Footwork in Boxing: Why it’s Important

We would hardly associate someone like Fred Astaire with the great Muhamad Ali—at least not so far as their chosen professions are concerned. After all, while Astaire was known for the elegant grace of his dance steps, Ali was known for his fierce determination, lightning-quick hands, and ability to knock his opponents to the floor with his powerful punches.

But, it was Ali's graceful footwork in the ring which enabled him to land those lethal punches–much like how Astaire's footwork carried him into the spotlight.

This is because it was Ali's footwork which all other aspects of his fighting were based upon, and without a solid-yet-mobile base, none of his other "tools" would have been nearly so effective.

Being an Effective Fighter

Being an effective fighter means having more than one dimension to your game. By this, we mean you need to develop an entire set of strengths and skills, rather than merely doing one thing you are best at to win fights. Sure, you may have a wicked left hook which is your go-to punch, although once an opponent understands this, they will be looking for it. This makes it easy for them to defend against it, which then limits that strength.

However, if you improve ALL your punches and combos and turn your weaker punches, etc. into strengths, you will better improve your chance of winning fights. This is where footwork comes in, since that is what everything is based upon. This is arguably the most important aspect of your boxing, since your ability to move efficiently around the ring and maintain control of a fight will determine your ability to win rounds, period. Correct punching technique also comes from correct footwork, and without it, you end up with weak, ineffective punches which may not even matter, since you likely won't be landing too many of them anyway!

Your footwork needs to be as economical and efficient as possible, and free of unnecessary movement. It should also help you be as unpredictable as possible to your opponent while remaining balanced and in control.

In fact, it is advised that if you are new to boxing, it is best to avoid trainers who encourage a "hands first" approach, and instead opt for those who put an emphasis on teaching correct footwork before anything else. This will ensure you are learning how to do things correctly the first time and will eliminate many bad habits to unlearn up the road, such as flat-footedness, or the kind of excessive dancing which wears you—rather than your opponent--out.

How to Improve Your Footwork

To work angles, control distances, and dissect the ring, you need correct footwork, and correct footwork comes (as do all aspects of your boxing) through discipline, practice, drilling and exercises.

Here are some the drills and exercises which can help you, although you are the one who needs to provide the discipline to practice until everything is perfect—which, as any veteran boxer or trainer will tell you, it never will be, so keep practicing!

  • Jumping rope—Yes, there is a reason jumping rope is so popular in boxing training, since it is not only an excellent way to build endurance, it can help you improve your footwork. And, while doing standard feet side-by-side rope-skipping can benefit your footwork, doing "tricks," such as single-footed hops, criss-cross feet jumps, and "double-unders," can take your footwork training to a new level.
  • Sure, you may have seen other fighters in the gym going through these types of rope-skipping exercises and thought they were merely having fun and showing off. However, it is this kind of "showing off" which helps build foot speed, balance and coordination—all while developing cardiovascular fitness and endurance.
  • Shadow boxing—Fighting without a partner may seem…odd, although shadow boxing is one of the best ways there are to not just develop proper footwork, but all aspects of your fighting. This is because by concentrating on correct footwork (and other aspects of your fighting) while shadow boxing and strictly adhering to doing it right, you can better commit everything to muscle memory. This means that when you do step into the ring against an opponent, those moves will be as natural to you as walking or riding a bike, which means less chance of you making a costly mistake.
  • "Dancing" with a partner—Like shadow boxing, dancing—or rather, working with a partner and mimicking each other's footwork—is an excellent way to develop correct footwork. It also helps each fighter hone their reaction times, and both can take turns deciding who is Fred Astaire, and who is Ginger Rogers (don't worry, nobody needs to wear a dress…).
  • All kidding aside, start with both fighters facing each other with about one-meter's distance between them. The lead fighter then moves about as though sparring, and the other fighter follows the lead fighter's steps as though he or she is an image in a mirror. Do this for a round, and then switch roles.
  • Set up an obstacle course—Just like with footballers and other athletes, footwork and coordination can be improved using simple obstacle course drills. For obstacles, nearly anything will work, though cones or a ladder tend to be the easiest to use. However, in a pinch, gym weights, towels, or other similar items can be strewn about in nearly any pattern for you to zig-zag through, hop over, or do cross-foot steps across. The idea is to establish a pattern to work on before changing things up and re-patterning the obstacles for something new.
  • By changing what you are doing and not just repeatedly doing the same thing, you are improving all directions of muscle memory and coordination, which will translate to good footwork, and a solid base in the ring.


Finally

No, footwork training won't turn you into Fred Astaire, and it may not turn you into Muhamad Ali either, since only great genetics, work ethic and determination can do that.

However, what it will do is help you become the best fighter you can be, and if there is one thing you should look to when considering how to improve in the ring, it is your footwork.

Or in other words, if you want to sting like Ali, learn to dance like Astaire!

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What is Shadow Boxing? Why You Should Do It

Boxers train so that they can have the best possible chance of winning in the ring. In fact, it is the one-on-one aspect of boxing, as well as the need to develop speed, power and strength in their training which brings up the question: Why is sparring without an opponent---otherwise known of as shadow boxing—so important to a boxer's training?

Shadow boxing is, after all, free of any form of resistance exercise or other means of improving power and strength, so why not use sparring in the ring or bag workouts when working through combos, developing footwork, and developing hand speed? After all, doing so would seemingly be the best way to kill two birds with one stone and develop combos AND power AND strength all at once.

However, it may not be so simple since, shadow boxing adds elements to training that punching an opponent or a heavy bag cannot. These elements will not only help in making your punches and defensive moves far more effective, but in preparing you mentally to become a better, more confident fighter. 

What is Shadow Boxing?

Shadow boxing is best described as "boxing without an opponent," and can be used for anything from a pre-fight warmup, to a regular training aid to improve form, footwork and technique. While true shadows can be used to watch for form mistakes and to verify hand and foot speed, it is more commonly performed in front of a mirror, coach, or camera for these same reasons.

