02 Jan Top tips for getting the most out of boxing for fitness
If you want a workout which combines cardiovascular exercise and strength then you should think seriously about boxing for fitness.
The combination of constant movement and sharp movements is a great way to build stamina and strength.
You don’t have to get involved in competitive boxing to get the most out of this sport, but you should remember these top tips for getting the most out of your workouts.
Pay attention to technique
You will get more out of boxing if you listen to your trainer and follow their advice on technique. This is because boxing is about constantly repeating precise movements, which is tiring and is key to the sport’s demands.
If you ignore technique then you will not work as hard and miss out on many of the benefits of this type of exercise.
In particular, remember to keep your hands up and to execute the different types of punches precisely.
You are boxing for fitness so don’t punch too hard
A lot of people new to boxing will be throwing their whole weight behind every punch.
Focus your energy on doing more rather than punching harder, so that you can work your muscles and cardiovascular system for longer.
You can also injure yourself trying to punch too hard, as you tend to lose balance or over-stress joints like your wrists, elbows and shoulders. You can also suffer fractures to your hand.
Boxing for fitness is about speed, precision and strength, and these will come through practice rather than trying to hit hard.
Stay calm and focus on your form
When you have the gloves on and have the chance to either spar with someone or work against a bag, it’s easy to get over-excited or panicked.
Remember that you are boxing for fitness, and you need to concentrate on form and movement. Keep your breathing as regular as possible, think about each movement and don’t rush.
A big benefit from boxing training is how to make good decisions and precise movements when you’re tired. This will come through practising and learning appropriate combinations, rather than getting over-excited and rushing your punches or movements.
Remember to breathe
A lot of people new to boxing will often hold their breath, especially when they are throwing combinations of punches, because they are concentrating so hard on remembering the sequences and the technique.
Holding your breath tends to make your body tense up, which makes your movements less smooth, and also temporarily stops the flow of oxygen into your body. Do this too often and you’ll get light headed and need to stop.
Keep your breathing as regular as possible. This helps you to keep calm, and also ensures a steady flow of oxygen for your hard-working muscles.
Don’t train to failure
Boxing training is not a form of exercise where you should always train until you can’t physically continue. The idea is to work your body hard and get a good sweat up while still maintaining your technique.
When you start to lose your form through fatigue, that’s when to stop. If you do carry on you will get less out of the session, because you will unavoidably start being less precise.
Plus, your body will start to learn bad habits as your hands drop and your movements become less precise. This is also when you are more vulnerable to injury.
Eat well and drink lots
Boxing demands a lot of your body, so make sure you pay careful attention to your diet and hydration.
Your personal trainer can advise you on your diet, which needs to include plenty of carbohydrates and lean protein to fuel you through the sessions.
But do not neglect hydration before, during and after a workout, because boxing for fitness will make you sweat. You should have plenty of water on board already and be ready to drink during the workout as well.
After a session, make sure you drink more fluids to help your body recover.
Watch others and ask questions
You can learn a lot about good (and bad) technique by watching others box, especially if you have your trainer with you to point things out and answer questions.
You will be able to see the mistakes that others make, and this can help you understand what is going wrong if you make that mistake.
Boxing can be a really good social sport, so ask others about their workouts and see what you can learn. This even applies to people you may spar against.
Overall, boxing for fitness can be a brilliant way to build your strength, cardiovascular fitness, confidence, co-ordination and decision making.
Remember these top tips and you will be able to get the most out of your workouts, even if you never feel the need to step into the ring for a competitive bout.