If you've been grinding away on cardio machines in order to burn a few calories, you might want to consider grabbing a pair of boxing gloves and throwing a few punches instead.
Cardio boxing is an intense, scalable workout that boasts full-body benefits. It is one of the best forms of exercise because it conditions the entire body and provides a complete workout for your cardiovascular and endurance systems.
Benefits of Boxing for Women
Boxing is an effective full-body workout for women of all ages and stages of fitness. Not only does it give your muscles and heart a taxing workout, it also increases your stamina, speed, strength and coordination.
Incorporating boxing into your workouts allows you to work on a lot of skills that transfer over to your daily life. Hand-eye coordination and total motor skill awareness increases, and the quality of stress release are also noticeable with all striking sports.
In addition to cardio, saysLauren Lobert, DPT, OMPT, CSCS, and founder of APEX Physical Therapy in Brighton, Michigan, you also address balance, coordination and strength. Most importantly, though, it's great for mental health. Lobert says boxing helps many women feel safer is they learn how to protect and defend themselves.
"Feeling powerful, strong, independent are all side effects for women with boxing. Just walking into the gym and getting your hands wrapped for the first time makes you feel tough," she says.
Physical therapist Alice Holland from Stride Strong Physical Therapy Clinic in Hillsboro, Oregon, says boxing is a good workout for women because it pushes everything in fitness: strength, power, endurance, stamina and smarts. It also keeps your heart rate up without feeling like you are working hard, simply because it's so fun to do.
Holland also explains that over time, boxing allows you to have better spatial awareness and sensitivity. You are more sensitive to people around you and you may even feel like your spatial timing is much better. Holland says this is particularly useful when out and about, looking out for one's safety.
What to Expect
Get ready for a heavy dose of cardio in several forms. During a boxing class, you might be asked to do exercises you're familiar with, such as jumping rope, jumping jacks, push-ups, squats, burpees and crunches. You will also be doing lots of boxing-specific exercises, such as shadow boxing, foot drills, high kicks, throwing punches and hitting the heavy bag.
- RossBoxing.com: Warming Up and Cooling Down
- RossBoxing.com: Jump Rope Training
- ExpertBoxing.com: Guide to Shadow Boxing
- ExpertBoxing.com: 10 Heavy Bag Training Tips
- RossTraining.com: Strength Training for Fighters
- Harvard Health Publications: Calories Burned in 30 Minutes for People of Three Different Weights
- ExpertBoxing.com: Most Important Muscles for Fighting
- Shape: Ask the Celebrity Trainer: The Benefits of Martial Arts
- RossBoxing.com: The Martial Art of Boxing