Perhaps even more importantly, shadow boxing can be used to help you improve your confidence as a fighter through visualization, and by perfecting your use of combos, footwork, and hand speed in a fluid and effective manner. By gaining confidence and a positive image of yourself against an opponent, you can better position yourself to "win before stepping into the ring," which is arguably be the most powerful advantage you can have as a fighter.

However, this does not mean that shadow boxing is only for those intending to step into the ring against a foe, since it can also help to improve the aerobic capacity, fitness, and speed of those looking for the kind of ultimate workout which boxing training provides. 

Moving Around

Boxing is a sport which requires a strong, balanced base from which you can move both offensively and defensively. In fact, good fighters need to be able to move into and away from an opponent to throw punches and to avoid punches being thrown, and they need to do it with lightning speed, pinpoint accuracy, and without hesitation.

This requires all potential offensive and defensive moves, techniques, and combos to be fully developed to the point they are an automatic and ingrained reaction to the situation, which the free-form nature of shadow boxing is ideal in developing.

And, as you become more confident in having all your "tools" readily at hand in the ring, you can be more confident in knowing you can both duck and evade your opponent's punches, as well as place a punch of your own the instant you see an opening.

In short, shadow boxing can help you to better "float like a butterfly" before you "sting like a bee."

It's About Finding your Calm

It is said that those who don't include enough time shadow boxing in their training show it in a few ways:

First, it gets you comfortable moving around fluidly and used to the natural rhythms and motions of throwing punches, ducking, and evading being hit. This helps you make the connection between having a powerful punch and having a powerful and EFFECTIVE punch.

Next, it allows you to develop the kind of positive visualization that can help you remain relaxed and ready for your opponent's next move in the ring, rather than being apprehensive and purely reactionary. This helps you develop a calm energy which allows you to be a more effective and efficient fighter. In fact, it is this relaxed sense of calm which you see not just in boxing, but in a good cricket swing, football catch, or most any well executed athletic move.

However, if you lack ample time shadow boxing in your training, your lack of these qualities will show dramatically!

The Physical Benefits of Shadow Boxing

While shadow boxing offers excellent mental benefits to helping you become a better fighter, there are some important physical ones as well.

For instance, fighters who spend all their time working out on the heavy bag to develop striking power often have underdeveloped back muscles. This causes them to tire easily and lose the effectiveness of their punches in the ring when they can't return to striking position quickly enough. This is because hitting the heavy bag offers a "bounce-back" to your punch so that less back muscle is necessary when pulling back punches.

There is also your aerobic development, as well as slow-twitch muscle fibres which will give you longevity and endurance over your opponent in the ring. By getting used to moving around like a fighter and utilizing all these muscles in unison, you are not only developing endurance, you are doing so in a functional manner. By this, we mean rather than strengthening a muscle to act on its own, you are training all muscles together in a functional manner. This will make them stronger as a unit while reducing your risk for injury and honing your form. 

Finally

Who would think that bouncing around and acting as though you are fighting could make you a better fighter, although it can.

Whether you are training for your first bout, or just enjoying the benefits of the best workout there is—AKA fitness boxing—you need to use shadow boxing in your workouts.

Not only will doing so help you to move more quickly and effectively in the ring, it will help you do so in the kind of focused, relaxed, and confident manner that is dangerous to your opponent. 


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Am I Too Old to Start Boxing?

When he was 45-years old, George Foreman became the oldest heavyweight champion in history and did so by knocking out 27-year old Michael Moorer. Even more impressive was the fact that he did this after coming out of a 17-year long retirement, and then went on to fight professionally for another 3-years until he retired once again in 1997.

Think about that: Competing at the highest level of a "young person's sport" well into middle age and beating an opponent who wasn't even a teenager at the time of his first retirement. Could it be that "Big George" is the second coming of Superman? After all, at 48 years of age, most of us would think twice about pickup games in the backyard with our nephews, much less fighting in a heavyweight boxing ring!

Or, could it be that the intense workouts he performed while training for his fights kept him fit and youthful in a way few other workouts could?

Aha, perhaps we're onto something here!

Read on to find out how you can not only enjoy boxing despite your accumulation of birthdays, but how it can help to keep you young—and, tremendously fit.

A Young Person's Sport? Hardly!

No, you won't find many boxing gyms in senior homes, nor will you find many boxing newbies over the age of 30. However, this does not mean that just because you are pushing middle age you are destined to a life at the bingo table.

In fact, as the grey begins to show, there is no better time to get away from the sort of low-impact, steady-state exercise we are often told is best for us at our age.

Why is this, you ask?

Simple. As we age, we begin to lose muscle mass which is not being utilized. We can increase muscle mass lost but it takes hard work, planning and dedication.

And, merely running or using a treadmill does little to counter this. In fact, doing so will likely just put you in the kind of rut that has you wondering if perhaps you are too old to see any fitness gains.

However, the kind of HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) and strength training used to box will do more to counter the effects of age-related muscle loss than steady-state endurance exercise can. This is because intense interval training not only strengthens your fast-twitch power muscles, it is one of the best forms of exercise to increase your body's Human Growth Hormone (HGH) production.

And, as we all know, HGH is the stuff which keeps us young!

Plus, using high intensity weight training, sparring, and interval training will have your metabolism screaming along like a youngster's—something which doesn't stop when your workout ends. In fact, most boxing workouts will have you burning extra calories for hours after completion—even when you have your feet up relaxing!

And more importantly, you will be retaining muscle mass, rather than losing it.

Can I Still Become a Champion?

Of course, the REAL benefit of boxing is…the FUN!

However, you may be worried that you, being a few years older, may never have a shot at becoming a club champion.

But, there is hope--let's go back to George Foreman for a moment, shall we?

