How to get into boxing, for women

December 26 2015

Despite still being seen as a masculine sport, everyone can enjoy the physical benefits of boxing’s intensive training. We spoke to Keeley from Phat Cupcake – a Manchester-based lifestyle blog with a focus on food, healthy living and beauty – about how you can apply the sport’s skills and techniques to help develop your own fitness regime. 

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Boxing is still seen as a very masculine sport. The classic image is of two men in a ring punching each other for points or until one of them is knocked to the ground, unable to get up. But whilst boxing is a contact sport, there is no reason why you can’t use the same techniques without punching someone in the face.

In fact, you can reap the benefits of this all-over fitness and conditioning sport just with the right equipment.

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Why boxing?

When boxers compete professionally they need incredible hand-eye coordination, power, speed and endurance, as well as strength and nerve. You’ll also learn these skills when boxing training for fitness. And boxing training is an amazing stress reliever, as you can take out all your frustration on either the pads or the bag!

As you learn to box you’ll find it’s also an awesome cardiovascular workout. Not only do you have to punch, you also have to be able to duck, move lightly on your feet and squat in an attempt to block your opponent.

These moves are also part of most boxing workouts even if you are not participating in contact sport.

This type of strength training combined with a healthy eating plan can help you shed the pounds and build an awesome physique in no time, like no other ‘diet and exercise plan’ on the market.

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How do you train for boxing?

If you have a friend to train with, boxing is much more fun. You’ll need two pairs of boxing gloves and a set of pads.

If you’re training alone then you’ll also need something to hit, usually a punch bag. Most commercial gyms have started to include these, although you can buy one and fit it in your home gym.

A boxing workout is not just about the physical punches though, you also need to build stamina and strength in other ways. You’ll do this predominantly through body weight exercises, so you don’t need much equipment. I’d recommend an exercise mat and a skipping rope.

Below is a list of boxing combinations and exercises designed by boxing coach Darren Craven. Darren is Manchester based and teaches women to box in just eight weeks, ready for their first fights for charity.

1-2 (Jab-Right cross)

The basic combination is the 1-2 jab-right cross. It’s naturally the first combination you learn how to throw as it’s the first two punches you naturally throw. You’ve probably been doing this since you have been able to play fight. The fast jab catches your opponent off guard and the right cross breaks through the guard – if they have one, that is.

If you want to turn these into a circuit session I would recommend that you do the 1-2 (Jab-Right cross) in a pyramid routine.

So the 1-2, a squat jump, two 1-2s, then two squat jumps, and so on. The idea is to add onto the combo, building up to 20 repeats, and then back down to two, then change.

Perfect exercises for boxing conditioning:

  • Sit-ups
  • Skipping
  • Medicine ball slams (hold a medicine ball above your head, bend your knees and throw it onto the ground as hard as possible, repeat)
  • Runs
  • Squats
  • Burpees
  • Press-ups

Who knows, maybe you’ll be that addicted we’ll see you competing at the next female fight!