Find a Licensed Personal Trainer in Your Area

Boxing as Exercise: The Pros & Cons, and Everything in Between

Health & Wellness
Last Updated Aug 03, 2023

Boxing as Exercise: The Pros & Cons, and Everything in Between

Whether you want to be like Muhammad Ali, lose weight, or improve your cardiovascular health, boxing workouts can help you achieve your fitness goals. Throwing powerful punches on a boxing dummy or a boxing pad is a terrific way to increase your fitness level while also improving your mental health, as it boosts serotonin production in your brain. What's more, regular boxing exercises can aid in weight loss. Read this guide before heading to the boxing gym to avoid serious injuries while reaping the benefits of this combat sport. 

What is Boxing?

Boxing is a sport in which two people try to throw powerful punches at each other while avoiding being hit themselves. It's an intense sport that can get you fit quickly because boxing involves all your muscles, and it works both endurance and strength at the same time.

Since it uses much upper body strength, boxing is one of the best aerobic exercises you can do. However, combining it with other cardio exercises will help your entire body because it will work on muscle groups that boxing training does not target. 

Attending boxing personal training classes has several health benefits for both the mind and body. People who attend boxing classes and practise shadow boxing are less likely to suffer from heart disease, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases or any type of cancer than people who don't exercise at all. If you do boxing properly, not only will you get your heart rate up but also burn calories quickly, making boxing great for weight loss.

What are the Health Benefits of Boxing?

Many boxing enthusiasts report having more energy after their intense workouts; they also feel calm and happier, which makes boxing a good stress reliever as well as a great way to let off steam. Boxing workouts allow individuals to channel their emotions constructively. Punching a bag or shadowboxing can be cathartic, providing a healthy way to release pent-up emotions and frustrations.

The intense physical activity involved in boxing workouts triggers the release of endorphins, the brain's feel-good chemicals, which helps reduce stress and improve mood. 

As boxing requires focus and mental agility, so participants must quickly respond to movements and anticipate their opponent's actions, regular practice can also enhance concentration and cognitive function.

Engaging in regular boxing exercise has also been shown to reduce symptoms of anxiety. It promotes relaxation, reduces muscle tension and improves sleep quality, all of which contribute to better anxiety management. It's the mindfulness aspect of boxing that leads to this. Boxing requires participants to be present and fully engaged in the moment, so it serves as a form of meditation, promoting mental clarity and reducing rumination.

Other benefits of boxing training:

  • Helps you achieve toned muscles and get in shape fast
  • Improves your hand-eye coordination
  • Increases bone mass
  • Strengthens core muscles
  • It's fun and a source of motivation

How to Use Boxing for Weight Loss

If you perform this cardio workout at a high intensity, rest assured that you will burn fat and calories quickly.

The best boxing workouts for weight loss involve working out until you've burned all the available fuel in your muscles and then continuing to throw punches for a few minutes more until your body uses up stored fat as energy. You can do boxing at high intensity by either removing rest breaks between rounds or doing boxing drills where you go non-stop from one move to another without taking a break. Warm up exercises and basic punches on a punching bag burn 500 calories per hour, whereas punches in boxing personal training classes with a sparring partner burn more than 800 calories per hour.

If you're thinking of getting into boxing to lose weight, it's important that you don't overdo things during your first training session. Boxing places a lot of physical stress on the body, so you need to give your muscles ample time to get used to the sport before boxing at high intensity or for a prolonged period of time.

If you're a beginner, boxing short rounds with plenty of rest in between will help you get all the health benefits of boxing while making sure that your body can cope with the demands boxing makes on it until you get fitter.

A personal trainer who specialises in boxing can teach you the basic techniques, such as boxing footwork, defensive moves and straight body punches. Once you have mastered these, you can move on to more advanced techniques.

Involving your friends and family is also an effective way of sticking to your goal while helping them achieve their own fitness goals.

Benefits of Boxing as ExerciseSource: Infographic Journal

Boxing Classes: Variations and Specialisations

As more people become aware of the multiple physical and mental health advantages of this sport, boxing classes are becoming more and more popular. However, not all boxing classes are the same, as there are various variations and specialisations tailored to different fitness levels and goals.

