Fitness Boxing

 


Fitness Boxing

Practicing boxing to get fit is a growing trend, attracting more and more women every day whose goal is to achieve a more attractive and toned body and improve their ability to defend themselves.

Boxing as Fitness Training

Boxing is a contact sport that involves punching with gloved fists an opponent of similar weight above the waist, all within a ring. Lateral movements of displacement, activities in place to avoid hitting and to be able to attack, strength in the arms to throw themselves at the opponent, power in the trunk and legs to be able to withstand the onslaught of the opponent without falling or being defeated..., make boxing a complete sport.

Many people remember Mike Tyson, Mayweather, Muhammad Ali, or even the Oscar-winning movie Rocky when they talk about boxing. Whichever boxer is chosen, the image that is always present is a very violent sport that people with a lot of strength can only practice. However, nothing could be further from the truth because this modality has evolved, and now there are many techniques based on it, perfect for anyone to get in shape.

Boxing indeed requires hand-to-hand combat, but it is unnecessary to go to this extreme to get in shape. For this reason, more and more women are also taking up boxing. Elsa Pataky, Pilar Rubio, or Adriana Lima are some of the most assiduous celebrities. They have nothing to do with the classic image with a broken nasal septum and a bloody face.

How to Adapt Boxing to Your Fitness Training Routines

All training, whether boxing or any other activity, requires consistency and clarifies that the goal cannot be short term and that to get results, regular work with determination is essential. 

The ideal training would be three days a week for one hour each, although we should adjust it to the physical capacity of the practitioner. A high level of physical activity can be detrimental to a beginner and cause him to give up because he has forced the muscles and even has caused a minor injury. 

This means that if you intend to train at home without the guidance of a professional, it is appropriate to start with 30-minute sessions and gradually lengthen them as you see how the body reacts to them. 

A boxing workout is divided into three parts: warm-up, activity and cool-down. Below we explain how these phases should be in more detail.

Warming Up For Boxing Training

Warming up is a fundamental part of boxing to avoid injuries in which one can perform different exercises to prepare the muscles for the activity. They are those exercises before what technically would be boxing. Before starting, it is advisable to dedicate a few minutes to stretching so that the muscle warms up and better withstand the physical load that awaits.

Running and Sprinting

A typical exercise is running, which provides endurance and leg speed, tones the legs and helps to lose weight. In boxing, running is more focused on sprinting and speed than solely on endurance, as high intensity is sought to fight at high speed.

Jumping Rope

Another exercise that can perform to warm up is one of the most classic ones seen in a boxing gym: jumping rope, which serves to develop foot speed, strengthen glutes and legs, general motor coordination and, of course, anaerobic capacity. This exercise has many variables, such as jumping with both feet while jumping by lifting the knees...

Steps or Stair Climbing

Running upstairs (like in the movie Rocky) is a highly recommended activity to improve leg power and fast movements to increase boxing movement skills.

Doing Crunches

The abdominals are essential in boxing, both to receive possible blows without significant pain and to help in the punching, so you have to work them conscientiously. Thus, any exercise that strengthens the muscles, both central and lateral, of the abdominals is appropriate. An example: lying down with your arms parallel to your body and resting on the floor, lift your hips a little and leave both legs in the air, raising your knees alternately towards your hips perpendicular to the floor. 

Exercises in Boxing Training: Activity and Calm Down

After the corresponding warm-up, the second part of the boxing session as a fitness activity is dedicated to the training. 

It is the one that will focus on punching and fighting movements. The first thing to know is that you should try to master the technique and avoid injuries.

It is essential to perform exercises that strengthen the precise muscles. For example, with an elastic band tied to some element behind you, you can imitate the punching movement by finding a resistance that will improve your strength. Initially, you can do it without throwing punches, just simply doing the exercise. Should remember that it is essential to do it with both arms. 

Another activity typical of the preparation and fitness through boxing is to fight in front of a mirror. Seeing how you are doing the leg movements, body movements, how you throw punches, and how you dodge those imaginary ones, you get a total workout. In addition to a mirror, this is also done with the shadow.

