Advertisement

Sports Medicine

, Volume 45, Issue 3, pp 337–352 | Cite as

Amateur Boxing: Physical and Physiological Attributes

  • Helmi ChaabèneEmail author
  • Montassar Tabben
  • Bessem Mkaouer
  • Emerson Franchini
  • Yassine Negra
  • Mehrez Hammami
  • Samiha Amara
  • Raja Bouguezzi Chaabène
  • Younés Hachana
Review Article

Abstract

Boxing is one of the oldest combat sports. The aim of the current review is to critically analyze the amateur boxer’s physical and physiological characteristics and to provide practical recommendations for training as well as new areas of scientific research. High-level male and female boxers show a propensity for low body fat levels. Although studies on boxer somatotypes are limited, the available information shows that elite-level male boxers are characterized by a higher proportion of mesomorphy with a well-developed muscle mass and a low body fat level. To help support the overall metabolic demands of a boxing match and to accelerate the recovery process between rounds, athletes of both sexes require a high level of cardiorespiratory fitness. International boxers show a high peak and mean anaerobic power output. Muscle strength in both the upper and lower limbs is paramount for a fighter’s victory and is one of the keys to success in boxing. As boxing punches are brief actions and very dynamic, high-level boxing performance requires well-developed muscle power in both the upper and lower limbs. Albeit limited, the available studies reveal that isometric strength is linked to high-level boxing performance. Future investigations into the physical and physiological attributes of boxers are required to enrich the current data set and to help create a suitable training program.

Keywords

Weight Category Punch Force Muscular Power Body Mass Reduction Combat Sport 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Notes

Acknowledgments

No sources of funding were used to assist in the preparation of this review. The authors have no conflicts of interest that are directly relevant to the content of this review.