Remember that he not only came out of retirement and became a champion again as he was pushing age 50, he did it against a foe who was but a schoolboy when he retired the first time.

However, this doesn't mean that you can (or should) just go up to the youngest, fittest individual in your gym, challenge them to a fight, and win. In fact, doing so would probably be the fastest way to the canvas short of just laying down on it for a nap!

But, by competing within your age range and against opponents at your ability and fitness level, you can experience just how intensely fun and competitive the fight game can be.

Plus, you never know—you may have some of what George Foreman has and be able to move up to more challenging and—dare we say it? --younger opponents!

That said, you need to start somewhere, which, for the sake of your safety and continued enjoyment of the sport, needs to be against opponents you are well matched against. When you keep it fun from the start, you have a much better chance of continuing to enjoy it as you become a more skilled fighter. 

So, Just Anyone Can be a Boxer Then?

Finally, let's get one thing straight: Just because boxing has no official age limit, it does NOT mean that it is a good idea for just anyone to just jump in and begin wailing away at a high intensity.

For one thing, if you are coming off a sedentary lifestyle and looking to return to shape, you need to do it slowly, and preferably with an experienced professional trainer to guide you.

Likewise, you need to consult your physician first before engaging in any high-intensity sport. Even if you feel as though you are in shape, such factors as heredity and natural declines due to aging must be considered, and your doctor can best verify whether you are up for boxing.

A good trainer can also be well worth the investment, since they will understand your strengths, weaknesses, skills and ability levels. From this they can not only help you improve in areas which will help you stay injury-free, but that will help you become a better fighter as well.

Finally

Sure, George Foreman may be an exceptional individual, although he is still made of the same flesh and blood as the rest of us.

And what does this tell you?

Only that age is a number, and that despite your age, there is no reason you can't enjoy a "young person's sport."

However, ensuring that you are staying within your abilities and that you have no dangerous medical conditions before starting is crucial, even if you are made of the same material as Big George! 

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The Fear of Getting Hit in Boxing

While you don't have to take part in fighting or live sparring to enjoy staying in shape with fitness boxing, doing so may be way more fun than you realize. It is, after all, the sport of pugilism, so why not give some ring time a try?

However, part of facing a live opponent is getting hit, and nobody boxes without taking some punches. Naturally, you're probably worried about this, which makes sense--getting hit isn't exactly a smooch on the cheek from your favourite aunt!

But, your fear can be overcome so that you can comfortably get into the ring and find out just how enjoyable and competitive the sport of boxing can be.

And no, it isn't about being any tougher than anyone else—just better trained. 

Why We're Afraid to Get Hit

With getting hit, there are a couple of factors which make it seem unpleasant. First, there is the obvious, which is that getting hit can hurt, period.

Second, we don't always see a punch coming which creates a fear of the unknown.

Together, these two factors can add up to excessive flinching and more evasive action than punching. Not only can this put you into more—not less—danger of injury, it removes the balance of a fight.

And, almost as badly, it ruins the fun!

Overcoming Our Fear

So, you're ready to hop into the ring against an opponent. That's fantastic, you're going to enjoy it! It's fun, it's competitive, and it's about the best workout there is.

However, you may first need to prepare yourself against the fear of getting hit.

First, before preparing to take a punch, you need to have the basics of giving a punch mastered. You also need to have an understanding of the footwork, defensive moves, and rules of boxing. Your trainer can help you with this, since part of being a good trainer involves understanding when it is safe for a pupil to move on to the next level.

Once you are at this stage, you can begin preparing for taking one in the kisser—which, by the way, isn't nearly as bad as it sounds.

The first rule to remember is: Don't jump into the ring with anyone bigger or more experienced than you are, since nothing will turn you off to the sport more quickly than being pummelled in a one-sided fight.

Again, this is something your trainer will help with, and even your boxing opponent will want. Most of us desire a good, fair fight or sparring session, and nobody benefits from one participant unfairly beating the snot out of the other, including the one with the unfair advantage. Stay within your weight class and skill level, and you will be fine. 

Next, there are drills which you can do which will help you become accustomed to taking a punch which, despite the initial shock, doesn't hurt as much as you may think. In fact, once you are in the ring and taking part in full contact sparring and fighting, it will just be part of what you are doing--much like how you don't think about the pain of being hit when playing football or other contact sports.

Here are some drills which will help you jump fearlessly into the ring:

  • Flow Boxing, AKA Slow Boxing—The main advantage of this drill is to get you to see punches, rather than being shocked by them. Flow boxing entails getting into the ring with an opponent, and doing very slow, deliberate, and low-impact sparring. The object isn't to land as many punches on your opponent as possible or to take all the punches yourself. Rather, it is to trade slow, ineffective punches on equal terms while practicing correct footwork and defensive measures—just not defence at all cost. Doing this drill will help you be able to relax when being punched, rather than flinching against it—which is what gets you hurt!
  • Play "Flinch"—Okay, so this may not be the same as what you played with your schoolmates where you receive a sock in the arm if you flinch, though it is similar in concept. For this drill, you need two people to stand facing each other, with one of them throwing a series of punches within inches of the other's face without making contact. The puncher should start slowly, and then gradually amp it up until full punching speed is achieved, and the object is for the receiver to learn not to flinch.
  • Throw Balls at Each Other—Starting with perhaps a beach ball and working up to a volleyball or light medicine ball, have one participant stand with arms to sides while the other pops them in the face with the ball. This teaches you to stay calm, not flinch, and get used to being tapped in the face by a gloved fist—which, by the way, won't be too different from being popped with a light medicine ball or volleyball.

Remember too that you'll have headgear and mouth guard on!

Finally

Yes, there are other means to getting you used to being hit, although these simple drills should fit the bill nicely. The main thing is, you need to learn to relax, stay calm, and not allow the shock of a tap to the face make you apprehensive, or to flinch.

