Abstract and Figures

The aim of this study was to create an activity profile of high-level boxing performance and to identify associations between boxers’ lower-body power capabilities and their activity profile. Eight high-level boxing athletes participated in the study. Lower-body power capabilities were calculated from counter-movement jumps (CMJs) and squat jumps (SJs) using a force plate. The boxing performance analysis consisted of 30 different variables gathered from 18 bouts from various international matches. The results demonstrated that boxing athletes delivered 22.3 ± 5.3 punches per min. The effectiveness of head punches was 14.3 ± 3.9%. CMJ height was correlated with the total number of punches thrown to the body and SJ height with rear-hand hooks (r = 0.735 and r = 0.793, respectively). The rate of SJ force development was correlated with the straight rear-hand punches (r = 0.751) and head punches effectiveness (r = 0.750). SJ peak power was inversely correlated with total stop frequency (r = – 0.786). In conclusion, the athletes who displayed higher power values in the CMJ and SJ tests were also more active during competitive bouts and accumulated less stoppage time during the competitive boxing bouts. More explosive boxers had higher effectiveness of head punches.
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International Journal of Performance Analysis in Sport
ISSN: 2474-8668 (Print) 1474-8185 (Online) Journal homepage: https://www.tandfonline.com/loi/rpan20
Lower-body power in boxers is related to activity
during competitive matches
Laimonas Rimkus, Danguole Satkunskiene, Sigitas Kamandulis & Vidas
Bruzas
To cite this article: Laimonas Rimkus, Danguole Satkunskiene, Sigitas Kamandulis & Vidas
Bruzas (2019): Lower-body power in boxers is related to activity during competitive matches,
International Journal of Performance Analysis in Sport, DOI: 10.1080/24748668.2019.1609807
To link to this article: https://doi.org/10.1080/24748668.2019.1609807
Published online: 26 Apr 2019.
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Lower-body power in boxers is related to activity during
competitive matches
Laimonas Rimkus
a
, Danguole Satkunskiene
a
, Sigitas Kamandulis
a
and Vidas Bruzas
b
a
Institute of Sport Science and Innovations, Lithuanian Sports University, Kaunas, Lithuania;
b
Department
of coaching science, Lithuanian Sports University, Kaunas, Lithuania
ABSTRACT
The aim of this study was to create an activity prole of high-
level boxing performance and to identify associations between
boxerslower-body power capabilities and their activity prole.
Eight high-level boxing athletes participated in the study. Lower-
body power capabilities were calculated from counter-movement
jumps (CMJs) and squat jumps (SJs) using a force plate. The
boxing performance analysis consisted of 30 dierent variables
gathered from 18 bouts from various international matches. The
results demonstrated that boxing athletes delivered 22.3 ± 5.3
punches per min. The eectiveness of head punches was 14.3 ±
3.9%. CMJ height was correlated with the total number of
punches thrown to the body and SJ height with rear-hand
hooks (r = 0.735 and r = 0.793, respectively). The rate of SJ
force development was correlated with the straight rear-hand
punches (r = 0.751) and head punches eectiveness (r = 0.750).
SJ peak power was inversely correlated with total stop frequency
(r = 0.786). In conclusion, the athletes who displayed higher
power values in the CMJ and SJ tests were also more active
during competitive bouts and accumulated less stoppage time
during the competitive boxing bouts. More explosive boxers had
higher eectiveness of head punches.
ARTICLE HISTORY
Received 15 February 2019
Accepted 17 April 2019
KEYWORDS
Combat sports; video
analysis; boxing
performance; counter-
movement jump (CMJ);
squat jump (SJ)
1. Introduction
The ability to maintain high speed and strength levels during a boxing match, to
repeat fast and powerful attacks and to recover rapidly from them are the main
factors leading to successful performance (Davis, Benson, Pitty, Connorton, &
Waldock, 2015). Knocking out the opponent is the easiest and fastest way of winning
aght. Many investigations concluded that, to reach sucient impact and, therefore,
deliver a knocking-out strike to the opponent, boxers must have well-developed
muscle power and strength (Chaabène et al., 2015; Pierce, Reinbold, Lyngard,
Goldman, & Pastore, 2006; Piorkowski, Lees, & Barton, 2011; Walilko, Viano, &
Bir, 2005). The lower body is considered as the primary contributor to an eective
punch (Fortin, Lamontagne, & Gadouas, 1994). To achieve high values of punch
impact and, thus, high levels of speed and power of the punch, the ability to transfer
CONTACT Danguole Satkunskiene danguole.matake@gmail.com Institute of Sport Science and Innovations,
Lithuanian Sports University, Sporto 6, Kaunas LT-44221, Lithuania
INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF PERFORMANCE ANALYSIS IN SPORT
https://doi.org/10.1080/24748668.2019.1609807
© 2019 CardiMetropolitan University
the force momentum from the lower to the upper extremities is very important
(Lenetsky, Harris, & Brughelli, 2013; Loturco, Artioli, Kobal, Gil, & Franchini, 2014;
Loturco et al., 2016; Turner, Baker, & Miller, 2011).
