Most of you have probably noticed by now that I’m slowly starting to incorporate more boxing and kickboxing exercises into the regular HIIT workouts on the site.
It’s something that I’ve been wanting to do since I first started 12 Minute Athlete, but in an effort to keep things simple at first I decided to wait until people got more used to the workouts before I started expanding the exercises and equipment by too much.
So in an effort to start convincing the skeptics among you, here are 10 reasons why I love boxing so dang much (and why I hope you will too):
(Note: I did do a bit of actual fighting just for fun while living in New York City, but I mostly love the solo training side of boxing, so that’s what I’m referring to in this post. I’m not out to try to convince all of you that you should all go get in a ring!)
#1: It will get you pouring sweat in no time
I don’t know about you guys, but my favorite workouts are the ones that get me really sweaty and exhausted in a really short amount of time. There’s just something to ultra-sweaty workouts that just leave me feeling like I really accomplished something afterwards.
Boxing, on the other hand, will leave you dripping sweat just a few minutes into your workout—and that’s pretty awesome if you ask me.
#2: It’s the best stress reliever of all time
I’ve tried a lot of stress relieving methods, including going for a walk and taking an epsom salt bath, but absolutely nothing comes close to the stress relieving power of boxing.
Any time I’m feeling frustrated, overwhelmed, or just plain angry, I’ll hit my punching bag for a few minutes like crazy and magically I’ll have punched all that energy and stress away. Seriously, if you’ve never boxed when you’re upset or stressed out, you’ve gotta try it—it’s the best thing ever.
Also, I’d highly recommend punching a bag rather than walls (Sorry, mom and dad – love, teenage Krista).
#3: It’s awesome for conditioning
No matter what sport you like to do in your free time, adding boxing to your training regimen is hands down one of the very best things you can do to condition for it. Not only will it help you increase your VO2 max pretty quickly, it’ll get you used to working intensely for extended periods of time.
Every time I add a little boxing to my workouts consistently for a week or two I notice a difference in my conditioning levels almost right away.
#4: It makes you feel like a badass
I’ve always been one of those people who wanted to be a little tough (rather than wimpy or girly), but until I started working out and subsequently boxing a few years ago I had nothing to back up my wannabe toughness. Getting stronger and learning to box changed all of that, since I suddenly had some actual strength and skills to back it up.
And really, let’s be honest here: there’s really nothing more badass than being able to punch and kick really, really hard.
#5: It’s a calorie killer
Boxing and other high intensity training can build upwards of 12 to 22 calories per minute, compared to about 10 that you burn exercising moderately.
Do it right (a.k.a. work as hard as you possibly can) and you’ll not only be elevating your conditioning to the max, you’ll have burned a ton of calories in a really short amount of time as well.
#6: It builds serious core strength
Although it may seem like you’re just using your arms (to punch) and legs (to kick), you also end up using your abs and core muscles quite a bit while boxing.
Boxing relies so much on core strength, in fact, that it’s fairly common to have sore abs the next day, even if nothing else is sore (mine often are if I go hard enough). Keep it up and you’ll build some seriously strong abs.
#7: It’ll make your shoulders really strong
Want to build really strong shoulders? Skip the heavy weights and hit a punching bag and/or a speed bag and build shoulder strength in no time.
Boxers notoriously have really strong shoulders, and you will too if you do it often enough. Just don’t be surprised when your shoulders start aching within just a few minutes.
#8: It won’t build bulk
Most guys probably won’t care about this one (unless you’re training for a sport where you need to maintain a lean, athletic build), but boxing is really awesome for us females who want to be strong but still fit in regular clothes.
Boxing will make your body a lean and mean machine without adding bulky, non-functional muscles.
#9: It builds confidence
Whether you’re a guy or a girl, there’s nothing quite like knowing that if you need to, you can punch or kick someone really, really hard. Not that I’m promoting getting into fights or anything, but there have definitely been some times since learning to punch that I was happy to know I could fight back if I was in a situation where I had to.
Just don’t get too confident and start picking fights—just because you can punch hard doesn’t mean you actually have good fighting technique.
#10: It’s good for coordination
Anyone who (like me) has trouble with coordination at times will greatly benefit from adding boxing and kickboxing to your regular workouts.
The technique required to properly hit your target requires a good amount of coordination, which will increase with time and practice and translate to other sports and activities as well. Just don’t be surprised if you feel like a total klutz when you’re first starting out.
And remember to punch hard!