By learning to take a punch, you will not only be safer and less prone to injury, but you will have more fun and be more competitive as well.

Think of it in terms of a eucalyptus tree vs a willow tree during a windstorm. The eucalyptus which stands firm and braces against the wind is far more likely to be blown over than the willow tree which stays relaxed and "goes with the flow" of the wind. The same can be said of taking a punch, which hurts more and can cause more damage when you brace against it (remember Mohammed Ali using his "Rope-a-dope" method to absorb George Foreman's punches in the "Rumble in the Jungle?").

However, by learning to overcome your fear of being hit, you can take those punches like they're a smooch on the cheek! 

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Fitness Boxing Exercises (That You Can Do Anywhere) to Improve Your Boxing Skills

So, having tried fitness boxing, you're now hooked—and good for you! It is, after all, one of the fastest-growing workouts there are.

And no wonder, what with the intense, fat-burning exercises and routines designed to build strength and endurance like you never thought you had.

Plus, there is the fun, social atmosphere of fitness boxing, just to make it that much better!

In fact, you love it so much that you probably think about it even while you're not in the gym.

After all, wasn't that you sneaking in a little shadow-boxing session at the office the other day when you THOUGHT no one was looking?

Heh heh, nothing wrong with that!

Here are 6 workouts you can do in the comfort of your own home, while you're on vacation, or even when you THINK no one is watching at the office.

6 Fitness Boxing Exercises You can do Anywhere

1.  Jumping Rope

You want to know the true beauty of this exercise? You don't even need a rope!   Sure, there is nothing wrong with keeping a jump rope on hand for a quick aerobic burst to your day, although you can get the same benefit from jumping in place while miming the circular motion of swinging the rope with your hands—is that beautifully simple, or what?   But, isn't there some way to intensify things?   Yup, there sure is!  

In fact, try grabbing a couple of tins of soup and hold them while miming the rope swing. This will act in the same manner as using a weighted jump rope and will give you some additional fat-burning resistance, along with helping build muscle strength in your shoulders, arms, and wrists.

​2.  Plank your core

One of the most simple, effective and low impact exercises you can do is the plank—although notice no mention of planks being low-intensity?

That is because when performed correctly, planking can bring on the burn like no other exercise--and do so quickly.  
Plus, it is one of the best exercises there are for building a solid core.
And—unlike sit-ups or crunches—planks have minimal risk of back injury.

Even better, they can be done anywhere there is room to be prone on your hands and toes, such as in your work cubicle where you think no one can see you!  And, by doing a basic plank for 30 seconds or longer each day, you can develop a rock-solid core, which is the kind of platform you need for optimum athletic strength, balance, and posture.

By adding any of the many variations--such as side plank, one hand/one leg plank, or even adding a bench or exercise ball for inverted planks--you can achieve a full-core workout which can't be matched.
And, you can do it anywhere!

​3.  Shadow Box

Want to polish your punching form and keep it sharp for the gym? Shadow boxing will not only do that, but with proper intensity, can also burn as much as 400 calories per hour.  Not bad for a little dancing around and jabbing which can be done anywhere, is it?

Plus, there is no limit to how you can structure your shadow boxing rounds. Work on pure function, form and footwork? No problem—call your combos and go through them as many times as you need to get them perfect.

Or, just have fun with it!   Use your imagination to fight a fierce foe who only you can see. Add calorie-burning squats as you duck and uppercut using your quads and glutes, while remembering to tighten your core with each punch you absorb from your "opponent."

Want to REALLY toughen it up?  
Try some wrist and ankle weights, which are a convenient way to add calorie-burning resistance to your session. Just remember not to use the heaviest ones you can. Rather, use ones which still allow you to maintain correct form, so that you don't end up altering your mechanics or resorting to bad habits. 

​4.  Sprawl

AKA "boxer's burpees," sprawl is a move used in the ring to avoid being taken down by an opponent. It involves dropping to the mat in a wide-legged plank position, before pushing back up into a fighter's stance and ready to go again, and then repeated.

Either do sets of these as part of a HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) workout or mix them in with your shadow boxing sessions for some added intensity, core strength, and aerobic punch.

​5.  Mountain Climber

One more move to add to your home workout is the mountain climber, which begins from a plank position, but has you moving your legs like a sprinter trying to get out of imaginary starting blocks.
And, as with planks, there are many variations which you can do to create a full-core workout, such as army mountain climbers (AKA crawling), cross-body mountain climbers, or slow-motion mountain climbers.

You can do these on their own or mix them into your shadow boxing sessions for an intense aerobic and full body workout.

​6. Plyo push-ups

Sure, you can do regular push-ups for a convenient and effective upper body and core-strength workout.  Or, you can take it up a notch with plyo push-ups, which are like regular push-ups, just with a "wheelie" at the top.

Basically, you perform a regular push-up, except you explode hard on the way back up to the point that your hands come off the floor. Think of it as though you are trying to throw yourself from a prone position to an upright standing position using only your arms.


And, you can combine these with mountain climbers, sprawls and shadow boxing, for strength, endurance and conditioning like you used to think you needed the gym for. 

Stay Fit and Improve Your Boxing Skills

Polish your form, burn fat, and build your endurance.Come into our class with fitness and confidence to take it to the next level.

It just so happens that nobody is watching right now, so duck down into your cubicle for a quick round of planks and mountain climbers, and perhaps even some shadow boxing, just to make sure the juices are flowing.

In fact, so what if anyone is watching? Just do it!

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Things You Should Know Before You Take Your First Boxing Class

 So, you have concluded that the benefits fitness boxing workouts are just too good to pass up.

And, that means it is time to sign up for your first class!

But what should you know before taking the plunge? Do you need to start at a certain fitness level, is there any special equipment you need to invest in, and which gym should you join?

