If you think it’s just a sport for the rough and tough, you’re wrong. Boxing is now one of the most popular fitness regimes out there and if it’s a lean, toned, strong body you’re after then this could the sport for you. Think Hilary Swank (Million Dollar Baby)Think Mark Wahlberg (The Fighter) and see some amazing results.
What benefits will I see?
Weight loss, increased agility and coordination, muscle tone and greater fitness all resulting from boxing. Many people think that boxing is all about the arms but it is actually a cardio work-out for the whole body. It’s especially good for toning your glutes and quadriceps muscles, which is perfect for women who want to lose weight around their bottom and thighs as part of an overall reduction programme.
There’s no need to worry about bulking up, Hilary Swank-style, either. Boxing is very much a high repetition work-out so you’ll see tone rather than muscle. It’s also very empowering and people really get pumped up and stuck into it during the moves. While it’s not a self-defence lesson, by the end of the first class, you should be able to throw a solid punch.
Is there anything to be cautious of?
Weak wrists are probably the only thing that might present a problem however once you learn how to box properly, you shouldn’t be putting any unnecessary strain on your wrists. The aim of your punches is also important. Align your punches correctly and your knuckles should feel no pain. You can also wrap them with tape for extra support.
I’ve never boxed in my life. Will I be able to do it?
Boxing is all about technique so once you pick up the technique you will be fine. If you’re not particularly fit then that’s not a problem. Boxing is actually easier for a lot of people than running, especially for those with excess weight. “I’ve never come across anyone who can’t box”
Physical activity is a known stress reducer; runners experience the phenomenon of a “runners high” following a session, and boxing is no different. When boxing, you reduce stress by hitting your zone and focusing on the technique required to throw a perfect punch. Outside stresses are put to the side when you step inside the ring and in the hours after a tough workout.
When you are doing something you enjoy that’s challenging and fulfilling, you become naturally happier. This is amplified when participating in an activity like boxing that you can continually improve upon.
Ellen Billet of Nottingham Trent University studied the levels of phenylethylamine, a chemical found in chocolate, in 20 young men before and after exercising on a treadmill at 70 percent maximum heart-rate capacity. The men were asked to rate the exercise level they felt, and then were tested for this chemical. The level had risen around 77 percent. Why is this important? Phenylethylamine has been found to boost moods as quickly as amphetamines, but without side effects or creating a tolerance to the chemical.
Finally, boxing will get you excited about learning something new and having fun each time you go to the gym. Boxing is an intricate sport where there is always something new to learn or refine to perfect your form. This sport offers excitement whether you’re stepping into the ring for the first or hundredth time.
If it’s rapid tone and weight loss you’re after then boxing is something you should definitely check out. It is quite a full on work-out though, and isn’t for everyone. Just go along to a taster session and see what you think.