Both pre-conditioning and recovery strategies are frequently utilised by athletes from a large range of sports, however minimal research exists in terms of their prevalence amongst boxers. 

The authors of this paper administered a questionnaire to 101 boxers of 2 different levels (senior elite and senior development) regarding their pre-conditioning and recovery habits. 

Pre-competition priming may consist of acute (e.g. low-volume high neural demand exercise, up to 15 minutes prior to the event) or delayed (more moderate volume, 6-48 hours before) potentiation techniques. 

Common recovery strategies include massage, compression, cold water immersion, mobility work, sleep optimisation, supplementation and active recovery. 

A greater use of preconditioning potentiation strategies were reported in the elite group compared to the development group, although this still only comprised 31% of the elite group. 

A greater use of massage and cold water immersion strategies was also reported in the elite group. 

It was also found that 40% of athletes did not actively seek to sleep > 7hrs/night. Also of note was the fact that a greater percentage of athletes in the elite group reported using the advice of practitioners over personal preference when it came to the reasons behind choosing modalities. 

The results of this study were likely related to the greater access to professional services and funding with the elite group. A side note, groups such as @boxingscience are working hard to make sports science services available to the greater boxing community.

In terms of potentiation techniques, whilst their use has been demonstrated in other sports, future research should look to evaluate their effectiveness in improving boxing performance.

#thescienceofstriking #boxing #sportsperformance #combatsports #s&c #potentiation #recovery

About the author

Sam Gilbert

Sam Gilbert is a registered physiotherapist with the Australian Physiotherapy Association (APA) and certified strength and conditioning specialist (CSCS) with the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA). He holds a bachelor’s degree in Physiotherapy from Latrobe university (Melbourne, Australia) and a master’s degree in Exercise Science (Strength and Conditioning) from Edith Cowan University (Perth, Australia).

A 3rd Dan black belt in Shinkyokushinkai Karate under the World Karate Organisation (WKO), Sam participated for over 20 years in full contact competition, winning multiple state and national titles, and culminating in a 4th place in the heavyweight division of the Shinkyokushinkai World Cup in 2009.

As the co-founder and clinical director of Club 360, the premier multi-disciplinary health and fitness center in Tokyo, Japan, Sam has combined his practical experience with an in-depth study of sports performance in relation to combat sports, and strives to help other combat athletes reach their full competitive potential, whilst at the same time decreasing injury risk and increasing competition and training potential.

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