And, will fitness boxing turn you into the next Mike Tyson, or just a phenomenally fit person?

Ah yes, so many questions to answer—here is what you need to know before you sign up for your first fitness boxing class!

What to Wear

So, let's start with what to wear to the boxing gym. No, it isn't a fashion show, and more than anything, you just need something which is comfortable, and moves well with you. Clothing should be loose fitting, or flexible enough not to be constricting, since you will be doing a LOT of moving around.

Shorts are preferred over leggings or sweats, although either will work just fine—just remember, you're going to be warm from all the exertion, so dress accordingly!

In fact, speaking of being warm—you will be sweating, so a hat or headband is always a good measure against sweat in your eye.

And, you should lean towards athletic fabrics designed to wick away moisture. Remember that while comfortable, a material such as cotton will retain about 7% of its weight in moisture, as opposed to a mere .04% for polyester blends which are designed to remove moisture from your skin, so perhaps just this once, skipping the natural fibre may be a good thing.

One other thing to remember is, once you are suited up and are ready to go with your boxing gloves on, adjusting your clothing may be nearly impossible. You are, after all, wearing the dexterous equivalent of oven mitts, so be sure that what you put on won't need buttons adjusted, waste bands hiked-up, or laces laced.

Most of the time, the same clothing you would wear for a regular gym workout, or even your running clothes, will work fine—although remember that you will be indoors and working hard, so it is better not to overdress. Even if you are a bit chilly at first, don't worry about it. Better a bit cold to start, then to be miserably hot during your workout!

Court shoes, basketball sneakers, or other athletic shoes which allow good lateral movement are preferable. However, avoid wearing sandals or running shoes, which work fine for moving in a straight line, though not so great moving side-to-side.

Remember—you are just getting started. No need to go all-in on special clothing just yet—just find out what works best and is most comfortable for you, and you can add more specialized clothing down the road as you get more and more addicted to your workouts!

Special Equipment You'll Need

Now, guess what special equipment you need to invest in before your first class?

How about none!

In fact, any reputable boxing gym which caters to newbies will have loaner equipment to get started—although remember, you likely aren't the first wearer, so be prepared for a bit of fragrance (eau de locker room?) wafting from some of the older loaner equipment.

No, this isn't anything to worry about, since a good gym will keep things sanitary, although it will likely encourage you to invest in your own gear once you are up and running, and have determined fitness boxing to be your workout of choice.

However, one thing it is good to bring with you is your own water bottle (you must draw the line somewhere on loaner equipment!), since you need to stay hydrated, and the exertion will have you sweating.

And, be sure your water bottle is a squeeze bottle, or has a bite valve, since unscrewing a bottle cap can be impossible—or at least, very frustrating--while wearing boxing gloves.  A filtered water fountain is also available on-premises.  

Finally, be sure to arrive at least 20-minutes early to your first class to get to know your instructor and have them answer any questions you may have, as well as to familiarize yourself with the equipment you will be using.

How About the Workout? 

Now we get to the good part—the workout! No, you won't need to be in any prerequisite shape just to keep up, since good instructors and trainers understand that not everyone is capable of the same level of output.

But, do remember that your entire body is about to be worked as hard or harder than it ever has been, and that this isn't going to be just "one" workout; but rather, multiple training routines for various functions.

Oh that, and you're probably going to make a few friends along the way, since fitness boxing tends to be a rather social activity!

However, you will likely begin with warmups, such as jumping rope, stretching or some easy running on the treadmill, before moving on to punching, strength training and cardio.

Since the sport of boxing requires a strong combination of cardiovascular fitness and pure strength, expect your workouts to include High Intensity Strength Training (HIIT), which entails a period of intense effort, followed by a longer period of active recovery, and then repeated.

And of course, the results will be fat-burn like you never dreamed possible, a solid, firm core, and discovering muscles you didn't even know you had.

In fact, you're about to get into the best shape of your life—and, you'll look and feel like it!

Plus, your eye-hand coordination will develop with punching work--although please don't think black eyes or fat lips will be part of it.

Not unless you want to step into the ring, anyway.

However, even if you do have ambitions of becoming an actual fighter, first thing is first, and you need to learn technique and control—not to mention building the endurance to last in the ring.

But, since you are likely just looking to become fit, lean and healthy, rather than to beat anyone up, you are in the right place, since few other workouts hold a candle to what fitness boxing can do for you.

Enjoy your workout!


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Fitness Boxing: Which Gloves to Wear for your Workouts?

Along with being perhaps the most complete and beneficial workout there is, fitness boxing is also one of the most fun workouts around - which is why you're hooked!

However, now that you are taking part in boxing workouts on a regular basis, you realize that the loaner-gloves which your gym offers you may be more "aromatic" than useful, so perhaps it is time to invest in your own personal pair.

But which gloves should you get? Are they all the same? And if they aren't all the same, do you need more than one pair for different workouts?

No worries! Choosing a quality pair of boxing gloves for your workouts isn't hard, and is in fact much easier than continuing to use gloves which smell like old gym socks - even if countless others before you have found them to be adequate!

 Why do You Need Gloves?

Sure, you probably won't be sparring during your fitness boxing workouts, so why do you need protective gloves anyway?

Well, it is not about minimizing the damage you inflict upon an opponent, so much as it is keeping you from having bruised, bloodied knuckles - or worse.

In fact, not only can performing punching workouts without gloves hurt, it can also break hands and fingers if you're not careful, so unless you are made of iron or some other indestructible material, you need gloves.

 What Kinds of Gloves Are There?