A recent investigation of the activity prole of elite male amateur boxing athletes
reported that boxers maintain an activity rate of around 1.4 actions per second (Davis
et al., 2015), which led us to attempt to understand the importance of high boxers
activity during boxing bouts. Ashker (2011) noticed that winners performed a higher
number of actions during boxing matches than did losers. Moreover, the winners of
the ghts performed more punches and delivered more combinations of two punches
and three or more punches. Furthermore, winners had higher eectiveness of both
oensive and defensive tactics, which was calculated by dividing the number of
successful oensive/defensive actions by the number of total oensive/defensive
actions. Similar results were reported by Davis, Wittekind, and Beneke (2013)in
amateur boxing; their results suggested that landing more punches and, therefore,
obtaining more points requires the maintenance of a higher frequency of oensive
movements.
There is no doubt that the activity of boxers during competitive matches depends on
tactics and technique. These parameters vary according to boxing school and country,
from coach to coach and even from ght to ght. However, strategies may well depend
on the power capabilities of the athletes, especially on lower-body power. Therefore, we
hypothesised that boxers who display higher lower-body power values are more active
during competitive bouts regarding the oensive and defensive movements performed.
The aim of this study was to create an activity prole of high-level boxing performance
and to identify associations between boxerslower-body power capabilities and the
activity prole. We used the vertical jump test for lower-body power assessment, as it
has been used by coaches of various sport disciplines for decades (Adams, OShea,
OShea, & Climstein, 1992; Buchheit, Mendez-Villanueva, Delhomel, Brughelli, &
Ahmaidi, 2010;Wislø,Castagna,Helgerud,Jones,&Ho,2004).
2. Methods
2.1. Participants
Eight high-level male boxing athletes (mean ± SD: age, 22.3 ± 2.5 years; weight, 78.6
±15.7 kg) who competed in dierent weight division participated in the study. They
were Lightweight (up to 60 kg) one participant; Light Welterweight (up to 64 kg)
one participant; Middleweight (up to 75 kg) two participants; Heavyweight (up to
91 kg) two participants and Super Heavyweight (over 91 kg) two participants. All
of them belonged to the national boxing team at the time of the study and were
competing as amateurs at international championships. Dierent coaches trained all
of the boxers. All of the participants signed a written informed consent regarding the
study design and possible risks associated with the study. The Lithuanian Sports
University Bioethics Committee approved the study.
2L. RIMKUS ET AL.
2.2. Procedures
2.2.1. Physical testing
The power capability of the lower limbs of boxers was determined via counter-
movement jumps (CMJs) and squat jumps (SJs) using a force platform (type 9281
CA, Kistler Instrument Corporation, Amherst, NY, USA) that was xed to the oor and
sampled at a rate of 200 Hz. Three CMJs and three SJs for vertical displacement were
used, with the hands placed on the hips throughout the movement. Each participant
stood at the centre of the plate and was instructed to jump as high as possible with
a knee exion of 90° at the bottom position of the jump. A high-denition camera
(acA1300-75gc, Basler AG, Ahrensburg, Germany) was placed laterally with a live view
transition to the supervisors computer, to assure the required knee exion. A jump was
only counted as a valid jump if the subject reached 90° ± 2° of knee exion in the lower
position and if the subject was able to land stably back on the platform. One minute of
rest was allowed between jumps, with the participant standing on the plate for the
duration of the resting period. The highest jump was used for analysis.
To calculate the vertical velocity of the centre of mass, the vertical force trace was
integrated using the impulse method (Linthorne, 2001). The displacementtime record
was obtained by numerically integrating the velocitytime record. We calculated the
mechanical power for each sample by multiplying the original force by the vertical
velocity of the participants centre of gravity. The force and power variables were
assessed in the squat and push-ophases for CMJ and in the push-ophase for SJ
(Linthorne, 2001). We normalised all force and power values to units of body weight
(BW) by dividing the ground reaction forces by the gravitational force, in Newtons,
acting on the participants body mass.
