, move your head, and train punches that you struggle to throw during your sparring session—perfect exercise for your rest day.

#3: Light jog

When I am full of energy on my rest day, I usually end up doing short and slow runs.

I run for 20 – 30 minutes at a very slow pace. It usually isn’t tiring at all, but it is some form of exercise. Personally speaking, I find it rather relaxing than tiring. Run between 2 – 4 km as longer runs will most likely tire your legs. Good idea is combining few rounds of shadowboxing with a short run. By doing so, you actually stay both active and rested. I recommend finishing the run with a cold shower. Health and pleasure!

#4: Stretch

Very neglected and very hated, but an extremely important component in any sports—stretching.

The one thing you know you need to do, but you never find time. The solution? Stretch on your rest days. A 15-minute stretching session actually relaxes your tense muscles that have been at work for the whole week. I know it is unpleasant, but as Rocky Balboa said—the world (in the context of boxing) ain’t only sunshine and rainbows.

Concentrate especially on stretching your arms and upper body as stretching legs, despite being important, isn’t that significant for boxing. Stretching your neck will toughen up your neck muscles—what can increase your durability to punches.

#5: Meal-prep

The majority of people complain that they have no time for a proper diet.

I am not going to waste time arguing how false this is for the vast majority of us, but rather provide you a simple solution—meal prep on your rest days. As many of our articles emphasize, proper nutrition is part of a proper boxing training regime. You simply cannot be good if you don’t have a healthy, proper diet to fuel your training, especially in a physically demanding sport like boxing. Your resting day is a perfect day to make proper meals for your upcoming training days. When you have a rest day, make a weekly food plan, go to the shop, buy groceries, prepare your healthy meals, and pack them so that the meals will keep you going for the week.

You have an entire day for it, so don’t complain, pack your food, and enjoy staying healthy!

#6: Self-awareness mental exercise

This may sound dumb to many of you, but it is in fact a very effective exercise that I highly recommend for you to try it out!

As I already mentioned in this article, boxing isn’t only sunshine and rainbows. Majority of us will struggle with something while exercising this sport. For example, some people might fear to spar with that big dude from the gym, another group of people might be scared of competition and fear of losing, or even another group might be not confident about their cardio and think they might gas out as soon as they enter the ring. Your rest day is a perfect day to challenge the demons that reside inside of everyone of us.

Here’s what to do: dedicate 10-30 minutes in a distraction-free zone on analyzing the last week or two. Try to think whether you were scared of something/someone and why, whether it was because you felt you were not good, scared, etc. and then challenge yourself about it. By being self-aware of your fears, you realize that majority of those fears are irrational and after a moment of reflection, they decrease or even outright disappear.

At the end of the day, how relevant is it whether the big bald dude from the gym will land a body shot on you? Exactly. Make your rest day your boxing self-reflection day!

Enjoyed our content in this article?

These activities are only a handful of activities you can perform—there are numerous other things you can do during your rest day. If you have any ideas, leave a comment or send us a message on [email protected]. Peace!

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