Wondering why lots of famous boxers had chopped wood during their training? How exactly does chopping wood helps them and whether or not should you try it? Let’s dig into this:
So, Why Do Boxers Chop Wood?
Boxers chop wood or swing a sledgehammer to increase the strength of the back and core while enhancing their entire body motion. It is an effective way to make punches harder and improve aerobic fitness that resulting in better physical performance.
In this article, I’ll explain exactly why some of the pro-boxers used to chop wood and how it helps them in their training:
Benefits of Chopping Wood for Boxers
Chopping Wood is a powerful combination of speed, flexibility, and strength and thus a beneficial workout for every athlete.
Here are some of the core benefits of wood chopping for boxers :
1. Makes Punch Harder
Chopping wood develops stamina and the power of muscles. It is one of the best workouts for improving body movements, core strengths, and building shoulders.
Harder punches need a proper utilization and coordination of muscle groups as well as energy from the whole body. Such hits came from the feet and then through hips and finally blow off at hand fist.
Basically, explosive shots and punches required you to tie a proper linkage between the lower body and the upper body.
To get started with chopping, boxers need to direct their legs to the ground which activates their major muscle groups of legs and for swinging the axe, they need strength which is applied through back muscles.
Along with this, it is an effective workout for the kinetic linking motion of traps (center of the lower back) with the laps (between top neck and center of back). That’s why boxers get benefited while throwing punches and are able to hit hard due to better muscle motions.
2. Improves Physical Performance
Constant wood chopping required a lot of breathing control and it also helps boxers to improve their aerobic fitness. This exercise help boxers not to get choked-in ring due to lack of oxygen.
Also, Repetitive swings with precise patterns while chopping wood helps boxers to improve their blood circulation and raise their heart rate. It also benefited the boxers to burn calories inside the body.
According to Harvard health publishing, if a boxer weighs 125 pounds, chopping wood for half-hour would burn around 180 calories of their body. This number increases up to 223 if the boxer weighs around 155 pounds.
3. Cultivate Necessary Aggression
According to a study related to human psychology, when a person forcefully chops wood, their body releases some kind of hormone. Also, when boxers apply their full strength to the axe, they are essentially tearing apart that piece of wood.
It gives them a feeling of dominance and helps them to stay aggressive and kind of bloodlust during their fight.
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Here’re some of the popular boxers who used to chop wood as a part of their training:
- Floyd Mayweather: Floyd Mayweather is one of the names who used to chop wood to improve power and endurance. As he stated, “I got to where I got to by sticking to the basics”. So splitting wood for a workout as an amateur boxer is one such basic which makes him the world-famous fighter.
- George Foreman: Heis a former heavyweight boxing champion and used to invest a lot of time in splitting wood to increase his punching power.
- Muhammad Ali: Muhammad Ali is one of the greatest heavyweight champions. He is a legendary nam in boxing who had spent plenty of his time in splitting wood and even had cut trees.
Jack Johnson, Earnie Shavers, and Max Baer are some other names who had done the same workout during their training period.
Chopping a piece of wood is a great exercise, isn’t it? But are there any side effects?
Can Chopping Wood Hurt Back?
Splitting wood for a workout is not bad and hurtful for the back until and unless it is done in a correct pattern. While chopping use both hands to hold the shaft and bend your knees while swinging the ax.
Shoulder pain can be caused if only one arm is used more so it is necessary to utilize both hands equally rather than favoring one.
If a boxer uses the wrong form while chopping wood it can cause some serious pains in the body muscles. An ice pack is a good solution for such pains but rather than that one should gradually build up a routine for chopping so that muscles get time to back in action.
Splitting woods mostly doesn’t cause wrist pain as it is not a pushing action. It is a whipping action that requires maximum power and speed at the point of impact so the wrist and hand are usually safe.
How to Chop Wood in the Correct Form for Boxers?
To start with, place a foot in front of each other at a wider distance than your shoulders. But make sure you do not extend it much because exaggeration can prevent you from using power from your hips.
Hold the ax or maul tightly with both hands at the bottom of the handle to get the grip. Side twist the wrist a little while uplifting it to your body and bring it in front of your head.
Lastly, keep arms straight and locked and then turn the shoulders. Now bring the ax with force and strike it at the wood.
Precautions and Safety Tips
While swinging an ax, your spine may get bend or flex. to avoid this, you should try to keep the trunk stable so that you’re not putting any extra stress on the spine.
it’s important to wear goggles for protection against flying wooden chips. Experts also recommend wearing shoes for a rigid stance and wearing wraps for good grip and to prevent blisters.
If you start to feel pain while chopping (which is common in the beginning!) it’s better to take a break for some time. To make this simpler, you can move your hands slowly while chopping with less speed and decreases the range of motion.
In addition to that, you need to choose the amount of resistance as well as the weight of your ax carefully. It’s always better to start with a lighter one and increase it as you progress through your training.
Now you know, why some of the pro-boxers used to chop wood and what are the different benefits of it. Both chopping wood and hitting a sledgehammer on the tire works on the same principle. For boxers, both exercises are going to give equal results.
Such exercises provide different kinds of strength and help athletes in different aspects which are almost impossible to gain by punching a heavy bag.