Benefits of Boxing
Boxers training for a fight are some of the fittest athletes going around. A typical boxing working would consist of jump ropes, heavy bag work, speed bag, focus mitts, cardio conditioning, High Intensity Interval Training, as well as 3-5 min sparring rounds. Combine this with a strict diet to make fight weight, and you have a lean mean wrecking machine.
On the other end of the spectrum you have Boxercise. Typically seen in the big box gyms, these group classes have anything between 10-20 pairs of amateurs (in the true sense of the word) pounding their gloved hands into focus mitts held any which way. 45-60 mins of this will provide a fantastic cardio workout, and they will have worked their arms and shoulders pretty intensely too. Having experienced a few of these Boxercise classes myself, I found that I was shot by the first 10 minutes of the session. Whilst I’m certainly not the fittest person running around by any means, I did feel like I had failed. The main reason for this was because I was punching with 100% technique and intensity. The problem with these large group sessions is that the poor trainer is unable to attend to every person and adjust their technique. This meant that the majority of the clients were only going through the motions for the full session.
At Velocity we comfortably sit in the middle of this spectrum. Whilst we don’t get you up to fight conditioning, we absolutely focus on making sure you know what you’re doing. We ensure that you punch with the correct wrist and elbow alignment, exhale on the punch to tighten the core, accelerate the hip rotation into the punch, and rotate the feet enough to free up the hips and add power. Just with these few principles you can punch safely and strongly and get a full body conditioning workout.
Take the rear hand cross as an example. It is one of the most powerful punches because it is driven with the power hand and a long hip drive. You start it by driving through the ball of the rear foot, accelerate the rear hip using the hip stabilisers, torque your core as you drive your rear shoulder, and utilise the triceps and shoulders to snap out the elbow and corkscrew your fist over to expose the first two knuckles.
Just one punch uses almost every muscle group of the body to provide movement and power! Just imagine what happens when you throw in the rest of the punches available with slips, ducks and weaves that make up a super combination!
Another important difference is that we train the focus mitt holders in the correct hand position and footwork too! Absolutely crucial for the partner to be competent to allow those combinations to flow.
Done correctly and properly, boxing training will have multiple benefits!
- Burn lots of calories – As a High Intensity exercise, boxing differs from steady state cardio exercises like running or walking by not only burning calories during the exercise but also has the afterburn effect for hours after the session is over!
- Improved muscle tone – Boxers use fast repetitive actions that encourage muscle tone, rather than slow heavy movements associated with muscle growth and bulking.
- Build strong joints and ligaments – impact on the focus mitts and ancillary conditioning exercises like burpees, lunges and push-ups encourage bones and joints to get stronger and reduce the onset of osteoporosis.
- Increased cardio fitness and conditioning – your heart and lungs will be working hard to provide your body with oxygenated blood. Combine full body workout with high intensity and your cardiovascular system will get stronger.
- Improved core stability – punching, slipping and ducking combinations cause the body to become unstable, so your core is working overtime to provide balance, structure and power.
- Improved coordination and awareness – After a few weeks of technique training you will develop more muscle neural connections and you should feel more balanced and natural in all your movements, not just boxing related ones.
- Stress relief – Well this doesn’t need much explaining does it? Taking out your aggression, anger or stress on a couple of focus mitts is better than on your colleagues or family.
- Improved confidence and self-esteem – Improving from not being able to punch properly to smashing out a complex combination is extremely satisfying. Feel empowered and knowing what your body is capable of is a great boost.