With the second wave Lockdown announced, we once again all have to consider how to whittle away weeks or possibly months of isolation.
Maybe you’re sick of washing flour off your hands? Maybe you’ve finally exhausted your Netflix recommendations? Or maybe those tempting eat out discounts and Deliveroo ads have got you carrying a little more weight than you’d prefer. If so, put down the remote, exchange those baking gloves for something with more padding, and come learn the Sweetest Science of all.
A Goal to Aim For
Boxing is like dancing. That doesn’t just mean it helps develop rhythm, balance, and coordination, but also that it feels great when you feel yourself getting better at it. In sports like running or cycling, your only way of measuring improvement is by increases in distance or pace. With boxing, the way you measure improvement is visible in how you move, and how you feel more in touch and in control when you complete each session of training. These tangible improvements motivate you far more than a second shaved off your 5-kilometer finishing time.
No Sparring Necessary – No Injuries Requires
Many people turn away from boxing because they imagine it is a sport of black eyes and split lips. This could not be further from the truth. In reality, if you are purely boxing for fitness there is no reason you need to spar, or even touch gloves with another boxer. Everything you need to get boxing fit can be done by yourself, in the comfort of a space slightly larger than your arms stretched out to either side, with little to no risk of injuries. Except perhaps to your pride.
Lean and Mean
A competitive swimmer I knew would often complain that she didn’t like the amount of bulk the sport added to her frame. While many people enjoy gaining a few kilos, not many of us enjoy having to buy new sets of jeans and shirts every six months. Surprisingly, boxing is not a sport where you should be concerned about this. Every exercise is focused on developing lean, high-density muscle mass. The most likely outcome you usually see among beginner boxers is dropping body fat quite quickly, before slowly replacing that with muscle. Boxing alone will rarely result in the sort of bulging shoulders and biceps you see in a professional heavyweight boxing match.
Choose Your Own Fitness.
Once you have a moderate level of experience in boxing, you can custom plan workouts for your needs with relative ease. Need to improve your cardio fitness? Slow pace shadow boxing alternating with dynamic exercises such as jumping jacks and high knees can do that. Looking to burn fat? High-intensity rounds of jabs and crosses with planks in between will easily keep your heart rate in the fat-burning range. The list simply goes on and on. The point is learning to box develops a capacity to be your own personal trainer and target the exact fitness goals that you want to achieve.
A Toolbox of Skills.
Learning to box starts with mastering a group of exercises. Skip rope work, basic calisthenics, and circuit training. All to culminate in the foundation of learning how to move your feet, and throw a snapping jab. While it may seem daunting at first, the reward you get is just as impressive. Physically, boxers can confidently apply themselves to other sporting disciplines because they already have a wide foundation of skills. Mentally, you will have learned how to push through long tiering circuits, short demanding rounds of punching combinations, and technically difficult sets of bag and footwork. All of which culminates in a level of mental toughness that is unique to the sport. These talents, both physical and mental, and the confidence to use them, can then be applied to other parts of your life, all to your own daunting benefit.
Author credit: George Matthews