To identify the current lower-body power capabilities of the athletes, ve participants
were tested twice, with 69 days between the rst and second testing; three athletes were
not present for the second testing day; and one athlete performed only CMJs and was
not able to perform SJs. If the athlete was tested twice, the average of the best jumps of
both testing days was taken as the nal power score. In the case of athletes who were
tested once, the best jump score was taken.
2.2.2. Boxing performance analysis
The boxing bouts were analysed in high denition using video footage obtained by the
responsible person of the national team and gathered from the Internet. The exclusion
criteria were the involvement of knockdowns or knockouts during the bout. After
exclusion, the video footage totalled 18 bouts (1 to 4 for each participant) from dierent
international tournaments and international matches. All the bouts were in the 3 × 3 min
round format. To facilitate the identication and annotation of all boxersmovements, all
the footage was often analysed in slow-motion replay. All of the bouts were analysed
independently by two operators. The intraclass correlation coecient (ICC) for the inter-
operator reliability varied from 0.76 to 0.90 depending on the movement type.
The following performance indicators were gathered to create the activity prole of
boxers: total number of dierent punches, successful head punches and head punches
eectiveness (percentage of punches which successfully reached the head in relation to
total punches to the head) thrown over the duration of the round or bout; number of
INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF PERFORMANCE ANALYSIS IN SPORT 3
punches thrown per minute (number of total punches thrown divided by the net
activity time (net activity time = 180 total stop time)); number of combinations of
single punches, two punches and three or more punches thrown; number and type of
defensive actions used to neutralise the opponentsattack; and number of vertical hip
movements (dened as any visually identiable vertical activity of the pelvis during
standing and stepping) (Davis et al., 2013). The time constraints measured included
total clinch time and clinch frequency, total referee stop time and referee stop frequency
(note: clinching that lasted <2 s was not added to clinch time or clinch frequency). The
total stop time was dened as the sum of the referee and clinch times. The total stop
frequency was calculated as the sum of clinch frequency and referee stop frequency
(note: if the ght was stopped by the referee during the clinch time, this counted as
a single stop time, even though it added to both clinching time and frequency and to
referee stop time and frequency). The time before the rst stop was dened as the time
taken before clinching or referee stoppage occurred. The activity rate was calculated as
the sum of the total punches thrown, defensive actions and vertical hip movements,
divided by the net activity time.
All the subjectsmovements that occurred during the analysis were recorded using
an MS Excel spreadsheet. Separate event tagging buttons were created for each action
using the Macros function (adds +1 to a specic cell whenever the assigned hotkey is
pressed). The start and end of clinching and referee stoppage were determined, and the
total time was calculated from the videos framed timeline.
2.3. Statistical procedures
The results are reported as the mean ± standard deviation (SD). The data of boxing
performance analysis are presented as the mean of each participant (average of all bouts
when there was more than one bout per boxer). Data of recorded movements per operator
were used to calculate the between-operator (inter-operator) reliability as ICC. Spearmans
correlation coecient was used to determine the relationship between the physical testing
variables and variables gathered from the boxing performance analysis. For a round-wise
comparison of the data, related-samples Friedmans two-way analysis of variance by ranks was
used. The Monte Carlo method was used to calculate 95% Condence interval for signicance.
For a qualitative interpretation of the magnitude of correlations, the following thresholds were
adopted:<0.1,trivial;0.10.3, small; 0.30.5, moderate; 0.50.7, large; 0.70.9, very large; and
>0.9, nearly perfect.). The statistical signicance of all correlations was set to P< 0.05. All
methods of statistical analysis were carried out using IBM SPSS Statistics ver. 20 (Armonk,
NY: IBM Corp.).
3. Results
3.1. Power capabilities
The average of CMJ and SJ performance is presented in Table 1. National team boxers
were able to jump as high as 35 cm on average in the CMJ test and 33 cm in the SJ
test, and to develop an average power of 3.5 W/BW and 2.18 W/BW in the CMJ and
SJ tests, respectively.
4L. RIMKUS ET AL.
3.2. Activity prole
The most common punch type used among all boxers in all rounds was the straight
lead-hand punch, whereas the lead-hand uppercut was the least used punch type (Table
2). Most punches were thrown in the third round. Only straight rear-hand punches
showed a signicant dierence in the third compared to other rounds (P= 0.044, CI =
0.032 to 0.040). After the number of punches thrown was divided by the net activity
time, signicant dierences were noticed between rounds (P= 0.021, CI = 0.016 to
0.021). As expected, the vast majority of punches were aimed at the head. The eec-
tiveness of head punches was 14.31 ± 3.9%.
