Toss the boxing myths
Tanya Rouble, ACE-CPT
Fitness boxing is a fun and exciting way to stay in shape. It's an easy-to-learn workout that demands full physical and mental commitment. The results are incredible. Fitness boxing can help you find yourself in the best physical and mental shape of your life.
In the first corner of the boxing ring, ladies and gentlemen, are two solid opponents to healthy living: stress and physical inactivity. In the other corner is the challenger: fitness boxing. Fitness boxing is a fun and exciting way to stay in shape. It’s an easy-to-learn workout that demands full physical and mental commitment. The results are incredible. Fitness boxing can help you find yourself in the best physical and mental shape of your life. Some may pass over fitness boxing as a tough-guy workout for men only. Others may believe it is only for those who plan to compete in boxing as a sport. It’s time to toss these boxing myths. The reality is that fitness boxing takes the best of the cardiovascular and strength-training workouts that boxers use to stay in shape and combines them into a fitness program that is safe and effective for the average exerciser. Feel the Power Fitness boxing is definitely challenging. Muscles become stronger through specialized resistance exercises and boxing-specific drills, which may include jumping rope, punching a heavy bag or speed bag, throwing and catching a medicine ball, training with weights, and running wind sprints. Some fitness boxing programs include partner drills with pad training (one partner punches padded “blocks” worn on the hands while the other partner blocks the punch). Weights and sport-specific boxing equipment develop strength, as do plyometric devices that require rapid, explosive muscular movement (for example, jumping from a small height onto the floor and then jumping back onto the higher object). Intensity is the benchmark of a fitness boxing workout. Participants are put through higher intensity mini “rounds” of two or three minutes with a recovery period of a minute or two. This type of circuit training taxes the anaerobic system (short-term energy system) and teaches the body to recover more efficiently from oxygen debt. During the recovery period, stretching and review of proper technique help prepare for the next round. The cardio respiratory system is also tested through aerobic training, and the central nervous system is fine-tuned to respond faster and more efficiently through punching combination drills. Improve Your Mental Game Pushing the body through a series of rounds develops mental toughness and prepares the fitness boxer to deal with physical challenges, including other fitness workouts or daily living tasks, such as heavy gardening or moving furniture. Professional boxers are usually ready for anything that comes at them from any direction. This holds true for the fitness boxer, too. Fitness boxing is a great alternative for runners and participants in high-impact sports, who pound their joints through long periods of activity but who still want a workout that provides the intensity their bodies are used to. Switching to a boxing workout adds variety to any fitness program, helping to prevent injuries from overuse. With cardiovascular, muscular strength, and flexibility benefits combined into one workout, fitness boxing ensures participants a well-rounded exercise program. Find a Boxing Program Give fitness boxing a try by checking whether your local health club or boxing gym offers fitness boxing workouts or self-directed training. Or find a personal trainer who has boxing experience and is certified by a nationally recognized organization. (acefitness.com or canfitpro.com) Fitness Boxing Workout Warm up