Whether you're a beginner or a seasoned boxer, there's a boxing class that suits your needs. Let's explore some of the common variations and specialisations of boxing classes:

  1. Beginner's Boxing Class: Designed for those new to boxing, beginner classes focus on teaching the fundamentals of boxing, including proper stance, basic punches, footwork and defensive techniques. Trainers ensure participants understand the foundational skills and provide a safe and supportive environment to build confidence.

  2. Cardio Boxing: If you're looking for a high-energy, non-contact workout that still incorporates boxing moves, cardio boxing might be the perfect fit. This class emphasises cardiovascular fitness, utilising boxing-inspired exercises and movements to elevate your heart rate and burn calories.

  3. Advanced Boxing: For experienced boxers or those seeking a more challenging workout, advanced boxing classes offer a higher intensity level. Participants refine their techniques, engage in intense drills and may incorporate light sparring under proper supervision.

  4. Boxing for Stress Relief: This specialised class places more emphasis on the mental health benefits of boxing. Participants learn techniques to manage stress, anxiety and frustration while still enjoying the physical aspects of the sport. It can be a great way to release tension and promote overall wellbeing.

  5. Boxing for Kids: Many gyms offer boxing classes designed specifically for children. These classes focus on developing discipline, coordination and confidence while promoting a fun and safe environment for kids to engage in physical activity.

  6. Boxing for Women: Some boxing classes cater exclusively to women, providing a supportive and empowering space for females to learn boxing techniques and improve their fitness levels.

  7. Boxing for Seniors: Modified boxing classes for seniors cater to their specific fitness needs and physical abilities. These classes help improve balance, strength and mobility while promoting social interaction and enjoyment.

What are the Risks Associated With Boxing?

Although the benefits of boxing training are abundant, there are some risks associated with it. That is why it is very important to make sure boxing is something you really want to do before heading down to the boxing club.

One of the main risks boxing involves are injuries, which can range from minor bumps and bruises to more serious ones depending on how powerful your punches are, whether you wear boxing gloves or not, what round of boxing you're in, and so on.

Boxing is a sport that involves a lot of physical contact between opponents aiming to punch one other. Head injuries sustained in boxing are believed to cause damage to brain cells. Repeated injuries may cause structural changes to the brain that, while not immediately noticeable, may lead to memory and decision-making problems down the line.

Even though boxing is a very popular sport that many people do, it's best to avoid it if you have a health condition that makes boxing contraindicated, are pregnant, or suffer from mental health issues.

Essential Equipment for Boxing

There are various ways in which you can practise boxing safely, but one of them is wearing protective equipment like head guards, shin pads and chest protectors. Make sure to wear boxing helmets especially if you're boxing in a ring.

One of the main boxing equipment you need to have before stepping into a boxing ring are boxing gloves. They protect your hands from injury while allowing your hands to be as effective as possible in throwing punches. There are boxing gloves for beginners, for boxing at high intensity, for specific sports like MMA, and boxing gloves designed for women. It's important to find a pair that fits you correctly because if your boxing gloves don't offer enough protection, you risk suffering hand injuries in the long run.

Boxing hand wraps are also incredibly important when it comes to protecting your hands while you're boxing, so make sure to wear them whenever you're hitting the heavy bag. Boxing boots are also an important boxing gear because they protect the feet, ankles and shins from any accidental injuries.

You also need to have a supply of boxing mouthpieces to prevent damage to your teeth during workouts. A boxing mouthpiece can help protect teeth from being knocked out or damaged. It also provides a barrier between the boxing glove and the gums that absorb impact.

How to Get Started with Boxing

If you're new to boxing, here are 5 steps to help you get started:

  1. Find a qualified boxing coach: Look for a qualified boxing coach or personal trainer who specialises in boxing. They can provide you with the necessary guidance and training to ensure you learn proper techniques and avoid injuries.

  2. Start with basic techniques: Master the fundamental boxing techniques, including footwork, defensive moves and punches. Learning the basics is crucial for building a solid foundation in boxing.

