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Boxing for Beginners

What you should know about boxing before giving it a try.

You’ve seen boxing in movies and in competitions on television, but have you ever considered boxing as an exercise option for yourself? The punching, dodging, and footwork may seem too advanced or violent for your taste, but many people find boxing to be an effective way to burn serious calories while having fun. As an added bonus, if you’re boxing for fitness, you don’t have to step into a ring or worry about getting your teeth knocked out.
Not sure if boxing is a good fit for you? Keep reading to see for yourself.

Why Boxing?

Boxing isn’t just for musclebound people or celebrities. It’s a sport that can be adapted to any strength or fitness level. With the ability to burn up to 450 calories in an hour, boxing may be what you need to take your weight loss to the next level.

Boxing builds strength, especially when punching against a bag for resistance as opposed to the air. It’s a full-body workout that engages all major muscle groups as you throw punches, move your feet, and work to keep your hands up in the boxing stance. And it’s easy to increase the intensity of your boxing workout. All you have to do is add weights. The easiest way to do this is by holding dumbbells while making jabs.

Besides helping you get in shape and build strength, a boxing workout will increase your stamina and improve your balance, coordination, and agility. Like other forms of exercise, boxing will boost your energy, help you manage stress, build confidence, improve your mood, lower blood pressure, strengthen your bones, relieve anxiety and depression, and help you sleep better at night.

Basic Moves

In the world of boxing, you’ll hear a lot about jabs, crosses, hooks, and uppercuts. When you’ve mastered basic moves, you’ll be ready to do combinations of movements. As with any new workout, start out slowly, learn and practice proper techniques, and gradually increase your intensity.
And remember—while you can punch at the air, doing so against a bag adds a new dimension to your workouts. Not only is it a more tactile way to exercise, but it also helps you burn more calories and build more strength.

The Stance

As with all athletics, there’s a right way to stand when boxing, which is called the boxing stance. To increase your balance and to garner strength from your hips, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Take a step back with your right foot, if you’re right-handed. Step back with your left foot if you’re left-handed. Now, imagine a line running from the toes of your front foot through your body, and put the heel of your back foot on the same line. Slightly bend your knees and turn your front shoulder toward the bag.

Breathing Technique

No doubt you’ll be huffing and puffing through an intense boxing workout, but there’s a right way to go about it. Want to look like you know what you’re doing? Before you punch, inhale through your nose, and as you punch, exhale forcefully through your mouth with your teeth together. Your exhale may sound like a hissing sound. This method of breathing unites the act of punching with your body. It also increases your power and coordinates the timing of your punches.