The most common exercises, especially for beginners and people who practice it as a fitness activity, are the punches themselves to learn the proper technique. The most common punches in boxing are:

  • The 'jab', which is a short, straight, dry punch that works the arms completely, shoulders and trunk.
  • The 'direct', which is powerful, in which the shoulder and arm are pulled back, takes more distance and can reach more force the blow.
  • The 'hook' is a punch that starts at the waist and seeks the opponent's chin.
  • The 'crochet', which is a lateral punch in a semicircle, in which the opposite side of the puncher moves a little away from the opponent while the other side approaches.

Calm-Down Activities

Finally, in return to calm, the body should be progressively relaxed, so you can do small routines of low-intensity exercises such as slow pedalling on a stationary bike and, of course, stretching that will reduce the risk of injury. Should set at least five minutes aside to prepare the body for the daily resting situation.

Benefits of Boxing for Your Health

The training and practice of boxing as an activity focused on fitness and not competition brings to those who exercise several health benefits:

  • One of the main incentives to start boxing is to learn a form of self-defense. The possibilities of defending oneself in the event of aggression are multiplied, which generates a feeling of confidence and well-being.
  • A large amount of fat is burned due to energy expenditure, about 750 calories per hour being an aerobic exercise. However, it depends on the type of training and the intensity with which it is performed. The most suitable activities to burn calories with boxing are jumping rope, hitting the bag, sprint running, and fighting.
  • The activation of the cardiovascular system will increase blood circulation and improve the efficiency of the respiratory system, which will cause less feeling of tiredness thanks to the resistance work.
  • Muscle tone is enhanced through both training and sparring. However, if you train in a gym, the results will be more encouraging than if you practice at home due to the specific trainers and machines and equipment that will get a more balanced muscle tone in all body areas.
  • The continuous practice of boxing improves muscle flexibility thanks to the constant movements required to practice it.
  • Boxing triggers reflexes when it is performed in combat because it teaches both to anticipate the opponent's movement and dodge or block it to protect oneself while launching an attack, improving coordination and mental speed for decision making.
  • In boxing combat, one of the first things you learn is to dose your energy to physically endure conditions throughout the fight since fatigue would lead to receiving more punishment from the opponent.
  • Having to fight in boxing, constantly attacking and defending, psychologically prepares the practitioner to improve his mental strength to overcome the moments when he is not at his best during the fight.
  • Boxing is a perfect sport to release the day-to-day tension since by punching, the body is unloaded and relaxed while significantly reducing stress.
  • The benefits of boxing lead, in turn, to a better self-concept which means higher self-esteem and a higher level of happiness.

Contraindications of Boxing

Before starting boxing, you should know that it has its risks and contraindications, which must be taken into account to avoid problems or aggravate previous injuries. In general, these inconveniences are triggered by the blows that are received when fighting with someone, and it is not just a simple fitness training:

  • As a contact sport, boxing performed in combat and not just as training without an opponent can cause bruises and even minor cuts on lips or eyebrows. It does not prevent its practice, but it is necessary to know this small risk before training alone to do it fighting.
  • Fighting in boxing involves another significant risk: to suffer contusions, muscle injuries, or even the breakage of a bone when receiving blows or hitting the opponent. In the case of training alone, the most common is that they arise in shoulders, wrists and fingers when hitting a heavy bag. Therefore, if there are joint problems or a weak bone structure, it is better to avoid unnecessary contact sports unless you are only training against an imaginary opponent. Case contact is avoided, and cardiovascular activity is maintained.

  • Suppose you intend to continue in the gym and start competing, even at a very amateur level. In that case, you should be aware that constant blows to the head can cause neurological injuries, usually long-term, such as punch drunk, which is a form of dementia.
  • Another possibility arising from combat is to receive blows to the eye area that can lead to sudden or progressive loss of vision.
  • Boxing does not require to be in shape to start training, but it will demand that there are no muscular or skeletal injuries to practice it. It is necessary to make sure that you do not have any so as not to aggravate them. This does not mean that a person with an injury cannot train; what he cannot do is boxing because it requires the whole body, but he can prepare other parts of his body and boxing technique. For example, with a broken finger, you cannot punch, but you can work on balance, reflexes, leg movement, dodging, simulating a punch..., but not boxing as such.
  • Suppose you suffer from any cardiovascular disease due to its intensity. In that case, it is advisable to see a doctor so that he is the one who assesses whether or not you should go into boxing.
  • Those who have hemophilia are not a suitable sport because the blows can cause open wounds.

