You may picture greats like Rocky Marciano duking it out with Jersey Joe Walcott when you think of boxing. But boxing isn't just a sport anymore. It's also a popular way to stay fit among older adults through a version known as fitness boxing.
There's no getting into a ring or taking any punches, so there's no risk of head trauma. Instead, fitness boxing has adapted the sport's movements into exercise routines.
There's no proof that fitness boxing is superior to any other type of exercise, but it does have many health benefits. One is strength. "You're swinging your arms, moving the muscles of your arms and shoulders, increasing your upper-body strength.
And when you're in the boxer crouch with a wide stance, with your knees slightly bent, you're strengthening your core muscles, back, and legs," says Arslanian. Stronger muscles make it easier to get up out of a chair or carry a bag of groceries.
Fitness boxing is also a great aerobic exercise.
Aerobic exercise gets your heart pumping and helps lower the risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. In addition, it can strengthen bones and muscles, burn more calories, and lift the mood.
Aerobics can also boost your endurance, which helps you climb a flight of stairs or walk farther.
What Parts Of The Body Does Boxing Work?
Boxing workouts combine cardio and strength, targeting the entire body. It combines aerobic and anaerobic exercises, burning more calories in less time. If you're doing circuits and HIIT-style boxing training regularly, your cardio levels and all over strength will increase rapidly.
The fitness benefits of boxing, of course, will see your upper body strength increase, and it will also improve your score with the twisting, turning and dodging techniques.
All sessions are different and will keep your body guessing - there's always a new skill or technique to learn, so bid farewell to boredom!
But don't forget: you get as much as you put in, as with all exercise. So push yourself to your limits, punch as hard as you can in the sets, sprint fast in the circuits, and keep moving. It may be tough to begin with, but persevere with the training, and you'll quickly improve. You'll never look back!
Spanning from the back of your ankles to the back of your knees, your calves are strong muscles that help you press your toes into the ground and lift your heels. When you throw a punch, you move forward or side-to-side slightly.
Your calves start a punch by initiating a step in the direction of the punch. Even if you don't take a step, they help you lean your body in the direction of the punch. The power of your punch works from the ground up, and this powerful group of muscles is the first step.
Your quadriceps and hamstrings are the main muscles of your thigh. After the calf muscles start a punch, the legs produce some serious power. The quads and hamstrings are exceptionally strong muscles and help move your body in the direction of a punch.
They also help you stand up higher or sit down into a punch.
In boxing, there is a move called a bob, where you quickly squat down and stand up to avoid a punch. Your leg muscles primarily power a movement like this.
The glutes are not only the biggest hip muscles, and they're the biggest muscles in the body. They put a lot of power behind your punch because they help you twist your body. A punch is a rotational movement, which means that your spine turns. The glutes take over after your legs to turn your torso in the direction of the punch.
Your core is a big group of muscles that run from your hips to your shoulders and cover everything in between. This means all of the ab muscles and most of the back muscles are part of the core.
The twisting motion in a punch is started by the glutes and carried on by the ab muscles—specifically, the oblique muscles located on the sides of your torso. The muscles run diagonally across your sides and are built for rotation. In other words: if you want ripped obliques, learn how to box.
For a great shoulder workout, boxing is a must. When you first start out learning how to box, you will feel that burn in your shoulders the most. It doesn't matter if you're hitting the bag or sparring with a partner.
The extra weight of the gloves combined with throwing hundreds of punches will wear down your deltoids pretty quickly. This activates the front and middle deltoid heads; retracting the punch activates the rear deltoid.
Boxing is also great for developing a great looking back. Punching is akin to pushing exercises, so the same muscles you use for a shoulder press are used to throw punches.
During sparring or a competitive match, both land and miss punches are retracted quickly to avoid the dreaded counter-punch. These motions work a muscle group in the back called the teres major.
This group sits above the latissimus dorsi, which makes up the back of the armpit and attaches to the upper humerus and the scapula.
Boxing is also great for building up all of the muscles in your upper arms.