There are three basic kinds of gloves for boxing workouts - only one of which you will need, unless you plan on sparring or boxing:

  • Bag gloves - For use only when working out on heavy bags and other specialty bags, since they have harder, denser foam than do sparring or training gloves. They don't have enough padding to protect an opponent, so any use other than hand protection while working out on bags is to be avoided.
  • Sparring gloves - Sparring gloves are padded to protect an opponent, and are usually rated in ounces, with the heavier weights providing more padding and increased safety for those being hit. They also typically avoid any loop-and-hook fastening systems, and instead use laces or have a wrap-around closure to prevent cuts and abrasions for sparring partners.
  • Training gloves - While technically designed with enough padding to be used as either a sparring or a bag-work glove, a single pair of training gloves should not be used for both purposes. This is because hitting bags tends to roughen the punching surface of the glove, which can lead to abrasions for an opponent; and the gloves will likewise break down faster during bag work, making them harder and less safe for use when sparring. However, they can be used for either one or the other - just not both.

Other things to consider are glove weight and closure system.

Heavier gloves can be worn to increase workout effort, and you may even want to consider using a couple of different weights of gloves for different workout intensities.

Closure systems which use lacing are best for those who have someone available to help tie them, and a wrap-around Velcro enclosure should be considered if you prefer gloves which can be put on and taken off without the aid of a partner.

How Should They Fit?

When shopping for gloves, think of it as you would be shopping for shoes - as in, try them all on, and see which ones fit the best. Be sure the fit is snug without being overly tight and restrictive, and make sure they feel completely comfortable, and nothing is pinching or cutting off circulation in your hands or wrists.

Another aspect to be considered is that you will likely be wrapping your hands and wrists when working out, which takes up some room in the gloves, much in the same manner as thick socks make a difference in how shoes fit.

Ideally, you should try on gloves with your hands wrapped. However, going from store-to-store with either wrapped hands, or wrapping and re-wrapping them every time you go into a new store is not the easiest way to shop. Instead try holding something roughly the size of a roll of quarters in your hand to take up the extra slack when trying gloves on, which will help to ensure an accurate fit.

About Wrapping

Sure, you can do punching work without wrapping, although doing so is HIGHLY discouraged (as in, don't do it!). This is because loose gloves and supple wrists lead to injuries, period.

And, while there are hand wrap gloves available which are quicker and more convenient to put on than fully wrapping your hands every time, they tend to not be as effective as wrapping, and it is advised that you simply spend the time to wrap and be safe. It isn't hard to do, and once you get it down, it will be part of your fitness boxing routine which you will go through whenever there is punching involved.

You can go here for more information on wrapping, as well as to see a "how to" for proper wrapping technique.

However, by ensuring that the bones in your hands and wrists are secured and not moving around independent of each other when punching, sprains and broken bones can be avoided.

What About Glove Material—Does it Matter?

When it comes to what material is best for your gloves, there are basically two options: vinyl, or leather. While there are variations on this, such as gloves with breathable nylon palms, you really need not look any further than either of these two materials.

And, speaking of "breathable nylon palms," it is best to avoid these types of "build a better mousetrap" bells and whistles, and just stick with tradition. For one thing, they're boxing gloves, not sports cars—use what works, and no need to reinvent the wheel!

That said, leather is usually worth any extra cost over vinyl, as it is suppler, breaths better, and wears better than vinyl. Vinyl also has an annoying tendency to split with fatigue, which not only means needing to replace them (and so much for the savings over leather!), but it can also endanger sparring partners due to the risk of cuts and abrasions.

Leather also has a nicer smell, which can be kept fresh by storing your new gloves with cedar chip-filled socks in them.

Happy fitness boxing!


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Fitness Boxing for Kids

 Hey Mom and Dad—want your kids to be calm, confident, fit and disciplined? Simple--take them with you next time you go to the fitness boxing gym!

No, they won't become little monsters out looking for fights, nor will they end up punch-drunk with head injuries. However, what kid wouldn't enjoy the opportunity to wail away at a punching bag and pretend they're Rocky Balboa taking on Apollo Creed?

Plus, you can you save yourself the time of dropping them off elsewhere by simply taking them to the gym with you—how convenient is that?

And, the same workout endorphins which help you cope with your daily stress can also help manage your kid's energy levels, make them more focused, and make them less susceptible to depression.

By enrolling boys and girls in the structured athletics of fitness boxing, they will learn the value of discipline, hard work, and fair play, all while improving eye-hand coordination, bone health, and cardio health.

And, even if you yourself are not partaking in what is perhaps the most complete workout around, your kids can still take advantage of all the health benefits which fitness boxing provides. Although why not join in too? After all, fitness boxing really is for everyone!

What about Head Injuries?

Alright, so you are understandably concerned with things like head injuries, particularly with all the recent attention on CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy).

However, even if your kids do spar during their workouts—which they probably won't—it isn't such a terribly violent or dangerous thing.

To start, sparring for kids is well supervised to disallow full contact, and done wearing modern protective head gear and heavily-padded gloves. It has also been compared to a game of tag, since the object of the game is to touch the opponent with a glove, rather than to slug anyone's lights out.

That said, most boxing workouts for kids don't involve sparring, and injuries are not common. Typically, injuries are of the sore wrist/bruised knuckle variety, and mainly from punching heavy bags and speed bags. So long as full contact fighting is avoided, there are no issues with brain trauma or CTE, and you can be confident that you are not causing your kids irreversible damage by allowing them to enjoy boxing workouts.

Plus, with the guidance of a good teacher, kids will learn the importance of doing things right, so that even when they work out on the speed bag or other punch training mechanisms, they will be learning how to do it safely, and with minimal physiological risk. In fact, your kids are likely more at risk for CTE and other injuries on the football pitch than they are in the boxing gym.

Oh, and by the way—if you take part in fitness boxing workouts, you too can find out just how safe it is!

 Won't Fitness Boxing Make my Kids get into Fights?

So far as your youngster getting into fights because of learning how to fight, the opposite is typically true. In fact, many inner-city kids sign up to learn boxing to stay off the street, and out of trouble.

