You don’t have to be a glutton for punishment to slip on a pair of boxing gloves. Plenty of people learn boxing for one reason and one reason only – the health benefits of boxing.
Boxing for fitness is a very popular way to get fit fast, and the results don’t disappoint. If you need more convincing, here’s seven reasons you should try boxing fitness workouts even if you never plan to step foot in a ring.
No matter how bad your day has been, you can make it better by hitting the bag. When I’m mad at a co-worker or just angry at the world, I can hit the bag and feel my stress melt away.
The best part about it? The bag doesn’t hit back or talk back. You can get your anger out and feel good about it.
To top it off, intense exercise releases endorphins that make you feel good. After a couple of rounds, you’ll be in a better mood and will have forgotten all about whatever was troubling you.
A Strength Workout in Disguise
You don’t need to sit in front of a weight rack, dreading your last set of bicep curls. Boxing for fitness is one way to get strong without the monotony of traditional weight routines.
Hitting the heavy bag is a phenomenal strength workout that builds up your arm and shoulder muscles. In fact, just holding up a pair of 16oz gloves for an hour workout can build muscle.
Most boxing classes that focus on fitness also mix in conditioning exercises like sit-ups and push-ups between rounds. You’re having so much fun that you don’t realize you’re strength training.
Boxing burns calories at a ridiculous rate!
A person who weighs about 130 pounds would burn about 175 calories while hitting a heavy bag for 30 minutes. The result? You drop pounds quickly and in a healthy way while replacing body fat with lean muscle.
Pair up with a good pad holder or experienced trainer for an intense round on the pads to burn even more calories.
Improve Your Bone Density
Boxing is certainly no good for your bones if you’re a fighter on the receiving end of a beating, but it’s great for your bones if you do boxing for fitness.
Weightlifting and exercise and sports that put weight on your bones has been shown to increase bone density. For example, the finger bones of rock climbers are very dense as are the knuckle bones of boxers.
This might not mean much to you now, but higher bone density can prevent osteoporosis as you get older.
You may have heard about how great High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) can be for your fitness.
Boxing is the ultimate HIIT workout.
You give everything you’ve got for a few minutes, completely emptying the tank, take a short break, and then go for it again.
A typical boxing training round will be three minutes of hard work – hitting the bag or pads – followed by a minute of rest.
This type of workout offers enormous benefits to your cardiovascular system.
It gets your heart rate jacked, you’re blood pumping and your lungs working at maximum efficiency.
Participating in boxing exercise classes a couple of times a week will improve your cardio ten times more than the guy who practically lives at the gym.
Improve Your Coordination
I’m a klutz, but boxing has (almost) remedied that.
Boxing improves your hand-eye coordination quickly as you’re constantly focused on hitting a target.
When your friend is holding pads for you, the last thing you want to do is miss and punch them in the face. So, at first, you concentrate really hard on punching the target, but after a while it becomes natural, and you can bust out combinations blindfolded.
Once you get the footwork down and start moving around, you graduate to hitting a moving target. That’s when your motor skills are really tested and you see the greatest improvement in hand-eye coordination.
Low Impact Workout
Many sports and exercises can be tough on your body and joints. Running, for example, is hard on your knees, and as long distance runners know, the pain can be debilitating.
Even though boxing is a combat sport, it’s actually very low-impact – If you avoid sparring and box purely for fitness.
The impact from your punches is taken by gloves that are often constructed from materials with excellent shock absorption properties.
If you’re still concerned about putting pressure on your joints, performing your combinations light and fast offers just as good a workout without any harsh impact.
Closing Thoughts on Boxing for Fitness
In summary, I’ve never felt as good about myself as I did when I started boxing.
Boxing for fitness is a great way to get in shape and feel good about your body. You’ll have a fit and healthy body that is free of ailments and moves with ease. And best of all, you’ll have fun getting in shape.