The most common attack consisted of a single blow. Two-punch combinations were
the second most performed attack, and three and more punch combinations were the
least performed attack with respect to the total number of bouts (Table 3). Signicant
dierences were detected for three and more punch combinations (P= 0.027, CI =
0.020 to 0.026) and total punchers count (P= 0.021, CI = 0.016 to 0.021) in relation to
dierent rounds.
Table 2. Oensive movements (mean ± SD) in relation to each round and round average of total
bouts.
Oensive movements Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total bout
Straight lead hand 21.46 ± 5.34 21.02 ± 4.41 21.17 ± 7.63 21.22 ± 5.69
Straight rear hand 11.16 ± 5.22 11.03 ± 4.55 14.75 ± 6.56* 12.31 ± 5.55
Hook lead hand 12.23 ± 7.04 13.73 ± 4.67 14.72 ± 8.45 13.56 ± 6.67
Hook rear hand 7.11 ± 5.13 8.15 ± 3.74 9.59 ± 5.84 8.28 ± 4.87
Uppercut lead 0.43 ± 0.56 0.09 ± 0.24 0.13 ± 0.24 0.22 ± 0.39
Uppercut rear 0.30 ± 0.53 0.83 ± 0.79 0.63 ± 0.94 0.59 ± 0.77
Total punches thrown 52.70 ± 14.78 54.85 ± 10.28 60.99 ± 10.55 55.18 ± 12.06
Total lead hand 34.56 ± 9.67 34.84 ± 6.94 36.01 ± 7.46 35.14 ± 7.78
Total rear hand 18.57 ± 8.25 20.01 ± 5.15 24.98 ± 3.85 21.19 ± 6.41
Total to body 5.92 ± 4.49 7.23 ± 3.35 6.44 ± 5.88 6.53 ± 4.51
Total to head 47.06 ± 13.19 47.94 ± 10.66 54.39 ± 9.55 49.79 ± 11.24
Successful punches to head 8.45 ± 3.18 7.83 ± 2.63 8.54 ± 1.73 7.99 ± 2.4
Head punches eectiveness, % 16.31 ± 5.72 14.01 ± 3.30 14.12 ± 2.48 14.31 ± 3.9
Punches/min 18.93 ± 5.23 21.51 ± 3.71 26.41 ± 4.26* 22.28 ± 5.30
*P< 0.05 a signicant dierence between rounds.
Table 1. Kinematic and kinetic variables of the counter-movement jump (CMJ) and squat jump (SJ)
tests (mean ± SD).
Characteristics CMJ SJ
JH (m) 0.35 ± 0.04 0.33 ± 0.05
Ecc Dur (s) 0.42 ± 0.11 -
Con Dur (s) 0.18 ± 0.04 0.3 ± 0.02
PP Ecc (N/BW) 1.83 ± 0.34 -
RFD (N/s/BW) 17.83 ± 6.88 7.54 ± 1.71
PF (N/BW) 1.94 ± 0.40 1.35 ± 0.15
MF (N/BW) 1.53 ± 0.31 0.87 ± 0.10
PP Con (W/BW) 5.32 ± 0.77 4.81 ± 0.64
F@P_max (N/BW) 1.31 ± 0.33 1.14 ± 0.16
V@P_max (m/s) 2.3 ± 0.14 2.24 ± 0.16
MP (W/BW) 3.5 ± 0.48 2.18 ± 0.28
JH, jump height; Ecc Dur, duration of the eccentric phase; Con Dur, duration of the concentric phase; PP Ecc, eccentric
peak power during the squat phase; RFD, rate of eccentric force development; PF, eccentric peak force in CMJ,
concentric peak force in SJ; MF, mean force during the push-ophase; PP Con, concentric peak power; F@P_max,
force at the peak concentric power; V@P_max, velocity at the peak concentric power; MP, mean concentric power;
BW, body weight
INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF PERFORMANCE ANALYSIS IN SPORT 5
The most performed type of defence by boxers was the hand defence (Table 4). The
least used type of defence was the trunk defence. The total number of defence move-
ments decreased with each round (P = 0.044, CI = 0.043 to 0.051).
