Putting on the gloves is a knockout way to enjoy training that’s high intensity and high fun. No wonder it’s so popular!
Boxing has become one of the fastest growing fitness crazes of recent years. And it’s not about punching like Nicola Adams or scoring knockouts like Anthony Joshua. What boxing does is provide high impact, high intensity training which also boosts your all-round flexibility and well-being.
We asked Richard Westwood, personal trainer at Edgbaston Priory Club who specialises in boxing, to spell out the benefits. In a manner befitting of boxing, he came up with 12 rounds of advice and tips. So seconds out…
Round 1: Improve your heart health
To be good at boxing you need to be light on your feet and able to move around quickly so boxing-style workouts incorporate lots of high intensity training – jump rope, circuits and running – to improve your cardiovascular health.
Round 2: Improve your bones and joints
Boxing is a great weight bearing workout with all the lunging and punching, which makes it a great way to build bone mass. Boxing helps makes bones and joints stronger and less prone to breakages and osteoporosis in later life.
Round 3: Improve your muscle tone
Perfecting all the boxing moves requires fast movements that combine speed with strength to provide your arms, shoulders, legs and core muscles with a great workout – resulting in toned and taut muscles.
Round 4: Improve your coordination
Boxing-style training improves your all-round coordination as you master the skill of bouncing around while landing those punches.
Round 5: Helps with weight control
On average, you’ll burn 400 to 500 calories an hour during a sparring session and the intense physical exercise means that your metabolic rate remains high, even after your workout is over, helping you burn even more calories.
Round 6: Improves balance and posture
Boxing strengthens the core and back muscles leading to better balance and posture, which in turn reduces your susceptibility to back pain.
Round 7: Increases endurance
The combination of the cardiovascular workout with the muscle strengthening exercises helps build your overall endurance which means you can train for longer without getting tired.
Round 8: Improve your self-esteem
As your physical health improves with boxing so does your self-esteem. In no time at all you’ll begin to feel stronger, healthier, in better shape and ready to go the distance!
Round 9: Improve your self-defence skills
Of course, boxing-style workouts are designed to make you fit but there’s no doubt that the skills learned in boxing may well come in handy in real life situations!
Round 10: Improve your mental well-being
All that punching practice is a good way of getting rid of life’s anxiety and frustrations but the all-round exercise boxing-style workouts provide also releases serotonin in your brain leaving you feeling all round much happier.
Round 11: Get the right equipment
Before you start training you should invest in a good quality pair of gloves and hand wraps to protect your hands.
Round 12: Get yourself an experienced trainer
Lots of gyms now offer boxing-style workouts such as Boxercize and Box-Fit but it’s best to start with some one-to-one training with a reputable boxing coach to develop a safe technique before venturing to group fitness classes.