References

  1. 1.
    Swaddling J. The ancient Olympic Games. 3rd ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press; 2008.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Poliakoff M. Combat sports in the ancient world: competition, violence, and culture. London: Yale University Press; 1987.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Attwood A. History of amateur boxing. In: Jako P, editor. Doctors at Ringside. Hungary: AIBA publication; 2006. pp. 17–25.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    cited; Available from http://www.aiba-london2012.com/index.php/boxers. Accessed 16 Aug 2012.
  5. 5.
    Guidetti L, Musulin A, Baldari C. Physiological factors in middleweight boxing performance. J Sports Med Phys Fit. 2002;42(3):309–14.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Varlik S. Fundamentals of boxing. Ankara: Öztek Pressing; 1982. pp. 21–27.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    AIBA. Technical rules. 2013 [cited; Available from: http://www.aiba.org/documents/site1/docs/Rules/AIBA Technical Rules—August 23, 2013—OK.pdf.
  8. 8.
    Burke L, Cox G. Nutrition in combat sports. In: Kordi R, Maffulli N, Wroble RR, Wallace WA, editors. Combat Sports Medicine. 1st edn. London: Springer; 2009. pp. 1–20.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Morton JP, Robertson C, Sutton L, et al. Making the weight: a case study from professional boxing. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2010;20(1):80–5.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Langan-Evans C, Close GL, Morton JP. Making weight in combat sports. Strength Cond J. 2011;33:25–39.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    AIBA. Terminology for weight categories and weight range. Appendix K; 2011.12.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Davis P, Leithauser RM, Beneke R. The energetics of semicontact 3 × 2-min amateur boxing. Int J Sports Physiol Perform. 2014;9(2):233–9.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Davis P, Wittekind A, Beneke R. Amateur boxing: activity profile of winners and losers. Int J Sports Physiol Perform. 2013;8(1):84–91.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    El-Ashker S, Nasr M. Effect of boxing exercises on physiological and biochemical responses of Egyptian elite boxers. J Phys Ed Sport. 2012;12:111–6.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Smith M. Physiological profile of senior and junior England international amateur boxer. J Sports Sci Med. 2006;5 (CSSI):74–89.Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Khanna GL, Manna I. Study of physiological profile of Indian boxers. J Sports Sci Med. 2006;5(CSSI):90–8.Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Bridge CA, Ferreira da Silva Santos J, Chaabene H, Pieter W, Franchini E. Physical and physiological profiles of taekwondo athletes. Sports Med (Auckland, NZ). 2014;44(6):713–33.Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Chaabene H, Hachana Y, Franchini E, Mkaouer B, Chamari K. Physical and physiological profile of elite karate athletes. Sports Med (Auckland, NZ). 2012;42(10):829–43.Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Franchini E, Del Vecchio FB, Matsushigue KA, Artioli GG. Physiological profiles of elite judo athletes. Sports Med (Auckland, NZ). 2011;41(2):147–66.Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Yoon J. Physiological profiles of elite senior wrestlers. Sports Med (Auckland, NZ). 2002;32(4):225–33.Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Trutschnigg B, Chong C, Habermayerova L, et al. Female boxers have high bone mineral density despite low body fat mass, high energy expenditure, and a high incidence of oligomenorrhea. Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. 2008;33(5):863–9.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Dunford AD. Nutrition for sport and exercise. USA: Peter Adams; 2008.Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Franchini E, Brito CJ, Artioli GG. Weight loss in combat sports: physiological, psychological and performance effects. J Inter Soc Sports Nutr. 2012;9(1):52.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Perón A. Zampronha Filho W, da Silva Garcia L, da Silva AW, Alvarez JFG. Perfil nutricional de boxeadores olímpicos e avaliação do impacto da intervenção nutricional no ajuste de peso para as categorias de lutas [Nutritional profile of Olympic boxers and the impact of nutritional intervention on weight adjustment for combat weight categories]. Mundo Saúde. 2009;33:352–7.Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Hall CJ, Lane AM. Effects of rapid weight loss on mood and performance among amateur boxers. Br J Sports Med. 2001;35(6):390–5.CrossRefPubMedCentralPubMedGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Iwao S, Mori K, Sato Y. Effects of meal frequency on body composition during weight control in boxers. Scand J Med Sci Sports. 1996;6(5):265–72.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Reljic D, Hassler E, Jost J, Friedmann-Bette B. Rapid weight loss and the body fluid balance and hemoglobin mass of elite amateur boxers. J Athl Train. 2013;48(1):109–17.Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    Giovani N, Nicolaidis P. Differences in force-velocity characteristics of upper and lower limbs of non-competitive male boxers. Int J Exerc Sci. 2012;5(2):106–13.Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    Siri W. Body volume measurement by gas dilution. In: Brozek J, Henschel A, editors. Techniques for measurement body composition. Washington,DC: National Academy of Science. National Research Council. 1961; 108–17.Google Scholar
