It is very important to warm up your body properly before training to prevent injury. If you start smashing pads or the bag straight away, you risk pulling a muscle, jarring your joints or worse.
There are a number of ways you can warm up. Going for a run outside is a typical way to start, or if I am short on time, I often start my warm up with a few rounds of skipping. I start off slowly and then build up the intensity with high knees or double-unders towards the end of each round. You can also use a skipping rope with weighted handles if you want to build strength in your arms.
After skipping, I go through a few dynamic movements to warm up my shoulder, hip, knee and ankle joints. Then, if I have a training partner, we often do a few rounds of partner drills.
Recently, I’ve been training with my friend Mark Mullan, who is a Melbourne-based trainer under his StrikeFit brand and ISKA Australian title holder. We have been training at local community gym, St Kilda PCYC. Since the ring and bag areas are often occupied, sometimes we do our warm up on the basketball court as you will see in the above video
Partner drills are a useful way to wake up your reflexes. You simply choose any combination you like and execute it on each other, one for one. In the above video, we started off with leg kicks and head kicks then moved onto a combination with some punches and knees.
If you want to incorporate some additional body conditioning, you can take some of the strikes on your body. For example, you can take leg kicks on your thigh rather than checking them and receive knees on the body rather than blocking them with your gloves. Just remember to breathe out when receiving shots to the body so your core engages to prevent getting winded.