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15 NOVEMBER 2018


Basic strength training exercises and the 'primary muscle groups' that are involved in these exercises for boxing and martial arts training

Thomas L. Cramer, P.M.T and A.C.E. Certified Personal Trainer, provides essential strength training tips and background.

The Leg Extensions & Step Up exercises use the Quadriceps and increase leg power.

The Leg Curls & Lunge type exercises use the Hamstrings and increase leg power.

The Leg Press exercise uses the over all leg and increases leg power.

The Calf Raise exercises use the Gastrocnemius and Soleus muscles. And increases your "Up on your toes" ability.

The Low Back Extension exercise uses the Erector Spinae muscle group. The benefit is force transfer, from lower to upper body.

The Abdominal Crunch type exercises use the over all Abdominal muscle groups. The benefit is force transfer from lower to upper body.

The Trunk Curl & Twist type exercises use the Internal & External Oblique muscle groups. The benefit is force transfer from lower to upper body.

The Bench Press exercise uses the Pectoralis Major muscle group. The benefit is upper body power and endurance.

The Single Arm Bent Over Row exercise uses the Latissimus Dorsi muscle group. And the benefit is upper body power and enhanced power punching ability.

The Bicep Curl exercise uses the Bicep muscle group and enhances total arm power.

The Tricep Extension exercise uses the Tricep muscle group and enhances total arm power.

The Wrist Curl exercise uses the Forearm Flexor muscle group and enhances wrist stability.

The Wrist Extension exercise uses the Forearm Extensor muscle group and enhances wrist stability.


A Power Drill.

One Arm Snatch - This works the core, legs and back muscle groups.

Description - Stand with feet shoulder width apart and knees slightly bent. Let your arms hang down at your side while holding a dumbbell in your right hand just below your knees. Slowly squat down and with a smooth explosive motion, extend your legs, shrug your shoulders and bring the weight over your head. Complete one set and repeat with the opposite arm.

Set and Reps - 4 to 5 sets 6 to 10 reps a set.

An Agility Drill.

Frog Hop Agility Drill - This works the quadriceps, hamstrings, shoulder and calf muscle groups.

Description - Set up 6 small cones or markers in a row, 5 feet between each cone. Stand to the right of the first cone with feet shoulder width apart, arms back and knees bent in a semi-squat position. Quickly swing your arms forward and explode off the ground, jumping over the cone to your left. As soon as you land, return to the semi-squat position and explode again, diagonally to the next cone to your right. - Continue jumping over to your left, and diagonally to your right until you reach the end of the line. Then work back slowly and repeat the drill. With each set, alternate the direction of your jumps.

Sets - 4 Sets.

A Speed Drill.

Tuck Jumps - This works the quadriceps, ankles and muscles around the shin and calves.

Description - Stand with feet shoulder width apart and arms at your sides. Quickly bend your knees and sit back into a squatting position. Make sure your legs maintain a 90-degree bend. Then explode quickly off the ground, jumping as high as you can. Try bringing your knees towards your chest as you jump. As soon as your feet return to the ground, repeat with another jump.

Sets and Reps - Work up to 3 to 5 sets, 6 - 10 reps per set.

An Endurance Drill.

Bulgarian Lunge - This works the gluteal muscle groups, quadriceps, hamstrings and calves.

Description - Balance your right leg on a chair or other stable object with your left leg extended and knee slightly bent. Count to 5 as you slowly lower your left knee towards the ground. When your left thigh becomes parallel with the ground, hold the movement there for 15 seconds. Then, count off 15 seconds as you slowly return to the starting position. Make sure to keep your back straight and core strong though out the movement. Repeat using the opposite leg. Begin with 45 seconds and work up from there. You are increasing the holding time as you go along.

A Core Strength and Balance Drill.

Kneeling Weight Pass - This works the core and lower abdominals.

Description - Start by balancing on an exercise ball on all fours. Once you feel comfortable with that position, try balancing on your knees with your arms at your sides. When you have that mastered, grab a small hand weight in your right hand and balance again on your knees. Use your arms to maintain your balance and slowly pass the weight from hand to hand. Try passing it overhead, at chest level and behind your back. By changing how you pass the weight each time (faster, more slowly, out to your side, close to your body), you continually challenge your balance and work your stabilizer muscles.

A Power Drill.

Power Skip - Works total body, legs and upper body together.

Description - First try a usual skip, and then add knee extensions and arms for momentum and to get more lift.

Sets and Reps - 1 set equals one trip approximately 100 feet. Work up to 3 to 4 sets.

A Coordination and Agility Drill.

Slalom - Works the total body.

Description - Stagger 6 to 8 pylons about 8 feet apart. Instead of simply going through the motions and running through the pylons, simulate slalom skiing. Visualize the hips moving to the inside rim of foot travel.

Sets 4 to 5 sets. One set equals 2 passes through the pylons.

A Coordination and Agility Drill.

Dot Drill - Works the total body.

Description - Position five dots on the ground approx. 12 - 18 inches apart in an hourglass pattern. First, try hopping from one set of dots to the next set of dots on both feet, then on one foot at a time, all the while looking straight ahead. The quicker the movement, the better. For the duration of this exercise, YOU CHOOSE :o)

A Power Drill.

Plyometric Jump Boxes - Works total body.

Description - Use 3 to 4 platforms of various heights from shorter to taller. Stand with your feet at shoulder width and arms at your sides. Quickly bend your knees and sit back into a squatting position (make sure your legs maintain a 90 degree bend.) Then explode quickly off the ground jumping onto the smallest platform. Immediately jumping back onto the floor. Repeat the starting procedures and repeat with the second tallest platform and so on.

Sets - One trip through all platforms equals one set. Do 3 - 4 sets.


* Mr. Cramer has a background that includes holding a diploma in Massage Therapist from the Academy of Medical Arts and Business of Harrisburg, Pa. Mr. Cramer worked his internship with the Harrisburg Heat Indoor Soccer Team and was their Team Massage Therapist from 1996-1999. This team is no longer in existence.

* Mr. Cramer has been a Certified Personal Fitness Trainer through the American Council on Exercise since 1992. Mr. Cramer also worked as an Administrative Officer and Inspector for the Pa. State Athletic Commission. And Mr. Cramer has acted in past years as a Clerk and Judge for the Mid-Atlantic Region of U.S.A. Boxing. Mr. Cramer has taken Karate instruction in past years. Chinese Kenpo was the main style of Karate that was learned.

All readers are strongly cautioned that the information contained herein is not intended to, and never should, substitute for the necessity of seeking the advice of a qualified medical, legal, or financial professional whenever a boxer/martial artist or athlete should take. All readers are advised the information herein is intended solely as a general reference source, and to the fullest extent permitted by law, the information is provided "AS IS" without any warranties of any kind, whether express or implied, including without limitation, warranties merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose and non-infringement. No one may rely on the accuracy, integrity, quality or completeness of the general information herein. Accordingly, neither the author, editor nor anyone else affiliated with this website may he held liable for damages of any kind whatsoever allegedly caused or resulting from any such claimed reliance.

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