Boxing may seem to be not so complicated, but believe us when we say it is much more than just throwing punches. Boxing requires balance, coordination, endurance, strength, proper footwork, and well-performed boxing punches. Plus, despite what many people may think, it’s not just about attacking your opponent—it’s about defense, too.
If you’re new to this exciting sport and aren’t exactly sure where to start, then you’re in luck, because in this article, we will cover everything you need to know to get you going. So stretch your arms, get some water, and keep reading—let’s dive in!
First off, why boxing?
Even if you learn the basics of boxing, you will transform as a person. There’s a ton of mental and physical challenges you’d need to overcome, which will ultimately make you much stronger. However, before you start, you must know that just like any other sport, boxing demands discipline, hard work, and grind. In fact, it’s much more than many other sports…
A few of the top benefits that come from boxing include:
Enhanced Cardiovascular Health
We hear it all the time: We need to do cardio to protect ourselves from heart disease, burn calories, and lose or maintain our weight. But “doing cardio” doesn’t have to mean suffering on a treadmill or stationary bike to log your required minutes—how boring is that?
The whole purpose of cardiovascular exercise is to place a moderate amount of healthy stress on your lungs and heart so that they're challenged enough to make beneficial physiologic adaptations to support the higher level of physical activity. But how you choose to place this stress on your lungs and heart is totally up to you -- as long as you keep your heart rate up during your workout, there is really no reason why you can’t punch, kick, and jump your way to a healthy heart at your local boxing gym.
Improved Total-Body Strength
Believe it or not, all that punching, kicking, and jumping you do in boxing requires a surprising amount of strength. Think about it—most heavy bags these days weigh at least 100 pounds. And even more, if it’s a professional bag. During a boxing drill, you may kick or punch the heavy bag hundreds of times, requiring your upper and lower body, as well as your core to engage as you make contact with the bag.
Additionally, most elite boxing clubs, like LegendsBoxing, incorporate other strength training moves into every workout, such as squats, pushups, planks, and wall-balls. If your goal is to improve your overall total-body strength, boxing can help to do just that.
There are truly a ton of great things that many people experience from boxing, but one of our favorite benefits is that it can really help to decrease stress. And boxing is a great outlet for stress for two reasons:
First, during a great boxing workout, you typically transition between high-intensity bouts of exercise and moderate-intensity recovery periods. When you are pushing yourself through a few minutes of high-intensity kicking or punching, you don’t have much mental capacity or power left to worry about things that cause you stress, like how terrible your boss is or how the laundry is piling up.
Secondly, there is an incredibly cathartic release when you get to take some of your stress out on a boxing bag. It’s an empowering feeling to punch and kick your stress to smithereens.
So now that we’ve covered some of the reasons why you would want to start boxing in the first place let’s talk about boxing gyms.
There are basically two types of popular boxing training: Training that focuses on teaching fighters to compete in the ring and training that focuses on helping “everyday athletes” improve their overall health and get in better shape. Some gyms offer both types of training.
The primary difference between the two forms of training is that athletes who want to learn how to compete must first learn to not only land punches on an opponent but take punches as well. They have to learn to hit and be hit by a competing fighter. Gyms that teach boxers to compete typically have boxing rings in their clubs and offer opportunities for boxers to fight one another.
However, if your goal is to not get hit, you’ll want to find a gym like LegendsBoxing that offers classes and programs outside of the ring. The basic skills are the same—you will learn to jab, hook, and uppercut, and you will work on speed, footwork, and core strength as well as power and flexibility—but without the risk of taking a punch to the head.
Once you’ve decided on what kind of boxing gym you’d like to join, it’s time to get some gear!
Hand wraps are, without a doubt, a crucial tool for protecting your hands. Why? Well, for starters, they help to make your hands much more compact when you make a fist. This, therefore, protects your knuckles from injuries that you would get without them.
Always wear hand wraps underneath your boxing gloves so that your hands will be protected at all times. If you’re not sure how to properly wrap your hands, one of the amazing trainers at LegendsBoxing would be more than happy to help.
To be able to hit either your opponent or the heavy bag, you’re going to need some protection on your knuckles—and boxing gloves can help to do just that. While using the communal boxing gloves is just fine when you’re starting out, you may realize that the wear and tear (and not to mention the smell) in these may be holding you back—not only is it more hygienic, but better for your boxing technique to invest in your own pair.
Boxing shoes can help immensely to increase your power and mobility in the ring. This is due to their impeccable grip and slim material, which can greatly increase your agility. You’ll not only feel better, but you’ll move a whole lot better, too. Boxing shoes can be a little pricey so if they are out of your budget, stick with a pair of good-quality cross-trainers. As boxing is a movement-based sport, a good pair of shoes will help you a lot.
In your boxing class, you will learn all of the different types of punches like the jab, hook, and upper-cut, but before you even land a punch, you need to master the boxing stance. A strong stance will help you significantly with your technique while also helping to reduce injury.
Here’s how to master the stance:
First, situate your feet so that they are shoulder-width apart, with one foot directly in front of the other. Your front foot should be pointed straight ahead, facing your imaginary opponent. If you’re right-handed, your left foot is going straight ahead, but if you happen to be left-handed, it’s just the opposite.
Either way, start off by keeping your back foot out at a 45-degree angle from the imaginary line your front foot is sitting on. To avoid standing square facing your opponent, your lead shoulder should also be forward. This is key because rotating your body will translate to more power in your punches.
If your feet are too close or too far apart, you will be less agile, and you want to be in a position where you are able to move back and forward as easily as you can move right and left. And lastly, as for your hands, keep them both up in front of your face—imagine that you’re in a fight and want to protect your head. Get in the habit of pulling your hands immediately back in to protect your face right after throwing a punch.
Now that you understand the benefits, know what kind of gear you need, and have the boxing stance down, it’s time to find a great boxing gym near you and try your first class!
Boxing may seem a little intimidating at first, but once you knock-out your first class and shake the newbie-nerves, you’ll find it’s incredibly addicting! Boxing classes like the ones at LegendsBoxing are fun, challenging, and will help you to push through your comfort zone to reach unimaginable heights that you didn’t even think you were capable of. Whether your goal is to box like the pros or get in shape, LegendsBoxing can help. Try a class today—you’ll be glad you did!