  30. 30.
    Durnin JV, Womersley J. Body fat assessed from total body density and its estimation from skinfold thickness: measurements on 481 men and women aged from 16 to 72 years. Br J Nutr. 1974;32(1):77–97.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Durnin JV, Rahaman MM. The assessment of the amount of fat in the human body from measurements of skinfold thickness. Br J Nutr. 1967;89(1):147–55.Google Scholar
  32. 32.
    Di Prampero PE. Pinera Limas F, Sassi G. Maximal muscular power, aerobic and anaerobic, in 116 athletes performing at the XIXth Olympic Games in Mexico. Ergonomics. 1970;13(6):665–74.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Hübner-Woźniak E, Kosmol A, Błachnio D. Anaerobic capacity of upper and lower limbs muscles in combat sports contestants. Age (years). 2011;24(3.9):22.8–2.1.Google Scholar
  34. 34.
    Ismail MN, Wannudri W, Zawiah H. Energy expenditure studies to predict requirements of selected national athletes. Malays J Nutr. 1997;3(1):71–81.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    Lohman T. Advances in body composition assessment. Champaign: Human Kinetics; 1992.Google Scholar
  36. 36.
    Kravitz L, Greene L, Burkett Z, et al. Cardiovascular response to punching tempo. J Strength Cond Res. 2003;17(1):104–8.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  37. 37.
    Bellinger B, St Clair Gibson A, Oelofse A et al. Energy expenditure of a noncontact boxing training session compared with submaximal treadmill running. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 1997;29(12):1653–6.Google Scholar
  38. 38.
    Jackson AS, Pollock ML. Generalized equations for predicting body density of men. Br J Nutr. 1978;91(1):161–8.Google Scholar
  39. 39.
    de Lira CAB, Peixinho-Pena LF, Vancini RL, et al. Heart rate response during a simulated Olympic boxing match is predominantly above ventilatory threshold 2: a cross sectional study. Open Access J Sports Med. 2013;4:175.CrossRefPubMedCentralPubMedGoogle Scholar
  40. 40.
    Parizkova J. Lean body mass and depot fat during autogenesis in humans. In: Parizkova J, Rogozkin V, editors. Nutrition, Physical Fitness and Health: International Series on Sport Sciences. Baltimore: University Park Press; 1978. p. 22.Google Scholar
  41. 41.
    Hübner-Woźniak E, Kosmol A, Glaz A, et al. The evaluation of upper limb muscles anaerobic performance of elite wrestlers and boxers. J Sci Med Sports. 2006;7:472–80.Google Scholar
  42. 42.
    Jackson AS, Pollock ML, Ward A. Generalized equations for predicting body density of women. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 1980;12(3):175–81.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  43. 43.
    Chatterjee P, Banerjee A, Majumdar P et al. Oxygen consumption, heart rate and blood lactate response dining sparring on Indian women boxers. Int J Appl Sport Sci. 2005;17(2):9–16.Google Scholar
  44. 44.
    Pierce J, Reinbold K, Lyngard B et al. Direct measurement of punch force during six professional boxing matches. J Quant Anal Sports. 2006;2.Google Scholar
  45. 45.
    Astrand P, Rodhal K. Text book of work physiology. Physiological bases of exercise. 3rd edn. New York: McGraw-Hill Book Co.;1977.Google Scholar
  46. 46.
    Billat V, Faina M, Sardella F, et al. A comparison of time to exhaustion at VO2max in elite cyclists, kayak paddlers, swimmers and runners. Ergonomics. 1996;39(2):267–77.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  47. 47.
    Garber CE, Blissmer B, Deschenes MR, et al. American College of Sports Medicine position stand. Quantity and quality of exercise for developing and maintaining cardiorespiratory, musculoskeletal, and neuromotor fitness in apparently healthy adults: guidance for prescribing exercise. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2011;43(7):1334–59.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  48. 48.
    Ghosh AK, Goswami A, Ahuja A. Heart rate and blood lactate response in amateur competitive boxing. Indian J Med Res. 1995;102:179–83.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  49. 49.
    Kumar A, Manisha, Kumar, Rajesh. VO2max and haemodynamic profile of woman boxers. J Exerc Sci Physiother. 2012;8(2):123–7.Google Scholar
  50. 50.
    Arseneau E, Mekary S, Leger LA. VO(2) requirements of boxing exercises. J Strength Cond Res. 2011;25(2):348–59.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  51. 51.
