There are so many new fitness fads and trends that it can be hard to know which ones actually work, but boxing is one workout that continues to be loved by many people around the world. The American Council of Exercise lists boxing as a strength and cardio workout all at once — and a highly effective one to boot. It’s also an exercise that’s easy to get into, doing away with fancy equipment and specialized movements.
For women, boxing provides more than an opportunity to sweat. It’s a great way to overcome the harmful stereotypes that keep women down, as you can quite literally fight them. While endorphins always make you feel like you’re unstoppable after a great workout, imagine this feeling coupled with the knowledge that you’re incredibly strong.
Maximize your body’s potential
Every boxing session is a full-body workout, guaranteed. Although you land a punch with your arms, you derive a lot of strength from your core and lower body. In fact, first timers will notice that it’s actually your core and shoulders that end up hurting the most after a session!
Lots of movement also comes in when you’re ducking and blocking, or even just stepping around the ring. Great boxers are also agile movers, as even the tiniest step back can save you from a fatal punch.
At the end of the day, however, boxing is also just a lot of fun. There’s an element of active play involved in boxing that you won’t get from running aimlessly on a treadmill. The four essential punches (jab, cross, hook, and uppercut) can be combined into a myriad of combinations, meaning you get a different workout every time.
The mental benefits of boxing
The physical benefits of boxing are undisputed, but did you know that it can help you build mental strength too? Lifestyle writer Bridget March reveals that boxing can empower you with the fighting spirit to deal with challenging life situations. This is further supported by findings from Maryville University that highlight close connections between mental outlook and performance. These links are evident across different fields, be it school, work, or sports. True enough, the skills you learn in the ring can be used in daily life too, whether it’s knowing how to approach your opponents, or mastering your own fighting mechanisms.
And while you hopefully won’t be placed in a situation that would require you to bust out your boxing skills, it’s important that women learn to see themselves as capable and confident — even if you’re a complete newbie or novice. Fortunately, boxing gyms have begun riding on the fitness class trend, allowing beginners to try a new sport within a group setting. Seeing other women box alongside you can reinforce this strong image, with trainer Brian Patrick Murphy noting that there’s a strong sense of community amongst boxers.
It should also come as no surprise that boxing is a great source of stress relief. Taking an hour to go through combinations with intensity can be just the breather you need after a long day at work.
Accessibility like no other
One of the best things about boxing is how accessible it is. Shadow boxing with hand wraps is a great workout on its own, and you’ll still get the same satisfying burn. Trainer Glenn Holmes cites the importance of setting small goals to keep yourself motivated, so knowing that you can box anywhere can help you set aside the time you need to smash a workout.
If you’re going to box with a trainer for the first time, it’s important to stay tuned in and get the movements right. Work with your own breath as you box, so you can achieve an overall heightened sense of bodily awareness. Know where to derive power from, and don’t forget to give it your all. You’ll probably be back on the bag before you know it.