The biceps stabilise the arms during hook type punches and help you retract your arms quickly after throwing a punch. The triceps help the deltoids when throwing punches like a jab or cross.
Boxing Benefits For Mind, Body, And Spirit
Stamina and endurance are improved
Stamina is how long you can maintain an activity. Stamina is often referred to when someone feels energetic or positive while participating in an activity.
An endurance exercise requires your body to maintain itself physically for a duration of time.
Cardiovascular endurance and muscular endurance are two components of it.
Cardio endurance refers to your body's ability to supply itself with oxygen. Having muscular endurance means that your muscles can work without tiring continuously.
Improved core stability
Core stability refers to the muscle control needed to keep the lumbar spine stable.
Core muscles are sometimes confused with the abs, particularly the rectus abdominis, the visible muscles.
Core muscles include the pelvic floor muscles, transverse abdominis, multifidus, internal and external obliques, rectus abdominis, erector spinae, and diaphragm.
Boxing fires up the heart and lungs
Boxing is one of the best cardio-respiratory workouts you can do. The fitness of a boxer is often unparalleled in sports. Elite athletes who try a stint in boxing quickly realise just how to fit you have to be.
The nature of the movement is full body and incredibly taxing on the heart and lungs.
No muscle goes unworked when you smash out a boxing workout. It targets them all. As a result, your heart and lungs are forced into working extra hard to deliver oxygenated blood to the working muscles so that you can maintain a high work output.
Coordinating and being aware of your body
Body coordination is the ability of the body to move in a coordinated way. It involves using the senses and body parts efficiently and accurately for smooth, efficient, and accurate tasks. For instance, the body will not perform an exercise if the arm is not in a particular place.
Same with the legs. The body must be in the proper position. The body has to be in a certain position to perform well in a sport.
What Exercises Are Best For Boxing?
As a standalone workout routine, boxing in and of itself is quite effective. It will get you in shape rather quickly and effectively.
Still, it's good to complement boxing training with strength and conditioning. You want the body to operate at peak performance, and working on your strength and conditioning will achieve just that.
Strength and conditioning are, no doubt, major components of boxing. Elite fighters from all around the globe hire specialists who excel specifically in this area to supervise their strength and conditioning.
For everyone else, strength and conditioning could mean just allowing you to train harder and better and perform more efficiently in sparring or competition.
Drilling for the sport can help to improve your cardio stamina, endurance, balance, and coordination. You'll be working your upper body, lower body, and core, and the intense, fat-burning workouts can help to drop weight, too — plus you'll be able to handle yourself better if someone starts swinging at you.
But it takes more than just effort and grit to make the most of a fighter's fitness routine. You're going to need to funnel that intensity into specific movements and drills to begin to reap the benefits.
Jumping rope is one of the classic boxing exercises because it helps build a lean, strong body, aids in coordination, agility, and footwork, and boosts endurance as nearly no other exercise does. Plus, since jump ropes are so portable, you can do it anywhere.
Burpees are pretty much the best exercise ever and will increase your strength and endurance like no other exercise will. Plus, all that getting up and down is helpful in the ring (if you ever get knocked down, that is).
Boxers need a strong core to give them the strength to keep throwing punches, and sit-ups are one of the classic exercises to build up core strength in the ring.
It may seem wimpy if you've never tried it, but shadow boxing is one of the best ways to practice your movement and footwork as a boxer. Plus, it's more tiring than you might imagine.
Push-ups are awesome and will also give you strong arms, shoulders, chest and core muscles. Plus, they require no equipment whatsoever, so you have no excuse to od them!
Not only are chin-ups and pull-ups badass, but they'll also build up your arm, chest, back, shoulder and core strength like no other. Can't do a single one yet? Learn how to start doing chin-ups and pull-ups.
Squats will strengthen your legs and glutes so you can bob, weave, and slip (typical boxing defences) all day long. A strong lower body is just as—or maybe more—important than a strong upper body during a fight.
Fighters need strong shoulders if they want to keep punching round after round. And shoulder presses will help build up shoulder strength and endurance.
