Boxers should practice yoga (asana) because it fills a gap in their training regime, namely, flexibility. Many boxers focus on strength, speed, stamina and skill. Granted these are important attributes, flexibility is just as much a part of fitness as the others. For example, strength in any athletic activity depends on neuro-muscular control and joint stability over a specific range of motion.
This is not to say that flexibility is all that yoga has to offer. On the contrary, flexibility is simply a useful place to start as it is the most neglected part of the boxer’s regime and the most popular reason most people begin practicing yoga.
Cross-training is a method defined as using another sport, activity or training technique to help improve performance in the primary sport or activity. The aim of cross-training is to maintain general conditioning during periods of reduced training due to recovery from a previous period or an injury..
Many boxers talk about how training harder than their opponents is the key to their success. Unfortunately, the boxer’s formula for success, hard training, may also be the formula for failure. Overtraining, when left ignored, can result in injury, poor performance, and early retirement. Many different words have been used to describe this problem: burnout, exhaustion, fatigue, breakdown, overwork, overreaching, overstraining, and over-stress.
There is nothing more important to a long-term boxer’s career than preventing injuries, and many learn this lesson the hard way. Injury can disrupt training and competitive events, force boxers to adjust plans, even permanently lower sights that one has diligently worked towards. Sometimes, injuries can be nothing short of devastating.
Boxers have only a limited number of years to compete. Injuries take away the time one can use to compete by forcing changes in training schedules. However, what is less well-known and much less appreciated is how much this applies to all people who exercise, at every level, for whatever reason.