Boxing for fitness is a high energy workout and a fantastic way to change-up your routine and to try something new. More great news, you can even do it without a gym membership. Some of the top Victoria’s Secret models even incorporate boxing into their workouts. If that’s not enough to convince you to add boxing to your routine, these 17 points will.
Boxing burns fat – Boxing for fitness easily burns up to an astounding 500 calories per session, therefore it is considered “high intensity” training. When boxing, you not only burn many calories during the session, but you continue burning calories hours after the training session has ended. Most typical cardio activities are without this post training calorie burning effect. Boxing can be your best asset when it comes to weight maintenance!
It’s good for your heart – Boxing engages your whole body. When throwing punches, a large number of your muscles are contracting at the same time to throw that punch. This in turn makes your heart and your lungs work hard to pump freshly oxygenated blood throughout your body to your muscles.
Testing your cardiovascular system to its full capacity, boxing forces your body to adapt by making your heart and lungs better at delivering oxygen. Meaning you can train at a higher intensity, which gives you an even greater fat burning effect.
Builds strong bones and ligaments– The progression of osteoporosis can be reduced by strength training – boxing is a great example of this. In boxing, pads and punching bags provide the resistance (as does your own bodyweight). When you are doing pushups, pull ups, lunges, burpees and boxing/sparring, your joints, tendons and ligaments all get stronger in response to working against that resistance.
Resistance – By using your bodyweight as resistance, you can maintain or increase your lean muscle mass, which is absolutely critical in keeping your metabolic rate burning at its maximum capacity (this is of utmost importance if you are trying to lose body fat).
Increases muscle tone- Boxers are known for their amazing physiques, toned and defined without a lot of bulk. This is due to the fast repetitive action of punching – which produces toned and taut muscles; in contrast to the slow, controlled, heavy movements involved in bodybuilding or weight lifting that produce size or bulk. Boxing is perfect if you want to tone up without gaining a lot of size overall.
Better muscular endurance – Boxing requires your muscles to contract repeatedly, causing the muscles involved to fatigue. As you progress with your training and get better at boxing, your muscles are able to contract for longer intervals without getting tired, allowing you to push yourself harder and training for longer – ultimately burning even more calories.
Strengthens and stabilises your core – Any type of exercise that causes your body to become unstable requires your core muscles to engage and work harder to keep you balanced. Boxing requires lots of quick, rotational movements, therefore your core muscles will develop to allow you to punch harder without losing your balance and falling over!
Boxing improves strength – Boxing truly is the ultimate full body workout. When punches are correctly thrown, they use many muscles – legs, hips, glutes, core, obliques, back, shoulders, chest AND arms! Punching against resistance causes all of those muscles to contract with more speed and force, further developing both your power and strength.
Boxing for stress relief – Boxing is a fantastic physical activity that can help you get in shape, but it also has added psychological benefits. As you may already know, exercise increases endorphins, boosts mood, works as a form of meditation, and improves sleep, all of which in turn help reduce stress. But sometimes you need more than a walk around the block to help you forget what’s stressing you out, and boxing can provide that! Firstly, during a boxing workout you transition between high intensity exercise followed by moderate intensity recovery periods. When pushing yourself through 2 minutes of high-intensity punching or kicking, you don’t have much mental power left to worry about whatever has been stressing you out, you’re focused on the exercise you are doing. During rest periods, you’ll be focused on getting your breath and preparing for the next round, not stressing over your busy life or your work meetings the following day. Also, hitting things can make you feel really damn good! You can visualise your stress in the punching bag, and enjoy the empowering feeling of punching or kicking the absolute hell out of it! Taking out the stresses of your normal life in a safe, controlled environment will leave you calm and relaxed afterwards, ready to tackle whatever challenge lies around the next bend.
Co-ordination and Body Awareness – Moving lots of parts at the same time requires a good connection between your brain and your body. With patience, practice, and dedication, that very same focus and discipline can transfer over to other sports and activities (and aspects) in your life.
Confidence and Self-Esteem – Being able to finally master boxing techniques makes you feel good! The better your technique is; the more force you can put into your punches. That noise you hear when you land an accurate, strong punch right on the sweet spot of the focus pad or punching bag = extreme satisfaction!
Self Defense – Boxing for fitness is also great for general self-defense. You will build more self-confidence as you become stronger, and able to better defend yourself if you ever need to. This is especially vital for women of all ages, because we often work late and travel alone. The confidence to carry yourself without being scared at night, and the knowledge of what to do if faced with an attacker can prove lifesaving.
Better Hand-Eye Coordination – Hand-eye coordination plays a very important role in a person’s gross and fine motor skills. People with good hand-eye coordination tend to have faster reflexes and reaction times, and they also tend to have better physical coordination overall. Particularly important during aging, as coordination and balance become compromised as we age, creating a higher risk of falls. Boxing for fitness helps fine tune our hand-eye coordination. When punching a speed bag (a lightweight boxing bag hung from a disc that turns and bounces quickly with each punch you throw), or when sparring with a partner (practice accurately punching your partner’s mitts), you must be able to see the target, react to the target, and hit the target, all whilst the target is moving and changing position. It’s difficult at first, but with practice, your hand-eye coordination will improve dramatically.
Improved Body Composition – Boxing for fitness is a fantastic tool for improving your body composition. When losing weight, what you really should aim to do is improve your body composition – by increasing muscle mass and decreasing fat mass. Boxing is an incredible mechanism for improved body composition because it perfectly combines muscle-building strength training moves and calorie-burning cardio, all in one workout. Regularly participating in a boxing program and following a healthy eating plan will help you achieve changes in your body shape and improvements to your fat mass percentage, and you’re likely to see changes in your weight as well.
Increased Flexibility – Before starting, ideally stretch for about 15 minutes to prepare your body to move without injury. Kicking and punching, blocking and sparring during the class will also help increase your flexibility.
Boxing flattens your belly – If you want a six-pack but hate sit-ups, get up and get in the boxing ring instead. Boxing is extremely taxing on the core, because your hips need to rotate in order to get full extension and deliver a more powerful blow. You’ll also be burning more calories than you would from lying on the floor for isolated abs workout, and you’ll be ready to show off that flat belly in no time.
Boxing is Upper Body Cardio – While most cardio focuses on the lower body, with boxing, your primary moves come from your upper half. This makes boxing a great cross-training option when you are bored of running or cycling, and want to do some cardio that won’t tax your legs as much.
Boxing at Home – Good news if you don’t have a gym membership, you can set up your own boxing workout at home – and it won’t cost you a fortune either. Punching bags start from about $90 for a 3-foot bag and prices vary on size and weight. Obviously you need to purchase some equipment, starting with a 75- to 100-pound bag (these can be hung from a stand or a sturdy ceiling beam), boxing gloves, a medicine ball, and a jump rope. These four items will enable you to run through boxing sequences, cardio sequences, and strength training sequences and to put together a full home workout, without the price tag attached to a gym membership and in the comfort of your own home.
- It’s no wonder so many are flocking to boxing as a form of fitness. It is one of the best workouts one can get with a range of physical and mental benefits and is the ultimate weight loss challenge.