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The Benefits of Boxing for Females
Once thought of as a man’s sport, boxing for women is here, and it’s so exciting. A rewarding mix of both cardio and strength training, boxing utilizes muscles throughout your body to give you a thorough workout. It doesn’t take much equipment to get started, and you can exercise on your own or with a partner. The benefits of boxing for females are numerous, and that’s part of the reason that this type of exercise is something you should definitely explore. Within a few weeks of training, you’ll notice stronger muscles, a sleeker form, improved stamina, and even a healthy dose of new-found confidence. There aren’t a lot of workouts that can promise these kinds of results.
Keep reading to discover the many benefits of boxing for females, and then review our quick intro to learn more about how to get started with the sport.
If you’re looking for a calorie-blasting workout, you won’t go wrong with female boxing training.
The primary reason boxing burns so many calories is that it forces you to keep moving and use muscles throughout your body. It’s obvious that boxing involves your arms, but you may be surprised to know it also utilizes muscles in your shoulders, midsection, and even legs.
To burn even more calories while boxing, keep moving — and move as quickly as you can. The faster you move, the faster your heart will beat. When you keep your heart beating at 70% of its maximum rate, you’ll enter what’s known as the “fat-burning zone”, where your body taps its fat stores for energy rather than relying on carbs from your diet.
When you think of strength, you might imagine lifting heavy weights until you’re red in the face. However, there are actually two types of strength: Muscle strength that comes with those lifting-type activities, and muscle endurance, also known as stamina, which you’ll gain from repeatedly exerting force when boxing.
Muscle endurance differs from muscle strength in that it allows you to keep doing taxing activities (even outside the gym) for a longer period of time. Huge muscles won’t help you much when you need to scrub a wall or operate a push mower, but muscle endurance will allow you to go longer before tiring.
Speaking of muscles, if you’ve been avoiding a sport like boxing for fear that it will leave you with big, bulky arms, never fear: Repetitive movements like those you’ll practice in boxing won’t increase your muscle mass. Instead, these maneuvers will tone your muscles and give you a more lean appearance.
While it’s true that boxing for women is great for increasing stamina and toning muscle, we don’t want to leave you thinking that it won’t also help you build muscle.
You may not notice a huge difference if you’re already incorporating strength training into your routine, but if you’re used to just doing cardio, you should definitely notice an increase in strength in as little as a few weeks.
When you realize how much faster and stronger you are thanks to your new exercise routine, don’t be surprised to also notice that you’re also rocking a new look of confidence. Part of this may come from uncovering a new, sleeker body, but a lot of it will come from simply knowing that you did that, you did it well, and you can do it again.
Another of the benefits of boxing for females? The moves you learn in this sport can be applied to life outside the gym as self-defense techniques. While we’re sure you hope you’ll never need to use them, it will be equal parts exciting and relieving to know that you can if you must.
While on the topic of how boxing affects your mind, let’s talk about stress. We all have it, and we all want less of it.
Boxing can’t quite help with an annoying boss or demanding kids, but it can give you an outlet for all your pent-up aggravation, aggression, and angst. In addition to allowing you to punch away your feelings, intense exercise like boxing also triggers the release of endorphins, so-called happiness or “feel good” hormones that help you relax and think more clearly.
Boxing Training for Women: Getting Started
You’ve learned about the benefits of boxing for females and are excited to reap the rewards, but where do you start?
Whether you’re working out at home or heading to your local gym to train, you’ll need the right clothing, access to equipment, and an understanding of proper boxing form and basic boxing moves.
Clothing and Equipment
The type of equipment you’ll need for boxing will depend on whether you’re exercising at the gym or at home.
If you’re heading to the gym for your workout, you won’t need any additional equipment as the gym will have everything you need. Worried you’ll feel out of place? There’s nothing to fear. Many gyms offer boxing training for women now, and your trainers will be excited that you’re interested in getting into this dynamic sport.