    Margaria R, Aghemo P, Rovelli E. Indirect determination of maximal O2 consumption in man. J Appl Physiol. 1965;20(5):1070–3.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  52. 52.
    Vallier JM, Brisswalter J, Hanon C. Évaluation du métabolisme énergétique de la boxe anglaise de haut niveau de performance [Energetic metabolism evaluation in high level English boxing performance]. Sci Sports. 1995;10(3):159–62.Google Scholar
  53. 53.
    Ghosh A. Heart rate, oxygen consumption and blood lactate responses during specific training in amateur boxing. Int J Appl Sports Sci. 2010;1:1–12.Google Scholar
  54. 54.
    Sevas PT, Alexander T, Eleftherious T, Vassilis K. In: Malina RN, Banchard C, editors. Physiological profile of elite athletes to maximal efforts. Proceed Olympic Sc Cong. New York: Human Kinetic Publishers; 1986. pp. 177-94.Google Scholar
  55. 55.
    Joko P. Physical and physiological characteristics of Hungarian boxers. Europe Box Magazine. 1983;28–9.Google Scholar
  56. 56.
    Baltaci G, Yaniçoglu L, Gönül B. Akdeniz oyunlarina katilan Türk boksörlerinin fizyolojik profili Spor Hekimliği Dergisi [Physiological profile of Turkish boxers who participated to Mediterranean Games in 1991]. 1992;27:85–91.Google Scholar
  57. 57.
    Friedmann B, Jost J, Rating T, et al. Effects of iron supplementation on total body hemoglobin during endurance training at moderate altitude. Int J Sports Med. 1999;20(2):78–85.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  58. 58.
    Garg S KG, Ghosh AK. Relationship between urinary excretion of uric acid and maximum aerobic power of Indian National boxers: a pilot study. Snipes J. 1985;8:55–61.Google Scholar
  59. 59.
    Jousselin E. La médecine du sport sur le terrain [The sports medicine on the field]. Paris: Masson; 2005.Google Scholar
  60. 60.
    Khedr A. Physiological effect of aerobic training on young boxers. Teoria i Praktika Fiziceskoj Kul’tury. 1979;2:37–8.Google Scholar
  61. 61.
    Majumdar P. Physical work capacity of Indian sportsmen/women in relation to some selected high performance sports. Dissertation for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy (unpublished). University of Calcutta; 1989.Google Scholar
  62. 62.
    Martos E, Jako P. Exercise physiology in boxing. Hung Rev Sports Med. 1998;39:197–220.Google Scholar
  63. 63.
    Tokmakidis S, Tsopanakis A, Tsarouchas E, Klissouras V. Physiological profile of elite athletes to maximal effort. In: Landers DM, editor. Sport and elite performers. Champaign: Human kinetics; 1986. p. 177–84.Google Scholar
  64. 64.
    Siegler JC, Hirscher K. Sodium bicarbonate ingestion and boxing performance. J Strength Cond Res. 2010;24(1):103–8.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  65. 65.
    Smith MS, Dyson RJ, Hale T, et al. Development of a boxing dynamometer and its punch force discrimination efficacy. J Sports Sci. 2000;18(6):445–50.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  66. 66.
    Święcicki L, Klukowski K, Hűbner-Woźniak E. Assessment of training status in elite boxers. Med Sport. 2013;17(1):29–34.Google Scholar
  67. 67.
    Zupan MF, Arata AW, Dawson LH, et al. Wingate anaerobic test peak power and anaerobic capacity classifications for men and women intercollegiate athletes. J Strength Cond Res. 2009;23(9):2598–604.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  68. 68.
    Falk B, Bar-Or O. Longitudinal changes in peak aerobic and anaerobic mechanical power of circumpubertal boys. Pediatr Exerc Sci. 1993;5:318–31.Google Scholar
  69. 69.
    Garcia-Pallares J, Lopez-Gullon JM, Muriel X, et al. Physical fitness factors to predict male Olympic wrestling performance. Eur J Appl Physiol. 2011;111(8):1747–58.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  70. 70.
    Popadic Gacesa JZ, Barak OF, Grujic NG. Maximal anaerobic power test in athletes of different sport disciplines. J Strength Cond Res. 2009;23(3):751–5.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  71. 71.
    Piorkowski BA, Lees A, Barton GJ. Single maximal versus combination punch kinematics. Sports Biomech. 2011;10(1):1–11.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  72. 72.
    Walilko TJ, Viano DC, Bir CA. Biomechanics of the head for Olympic boxer punches to the face. Br J Sports Med. 2005;39(10):710–9.CrossRefPubMedCentralPubMedGoogle Scholar
  73. 73.
    Valentino B, Esposito LC, Fabozzo A. Electromyographic activity of a muscular group in movements specific to boxing. J Sports Med Phys Fit. 1990;30(2):160–2.Google Scholar
  74. 74.
    Lenetsky S, Harris N, Brughelli M. Assessment and contributors of punching forces in combat sports athletes: implications for strength and conditioning. Strength Cond J 2013;35(2).Google Scholar
  75. 75.
    Atha J, Yeadon MR, Sandover J et al. The damaging punch. Br Med J (Clin Res Ed). 1985;291(6511):1756–7.Google Scholar
  76. 76.
    Girodet P, Vaslin P, Dabonneville M, et al. Two-dimensional kinematic and dynamic analysis of a karate straight punch. Comput Method Biomech Biomed Eng. 2005;8:117–8.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  77. 77.
