You don't need to plan to step into the ring anytime soon to start boxing to increase your fitness. Using the punching bag at the gym is a perfect way to improve your physical fitness without concussions and injuries.
If you're feeling bored in your current workout routine, boxing can be a rewarding and fun new challenge for your body and mind!
The Benefits of Boxing
- Improves Heart Health. Boxing is a form of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) that can help strengthen your heart through intense spurts of activity. When followed by short rest periods, HIIT-style exercise is proven to be incredibly good for your heart!
- Aids Weight Loss. Any fitness routine is a great way to support a healthy weight, but boxing has been proven to knock out (no pun intended) many other types of exercise for efficiently burning calories in a brief amount of time. Boxing workouts are typically fast-paced and challenging, and depending on your level of effort, can torch calories fast.
- Improves Balance and Coordination. The punching improves your hand-eye coordination, and the agility component improves your balance. Although there aren't any core-specific exercises like crunches that you're performing, the movements you do while boxing work effectively to build your core strength and, in turn, your balance.
- Staying Interested in Working Out. It can be challenging for people to keep a consistent workout routine for several reasons. Keeping your workouts exciting and including a wide variety of training methods can make you more likely to stick with it! Boxing can be fun (even if you're not interested in contact sports) and poses minimal safety risks, which makes it enjoyable for almost everyone.
- Improves Mental Health. Although these physical health benefits may convince you to try boxing, the intense nature of hitting something hard can contribute to some mental health benefits! Stress reduction, emotional release, self-confidence from getting stronger, and defeating a challenge are examples of how boxing can improve your mental health!
What are some basic boxing techniques or tips that a beginner should know?
- Jab. Keep your lead foot forward and extend the arm on that same side, using your first two knuckles to guide your hand to the bag. Without overextending your elbow, jab straight ahead quickly, and then bring your fist immediately back up to guard your face. (TIP: Jabs are meant to be faster than hard!)
- Cross. Keep your same foot leading, but use your other arm to punch. As you throw your punch, turn your back foot, so it faces the front. Let this twisting motion flow all the way up to the hip to turn you toward the front. Use the power from your turn through your shoulder. Again use your first two knuckles to guide your punch straight ahead, then bring your hand back to block your face. (Power it up!: As you improve your accuracy to hit a single spot, practice adding more power and speed.)
- Hook. Start with your leading foot side. Raise your arm up to shoulder height. Bend your elbow to create the hook with your thumb sitting on top of your fist. Turn your whole body in the direction of your fist while also turning your foot and leg in the same direction. Let your upper body follow as you throw the punch into the bag. For the other side, don't switch your lead leg. Repeat the same position and movement. (Remember: You should be throwing punches from your shoulders, not your fists!)
The bottom line...
Boxing is a great way to switch up your fitness routine and add new moves to boost the intensity of your standard gym workouts. Adding a quick bit of heavy-bag or shadow boxing can help improve your heart health, body composition, agility, and strength.
Best of all, boxing is a fun, healthy way to release stress and build confidence in a safe and healthy way!
Use a complimentary session with Simeon or another O2 trainer at your home club to learn some beginner-friendly boxing combos!