Theround-wisecomparisonshowedsignicant dierences in total stop (P<
0.001); total stop frequency (P= 0.002); total clinch time (P= 0.002); clinch frequency
(P= 0.001); total referee stop time (P= 0.043, CI = 0.041 to 0.049); and referee stop
frequency (P= 0.043, CI = 0.040 to 0.048), time before rst stop (P= 0.030, CI = 0.026
to 0.033), activity rate (P= 0.034, CI = 0.035 to 0.042) and net activity time (P<0.001)
(Table 5).
3.3. Relationships between power capability and activity prole
CMJ height was correlated with the total number of punches thrown to the body (r=0
.735,
P=0.038),andeectiveness of head punches (r=0.838, P= 0.009). The duration of the
CMJ concentric and eccentric phases exhibited strong signicant correlations with the
performance of rear-hand uppercuts (r=0.709,P=0.049andr=0.859,P=0.006,
Table 3. Single and multiple oensive movements (mean ± SD) in relation to each round and round
average of total bouts.
Oensive movements Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total bout
Single-punch oences 21.23 ± 3.12 21.71 ± 5.30 23.45 ± 12.58 22.12 ± 7.79
2 punch oences 7.56 ± 3.43 7.44 ± 2.67 11.28 ± 4.97 8.76 ± 4.07
3+ punch oences 4.81 ± 3.03 4.50 ± 2.33 11.82 ± 5.38* 7.04 ± 5.02
Total oences 33.60 ± 6.95 35.99 ± 7.52 46.55 ± 16.94* 38.68 ± 8.70
*P< 0.05 a signicant dierence between rounds.
Table 4. Defensive movements (mean ± SD) in relation to each round and round average of total
bouts.
Defensive movements Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total bout
Hand defence 26.88 ± 11.43 23.51 ± 10.48 23.45 ± 12.58 24.62 ± 10.91
Trunk defence 12.78 ± 6.12 10.68 ± 4.79 11.28 ± 4.98 11.58 ± 5.06
Foot defence 14.72 ± 7.83 15.31 ± 7.83 11.82 ± 5.38 13.95 ± 6.73
Total defence 54.40 ± 14.79 49.50 ± 14.67 46.55 ± 16.93* 50.15 ± 14.86
*P< 0.05 a signicant dierence between rounds.
Table 5. Time constraints and miscellaneous measures (mean ± SD) in relation to each round and
round average of total bouts.
Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total bout
Total stop time (s) 13.05 ± 6.96 24.03 ± 12.97 40.97 ± 15.99** 25.12 ± 9.40
Total stop frequency 2.65 ± 1.44 4.28 ± 2.02 6.78 ± 2.45** 4.46 ± 1.36
Total clinch time (s) 8.7 ± 5.86 17.48 ± 10.36 26.35 ± 17.29** 16.72 ± 7.89
Clinch frequency 2.13 ± 1.64 3.82 ± 1.97 5.97 ± 2.53** 3.84 ± 1.56
Total referee stop time (s) 13.92 ± 27.59 6.39 ± 5.31 14.62 ± 9.80* 11.54 ± 11.66
Referee stop frequency 1.16 ± 1.19 1.60 ± 1.08 3.16 ± 1.70* 1.89 ± 0.55
Time before rst stop (s) 79.29 ± 39.77 57.44 ± 30.16 35.09 ± 14.73* 58.18 ± 17.97
Vertical Hip movements 50.9 ± 13.82 44.69 ± 16.76 45.84 ± 9.18 47.13 ± 12.41
Activity rate (actions/s) 0.94 ± 0.15 0.96 ± 0.13 1.10 ± 0.09* 1.00 ± 0.10
Net activity time (s) 166.95 ± 6.96 153.47 ± 16.56 139.02 ± 15.99** 153.88 ± 10.63
Net activity time (min) 2.78 ± 0.12 2.56 ± 0.27 2.32 ± 0.27** 2.56 ± 0.18
*P< 0.05 a signicant dierence between rounds, ** P< 0.01 a signicant dierence between rounds,
6L. RIMKUS ET AL.
respectively) and punches thrown per minute (r=0.727,P= 0.041). None of the correla-
tions detected between CMJ values and punch combinations performed by boxers or time
constraints, and miscellaneous measures were statistically signicant.
