Benefits of Boxing: Why Boxing is a Killer Workout
Whether you’re old or young, uber-fit or looking to get fit, experienced or inexperienced, there are many reasons to try boxing. Many people unfortunately conclude that boxing is not for them without investigating it. But, in fact, boxing is great a fat burning cardio workout that can be beneficial to everyone from a complete beginner to Muhammad Ali – and you learn self-defense skills to boot! Boxing as a workout has been experiencing a renaissance in popularity with boxing fitness studios popping up everywhere and boxing equipment companies reporting that they’re selling markedly more boxing equipment. Boxing for exercise is growing like wildfire. Let’s delve into why so many people have been flocking to boxing.
About Us: We are the owners of Worth the Fight Boxing & Fitness Studio, a fitness studio in Denver that offers boxing fitness and HIIT classes. Sign up to receive the best rates on a membership!
If you’re new to boxing, check out boxing fitness classes where each person has their own bag and can calibrate the workout to their skill level (no fighting or sparring anyone else!). That’s what we do at our boxing studio in downtown Denver.
Reasons Boxing is a Good Workout – Boxing Benefits
You may wonder why so many people have started boxing as exercise and, similarly, people frequently ask us why we picked boxing (together with high intensity interval training) for our fitness studio instead of other forms of exercise. Here are five reasons you should try boxing.
🔶Boxing is empowering.
Learning to box is learning to better defend yourself which in turn empowers you. A session of beating up a bag also makes you feel strong and capable, like a million bucks. It engenders a feeling of empowerment. Over time, as you learn the technique and as you strengthen your muscles, hitting the bag will feel even more empowering. Every satisfying smack is immediate feedback of how strong and in shape you are becoming. There is no other form of primarily cardio exercise that gives you this satisfying sense of progress and power.
We chose our name, Worth the Fight, because we wanted to convey that one of our primary tenets is empowerment – another related primary tenet is acceptance of self and others, which is encompassed in “worth” – you’re worthy just the way you are. It’s great to have goals but don’t let those cause you to judge where you are now. We strive to create an environment that is accepting to all comers – we are intentionally non-elitist, and we don’t believe that elitism belongs in fitness. Unaccepting environments sap us of our confidence and power whereas acceptance enhances the empowerment of boxing. We believe people should feel empowered from the very first punch. Everyone, even Muhammad Ali, threw a first punch. The most important thing is to start and then to keep at it – at whatever pace works for you even if it is very slow. Slow progress still gets results whereas too fast progress that causes you to quit gets no results.
🔶Boxing is a full body cardio workout, and boxing is fun!
Most people don’t realize that boxing is a cardio workout. But a few rounds on the heavy bag, and the labored breathing that will result, will disabuse them of that notion. Boxing also increases strength and, depending on the way you box, you can make it more like cardio or more like strength. If you focus more on big powerful punches but less of them, it is more strength and, if you focus more on many less powerful punches, you amp up the cardio aspect of boxing.
People also often think that boxing mainly exercises your arms but that is not correct. If you are boxing with proper technique, the power in your punches comes from your legs and your core – the arm is only the item through which the power is delivered. Don’t get us wrong – boxing still a great workout for your arms since you are supposed to keep them up near your face for defensive purposes. But your legs and especially your core will feel the burn. Other forms of cardio exercise, like running, do not use as many muscles.
We’ve established boxing is a full-body workout but the other critical piece is that it is more fun than traditional cardio fare like running or spinning. Would you really rather run on a treadmill or ride an exercise bike when you could be hitting a bag really hard? If exercise is fun, you’re more likely to continue doing it and form a habit of working out that will eventually help you achieve your fitness goals. We all have had that experience of signing up for a new gym or new fitness app, all full of motivation and vigor, and religiously use the gym or app for a month or two before it gets stale and we use it less and less and eventually stop entirely. This reinforces our conception of exercise as boring – and something that we can’t stick with. But exercise doesn’t have to be drudgery, and it is way easier to stick with something that we like.
Fun –> something you can stick with –> forming a consistent habit –> reaching your goals
This is why one of our other core principles here at Worth the Fight is that working out should be fun. In order to ensure that our workouts are fun, we spend a lot of time experimenting with and perfecting our programming. We strive to make every workout different and to incorporate a very broad range of exercises instead of doing the same stale movements over and over. You will never know what to expect.
🔶Boxing teaches self-defense.
Another boxing benefit is self-defense. If you box for exercise, you are practicing the movements, and strengthening the muscles, that you would use to defend yourself. You are also strengthening yourself psychologically – you will feel more confident about your ability to defend yourself if you regularly practice self-defense. Of course other fighting sports and martial arts can help you defend yourself. But we think boxing is most effective. This is because in boxing you learn how to defend yourself against one attacker while protecting your face and upper body which is the situation that most calls for self-defense. In sports such as wrestling or BJJ you are mainly on the ground but if you are ever attacked you want to try to avoid even reaching the ground. Even kickboxing is not as effective as boxing because your opponents can catch a kick aikido style and take you down. Boxing teaches you how to defend yourself in a standup position using only your arms, hands, head, and footwork.
🔶Boxing provides stress relief.
Exercise improves not only your body but also your mind. Various and sundry studies have demonstrated that exercise reduces anxiety and depression, improves your mood, and makes you resilient to stress. We think boxing is particularly effective at improving your mental state because it not only provides endorphins like other forms of exercise but also helps you to release anger and stress through the act of hitting the bag. Many people have reported that boxing helped them with their stress and anger.
🔶Boxing is unique.
So many people run or cycle for cardio and so many studios focus on disciplines like these. But variety is truly the spice of life. Variety is more than just a nice thing to have because variety helps to alleviate boredom which in turn helps to make something more fun. This relates back to the point that boxing is one of the most fun forms of cardio exercise. If something is more fun, you will do it more, and, if you do it more, you will form a habit which is the necessary condition to reaching your health and fitness goals. Also, if you have mostly done more traditional types of cardio, switching to a new type of cardio will use new muscles, which is good for strengthening your body evenly and reducing the risk of overuse injuries.
One reason we at WTF Boxing chose boxing fitness is that Denver fitness studios focus on boxing. There are many spin studios, many CrossFit studios, etc but few boxing fitness studios in Denver. We wanted to offer something fresh and different. Exercise can become monotonous and boring and that’s when you’re likely to stop keeping up with your regimen and eventually lose the habit. We wanted to offer the opportunity to exercise in a new way and to learn new skills in the process.
We hope this gave you some information about why you should check out boxing fitness. If you have been working out but not seeing the results you were hoping for, check out our guide on three steps to lose weight sustainably. It might help with some additional strategies you can try. If you’re in Denver, we’d love to have you for a free fitness class in our downtown Denver studio!