The Benefits Are Endless
Boxing is one of the most accessible, heart rate-rising, strength-building workouts you can do, says Sammy Mcness, trainer at BXR. “Boxing is a full-body workout that builds explosive strength and tremendous stamina. It will also challenge you mentally through having to focus on different combinations of punches, footwork and technique.” As well as targeting your traps, shoulders, biceps, triceps, chest, quads, glutes and abs in one fell swoop, it’ll also build mental strength.
“Discipline is the number one trait of a great boxer,” Shane Collins, founder of KOBOX, tells SLMan. “Agreed, it’s also a fun workout – there isn’t anyone who doesn’t like to hit something that doesn’t hit back – but any decent boxer has incredible discipline, and that’s the best skill you can learn in the sport, at any level. Boxing can sometimes get a bad rap, especially when compared to other combat sports like karate and taekwondo, but the benefits are endless.” And ultimately, if you’re having a bad day, there’s nothing better than taking it all out on a heavy bag.
There Are Six Punches To Master
Even if you’ve never boxed before, chances are you’ll know there’s a number of basic punches. “I like to number them from one to six,” says Shane. “One and two are the jab and the cross – these are both straight punches. The jab (one) is thrown with your front hand and is one of the weaker punches, often used to find your range and create openings for the more powerful punches. The cross (two) is thrown straight with your rear hand and is more powerful than the jab. Punches three and four are called hooks. Hooks are big power punches that are thrown to attack your opponent or the bag from the side. To do them well, you’ll need to focus on rotating your body to generate the necessary power. The final punches – five and six – are uppercuts. You may have seen Mike Tyson taking people out by ducking low before delivering a huge upwards punch to the chin for the knockout. Your legs are the key drivers of these punches – that’s where the power comes from.”
When it comes to perfecting those techniques, practice makes perfect, but so does patience. “Ten punches, thrown well with good technique will have greater impact on your body than throwing 100 messy punches,” says Shane. “Slow down and focus on technique. You’ll recruit more muscles, your training will intensify, and your results will follow.”
It’s All About The Footwork
“A good stance is the difference between being a great boxer and an average one,” says Jay Revan, boxing and conditioning coach at My Manor London. “Mastering your boxing stance should always be followed up by having great footwork. Your footwork will determine your speed, balance and punching power. Once you have both your stance and footwork in place, the ability to throw a punch with correct technique is a skill all boxers must have. This will come from consistent training and repetition of each of the basic punches, drilling them with shadow boxing, pad work, bag work and sparring.”
But Of Course Your Hands Matter
“One of the most common mistakes men make when boxing is lowering their hands when throwing a punch,” says Jay. “When boxing, it’s important you protect yourself. Keep your hands up and close to the chin. Hit and don’t be hit is the aim of the game.” Sammy agrees, adding that dropping the hands is a common beginners’ mistake. “When you’re starting out, it can be easy to remember all the technical points of boxing – but remember the best boxers don’t get hit, and if they do, not often. The best thing you can do to improve your technique is to watch the best fighters and try to imitate them. Copy their style, the way they move and the punches they throw. That’s what the best boxers did when they started out.”