SJheightandvelocityatthetimeofthemaximumpoweroftheSJwerecorrelated
with the performance of rear-hand hooks (r= 0.793, P= 0.033 and r= 0.786, P= 0.036,
respectively). The rate of SJ concentric force development exhibited a strong direct
signicant correlation with the performance of straight rear-hand punches (r= 0.751,
P= 0.048) and eectiveness of head punches (r=0.750,P= 0.048). SJ height, peak force
and average force were correlated with total stop time (r=0.786, P= 0.036, r=0.793,
P=0.033andr=0.865, P=0.012,respectively).SJaverage force and peak power were
correlated with total stop frequency (r=0.829, P=0.021andr=0.786, P= 0.036,
respectively). SJ height and average force were correlated with activity rate (r= 0.821,
P= 0.023 and r= 0.786, P= 0.036, respectively), referee stop frequency (r=0.865, P=
0.012 and r=0.775, P= 0.041, respectively).
4. Discussion
The present study analysed the activity prole of high-level boxers and the relationships
between performance in the 3 × 3 min competition format and power measurements.
We hypothesised that athletes who display higher lower-body power values are more
active during competitive bouts. The hypothesis was conrmed partly, as several
relationships between power and activity were detected.
Our investigation showed that boxers were able to jump 35 ± 4 cm in the CMJ test and
33 ± 5 cm in the SJ test. Considering the level of the athletes who participated in the current
study, their performance in the CMJ and SJ tests was rather poor. For comparison, Turkish
wrestlers of a similar level who belonged to the national team were able to jump 39 ± 4 cm
in the CMJ test, and 37 ± 4.3 cm in the SJ test. The CMJ and SJ heights of high-level judo
athletes were even greater (47.1 ± 4.9 and 43.9 ± 4.5 cm, respectively) (Bayraktar & Koc,
2017). The CMJ and SJ heights of athletes in the national boxing team of Brazil were 37.4 ±
4.8 and 36.8 ± 5.4 cm, respectively (Tabben et al., 2014). There are several schools of
thought among coaches and boxing practitioners regarding power development for boxing,
which can potentially explain the CMJ and SJ results obtained here. As boxers throw
punches solely with the hands, lower-body power development is often neglected.
However, there is no doubt regarding the importance of lower-body power capability in
boxing performance. Recently, an investigation that was carried out solely with elite
amateur boxers conrmed that vertical jumping performance had an eect on punching
impact (Loturco et al., 2014). The current investigation also conrmed the relationship
between lower-body power and boxersactivity during competitive matches.
In one of their reports, Davis et al. (2015,2013) discussed that boxing referees seem to
overlook body hits and only count points for successful head hits. That would mean that
the only way of getting points based on body hits is not only to hit accurately but also to
hit hard enough to knock out or knock down the opponent well-developed power
capabilities are needed to achieve an impact that is sucient to reach those goals
(Chaabène et al., 2015; Pierce et al., 2006; Piorkowski et al., 2011; Walilko et al., 2005).
In our study, the eectiveness of head punches was about 14%. It was somewhat
unexpected that the number of successful head hits was not higher for those boxers
INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF PERFORMANCE ANALYSIS IN SPORT 7
with higher CMJ. However, CMJ height was strongly correlated with the total number of
punches thrown to the body, while SJ height was correlated with the total number of rear-
hand hooks thrown. The more powerful boxers may have delivered more punches during
the match, especially rear-hand hooks, as it is known that rear-hand punches are more
powerful than lead-hand ones (Smith, 2006; Smith, Dyson, Hale, & Janaway, 2000). This
led us to assume that more powerful boxers consciously, or perhaps unconsciously, feel
the impact and damage that they are delivering to the opponent by body hits compared
with less powerful athletes, which leads them to aim for the body more often. However,
this does not mean that more powerful boxers successfully reach the target area for
scoring more often.
The correlation observed between the performance of rear-hand hooks and the
velocity at the time of maximum power showed that the athletes who can develop
higher-velocity punches may have a faster blow in total, with a relatively high impact
and, therefore, damage. Rear-hand hooks are the second most powerful punch type
(Chaabène et al., 2015). Moreover, we found that the rate of concentric force develop-
ment was correlated with the performance of rear-hand straight punches. During the
analysis, it seemed that straight rear-hand punches were often thrown as a single blow
and were not followed by additional punches, which would constitute a combination.
According to Filimonov, Koptsev, Husyanov, and Nazarov (1985) and Smith et al.
(2000), a greater contribution from the legs to the punch leads to a greater punching
force. The punch has to be suciently explosive to deal with the opponent at a time that
is least expected. Our assumption would be that faster and more explosive boxers are
more condent in the success of these particular types of punch, which would lead
them to throw these punches more often. That assumption may be reinforced by our
research data showing a strong correlation between the eectiveness of head punches
and the rate of concentric force development in SJ.
