Not only is boxing beneficial for cardiovascular health, but it also has a number of other benefits including decreased stress, improved hand-eye coordination, and improved strength and conditioning. In addition to this, boxing requires little equipment and absolutely anybody can give it a go. Sometimes, boxing is overlooked as a means of exercise and weight loss. Boxers are some of the most physically fit people in the world, so if you are considering this, we’ve compiled a list of five tips for you new boxers out there!
1. Relax and Breathe
As many boxing instructors will tell you, one of the biggest problems impacting new boxers is their tense frame. As well as holding arms and shoulders rigidly, they also hold their breath which is another issue. Like most sports, you’ll quickly see the benefit in your technique after allowing yourself to just relax.
Loosen your shoulders, relax your hands while not punching, and have a little fun. We know it’s difficult to relax when you feel nervous, but this could be the biggest step you overcome. In terms of breathing, breathe out as you punch and calm your breathing as you step back. With correct breathing, your energy will last longer and you can avoid mistakes. You can also benefit from working with a personal trainer, someone that can help you overcome poor breathing habits and can coach you along the way as you begin your journey.
2. Use the Eyes
As a beginner, you may have found yourself closing your eyes when a boxing glove comes towards your face. Don’t worry, this is just a natural human reaction (who wants to get hit, right?). Over time, you’ll need to learn how to keep your eyes open because this will allow you to dodge attacks and spot the openings for counter-attacks.
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3. Remember the Jab
If you currently only see the jab as an opportunity to launch larger attacks, you’re using it incorrectly. Not only is the jab perfect for attacking, but it’s also an effective defensive and counter-attacking tool. While the hook and big right hand (or left, for left-handers!) are useful, they don’t have the speed or reach of the jab. If you’re looking for areas to improve in the coming weeks, we highly recommend choosing the jab.
4. Use the Feet
Boxing is all about the speed and power of your punches, right? Wrong. Whether you’re hitting pads or sparring, always look to balance on the balls of your feet. When you master this, you’ll be light on your feet and this allows for quick movements. Otherwise, you won’t be able to move quickly and you’ll be a much easier target for opponents.
Additionally, talk to your coach about angles because this will be important too. Learn when to back up, when to step forward, and how to move around the ring while limiting the opportunities for your opponents. For beginners, this can start with the bag; throw a few punches and then immediately slide the back foot and change the angle at which you’re facing the bag.
5. Stay Calm
Often, people think you need to release anger when boxing but this just isn’t the case. If you’re angry and struggling to control your emotions, you won’t be able to master your breathing, you’ll run out of energy, and you’re more likely to make mistakes. As you stay calm, it’s easier to control breathing and keep punches as effective as possible.
To finish, we’ve got some simple tips to get you started!
- Don’t overdo it; you’ll soon over-train and you could get injured.
- Always stay hydrated.
- Make friends in the gym and train with others; this makes it far more enjoyable.
- Always turn your shoulders, hips, and body into the punch rather than just using your arm.
- Hold your hands high and keep your guard up.
- Find the balance between moving and not wasting too much energy (small steps aren’t noticed, but steps are!).
- Build endurance with Crossfit training.
- HAVE FUN!