Not only will walking lunges build strength in your legs, glutes and core muscles, they'll also help with balance and flexibility—key requirements for any fighter.
Knees to elbows
Though sit-ups are awesome because you can do them anywhere with no equipment, knees to elbows will give you an even stronger core. And they'll help you build up to even cooler abs exercises, such as toes to knees windshield wipers.
What Is A Cool Down Boxing Routine?
A cool-down routine is a sequence of exercises to help your body safely exit training mode.
Usually, you begin cooling down with a low-intensity dynamic exercise to decrease your heart rate.
Then you start stretching your muscles while the body is still warm. By the time you finish stretching, your heart rate and body temperature are lower, sweating is reduced, and you are ready to hit the shower!
How Long Should You Cool Down After A Workout?
Depending on the length and intensity of your training, it may take between 5 and 15 minutes to cool down after a workout. The length of your cool-down also depends on the types of exercises you wish to include.
The Boxing Workout Warm-Down
Unlike punch combination drills and boxing workouts, a shadowboxing cool-down is a slowly guided and practised movement routine. Start with 1-2 rounds of low-intensity, very slow shadowboxing in front of a mirror. Your heart rate goes down while you're doing something that's never boring and is beneficial to your technique, not just a cool down.
End your workout with static stretching exercises for your arms, back, core, and legs. Your muscles will recover easier and faster if you end your workout with stretching. Many boxers include stretching in both their warm-up and cool-down routines.
Plank x 30 seconds
Roll onto your front from the scissor kicks position, using the forearms to take your body weight. Keep lower body weight on the balls of your feet, brace your core, tighten your butt muscles and keep the back nice and flat. Stay in this position for 30 seconds.
Side lunges x 10 on each side
Stretch out the legs with a little side lunge action. Stand with feet slightly wider than hip-width apart and shift your body weight onto the right thigh by lunging to the side.
Like a squat, the knee shouldn't wander over your toes. Hold the stretch for three seconds, return to the start position and repeat on the other side.
Shoulder shrugs x 20
Quite simply, shrug your shoulders up towards your ears, holding the stretch at the top of the move for two or three seconds and lowering slowly. Remember to breathe in on the upward portion and out when lowering.
Is Boxing Better Than Gym?
Boxing is known to be a good cardio exercise. Boxing trains cardiovascular strength and endurance more effectively than most of the workouts available today. In addition, it has the power to condition the human body into an energy-efficient machine.
How Long Does It Take To See Results In Boxing?
You may feel thorough 'worked out' after a boxing session. However, since it's an intensive exercise involving many other activities, boxing helps people lose weight quickly. You can expect to see results in as little as four weeks.
Are Air Punches A Good Workout?
Air punches are a great and convenient exercise as they can be performed anywhere without any equipment and very limited space.
It can be done as part of a warm-up or as your main cardiovascular exercise during your workout because it's really easy to control the intensity by punching fast or slow.
Is Boxing Good For The Brain?
Boxing training may have an added edge over other forms of exercise in supporting cognitive brain health and potentially staving off neurodegenerative disease. It is well-established that exercise is essential to brain health.
Does Boxing Improve Confidence?
It builds self-confidence as much as physical strength.
Boxing can help to make you feel more powerful mentally and give you the fighting spirit to enable you to deal with any of life's more challenging situations.
- Find a gym. Boxing gyms aren't typically found in the yellow pages, but there are resources on the internet that can lead you in the right direction. ...
- Be sure the gym is within striking distance. ...
- Be open-minded. ...
- Choose your coach carefully. ...
- Do judge the gym by its cover.
So, can boxing be self-taught? Boxing can be self-taught but it's not the quickest and most effective way to become better at the sport because you aren't able to tap into the knowledge of a boxing coach who would be able to help you one to one.
Best Age to Start
Specialists in sports medicine believe that boxing classes are better to start from 9-10 years. Starting too early could result in putting the student off, as boxing is hard work and not always as fun as team sports, such as football or rugby.