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Boxing Exercise for Women

By: Mike Kiely BA (hons) - Updated: 10 Mar 2010 | comments*Discuss
Flexibility Stamina Upper Body Core

Boxing may conjure up images of big bruisers attempting to knock each other’s block off. But the sport is about so much more than brute force. It requires high levels of fitness, excellent core strength, together with flexibility and stamina in both the upper-and lower-body to ensure quickness of feet is matched by the glovework where points are scored and fights are won and lost.

Women’s boxing may be a minority sport but its practitioners are no less dedicated than their male peers, and they possess similar levels of both skill and dedication to what is as much an art as a sport.

The good news for women who are less than enamoured by the idea of pulling no punches is that the physical benefits of boxing can still be enjoyed without ever having to lay a glove on another individual. Indeed, just a couple of minutes’ work with either pads or punchbag will be enough to make you realise that the upper arms you are so proud of could still do with a bit more work.

Combinations of Punches

Take, for example, working with a personal trainer using pads. Routines may include taking it in turns to punch straight ahead using the right or left arm, or working both at the same time, producing combinations of punches. Initially this work will leave the upper arms feeling leaden because not only are you having to hold your arms up in the classic boxing pose, but you are also working them backwards and forwards to put weight into the punches.

As well as conventional forward thrusts from the shoulder, the trainer may also introduce squats to increase the degree of difficulty and work the lower body, as well as holding the pads wide rather than in front of you, in order to make you turn into the punch, thereby working the abdominals.

At the end of a session with pads, the benefits will be all too apparent, not least from the healthy glow of perspiration on your forehead and the exhilarating pumping of the heart that reflects the cardio aspect of the exercises. With experience an individual can repeat these routines using a punchbag and without the need for the trainer to be present. But whether you are using the pads or a bag, always wear good quality, well fitted boxing gloves to protect your hands from the impact. Similarly footwear that offers good grip may save you from an embarrassing slip or a fall that could result in injury during your workout.

Using the Equipment Safely

Injury should always be a consideration when using other tools such as skipping ropes or medicine balls, so ensure any introduction to routines using them are in the presence of a professional trainer who can spell out the do’s and don’ts that will mean from the off you are using the equipment safely and in the correct manner.

Remember, too, to preface every session with a good 15 minutes of stretches and leave time at the end to complete a similar period of warm downs that will keep your muscles in the best possible condition.Building boxing exercises into your regular workout routine will bring an extra dimension to your existing programme of classes, and ensure you are fighting fit for the challenges of everyday life.

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