When it comes to clothing, you’ll want to invest in a supportive sports bra, comfortable pants or leggings, and a top that allows for easy and free movement so you’re not restricted while punching a bag or pads.
If you’re working out at home, you’ll use the same clothing, but you’ll also need to spring for your own equipment.
For starters, you’ll need a quality pair of tight-fitting boxing gloves with the right amount of padding to cushion your blows and support your wrists so you don’t hurt yourself.
Those who are short on space and can work out with someone else can use boxing pads when it comes to exercising. During your workout, one of you will wear the boxing pads and absorb the impacts of the other, and then you’ll trade off.
If you have the space, you might instead purchase a punching bag. Depending on the setup of your home gym (or spare room or whatever space you’re using), you might pick a speed bag, a freestanding bag, or a hanging bag.
Beginner Boxing Moves
Even if you’re heading to the gym to work out with a more knowledgeable partner or trainer, you can get up to speed with the sport more quickly when you learn more about the basic moves you’ll perform.
The instructions below are a very high-level overview of the basic boxing moves you’ll use. To ensure perfect form, consult with your trainer or spend a little time watching videos online.
Before you throw a single punch, it’s important that you learn a proper boxing stance. This refers to how you’ll stand as you follow through with your movements.
As boxing engages your entire body, you need to think beyond your arms. First, position your feet a little wider than your hips, and then move your non-dominant foot slightly forward.
From there, bend your knees slightly to give you the bounce you need for quick pivoting, and raise your arms to the front of your body, with your fists just below your chin. Tuck your chin in slightly to protect your face from blows, and relax your shoulders so you have the agility to move without restrictions.
This is a basic boxing stance and should be the position you move back to after every punch. Before you start boxing, you can practice this stance by dropping your arms and relaxing your muscles, and then quickly coming to position. Repeat this until everything comes together naturally.
While not a boxing move in the traditional sense, proper breathing plays a big part in activating your core, maintaining endurance, and protecting yourself from injury.
When boxing, breathe through your mouth to take in and push out air quickly and efficiently. However, always keep your jaw closed and breathe through your teeth — otherwise, you risk a broken jaw if you take a shot to the face while your mouth is open. If you’re breathing the right way, your breath will come out as a rough hiss.
Breathe as needed during the match to keep oxygen flowing to your muscles, but take in a breath prior to delivering a punch, and let it out quickly as you follow through. This technique helps with timing, but the sudden exhale also tenses your midsection to give you more power.
The jab is the most basic boxing move and the one that all first-timers learn first.
To throw a jab, punch straight out with your dominant hand. Brace your feet and use your shoulder to power through the move, and then move back to your original stance.
A cross is similar to a jab, but it involves your opposite arm (non-dominant) and pivoting your hips to rotate slightly and give the punch more power.
Imagining your opponent in front of you, the cross is intended to land on either side of the jaw to knock the head to the side, so follow through with your rotation enough to accomplish the task, and then move back to your original stance.
There are several varieties of the hook, but the basic idea behind this move is to extend your dominant arm away from your body in an arc to strike your opponent on the side of the head, the shoulder, or the midsection.
When throwing a hook, make sure you’re in control of the punch. Don’t extend your arm so far out that you lose power; make sure your shoulder and midsection are driving your delivery.
Like a hook, an uppercut also involves throwing a punch in an arc, but this time, you’re coming in from below.
When delivering an uppercut, you’ll lower your arm and pull it back slightly, and then shoot forward with the momentum and strength of your shoulder to strike your opponent underneath the jaw.
As you’ve seen, there are many benefits of boxing for females. When you don a pair of gloves, you have the opportunity to burn calories, increase your strength, build your confidence, and more. Whether you take up the sport as your main form of cardio or add it to your existing repertoire, you’ll find it rewarding and ultimately relaxing.
Tired of having to go out whenever you want to get your heart pumping? Ready to build a workout space in your home for boxing and other exercise? We did tons of research to bring you the best home gyms for workout routines of all kinds.