Many of us want to improve our mental and physical health, and each of us will take a different approach to accomplish this goal. However, we frequently limit ourselves to running, weightlifting in the gym, and home workouts. But somehow we don’t think of professional sports as a tool for achieving our overall well-being. Look at professional athletes like footballers, basketball players, and boxers; they’re all in excellent physical and mental shape. Or think about professional actors like Hilary Swank, Mark Wahlberg, and Brad Pitt who play boxers in movies. They train extensively in boxing to prepare for these roles, and their bodies benefit from this training as well. So, why not incorporate professional athlete training into our workout routine and reap all the benefits?
Biggest benefits of boxing
1Boxing increases all the muscles
Boxing training combines aerobic exercise with strength training. While the aerobic component burns that annoying belly (and not only belly) fat, the strength component of training helps to develop stronger, bigger, and more defined muscles. When during training you perform hooks, uppercuts, or punches, you are actively engaging your biceps and triceps. Throwing punches will undoubtedly give your arms a nice workout. Your shoulders allow you to extend and retract your arms with every strike that you perform, so you definitely strengthen your shoulders during those boxing sessions.
During boxing workouts, the abs are heavily loaded in all different senses. As you drive a punch in boxing, the twisting action works the ab muscles. This is a wonderful ab exercise, and the more you train, the more developed these muscles will become.
By participating in boxing, you can be certain that you will develop strong core muscles. Boxing exercises your calves since you’re always on the move, ready to take a stride forward or back. When you go to take a blow, the hamstrings and quadriceps are also engaged. To drive through a punch, energy flows up through your entire legs. Lower back muscles also need to be engaged when you deliver a punch and drawback to your defensive posture.
So, as you can see, you can get an all-in-one workout for your body with boxing training.
2Boxing can benefit your heart
Boxing training requires a lot of cardiovascular fitness since boxers frequently perform things like jump rope and treadmill jogging to enhance their stamina. Another reason boxing is good for your heart is that the act of punching causes a huge number of your muscles to contract all at once. Because so many muscles are being engaged at the same time, your heart has to work extra hard to pump blood and oxygen to them, providing a fantastic workout for your heart.
Boxers perform a lot of high-intensity exercises during a training sessions. And it has been known for a long time that short bursts of high-intensity activity are good for the heart. Particularly, one study has discovered that a protocol of high-intensity interval training can lower systolic blood pressure by more than 27 mm Hg. On the other side, a 20 mm Hg increase in SBP doubles the risk of cardiovascular disease.
As a bonus, boxing may also increase your aerobic performance. Research that aimed to identify relationships between boxers’ aerobic capacity and their mastery level, showed that boxers with a higher mastery rating have better performance in running speed, VO2 max, and maximum oxygen pulse.
3Boxing burns calories even after you finish your workout
Take into account that boxers’ training often includes exercises like skipping rope for better coordination and running sessions for better stamina. Sparring sessions in the ring or even simply punching a bag is also quite efficient at burning calories.
Another factor that makes boxing so effective at burning calories is that boxing sessions are jam-packed with various high-intensity activities that have the ability to lift our resting metabolism. This effect can last for more than 20 hours after you do a high-intensity activity like boxing. This means that even 20 hours after our boxing training is over, we’ll still be burning some extra calories!
But boxing isn’t just good for burning calories; high-intensity boxing workouts are also good for burning fat. A study from the BMC Sports Science, Medicine, and Rehabilitation showed that overweight people who train in boxing four times a week for 12 weeks lose 13.2% of their body fat.
4Boxing is a great way to relieve stress
We all encounter stress in some form or another, whether at home, at work, or in our daily lives; it’s a natural part of our existence. However, regular exercise has been shown to lower stress. Exercise raises endorphin levels in the body; these are the happy hormones that help to improve our mood. And, while exercise is beneficial for producing endorphins, boxing is also beneficial for stress relief. If you’re upset or stressed, spending an hour in the gym punching a bag will definitely help you release steam and reduce stress.
5Boxing teaches us self-defence
Another benefit of boxing that cannot be underestimated is that it teaches self-defense. The unfortunate reality is that we live in a harsh world. Because of this, being able to protect yourself is very important. People usually start boxing because they want to get in shape or because they like the sport. But the ability to fight, which boxing teaches us, is very important in the real world.
6Boxing is a home-friendly workout
Boxing is an excellent all-body workout, but you don’t have to attend boxing courses to reap the advantages. Today’s boxing training may be done from the comfort of your own home. If you are someone who prefers home-style workouts, boxing is still an option for you. There are different apps and equipment that let you learn real boxing techniques and train with real fighters, all from the comfort of your home. Furthermore, your home workouts will be just as effective as those in the gym. According to a review published in the Games for Health Journal, boxing exergames, regardless of platform, may create an intensity-adequate physical activity that is helpful for cardiometabolic benefits.
Downsides of boxing
Boxing can be beneficial for your physical fitness, but it is also pretty risky, especially when compared to jogging or cycling. Before you begin, you should be aware of the hazards.
