There’s much debate on whether boxers have skinny or small legs. Is it true, or are people unfairly comparing their stocky upper bodies with their lower bodies to conclude that the legs are skinny?
One boxer we can point out is Deontay Wilder, who was ridiculed after posting a photo of himself and his trainer. People couldn’t help but notice that the heavyweight boxer’s legs were skinny. Despite his upper body being in good condition, his legs attracted the most attention.
Most replies were savage, but one account asked whether Deontay Wilder forgot about leg day.
However, the heavyweight boxer probably concentrated too much on his legs. And who can blame him? He’s one of the most devastating power punchers in heavyweight right now.
So, why do boxers seem to have skinny legs? It’s all down to the exercises, and they are as follows:
A Lot of Endurance Running
If you’ve never watched a boxer train, go to YouTube channels and watch videos on the routine boxers go through when preparing for a fight. Endurance running is one of the prominent training routines in boxing.
Boxing is grueling, so boxers need the endurance to last through the rounds. Endurance running is an excellent exercise because it keeps the fighter from tiring in the middle of the fight.
Many boxers tend to do too much long-distance running to gain much-needed endurance. Conversely, excessive endurance running causes skinny or small legs.
For example, many long-distance runners have lean and super slim legs because their training mainly focuses on endurance running.
Endurance running reduces the muscles around the calves and thighs, making the muscles smaller.
Excessive Rope Jumping
Rope jumping is essential for boxers because it increases their speed and agility. These two skills are vital in the ring because a boxer must move around to throw and dodge punches.
Jumping rope strengthens calf muscles and builds leg endurance. The rope jumping exercise makes it easy for a boxer to move around the ring with the weight on the front of the foot instead of the heels.
Jumping rope does not change the thickness of the muscle tissue, but if done consistently, it burns off excess fat on the lower legs, i.e., calves. This exercise is a high-impact aerobic activity that burns calories and fats all over the body, and with time, it can slim down thick calves.
Rope jumping exercises strengthen the calf muscles and improve the surrounding tendons and fascia. Since boxers tend to do a lot of rope jumping, it’s fair to conclude that if overdone, it can burn excess fat on the calves, slimming them down. Therefore, a boxer can develop small or skinny legs due to excessive rope jumping.
Can Small Legs Affect a Boxer’s Performance in the Ring?
Yes, because a boxer’s leg strength is essential in boxing and punching power. Strong legs keep a boxer on their feet, allowing them to throw hard punches and provide agility to dance around the opponent.
Reasons Why a Boxer Should Have Strong Legs
Leg training is just as necessary as any other boxing training routine and is crucial to being a good boxer. Movement is important in boxing because strong legs allow the boxer to generate power and avoid attacks from the opponent.
Leg day training is important because it allows a boxer to use the legs more efficiently in the ring and develop great boxing techniques.
The following are the reasons a boxer should have strong legs:
The Power Comes from the Base
Hand strength is important in boxing, but a boxer must generate kinetic energy from the base to have a devastating punching effect. The biggest power punchers in boxing understand the importance of having strong legs.
Successful heavy hitters give attention to their leg muscles, translating to devastating power punches. Having strong legs also improves the boxer’s defense and offense.
Leg Strength Gives a Boxer Great Footwork
Footwork is an excellent skill in boxing because it gives a boxer great movement and agility. Great movement or dancing in the ring signifies a highly-skilled fighter.
Great footwork such as ducking, weaving, pivoting, sidestepping, moving at angles, and bobbing require leg strength. These skills are highly effective in the ring and provide an advantage in fights.
Strong Legs Provide Superior Endurance
Maintaining energy in a boxing bout can dictate whether a boxer will win or lose a match. Endurance is a big part of boxing, and if a fighter has the legs to move from the first round to the final bell, they have a greater chance of winning a match.
Also, leg strength gives a boxer the ability to offer intense surges that can win a boxing match. Leg-day training gives a boxer the endurance to outlast the opponent and win matches.
Strong Legs are Important for Defense
Strong legs allow a boxer to jump in and out of danger which is great for defense. Fighters who take a quick step forward can close the gap quickly and work their opponents from the inside. Subsequently, the fighter can quickly exit and move away at different angles to avoid the opponent’s attacks.
Using the legs to close in or make a quick exit during boxing is a tremendous defensive trait that requires core muscle strength.
Strong Legs Gives a Boxer Great Balance
In boxing, having a sturdy base is essential for boxers because they can withstand blows and keep their footing instead of being knocked over.
Strong legs allow the boxer to control the body’s position, especially when moving or performing other boxing skills.
Taking a blow in boxing is natural but having an outstanding balance is crucial because it minimizes the impact and the effect.
Core leg strength is vital for good balance and allowing a boxer to take punches without wobbling.
Do Boxers Have Small Legs?
Boxers have a bigger upper body, bigger arms, and shoulders in most cases. So, their legs might look smaller than the upper body, but in reality, their legs are bigger than the average joe’s.
A boxer’s legs should not look like a bodybuilder’s; if they do, the boxer will have movement problems in the ring. As we have seen, poor movement can impact the outcome of a fight.
Equally, a boxer with “chicken legs” will have many problems in the ring, and the chances of getting knocked out are high.
What Are Some Training Methods to Increase Leg Strength?
Deadlifts are a great exercise because they don’t increase the leg muscles but lengthen and strengthen the hamstrings to protect the muscles around the knee for better movement and endurance.
Squats can be done with or without weights and improve leg strength.
Rope jumping builds leg endurance and strengthens the calf muscles for better ring performance.
Plyos, which is another name for plyometrics, help boxers get the most power from their base, which is great for powerful punches and good uppercuts.