Add a new twist to your gym routine with boxing. There are dozens of incredible benefits boxing can contribute to your overall health and fitness level. It takes enormous physical and mental demands to engage in pugilism. Heck, even the Olympic Committee, sports scientist and ESPN have evaluated 60 different sports, and have concluded Boxing as the number one toughest sport in the world.
To increase your overall athleticism, look no further because boxing is the best sport for improvements to your human movement system. Regardless of if you are sparring in the ring against an opponent or just throwing punches at a heavy bag. At any age, boxing can offer you the best mental stress reliever while building your speed, agility, hand-eye coordination, power, and muscle definition.
There’s a reason why so many Hollywood actors seek boxing gyms as they’re looking to transform their bodies from fit to ripped. Does anyone remember Will Smith’s massiveness when he was in the biopic about Muhammed Ali? Or Mark Wahlberg in The Fighter? Boxing puts on muscle mass quickly.
Boxing is an excellent way to shake things up, and it hits the body in every which way. When you’re in the ring or beginning to train, boxing provides movement on all planes. Core rotation in the transverse plane, or forward lunge to generate power in the sagittal plane, or side steps to open up the hips in the frontal plane. There's always a variety of plane movements.
Cardio and an athletes ability to transfer oxygen to muscles will increase too through incorporating pugilism to the weekly routine. A person's VO2 Max (maximal oxygen consumption) will improve because it includes both aerobic and anaerobic capacity. Your first visit to the boxing gym, you'll notice muscles will fatigue quickly. But after 3-4 weeks, something that was once difficult will begin to be done with ease.
In the first punch, a person will feel the added elements of power, speed, quickness, and stability. When the impact of hitting the bag happens, the beautiful muscle strengthening and bone density occur in both the hand and wrist. Plus with the resistance of hitting a heavy bag, there are musculoskeletal adaptations that occur with needing the ability to hold your posture and overall awareness and response from a person’s feet to their head. Though, the time to wrap the wrists for support and stability are crucial for longevity.
Travis Hill, an Auburn University Exercise Science graduate, and boxing enthusiast and trainer at MetroFitness in Montgomery, Alabama said, “boxing consists of dynamic movements. It connects us to our primal instincts. It is a very physical form of yoga.” Hill continued, “like many forms of combat fighting, boxing requires strict mental focus because of the physical consequences. You’re not just fighting an opponent; you’re competing against yourself too. Because no matter what happens, you have to stay on your feet, and you have to stay balanced.”
This sense of balance is also why many find themselves in a ring. Boxing can offer more than just physical transformations, but it also can contribute to mental clarity and become an incredible form of stress-relief. From the moment to wrapping your wrists to putting on the gloves, a person can morph into a different character and feel the mental awakening commence.
Comedian Joe Rogan, who is also the UFC commentator and has engaged in combat fighting since a young age, describes boxing as “high stakes chess with dire consequence.”
The training and movements are so precise and thought out, the mind and focus need to be laser sharp because the analytical aptitude of quick reaction time and speed can make or break an athlete. Plus an individuals durability to handle the physical punishment over a length of time is an active component and success to boxing. Whether or not in the ring or hitting a bag, the impact of the resistance will ricochet throughout the body. Travis Hill added that the blend of mental and physical engagement could lead to a spiritual awakening because when locked into the training, it offers a way to escape daily stresses and become light and free with each connection from a jab or hook.
Researchers have connected boxing to increasing a person’s overall mood because the ability to engage the entire body in a workout can reduce negative emotions, decrease anxiety, offer an outlet for anger while providing the individual a sense of peace and tranquility after the workout.
Boxing is a different form of cardio away from the monotony of a treadmill. It incorporates functional movements of a new skill, and just like many exercise programs, the more the skill is practiced and performed, the more refined it becomes. Boxing is a craft and one that requires time and energy. With each punch rep and every stability exercise associated with training, your body will thank you. You might even develop muscles you never knew existed in the process too.
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