There were typically only two reasons why one would enter a boxing gym back in the day: to learn Tae Bo or to become a fighter. Many people didn’t even think twice when it came to boxing for exercise, commonly referring to it as the “black sheep” of the fitness industry. In fact, when many people think about boxing, the first thought that comes to their mind are some of the big names like Mike Tyson and Floyd Mayweather who are well known within the martial arts and MMA field. They feel that boxing is a sport only meant for massive men to duke it out in the ring, determining who is of superior strength, however, this could not be further from the truth!
As society progressed and boxing became more and more popular, people began to observe the athletes and started to take notice as to how incredibly fit they were. Every boxer that climbed into the ring featured hard rock abs, chiseled legs, and strong arms. This is when the fitness industry realized that boxing is not only an incredible sport, but it is also an excellent way to exercise and learn some self defense tactics!
Gone are the days of running an infinite number of hours on the treadmill praying that you will be able to squeeze into your favorite pair of jeans by the weekend. Now, we are not saying that boxing is an overnight fix to getting that dream body you have always hoped for, but it has shown to be much more effective in helping people to reach their fitness goals than cardio alone.
If you are completely new to working out or have been pumping iron for years, boxing is an excellent workout welcoming all fitness levels. If you are thinking about giving it a try, here are some of the basic moves and terminology that you can become familiar with prior to your workout!
Your foot placement and boxing stance determine the effectiveness of your defense, offense, and footwork. There is no “perfect” kickboxing stance because everyone is unique and holds themselves differently. It should maximize your personal strengths in the ring while minimizing your weaknesses as much as possible. Your stance should be considered your home base – this is where you should feel the most comfortable and mobile. The best boxing stance will be one that is suited to your unique style, abilities, and skills. Until you find what feels best for you, a basic boxing stance is most commonly used.
Basic boxing stance: To get in a basic boxing stance, you will need to first stand with your feet directly under your shoulders. Take a step back with your dominant foot and turn your back toe to face a 45-degree angle. Your lead toe faces your opponent or target. Slightly bend your knees and take your hands straight up above your head and wrap your thumbs around your knuckles. Then, bring your hands down to guard your face, tuck in your elbows with your lead shoulder facing forward. A good boxing stance will give you:
A jab is a beginner punch that you will most likely start with in every class. It is a straight extension of your non-dominant hand and is a notable punch to gain distance from your opponent. You will want to make sure to fully extend your hand all the way out, aiming with your two front knuckles.
Typically, a knockout punch, the hook is one of the most effective punches there is in boxing. Coming in with a sharp, quick snap at a perfect angle, a hook can target the head or body and is known to be one of the most precise shots.
The hook is one of the most effective punches because it travels the shortest distance between the launch point and the opponent.
Commonly known as the straight, a cross is a punch that is thrown with your right hand directly at your target in a straight line. After the jab, the cross is the best punch to use within mid- to long-range.
There are many different skills and techniques that you will learn from each kickboxing class, but the most common punches used are the jab, hook, and cross. If you are still unsure or confused about how to throw these punches, then take a deep breath because you will learn them! Here is what to expect from your first boxing class.
When you first sign up for your boxing fitness classes, it is really important to arrive early to meet with the instructor for your first class walk-through. Plan to arrive roughly fifteen minutes early and be prepared to fill out some liability paperwork which is standard for any gym. The instructor will help you to shake off your nerves by taking you on a tour and by introducing you to the other fitness trainers that are there to help! The personal trainer will also teach you how to properly wrap your hands and show you some of the basic techniques that you will use in the class such as throwing a proper hook and jab.
At most boxing gyms, you will be required to purchase hand wraps and gloves to protect yourself when you start throwing punches. In fact, gloves are typically mandatory and are usually required to join a class because they help to keep your hands and wrists inline to avoid injury. If you are new to kickboxing, then it is a good idea to rent the gloves prior to purchasing them because they can be a little pricey! Once you take a few classes and realize how much you love to box, invest in your own pair.
Believe it or not but having the right pair of shoes is just as important as having a good pair of gloves! Many people will not even think twice about their shoes when heading to their first boxing class, but we can’t stress the importance enough about having the right shoes. Sure, your running shoes might be great for the treadmill, but not so much a boxing class.
During a workout, you will endure a lot of movement that is quick and demanding. You will move fast, jump, slip, and roll requiring much more support than what a basic running shoe can offer. Avoid injury and foot pain by investing in a good pair of sneakers like training shoes that can help support your feet during a tough workout!
When you sign up for your first class, it is important to keep in mind that boxing is a full-body workout. This means that you will notice every muscle in your body ignites with each class. Many people think that signing up to join a boxing gym simply means that you are going to punch a bag for 45 minutes however, this could not be further from the truth! During each workout, you may punch or kick a bag requiring you to use both your upper and lower body. Your core also engages each time as you make contact. Other exercises that might be incorporated into your workout are box jumps, lunges, push-ups, crunches, and bear crawls.
Boxing is no longer just a sport meant for men to duke it out in a battle of strength. Sure, rules have been put in place since the good ole gladiator days, but the sport still remains true. Once known as the “black sheep” to the fitness industry, boxing has really grown in popularity over the last few years as an incredible way to exercise. If you are looking to get into fighting shape, then Legends Boxing Gym in southern Salt Lake City is for you!