If you think boxing is just a sport for the rough and tough,
you’re wrong

Boxing training is now one of the most popular fitness regimes out there and if it’s a lean, toned, strong body you’re after then this is the one for you. Below are a number of questions we are often asked about boxing for fitness…

Scrap any negative ideas you have about boxing training being intimidating or barbaric. Boxing training is very much a social activity. Classes are usually made up of around 2 to 15 people and concentrate on pad work, circuits and an endless variety of drills covering all areas of fitness.

A typical class will start with a 10-minute warm-up, followed by a variety of exercises that work directly on fatty problem areas, about half an hour of boxing drills including pad work, and finishing with a 10-minute warm-down. Classes will teach you how to punch properly — it’s about gaining technique as well as strength. In the beginning there are three main moves to employ: hooks (“side” punches), jabs (straight forward punches) and up-cuts (punches going upwards). Your instructor will tell you which combinations you’ll be doing, and may also get you to work with partners part-way through the work-out.

Don’t think that boxing is an easy ride, though: it’s seriously hard work. Boxing is a high intensity, full body workout that will keep you moving the whole time. When you’re not throwing a punch, you’re ducking and weaving. Rule No 1 is “keep moving.” If your fitness is a little below par, you can box slower but you can’t stop because if you want to burn fat and get fit, you need to keep your heart rate up. Even during the warm-ups and warm-downs, there’s little relief — think arms, legs, butt and abdominal work out.”

Weight loss, increased agility and coordination, muscle tone and greater fitness all result from boxing. Many people think that boxing is all about the arms but it is actually a cardio work-out for the whole body. It’s especially good for toning your bottom and quadriceps muscles, which is perfect for women who want to lose weight around their bottom and thighs as part of an overall reduction programme.

There’s no need to worry about bulking up, Hilary Swank-style, either. Boxing is very much a high repetition work-out so you’ll see tone rather than muscle. It’s also very empowering and people really get pumped up and stuck into it during the moves. Also a self-defence lesson, by the end of the first class, you should be able to throw a solid punch.

Weak wrists are probably the only thing that might present a problem however once you learn how to box properly; you shouldn’t be putting any unnecessary strain on your wrists. The aim of your punches is also important. Align your punches with your knuckles correctly and your knuckles should feel no pain. You must get wrist wraps from the gym for extra support. A couple of sessions with of personal training should see you right, if you are uncertain.

Unless you want to box with someone (most choose not too), there is absolutely no body-to-body contact allowed in boxing for fitness, so any risk is minimal.

If you’re not particularly fit then that’s not a huge problem. Boxing is actually easier for a lot of people than running, especially for those with excess weight. It’s easy to modify the exercise to suit you so every one of all ages and fitness levels can participate.

It’s not just a sport for the guys either; women actually pick up the combinations faster than men and have more flexibility through their mid-section. The rotation of the back is where all the strength comes from for a punch, not the arms.

If you do two classes a week for a month you will definitely notice a difference in weight and tone. As long as you follow a healthy eating plan and try and include one further cardio class in your schedule a week then you’ll see quite dramatic results. Members often achieve their goals.

If it’s fun, rapid tone and weight loss you’re after then boxing it is!