    Fritsche P. Ein dynamographisches informationssystem zur messung der schlagkraft beim boxen [A dynamo-graphical information system for measuring the force of impact when boxing]. Leistungssport. 1978;2:151–6.Google Scholar
  78. 78.
    Filimonov VI, Koptsev KN, Husyanov ZM, Nazarov SS. Means of increasing strength of the punch. Natl Strength Cond Assoc J. 1983;7:65–6.Google Scholar
  79. 79.
    Hickey K. Boxing: the amateur boxing association coaching manual. London: Kaye and Ward; 1980.Google Scholar
  80. 80.
    Joch W, Fritsche P, Krause I. Biomechanical analysis of boxing. In: Morecki A, Fidelius K, Kdzior K, Wit A, editors. Biomechanics VII-A. Baltimore: University Park Press; 1981. pp. 343–9.Google Scholar
  81. 81.
    Neto OP, Bolander R, Pacheco MT, et al. Force, reaction time, and precision of kung fu strikes. Percept Mot Skills. 2009;109(1):295–303.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  82. 82.
    Mack J, Stojsih S, Sherman D, Dau N, Bir C. Amateur boxer biomechanics and punch force. In: 28th International Conference on Biomechanics in Sports, Marquette; 2010. pp. 19–23.Google Scholar
  83. 83.
    Wilk SM, McNair RE, Wilk SR. The physics of karate. Am J Phys. 1983;51:783–90.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  84. 84.
    Voigt M. A telescoping effect of the human hand and forearm during high energy impacts. J Biomech. 1989;22(10):1095.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  85. 85.
    Neto OP, Magini M, Saba MM. The role of effective mass and hand speed in the performance of kung fu athletes compared with nonpractitioners. J Appl Biomech. 2007;23(2):139–48.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  86. 86.
    Smith MS, Dyson R, Hale T, Harrison JH, McManus P. The effects in humans of rapid loss of body mass on a boxing-related task. Eur J Appl Physiol. 2000;83(1):34–9.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  87. 87.
    Smith M, Dyson R, Hale T, Hamilton M, Kelly J, Wellington P. The effects of restricted energy and fluid intake on simulated amateur boxing performance. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2001;11(2):238–47.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  88. 88.
    Joch W, Fritsche P, Krause I. Biomechanical analysis of boxing. In: Morecki A, Fidelius K, Kdzior K, Wit A, editors. Biomechanics VII-A. Baltimore: University Park Press; 1981.Google Scholar
  89. 89.
    Karpilowski BM, Nosarzewski Z, Staniak Z. A versatile boxing simulator. Biol Sport. 1994;11:133–9.Google Scholar
  90. 90.
    Cepulénas A, Bruzas V, Mockus P, et al. Impact of physical training mesocycle on athletic and specific fitness of elite boxers. Arch Budo. 2011;7(1):33–9.Google Scholar
  91. 91.
    Kawamori N, Haff GG. The optimal training load for the development of muscular power. J Strength Cond Res. 2004;18(3):675–84.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  92. 92.
    Newton RU, Kraemer WJ. Developing explosive muscular power: implications for a mixed methods training strategy. Strength Cond J. 1994;16(5):20–31.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  93. 93.
    Obmiński Z, Borkowski L, Sikorski W. The shot put performance as a marker of explosive strength in polish amateur boxers. A pilot study. Arch Budo. 2011;7(3):173.Google Scholar
  94. 94.
    Bružas V, Mockus P, Čepulėnas A, Mačiulis VV. Lietuvosrinktinėsboksininkųkūnosudėjimo, atletinioirspecialiojofizinioparengtumotyrimoduomenysirjųsąsajosryšiai [Data of the body composition athletic and special physical fitness and their interrelation in Lithuanian national team boxers] (in Lithuanian, summary in English). Sportomokslas. 2008;54(4):50–7.Google Scholar
  95. 95.
    Obmiński Z, Błach W. The shot put exercises as a useful component of ballistic training for female boxers. J Combat Sports Martial Arts. 2012;3(2).Google Scholar
  96. 96.
    Ramirez Garcia CM, Harasymowicz J, Arechiga Viramontes J, et al. Assessment of hand grip strength in Mexican boxers by training phase. Arch Budo. 2010;6(1):1–6.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Helmi Chaabène
    • 1
    Email author
  • Montassar Tabben
    • 2
  • Bessem Mkaouer
    • 4
  • Emerson Franchini
    • 3
  • Yassine Negra
    • 5
  • Mehrez Hammami
    • 5
  • Samiha Amara
    • 4
  • Raja Bouguezzi Chaabène
    • 5
  • Younés Hachana
    • 5
  1. 1.Tunisian Research Laboratory “Sports Performance Optimization”, National Center of Medicine and Science in Sports (CNMSS)TunisTunisia
  2. 2.CETAPS EA 3832University of RouenMont Saint AignanFrance
  3. 3.Martial Arts and Combat Sports Research Group, School of Physical Education and SportUniversity of Sao PauloSão PauloBrazil
  4. 4.Higher Institute of Sports and Physical EducationManouba UniversityTunisTunisia
  5. 5.Research Unit “Sport Performance and Health” Higher Institute of Sport and Physical Education of Ksar SaidTunisTunisia

Personalised recommendations