When it comes to working out, there are very few sports that are better at getting you in shape than boxing. It is a complete body exercise that will make you stronger, faster and give you more endurance.
If you are thinking of getting started, however, there are a few key things you will need to do in preparation. We’ll be exploring these quick considerations below.
Many people want to reap all of this sport’s many health benefits without necessarily engaging with its combat elements. This is perfectly fine, as not everyone wants to be a professional fighter. Even so, you can’t be a boxer without throwing a few punches on the regular, and honing the force and form of your fighting style.
Quality punching bags are an ideal solution here. Working against a dead weight is going to deliver you the same intensity of training that you would get in the ring, but with far fewer risks of experiencing injuries like concussions, sprains, or fractures.
Working a punching bag is also going to deliver a whole-body cardiovascular workout, improve your muscle strength, tone your body, and also significantly improve your endurance and agility. Alongside all of these physical benefits, the repetitive motions and rhythm that goes into punching bag workouts also help you clear your mind, release your stress, and gain greater mental focus.
Of course, learning how to box for fitness is going to involve educating yourself on your stance and how to throw punches correctly. Before you strike your punching bag for the first time, it’s well worth taking some time to work on your stance. You should lead with the shoulder of the arm you aren’t punching with, and your feet should be placed apart at shoulder width and angled at 45 degrees toward your target (the boxing bag).
Your knees and hips should be bent slightly and nice and loose for ease of movement. Keep your elbows tucked in against your body and raise your forearms to shield your chest. Your gloves should be at shoulder height with your dominant hand just under your chin and with your wrist turned inwards.
When you feel comfortable with your stance, you can then start learning a few basic punches that you can use in training including:
Jab – This is a rapid, straight punch that is usually followed up with a stronger attack from the other arm. Jab with your non-dominant hand by turning your arm until your palm faces down and land the punch with your index and middle knuckles.
Cross – Like the jab, but more powerful and thrown with your dominant hand. Pull your lead shoulder back and pivot your body to generate power.
Hook – A side punch that comes in from a 90-degree angle. This punch should be thrown at shoulder height and by using your lead foot to pivot.
Uppercut – Keep your rear foot grounded and twist your body using your lead foot, throwing the punch at an upward angle. Generally used in close range.
Remember to keep your hands up and in front of your face when practicing all of these basic punches to make protecting your face second nature from the get-go. Failing to protect your face is one of a handful of the worst boxing mistakes you can make at any level in this sport.
Finally, if you want to reap all of the benefits of your boxing training, you’ll naturally need to keep training regularly. You are going to burn up to 800 calories every hour that you box. If you are looking to lose weight, a kilogram of fat equals 7700 calories. This means you are going to have to burn around 1100 calories a day through exercise and your diet to lose 1kg a week (which is the healthy recommended amount for long-term, sustainable weight loss).
With the right punching bag, you can set up a private space at home and carry out boxing training sessions during the week to achieve your goals. Put it in a place where you are going to use it, lock yourself in for regular training sessions and get all of the benefits that come from regular boxing sessions.