  3. Choose the right boxing class: Opt for boxing classes suitable for beginners to gradually build your stamina and endurance. You can later advance to more intense classes as you progress.

  4. Use appropriate protective gear: Invest in high-quality boxing gloves, hand wraps, mouthguards and headgear to protect yourself during training and sparring sessions.

  5. Stay consistent: Consistency is key to improving in boxing. Regular practice and dedication will help you achieve your fitness goals.

The Most Recent Study on the Benefits of Boxing for Health

A recent study published in the Journal of Sports Science & Medicine explored the health benefits of boxing training. The research focused on a group of participants who attended regular boxing classes and compared their health outcomes to a control group of sedentary individuals.

The results indicated that participants who engaged in regular boxing exercises experienced significant improvements in cardiovascular health, muscle tone and overall fitness levels. The high-intensity nature of boxing workouts contributed to notable weight loss and increased bone mass in the participants. Moreover, the study showed that regular boxing training reduced stress levels and improved participants' mental wellbeing.

This evidence-based research further supports the idea that boxing exercises can be an effective and enjoyable way to improve overall health and fitness.

Boxing all in all...

Offers numerous health benefits, including improved cardiovascular health, weight loss, increased muscle tone and stress reduction. However, it's essential to acknowledge the associated risks, such as the potential for injuries, especially to the head.

To get started with boxing, find a qualified coach or trainer who can guide you through the basics and ensure you use proper protective gear. Remember that consistency and dedication are crucial for making progress in boxing.

If you're looking to find professional boxing coaches or personal trainers who specialise in boxing, consider exploring the listings of personal trainers on Natural Therapy Pages. These practitioners can provide personalised guidance to help you achieve your fitness goals and improve your overall health and wellbeing. Whether you're a beginner or an experienced boxer, incorporating boxing exercises into your fitness routine can lead to a more active and healthier lifestyle.

To get the most out of your training or sparring sessions, combine them with a healthy diet and a positive mindset.

Originally published on Mar 02, 2022

FAQs About Boxing as Exercise

Will boxing help me lose belly fat?

Yes, it certainly will. Many people choose boxing as their go-to workout when they want to burn calories quickly and lose weight. A boxing workout's high-intensity nature makes it excellent for burning visceral fat, which is located around the waist.

Is boxing good exercise for seniors?

Yes, it is. You can never be too old to reap the benefits of a boxing training regimen, whether you're 65 or 70 years old. Maintaining good posture, increasing physical strength, and being mentally alert are all benefits of boxing. It will keep your body in top shape if you do it on a daily basis.

How long does it take to see results from boxing?

Because it is a high-intensity workout, boxing produces results in the shortest amount of time. You should expect to see positive results in a month or less if you do it on a daily basis.

Can anyone practise boxing, regardless of age or fitness level?

Yes, boxing is an inclusive sport, and people of all ages and fitness levels can participate. There are specialised classes for kids, seniors and beginners, making it accessible to everyone.

Are there any safety measures in place during boxing workouts to prevent injuries?

Absolutely. Reputable boxing gyms and trainers prioritise safety. They provide participants with proper equipment, such as gloves and protective gear, and ensure supervised training to minimise the risk of injuries.

What are the different types of boxing classes available in Australia?

Australia offers a variety of boxing classes, including beginner's boxing, cardio boxing, advanced boxing, boxing for stress relief and specialised classes for women and seniors

Can boxing workouts help improve mental health and manage stress?

Yes, boxing exercise has been shown to have significant mental health benefits. The physical activity releases endorphins, reducing stress and promoting a sense of wellbeing. It can also boost self-confidence and provide an outlet for emotional release.

Are there qualified boxing coaches and trainers available in Australia to guide beginners?

Indeed! Australia has many qualified boxing coaches and trainers who can teach beginners the fundamentals of boxing, ensuring they learn proper techniques and safely progress in their fitness journey.

Related Topics

Exercise Therapy,  Fitness,  Weight Loss

Related Services

Buteyko Breathing Technique,  Exercise Physiology,  Pilates,  Tai Chi


Our Rating