Why not boxing?
In the UK one grows up with boxing in the media and as an accepted sports profession. It was something that always interested me and that I wanted to try from a young age. Getting started was a bit scary as I, like everyone else, had the normal apprehensions and excuses; I wasn’t big enough, strong enough, fit enough, etc. This, however, changed when I first tried it with a friend and soon realised that no matter ones body type, prior experience or fitness level anyone can try.
With perhaps Cecilia Brækhus as the only household name in Norwegian boxing there are many sceptics and stereotypes around. My experience is that men, women, big, small, light, heavy, well-trained, just starting training- it’s a sport for all. Plus, it’s fantastic training.
Boxing as a training form has been used for many a year. Besides the obvious qualities one derives from learning some self-defence it also challenges participants balance and coordination, tests ones reactions, helps conditioning and postural/core activation. In other words a full body work out!
In order to gain these benefits from this training form one isn´t required to hit another person or be hit. Hitting a punchbag or shadow boxing is equally fun and challenging. However, it is best achieved working in pairs; a social workout, in other words.
You need not have done boxing before to try. It doesn’t matter what your level is, you can give it a go. So grab and friend (or enemy) and some gloves!
Warm up with an exercise that gets the whole body activated.
Skipping, for example, is a very effective way to raise the core body temperature and uses very similar footwork patterns to boxing. Shoulders become used to some endurance loading and co-ordination gets a keen awakening.
Once you’re sweaty it’s time to turn it up the tempo and have some fun.
You do not have to punch hard. Let your body get used to it. As with all training it will require some time to adjust. You don’t have to do 12 rounds. Beginning with 3-6 is more than adequate.
Work in 3 min rounds:
Try to keep moving and for those boxing maintain a ‘high guard’ for the duration. It doesn’t sound long, but if you manage to keep moving throughout you’ll be happy for the bell to ring.
Work on different elements each round:
This can be certain movements, punches or combinations.
Anything works and it is limitless. Jab, hook, uppercut. Duck, weave. In, out. Guard!
Alternate between those who are padding and punching. To add an extra dimension to the conditioning aspect of the training those who are padding can call out commands whilst moving. Think singing whilst running.
If this inspires you to get up and try it then the next step is learning a bit more about the subtleties of the noble art. It isn’t just about punching as I found out in my early days.
If you’re interested in discovering more then you can get in touch with a local boxing club or a trainer that can show you the ropes.
Pictures: web; Boxing news, webster.