Kids gain confidence when they learn boxing, although they also learn self-control, and when to back off from being overly-aggressive. Again, sparring (assuming you allow your kids to partake in it) is performed as a game, and is not about seeing who is the last one standing. By showing girls and boys how to control and focus their aggressions, rather than allowing their emotions to take over, they learn a valuable lesson which will get them out of—rather than into--trouble.

Plus, there is nothing so satisfying as seeing your youngster going from being picked on, to gaining the confidence to stand up to bullies, and not take the bait of name-calling or peer pressure.

And who knows--you may just end up being the proud parent of a schoolyard superhero who stands up for the weaker kids!

But My Kids are so Fidgety—Won't Boxing Make Them More so?

To be sure, kids who are in good physical shape have more energy than those who are not. However, the energy they get from being physically fit is far more calm and focused than energy from boredom or too much sugar.

After all, working out not only keeps them healthy, disciplined and with fewer behavioural problems, it also loads them up with the same endorphins you get from your fitness boxing workouts --you know, the ones which help you keep a cool, calm head when the kids are bouncing off the walls?

Plus, youngsters with focus issues, such as ADHD or hyperactivity, need activity to help with concentration, which fitness boxing is perfect for.

And, if your kids have excessive energy which is making you a bit batty, off to the gym with them! Let them concentrate that energy on a punching bag, so that you can have your peace of mind while they wind themselves down. You'll all sleep better tonight for it!

And Finally

The benefits of participating in fitness boxing workouts for both your kids AND yourself cannot be overstated, and there are few workouts which will deliver the same level of physical conditioning, discipline, and impulse control as boxing workouts will.

That said, there is one reason which supersedes them all: Fun!

Yes, the bottom line is, kids love the competition, comradery, and physical outlet which fitness boxing provides, and why wouldn't they? With workouts that include everything from skipping rope to shadow boxing, to hitting the heavy bag and weight training, they will certainly never get bored—especially when they are Rocky getting ready for the big one!

And, since they are learning and acquiring new skills along the way, not just their bodies, but their minds are also getting a workout.

So, how about it? For kids who are fit, disciplined, calm and smart, there is no better workout for them than fitness boxing.

Apollo is waiting!


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Why Fitness Boxing for Women is Right for You

While their chosen professions are seemingly worlds apart, female boxing legend Laila Ali and Victoria Secret supermodel Adriana Lima have a lot in common. They are both stunningly beautiful, elegantly poised, healthy, and graceful—and both partake in women's fitness boxing workouts.

But fitness boxing? Really? But isn't that at the—ahem—more macho end of things?

While yes, it may be true that the sport of boxing is quite manly, training to box is something which can be enjoyed by all—be they prize-fighter, fashion model, housewife, college student, or anyone else in search of the best workout.

Let's take Laila Ali and her 24 – 0 professional fight record, for instance. Yes, she is retired from boxing, and is now a mother, culinary enthusiast, children's advocate, fitness expert, actor, and CEO of her beauty and lifestyle brand. She is also glowingly attractive, and "professional model" could easily make her list of accomplishments, were she so inclined.

However, her healthy aura may have more to do with the fitness boxing workouts she continues to utilize than it does the tasty, healthy foods she is so enthusiastic in preparing.

In fact, the same boxing workouts which helped her become one of the most ferociously competitive fighters in history--male or female--also helps her maintain her stunning grace and beauty today. 

 It's About Fitness—and Lifestyle

So, let's look at why fitness boxing should be on your radar as one of the most physically complete and beneficial workout there are.

And no, don't worry—you won't need to be beaten up or beat up others to take advantage of what is not just a great way to stay fit, but for a growing number of women, a lifestyle.

But Why Fitness Boxing for Women?

It is the need for fighters to train for a combination of strength, speed, and endurance which makes fitness boxing for women the ultimate workout.

And, the combination of bag work, shadow boxing, core strength workouts and LOTS of calorie-torching HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) not only delivers a full body workout second to none, but is never dull or one-dimensional.

So much so, in fact, that you may just forget about other workouts and the oh-so-boring rut they always seem to end up in!

An Age-Old Workout

Fitness boxing can hardly be called the latest fad workout, despite its current rise in popularity. This is because boxing has been an Olympic sport since around 688 BC, and likely goes back even further to whenever someone added rules to fist-fighting and dubbed it a "sport."

And likewise, the need to train to be stronger, faster and have more endurance than one's opponent has been around for nearly as long.

However, the benefits of women's fitness boxing may have been hidden under boxing's macho exterior up to this point. Fortunately, this has changed, due not only to women such as Laila Ali bringing legitimacy to the sport of women's boxing, but to women such as Victoria Secret model Adriana Lima's use of women's fitness boxing as part of her daily regiment to stay at the top of the modelling profession.

And you too can take advantage of the wealth of benefits women's fitness boxing can provide, including:

  • Calorie and Fat Burn – The nature of HIIT is for short periods of intense effort to be followed by slightly longer periods of active recovery. This is arguably the fastest way to burn fat, since going "into the red" during the intense parts utilizes fast twitch (anaerobic) muscles, while backing off for the active recovery parts allows slow twitch (aerobic) muscles to continue firing. This creates a constant workload for your energy system, which requires extra fuel (i.e. FAT) to keep up with. The truly amazing part? Your body continues to burn extra calories for hours after your workout—even as you sit before the telly, relaxing with your favourite beverage. Really now, how does it get any better than that?
  • Mental Wellbeing – Let's face it—we all have stress, which is just one of the driving forces behind our need to exercise. Not only does fitness boxing provide those oh-so-relaxing post-workout endorphins, it is also a fantastic way to get rid of any pent-up aggressions which the rat-race may be providing. After all, what could be more satisfying than pretending that a punching bag is that jerk who cut in front of you in the coffee line this morning? No worries, stress-level back to nil—done!
  • Rock Hard Abs – Boxing requires a wicked-strong core, which women's fitness boxing workouts will deliver (with some effort on your part, of course). Since boxers need to constantly rotate their hips, duck, lunge, and take punches, core strength is a big key to their success, making it a major focus in boxing workouts.
  • Increased Confidence – You know those endorphins which make tolerating your overly-talkative seat-mate on the bus ride home so much easier? They are also a source of cool, calm confidence—the kind which removes the panic from any situation. Add to this improved posture from a strong core, and the healthy, attractive glow from increased fitness, and there is no stopping you. You go girl!
  • It's NEVER Boring – One of the hardest parts of maintaining a fitness routine is in keeping the ROUTINE from becoming a RUT. Yes, we all know the feeling of NEEDING to work out, as opposed to WANTING to work out, and by signing up at a women's fitness boxing gym, you will no longer have the dull experience of watching the timer on the treadmill slowly creep along. Since women's fitness boxing workouts are made up of many different exercises, there is always something fresh to captivate your attention.

