While the summer months often provide an increase in exercise options, moving your workouts indoors shouldn’t give you seasonal sadness. It’s important that no matter the season, you’re well-equipped with a personalized exercise program that’s right for you and fun to follow. Thankfully, fall’s biggest fitness trend is one that would make our city’s most famous character very happy. Of course, we’re talking about boxing.
It’s been proven that even amateur boxers typically have low body fat, high muscle mass percentages, and elevated cardiorespiratory fitness. On top of this, boxing can help improve balance, posture and hand-eye coordination, strengthen your upper-body and core and boost endurance. Boxing is not only a form of strength training but it’s also a great aerobic exercise, which means the benefits are also long-term. Getting your heart — and fists — pumping a couple times a week will ultimately reduce your risk of longer-term health complications like high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke and diabetes.
Sounds great, right? In case you’re still a little bit intimidated to lace up those gloves, here’s what you need to know before you step into the ring for your first class.
As with any sport, you want to take the right safety precautions. Make sure your hands are wrapped properly so that your knuckles are protected and your wrists are supported. You’ll also need a good pair of gloves. Try on a couple different pairs to figure out your preferences — the key is to make sure you’re able to make a tight fist inside while wearing them.
Take a Stance
A boxer’s stance is important because the proper positioning will allow you to really pack those punches with some force — and get the most out of your workout. In order to achieve the correct angles and balance, stand with your feet staggered, and make sure they’re a little wider than your shoulders. The opposite foot of your dominant hand should be in front with your toes pointed and hips and shoulders squared toward your target. You want your weight evenly distributed between both feet. Raise your fists to your shoulders, tuck your chin so that your hands guard it, and keep your elbows near your ribs.
Pack a Punch
There are three types of punches you should know before you hit the gym: the jab, the cross and the hook.
The Jab. Clench your lead side’s fist and turn your elbow upward so that your palm turns parallel to the ground.
The Cross. Twist your back foot so that your heel lifts off the ground and your back hip rotates forward. Use the momentum to reach your corresponding arm forward and with your palm facing the ground.
The Hook. Start by completing a cross. Then, swivel your leading leg and dig your heel into the ground. Simultaneously swing your leading fist around in front of your nose with your elbow bent to a 90-degree angle, at shoulder height and parallel to the ground. Then pull it back to your chin.
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