If you’re looking for a fantastic full body workout which builds muscle and improves cardio, then look no further. The health and fitness benefits of boxing workouts are fantastic, and not only will it keep your fitness at its peak, the mental benefits of boxing can do wonders… not to mention it’ll make you feel pretty bad ass after going at it with a punch bag.
Boxing is recognised as one of the best all-round exercises a person can get involved in - if performed safely and professionally at boxing classes or a boxing gym, you’ll reap the rewards! Don’t take our word for it?
Personal Trainer Paul Carroll from Boxing Trainer London (available on MoveGB of course!) has given us the lowdown on some of the best boxing techniques and skills to use, inspired by workouts of some of the best fighters in the world!
So don those gloves, be prepared for a whole lot of sweat, and let’s start jabbing, ducking and diving!
What are the health and fitness benefits of boxing workouts?
Take note! The list of the benefits of boxing is super long and well-worth the effort - just cop an eyeful of this list:
- Full body conditioning
- Cardiovascular improvements
- Flexibility and proprioceptive awareness and improvements
- Resistance and toning
- Hand to eye coordination improvements
- Footwork and speed of footwork
- Mental capacity i.e. stress relief, aggression control
- Enjoyment of training
- Weight loss
- Endurance improvement
It may seem crazy to think a workout can produce all of this, but boxing workouts are intense - you need to develop a level of athletic stamina and strength in order to perform. And to hone these fitness levels using boxing skills and techniques equates to the full list of benefits!
What parts of the body does boxing workout?
Jeez, it packs a punch. Boxing workouts combine cardio and strength, targeting the entire body. It combines both aerobic and anaerobic exercises, burning more calories in less time. If you’re doing circuits and HIIT-style boxing training regularly, your cardio levels and all over strength will increase rapidly.
The fitness benefits of boxing of course will see your upper body strength increase, and it will also improve your core with the twisting, turning and dodging techniques. All sessions are different and will keep your body guessing - there’s always a new skill or technique to learn so bid farewell to boredom!
But don’t forget: you get as much as you put in, as with all exercise. Push yourself to your limits, punch as hard as you can in the sets, sprint fast in the circuits, and just keep moving. It may be tough to begin with, but persevere with the training and you’ll quickly improve. You’ll never look back!
Do I have to get in a boxing ring?
Hell no! Gone are the days where boxing was an activity strictly for those who followed in Rocky’s footsteps. There are now a huge variety of fitness activities that incorporate boxing techniques to ensure you get a superb workout…. without getting a broken nose. Ladies, don’t be intimidated - it’s not strictly for men and will do wonders in building the all important muscles. Even the Victoria's Secret Model Adriana Lima uses boxing workouts to keep fit!
BoxFit, Boxercise, Cardio Kickboxing, Thai Kickboxing and Body Combat are just the tip of the iceberg of different boxing workouts you can do. Jump on MoveGB and search for your closest Boxing workout!
What are the mental benefits of boxing?
Boxing comes with a myriad of mental benefits - not only will it train your body, but boxing will train your mind and be a brilliant stress reliever.
- Unleash any pent up frustrations and avoid taking your work stress home by punching some bags!
- As you workout, you’ll be developing skills and using your brain (and memory!) to guide yourself through the different boxing techniques during circuits.
- Boxing is known to instill confidence and self-esteem to participators.
- It’s brilliant at anger management. Prince Harry found solace in boxing during tough times after his mother’s death, and he found boxing a brilliant way to release aggression: “...I was on the verge of punching someone; so being able to punch someone who had pads was certainly easier”.
Boxing Skills and Techniques:
There are a lot of skills and techniques that need to be learnt in boxing, but to get the full health and fitness benefits of boxing workouts, it’s key to avoid just pummeling the bag. “A great boxer needs to have focus, coordination, power, speed and endurance,” according to former championship middleweight boxer Michael Olajide Jr - and he’s not wrong. To help you hone your skills, Personal Trainer Paul Carroll lets us in on some brilliant boxing workouts.
Top Boxing Workouts:
Firstly, familiarise yourself with the different punching techniques. See the below diagram or watch this useful Boxing for Beginners YouTube video.
Boxing Punching Techniques:
Image credit boxerfit.co.nz
1. LAPD Precision Punch
The perfect punch is built on posture and bone alignment, not fist strength. Use this routine to refine your form.
Set the stance:
- Leading with your nondominant leg, position your feet shoulder-width apart, with the toe of your dominant foot in line with the heel of your nondominant foot.
- Your head extends over your shoulders, and your shoulders over your hips. Your knees are slightly bent.
Throw the blow:
- Step forward with your lead foot and extend your nondominant arm so that your shoulder, elbow, wrist, and front two knuckles are in alignment.
- Your punch and your foot should land at the same time.
- Follow up with a cross, regaining with your rear foot the distance you took in your first step.
- Then come back to your original stance.
Connect the punches:
"When you master the strike, it should feel like you're snapping your target with a wet towel," says Collins.
- Repeat the sequence, shadow boxing for 3 minutes.
- Then do another 3-minute round of the same sequence, this time on a heavy bag. That's 1 set. Complete 3 sets, building speed each time.
- Rest 1 minute between each exercise.
2. UFC Power Punches
Whether you're facing Wanderlei Silva in a cage match or a 75-pound bag in your basement, the same rules apply: "Once you're warmed up, you should be throwing each punch at full blast," says Mir, a former UFC heavyweight champ. He uses this demanding six-round routine to build mental and physical tenacity.
Grow your intensity: Clock each round at 3 minutes, resting 1 minute between rounds. With each round, you'll add one punch to your sequence.
Punches per round:
- Warmup. Strike the bag at 50 percent with a variety of punches
- Up your power to full strength and launch jabs
- Jab, throw a cross, and repeat
- Jab, cross, hook, repeat
- Jab, cross, hook, uppercut, repeat
- Jab, cross, hook, uppercut, body punch, repeat
3. Boxing at home: Middleweight Lightning Hands
Shadowboxing allows you to rack up high reps without the resistance of a bag to slow your punches. "You'll tone your shoulders, back, and core, which will help you throw faster punches," Olajide says.
Hit on a beat:
- Play five songs that have strong rhythms and last 3 to 4 minutes each.
- On every fourth beat (count out loud to keep yourself on track), unleash one of the punch combinations below, and then bring your hands back to your starting stance before the next beat.
- The shifting tempo of some tracks may require you to punch continuously until the song slows.
Combos for each song:
- Left jab, left jab, right cross
- Right cross, left jab, right uppercut
- Left body punch, right body punch, left uppercut
- Right uppercut, right cross, left hook
- Right cross, left hook, right hook
So now you know exactly what the health and fitness benefits of boxing workouts, and you know some routines to practise at home! But if this has made you want to throw some punches, get a personal training session in London with Paul Carroll on MoveGB, or contact him direct at Boxingtrainerlondon@icloud.com