When people think of boxers, they usually envision a person in great physical condition with defined muscles and a six pack above their boxing trunks. This prevailing notion is there because the training boxers perform puts them in tremendous shape. Most anyone can participate in these training activities to work toward this fitness level. Beginners can acquire a speed bag and a punching bag for home workouts, join a gym where boxing classes are offered or find an instructional DVD to learn proper moves and workouts. As people grow more and more weary of traditional workouts, boxing for fitness can provide a nice alternative.
Assuming a starting weight of 190 pounds, boxing in various forms can burn more calories than many of the more commonly used exercises. Boxing in a ring may burn as much as 1,035 calories an hour. Light sparring with an opponent can burn up to 776 calories an hour, and working out with a heavy bag may burn up to 518 calories an hour.
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Even if you have no interest in getting into a ring with an opponent and have no access to a punching bag, there are a few ways you can still use boxing for fitness. Shadowboxing, for example, involves throwing light punches combined with dancing footwork. This can be done freestyle or rhythmically. To freestyle shadowbox, simply throw combinations of punches while bouncing on the balls of your feet, making sure to duck and jive as you avoid your imaginary opponents punches. To do it rhythmically, step forward and throw a punch, return to a base stance, and then step forward with your other foot and throw a punch. Repeat this process, turning the boxing routine into a standard cardio workout, much like aerobics.
If you have access to a boxing gym open to the public, the fitness routine will be even easier to accomplish. There, you can use such equipment as heavy bags, speed bags, jump ropes and sparring to round out a boxing for fitness routine. When sparring with an opponent, it's best to choose a partner who has similar goals as your own. Boxing for fitness obviously has different mechanisms than boxing to increase skill and practice strategy. The point is to keep the heart rate up, rather than to find ways to pulverize your opponent. When sparring, it is typically recommended to wear appropriate protective gear, such as gloves, a face protector, and a mouthpiece.
Boxers don't use only boxing to get into great shape. If you want to devise a well-rounded boxing for fitness routine, you should incorporate other exercises such as weight lifting, jogging, and jumping rope to get a full body workout. Strength training and lifting weights also may be incorporated into a boxing fitness routine.