No, fitness boxing workouts are not just for supermodels and pro athletes, and you too can enjoy the many benefits they provide. By making women's fitness boxing workouts part of your lifestyle, you can be whatever you want to be—especially if you want to be tremendously fit, healthy, and beautiful.

See you at the gym!

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Fitness Boxing - The Perfect Workout For Everyone

When we hear the term "fitness boxing, " we typically think of Rocky Balboa: Lean, fast and fit, hard working, and tough as nails to survive a beating.

And what a beating he takes hardly something that many of us would be willing to participate in!  True, the game of boxing can be brutal at any level, due to the violent nature of the sport.

However, if we remove the whole pummeling-and-being-pummeled part, we are left with a workout that not only builds endurance, power and strength, but one which can be enjoyed by everyone.

Remember how Rocky had all those drills and exercises which made him so tough? They can all be mimicked in a modern boxing workout, without the chicken chasing, of course. No, fitness boxing workouts are not just for the young, the punch-drunk and the brave. In fact, even Mom and the kids can take part in what is one of the fastest growing workout trends in Western Australia, and have fun doing it.

Add to it the many modern boxing gyms which feature boxing training not only for adult men, but also for women and kids, and we can safely surmise that fitness boxing is for everyone.

Want more reasons to consider a boxing workout?  Here are just a few benefits to joining a men's, women's, or kid's fitness boxing class today: 

​Endurance

An average 70kg boxer burns around 700 calories per hour of sparring--more than the average 640 calories a 70kg runner would burn in the same amount of time. This is because not only do boxers need the strong legs and cardiovascular system of a runner, but also upper-body power, quickness and speed as well.

This means that fitness boxing picks up where running leaves off. By working fast twitch power muscles along with slow twitch endurance muscles in the upper and lower body, our cardiovascular system has a lot to keep up with.

This makes our entire body much stronger than running alone does.

Want an easy way for the kids to develop healthy cardiovascular systems, muscles, speed and endurance? Put them in front of a punching bag, and they will do the rest, no need to encourage them to do what kids love!

Or how about that annual 10 k race you've been training for--want to beat last years' time? A boxing workout may be just the cross training you need to get you across the finish line faster.

In fact, in terms of pure endurance, fitness boxing may just be the best workout around.

And for the good news? Anyone at any age can participate, and there are classes available for everyone. 

​Fat Burn

So, the desk job isn't doing your waistline much good? Does the desert tray have you losing the battle of the bulge? Boxing may be just the answer to your fat-burn prayers.  Sure, there is that exercycle which you can sit on for hour after boring hour.

However, fitness boxing is not only more fun and engaging, but it also burns more fat than steady-state aerobic exercise.  No, there is nothing wrong with steady-state exercise, which does improve aerobic fitness. However, there are more efficient ways to burn fat.

Boxing workouts incorporate intense interval training, which mimics what a fighter goes through in 3-10 rounds (without the getting punched part, of course).  Interval training, a type of workout where intensely hard efforts are repeated after brief recovery periods, is the best way to burn fat. Not only does it improve fat oxidation rate during performance, but after as well.

Yes, you heard that right, not only will you lose the unwanted kg's in the boxing gym, but afterward when you have your feet up relaxing.  It seems that when we are recovering after an interval workout, our muscles continue to burn fat as they remove lactic acid and hydrogen ions and replace them with glycogen, does it get any better than that?

The workout also engages a variety of muscle groups, meaning there are more muscles burning calories than there would be on the stationary bike.

What this means is that if you are looking for a weight loss and fat-reduction workout routine which WILL melt away the pounds, fitness boxing is just the ticket.

​Stress Reduction and Mental Fitness

Want to exercise not only your body, but your mind as well? There are many mental benefits to boxing fitness, not just for you, but for but for young, developing minds as well.

First, there is the endorphin release from exercise, something which you may already be familiar with. Want the kids to settle down? Send them to the speed bag for an hour, and what angels they will become!  This is because when we exercise, our bodies produce natural opiates, or endorphin, which make us feel relaxed, focused and oh-so-wonderful. This alone is reason enough to get the whole family into the boxing gym.

However, there are other mental benefits.  Boxing also requires hand-eye coordination, as well as strategic planning and quick thinking. These aspects require mental focus and agility, which in turn build mental sharpness and strength.

Many of us also have aggression to release, and there is nothing like a speed bag with which to get them out. Nobody gets hurt, and we feel great afterward! What could be better?

Conclusion: Everyone into the Gym!

When it comes to fitness workouts, it is hard to find any as fun and engaging for everyone as fitness boxing.

If you have had enough of one dimensional, cookie cutter workouts which leave you less than fit, look no further than Kings Boxing Gym. With kid's classes and women's classes available, there is no reason to leave anyone out of the fun.

By combining anaerobic intervals with bag work, weights and eye/hand skill enhancement, it is nearly impossible to be bored or out of shape!

What more do you need in a workout?



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