Boxers suffer from brain damage more than athletes because of the number of strikes to the head they receive every bout. As a result, neural networks can rupture, resulting in lesions, bruising, and massive clots inside the brain. Ex-boxers are more vulnerable to the natural ageing of the brain and brain disorders, as well as an increased risk of long-term neurological disease.
However, it’s crucial to emphasize that, despite much study over the last decade, there’s still a lot that’s not understood about boxing-related brain damage. What is known is that boxing has the same death rates as other high-risk sports, and only a very small number of boxers experience long-term neurologic damage. This is more likely to happen to professional fighters who have been fighting for a long time.
Boxing causes additional physical injuries in addition to head injuries, which are the most visible. The most prevalent is, of course, bruises. Broken teeth and bleeding gums are other common problems. Broken ribs are common among boxers. Hands are also among the most vulnerable to injury because boxers strike frequently. Eye injuries can occur as a result of boxing. The facial bones shield the eyes on the side, but when blows are suffered beneath the eyes, shock waves might go up to the eyes. And again, it should be noted that all of these repercussions are more common among professional boxers with a long careers. You are unlikely to get these injuries as a result of attending boxing classes.
Ready to start boxing? Here are some beginner tips so you can gradually build up your skills and boxing level, get the most from your boxing workouts, and at the same time avoid injuries.
1Choose the right equipment
Make sure you have everything you need for boxing. Boxing training may require you to wear comfortable shoes and clothes. You also will need hand wraps and gloves, as well as a heavy bag or punching bag to practise your punches. Also think about getting some extra gear, like a jump rope to improve your footwork and coordination, medicine balls, dumbbells, or resistance bands to build strength. To avoid getting hurt while training, it is very important to wear protective gear like a helmet, a mouthguard, and a chest protector. If you’re going to take boxing classes before going shopping for all this, make sure to find out whether the gym that you chose provides equipment or not, as some gyms may supply training gear.
2Let your body get used to the boxing
It’s difficult to say how many training sessions you should have per week and how long they should last. It all depends on a variety of factors, such as your level of fitness, your goal, whether you have any other training besides boxing, and so on. However, regardless of the goals, at the very beginning aim for 30 minutes of intense boxing training two to three times a week. This frequency will allow your body to recover and adapt to the demands of the sport. You can gradually increase the duration and frequency of your training as your physical level improves. Just remember to listen to your body and give it needed rest to avoid overtraining and burnout.
3Take advantage of assistance
If you trying to make your boxing training at home, you can find a wide variety of videos to learn basic motions and avoid mistakes that can lead to an injury. If you prefer gym training to home training, you may consider taking a structured class or a one-on-one session. At boxing classes, work at your own pace and don’t be concerned whether others are kicking higher or using weights. As you become more accustomed to your boxing routine and are ready for another challenge, you may consider adding weights to your workout. Build up gradually to avoid injuries that prevent you from attending boxing sessions on a regular basis. In fact, many boxing classes and gyms offer boxing courses at various levels.
Also, if you’re new to exercise, visit your doctor. You should also consult your doctor if you have any recent injuries, back pains, or cardiovascular disease that can cause problems during your boxing training. For example, someone who has some excess weight needs to be cautious about intense exercise because of the strain that extra weight might place on their knees.
4Don’t rush the progress
As previously stated, boxing can be beneficial to both your body and mind. Boxing involves a variety of physical activities, and professional boxers’ training includes segments such as warming up, footwork, punching bag and speed bag, exercises to improve technique, shadowboxing, sparring, and strength training for various parts of the body. However, putting such a large load on an unprepared body can result in injury. So, instead of doing your entire boxing routine on one day, divide it into several days. Set aside specific days to practice your technique, shadowboxing, or sparring. And always pay close attention to your warm-up routine; a proper warm-up will keep you safe from getting injured.
Fun & Curious facts about boxing
The first recorded boxing match took place in ancient Egypt around 3000 BC.
In 2017, Floyd Mayweather Jr. made an estimated $275 million as the highest-paid boxer in the world.
The boxing match between Andy Bowen and Jack Burke that took place on April 6, 1893, is the longest professional boxing match in history. It lasted for 110 rounds.
Let’s sum boxing up
Overall, boxing is a great way to enhance both your physical and emotional well-being. Boxing can be beneficial in many ways. Due to its high intensity, boxing not only burns a lot of calories but also strengthens your heart, increases lean muscle mass, and helps you release the stress that has built up throughout the hard day.
Hungry for knowledge? Here is more!
Take a look at this video from the Precision Striking YouTube channel that will guide you on how to take your first steps into boxing training. Precision Striking is a channel devoted to boxing and boxing techniques. It provides weekly videos that lay down boxing and striking techniques, tactics, strategies, and training regimens.
Also, check out this at-home beginner boxing workout provided by Olympic bronze medalist boxer Tony Jeffries.
Receive Exclusive Tips & Weekly Digest – subscribe to our newsletter