Will Boxing Training Get Me Into Shape?
With apologies to Butterbean's physique, it's rare to see a boxer who doesn't possess a fit body. The abundance of boxers who are in shape is no coincidence. Training in the sweet science -- even if you never set foot in the ring -- is enough to burn off your spare tire, strengthen your muscles and give you a body that you'd quickly deem "in shape."
Lace Up Your Shoes
Aside from your trainer and workout partners, boxing is largely a solitary sport. And you'll never experience this solitary feeling more than when you're pounding the pavement on a run. Running for boxers is known as road work, and this activity helps to increase your endurance for competition in the ring. Traditionally, road work consisted of long-distance runs, but many contemporary trainers favor short, high-intensity runs. Regardless of your trainer's philosophy, you'll get acquainted with your running shoes and MP3 player as you train as a boxer, and build a fitter body in the process.
Say Goodbye to Fat
Before you strap on your boxing gloves, you'll improve your fitness through a variety of boxing-specific training exercises. One key element of a boxing workout is jumping rope. This exercise builds your endurance and foot speed and burns calories quickly to help you bid farewell to fat. Another key exercise is shadow boxing, which is a solo activity that you perform in front of a mirror. This up-tempo cardio workout not only refines your fundamentals, but also builds your muscles and improves your conditioning.
Strong, Healthy Muscles
Although many boxing trainers emphasize speed over strength, strength training remains a useful element of a boxer's workout. A variety of boxing drills help strengthen your muscles, but many boxers use a specific selection of exercises to gain strength. These exercises often include body-weight workouts such as pushups, crunches and pullups, explosive exercises such as burpees and box jumps and free-weight exercises such as snatches.
Punching to a Fitter Body
Even if you shy away from road work and shrug off strength training, a standard boxing workout can help you get in shape. Boxing workouts typically include refining your punch combinations on the heavy bag, fine-tuning your precision on the double-end bag and developing hand speed and rhythm on the speed bag. You'll also hit a trainer's focus pads and, if desired, learn technical sparring with an experienced partner. Each of these activities contributes to muscle gain and fat loss.
Toronto-based journalist William McCoy has been writing since 1997, specializing in topics such as sports, nutrition and health. He serves as the Studio's sports and recreation section expert. McCoy is a journalism graduate of Ryerson University.