Several studies that attempted to investigate the relationships between vertical
jumping and activity proles in other sports can be found in the literature. Secomb
et al. (2015) aimed to investigate the associations between lower-body strength and
power and the performance of turning and aerial manoeuvres in elite surng athletes. It
was concluded that an increase in surfersmaximal lower-body force-generating cap-
abilities leads to an increase in their scoring potential for turning manoeuvres, as
signicant correlations were found between turning manoeuvre ranking and peak
force in CMJ and SJ performance, as well as between peak velocity and jump height
in CMJ. In team sports, Black et al. (2017) investigated activity prole and CMJ
performance associations among female Australian soccer players. No signicant cor-
relations between lower-body power quality and running performance were detected.
Moreover, Moreira et al. (2017) reported a moderate-to-large relationship between
technical performance and an independent variable set, including performance on
CMJ and SJ tests in small-sided games of young male soccer players. Gomes et al.
(2017) investigated the associations between physical tness and game-related statistics
among basketball players. The performance of SJs exhibited a strong signicant correla-
tion with the performance of steals during competitive matches.
This study supports most of the boxing activity proles found in the literature
(Ashker, 2011; Davis et al., 2015,2013), as the results obtained were more similar
than dierent compared with those of other authors. In the current study, oensive
8L. RIMKUS ET AL.
actions by boxers were very similar to those of novice boxers investigated in both the
3 × 3 round format and the 3 × 2 round formats by other authors in the eld.
However, the comparison of the 3 × 3 with the 3 × 2 boxing activity prole might
not be accurate, as the physiological demands of dierent formats also vary (Smith,
2006). Two studies of boxers in the UK and the current study showed that time-
stoppage measures tended to increase with every round. Fighters tended to clinch
and be stopped by referees more often as the round count went up, which explains
the dierence in total stop time observed among all three rounds. This likely
happened because of the occurrence of, and increase in, fatigue as the rounds pass.
Itisunderstandablethataboxermightmakemoremistakes,delivermoreinaccurate
blows and attempt to get more inactivity time by clinching, to obtain extra recovery
time. Interestingly, despite the potential fatigue, the eectiveness of head punches
did not dier between all three rounds.
The current research showed that boxers maintained an activity rate of 1 action/s in an
average round, which showed that Lithuanian boxers are less active compared with UK
boxers both in the 3 × 3 and 3 × 2 round formats (Davis et al., 2015,2013). The defensive
movements and vertical hip movements performed by the boxers were taken into con-
sideration in the calculation of the activity rate. However, we obtained very dierent vertical
hip movement values compared with those reported by studies of UK boxers, which might
be the main inuencer of lower activity rate values. The notion of vertical hip movements
was taken from Davis et al. (2013) and was described as any visually identiable vertical
activity of the pelvis during standing and stepping; however, the values obtained here
diered by more than 300% compared with the UK boxers. The reason for such dierence
could be a dierent understanding of visual vertical activityby the analyst of the bout;
hence, what is visibleto one analyst might be not visibleto another analyst.
Furthermore, it is understandable that schools of thought regarding boxing vary from
country to country and even from coach to coach; therefore, it is possible that UK boxers
just tend to choose dierent tactics and ghting techniques by performing agreater number
of foot and lower-body actions on purpose, to mislead the opponent, consequently leading
them to perform an increased number of vertical hip actions.
5. Limitations
There were several limitations in the current study. Because of the low number of
participants (n= 8), non-parametric tests were used for statistical analysis, which is
considered a weak statistical approach. However, we wanted to restrict our investigation
to boxers that perform at the international level. Another possible limitation was the power
test used here: it was based on vertical jumping movements, which do not usually occur
during the competitive performance of the boxers. Although the importance of lower-body
power for boxers is clear, upper-body power tests also need to be taken into consideration
to create more informative power-capability proles of the athletes and understand them
better. Exclusively eectiveness of head punches was presented because only the head was
clearly visible as a target area for scoring.
INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF PERFORMANCE ANALYSIS IN SPORT 9
6. Conclusions
The athletes who displayed higher power values in the CMJ and SJ tests were also more
active during competitive bouts regarding the oensive and defensive movements
performed. More explosive boxers had higher eectiveness of head punches. Athletes
who displayed higher power values and its characteristics accumulated less stoppage
time during the competitive boxing bouts.