Equipment Needed to Practice Boxing

Boxing used for fitness and not for competition may not require any equipment if you work out at home. Throwing punches in the air, dodging other imaginary punches, moving laterally looking for space to attack, and hindering the attack... can do all this without any specific material.

The most usual thing to do if you want to train well is to go to a specialized gym. There, an expert will guide the way to follow to get in shape in a way more tailored to the needs of each person, while teaching and polishing the technique, being able to correct mistakes that could cause injuries by lousy hitting. 

Once learned how to hit and training routines, could continue in the gym or continue with boxing at home. In that case, what materials are helpful to train thoroughly?

Boxing Gloves

First of all, the most basic is boxing gloves. They are helpful both for sparring and for punching the bag. For a person who is starting in this sport, it is appropriate to look for large gloves that, although slightly heavier, are more padded and protect the hands better. They must allow to close the fist comfortably and fit perfectly to the wrists. 

Given the great variety in the market, if you are going to practice boxing in a gym, it is better to ask for advice from the trainer and try those they have there to see how to hit with each one.

Punching Bags

Another characteristic element to train with are punching bags, in which you should take into account both the weight and the padding. The heavier it is, the harder it will be, and the more the joints will suffer; on the other hand, if it is too light, it will move a lot, and it will be more challenging to control the blows. The ideal for a beginner at home weighs half the weight of the person going to hit it.

The padding is a crucial aspect since it will be what receives the impacts and what makes you feel more or less comfortable when hitting. Generally, when purchased in a store, the bag is filled with synthetic material, which provides sufficient hardness without causing the pain of a rigid filling. 

If you buy an empty bag, the ideal, because it is so simple, is to fill it with pieces of cloth, old t-shirts, towels, sheets. All very torn to have more consistency and regularity; in the case that after filling it does not reach the right weight, you can empty it and put at the bottom some consequences of weight to get it. 

Another option to fill it is to create a hybrid bag with sand at the bottom and fabric on top so that you can practice boxing and other variants such as Muay Thai, as the bottom of the bag is not hit boxing. 

Fastenings

An element directly related to the bags are the fixings. The options are to hang it from the ceiling or to buy a structure that can hold it. This way, these should be chosen according to its size and weight, since it has to be moved regularly to pick it up. Another necessary detail in many cases is that it should take up little space or be foldable to be stored away when not training. 

Boxing Boots

Boxing boots are helpful for punching, since depending on the type of footwear you choose, they will facilitate one thing or another. In addition to looking for light ones to not have a brake on the feet, they have to be comfortable and allow quick leg movements and a consistent grip to hit harder and not skid while moving or after receiving a blow.

Protectors

Protectors for boxing are essential, as they are the guarantors of health that minimize risks. The two that are used are:

Mouthguards: there are different types on the market. On the one hand, as far as the fit to the teeth is concerned. These can be found thermo-moldable, which adapt to the boxer's teeth when heat is applied, and the standard ones, which are the same for everyone; worse, but much cheaper. 

The other feature to consider is whether to buy single or double. Usually, the simple ones are used because they are more comfortable. 

Although they protect the jaw worse and only the upper jaw, they allow for breathing better, close the mouth well to avoid vibrations in the ear and, in case of emergency, they are easier to remove. 

Head protectors: have an essential function when boxing against an opponent, as they will protect against possible injuries, both aesthetic and neurological. Several factors must be taken into account when choosing one: that it allows good visibility, light, well-padded, comfortable, and fits well to the head so that it does not move and bother. In addition, it should cover the skull, cheeks, chin, sides and back of the head.

Adam Hari

This is my profile, I seek to provide helpful content on several areas, especially health and fitness.

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