Whether it’s a Body Attack class, a Punch gym workout or part of your personal training session, boxing has more benefits that you ever imagined.
Cardio blast – Boxing increases cardiovascular health by getting your heart pumping blood around the body, and your lungs delivering oxygen to the working muscles.
You tend to train harder than if you were on a cardio machine, without feeling like you are, because you are distracted by punching combinations or ducking from your partner.
Toned top – Boxing tones the muscles of your upper body. The continuous and repetitive movements create a great endurance workout for your chest, back, shoulders and arms.
Punch a bag or pads hard and fast for 3 continuous minutes and you will not only feel the burn, but gain a new found respect for boxers who go 3 minutes rounds – with someone punching back.
Lethal legs – Most boxing sessions include kicks, squats and lunges to ensure you achieve a whole body workout and total body strength.
Big leg movements are essential for burning calories and shaping butts and thighs. Strong legs are needed to stand on when you are throwing punch combinations.
Steely core – The whole boxing session is a dynamic abdominal workout, as you move your torso to jab and cross, hook and upper cut, duck and weave.
The extra traditional, partner or mat abdominal exercises are a bonus that will use up anything you have left in your tank.
Brain power – Whatever the starting point of your hand eye coordination ability, boxing will improve it.
Translating instructions into action, performing combinations and working with a partner activates the brain in ways that can transfer to and benefit you in other areas of life.
Body balance – How often do you see a boxer stand flat footed and still for a long time? Most will ‘float like a butterfly…’ Boxing teaches you to be light on your feet, agile and maintain balance as you shift your body weight during kicks and punches.
As balance is something that declines with age, unless we work on it, this is an added benefit.
Pressure release – The negative effect we know stress has on our bodies means anything that reduces the pressure cooker is good for your health.
Throwing a few punches to burn off cortisol and adrenalin can prevent you reaching for the chocolate, saying something you shouldn’t to your boss or boyfriend’s mother or having a sleepless night.
Warrior warning – Boxing enhances a woman’s self-esteem, self-confidence and sense of physical power. Whilst you hope you are never in a situation where you have to throw a punch for real, it’s nice to know you can defend yourself if you had to.
Then use your fit, strong legs to run! Research shows attackers often look for ‘easier targets’ and may move on if your posture and body language suggest you may be more trouble than you are worth.
Mental Strength – The Japanese have used boxing historically to help deal with anger and frustration. Some Tokyo firms apparently have boxing bags in the basement where employees are encouraged to take a break and punch out their issues.
Best of all – Strong women are hot, just ask any man. And boxing gloves come in hot pink.
By Rachel Livingstone Personal Trainer & Owner of The Health Hub www.healthhub.net.au
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