Disclosure statement
No potential conict of interest was reported by the authors.
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INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF PERFORMANCE ANALYSIS IN SPORT 11
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Abstract: An activity profile of competitive 3x3min elite level amateur boxing was created from video footage of 29 Olympic final/semi-final bouts in thirty-nine male boxers (mean±SD) age: 25.1±3.6 years, height: 178.3±10.4 cm, body mass: 69.7±16.5 kg. Boxing at this level requires the ability to maintain an activity rate of ~1.4 actions per second. Consisting of ~20 punches, ~2.5 defensive movements and ~47 vertical hip movements all per-minute, over three subsequent rounds lasting ~200sec each. Winners had higher total punches landed (p=0.041) and a lower ratio of punches thrown to landed (p=0.027) than losers in round 3. The hook rear hand landed was also higher for winners than losers in round 2 (p=0.038) and round 3 (p=0.016) and defensive movements were used less by winners (p=0.036). However, the results suggest that technical discrimination between winners and losers is difficult, bout outcome may be more dependent on which punch is 'lucky' enough to be scored by the judges or who 'appears' to be dominant on the day. This study gives both boxers and coaches a good idea of where sub-elite boxers need to aim if they want to become one of the best amateur boxers in the world.
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The purpose of this study was to determine whether any significant associations were present between lower-body strength and power and the performance of turning and aerial manoeuvres in elite surfing athletes. Eighteen competitive male surfers performed a battery of physical tests (countermovement jump (CMJ), squat jump (SJ), and isometric mid-thigh pull (IMTP)) during a single session, in addition to having their performance of turning and aerial manoeuvres ranked from highest to lowest. Significant associations were identified between turning manoeuvre ranking and; peak force in the CMJ, SJ and IMTP (ρ=-0.737, p<0.01; ρ=-0.856, p<0.01; ρ=-0.683, p<0.01, respectively), as well as, peak velocity and jump height in the CMJ (ρ=-0.560, p=0.02; ρ=-0.529, p=0.02, respectively). No significant associations were identified between aerial manoeuvre ranking and any strength and power variable. These results suggest that surfing athletes that exhibit greater lower-body isometric and dynamic strength, and power also perform higher scoring turning manoeuvres during wave riding.
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This study investigated the relationship between punching impact and selected strength and power variables in 15 amateur boxers from the Brazilian National Team (9 men and 6 women). Punching impact was assessed in the following conditions: 3 jabs starting from the standardized position (FJ), 3 crosses starting from the standardized position (FC), 3 jabs starting from a self-selected position and (SSJ) and 3 crosses starting from a self-selected position (SSC). For punching tests, a force platform (1.02 m x 0.76 m) covered by a body shield was mounted on the wall at a height of 1 m, perpendicular to the floor. The selected strength/power variables were: squat jump (SJ), countermovement jump (CMJ), mean propulsive power (MPP) in jump squat (JS), bench press (BP), and bench throw (BT), maximum isometric force (MIF) in squat and BP and rate of force development (RFD) in the squat and BP. Sex and position main effects were observed, with higher impact for males compared to females (P < 0.05) and the self-selected distance resulting in higher impact in the jab technique compared to the fixed distance (P < 0.05). Finally, the correlations between strength/power variables and punching impact indices ranged between 0.67 and 0.85. Due to the strong associations between punching impact and strength/power variables (e.g., lower limb muscle power), this study provides important information for coaches to specifically designing better training strategies to improve punching impact.
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PUNCHING IS A KEY COMPONENT OF STRIKING-BASED COMBAT SPORTS. IT HAS BEEN ESTABLISHED IN BOXING THAT THE ABILITY TO APPLY FORCE VIA PUNCHING TO AN OPPONENT IS PARAMOUNT TO VICTORY. AS SUCH, IT BEHOOVES STRENGTH AND CONDITIONING PROFESSIONALS TO IMPROVE THE PUNCHING FORCE OF COMBAT SPORTS ATHLETES IN GENERAL. THIS REVIEW EXPLORES CURRENT RESEARCH INTO THE ASSESSMENT OF PUNCHING FORCES AND CONTRIBUTORS OF PUNCHING FORCES, SPECIFICALLY GROUND REACTION FORCES. SUCH INFORMATION IS VITAL FOR ENHANCING THE SCIENTIFIC UNDERSTANDING OF PUNCHING AND THUS THE DEVELOPMENT OF OPTIMUM STRENGTH AND CONDITIONING STRATEGIES.