Of course, everyone knows that boxing training is going to have massive benefits for your overall physical health. But, there are plenty of benefits of boxing training beyond the physical including boosts to your mental health and general wellbeing.
People begin boxing for a variety of reasons including to improve their overall fitness, to make a career out of fighting or to learn to defend themselves. And, whatever the motivation for beginning to box, there are some benefits of boxing training that everyone who picks up a pair of gloves can enjoy, from avid gym goers to more casual fitness fans.
If you’re on the fence about starting boxing, or you’re already a boxer and want to know more about what it does to your body and mind then read on to find out more about the benefits of boxing training.
The physical benefits of boxing training
Let’s start with the big things, the physical benefits of boxing training. It’s pretty clear that boxing regularly will have a positive effect on your body, but do you know exactly just how much impact boxing training can have on your body?
1. Improved Cardiovascular Health
We’re constantly being told by doctors, fitness experts and pretty much every authority on health, that taking care of our hearts is essential to protect ourselves from heart diseases and common illnesses and overall stay healthy.
To keep our hearts healthy, we need to be doing cardiovascular (or cardio) exercise regularly. It’s recommended by the NHS that adults should do a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise a week.
Boxing is a great source of cardio exercise, it gets your heart pumping and your lungs working harder so you burn more calories and reach a fat-burning threshold. Cardio exercise places additional stress on your body in a safe and managed way, which results in beneficial changes to the systems in your body to support this increased level of exercise.
So, whatever exercises you do when you’re training, as long as they keep your heart rate up you’ll be working to improve your cardiovascular health and ultimately will benefit from an overall healthier heart.
2. Better Overall Body Strength
Of course, it’s pretty clear that the top-of-their-game, pro boxers are super strong; you’d have to be to land a KO. But, have you thought about how much strength you use when you’re training?
Whether it’s sparring, using a punching bag, running circuits or practising your footwork, you’re pulling on your body’s reserves of strength to execute the activity.
If you consider that the average training punching bag weighs around 25kgs and you could be hitting it hundreds of times in a training session, you can quickly see how much strength is needed for boxing training.
And the great thing about boxing training is that as you’re exerting strength to complete each exercise, you’re also getting stronger at the same time. Almost every boxing training exercise will build up your strength throughout your entire body; from your arms and core to your glutes and legs.
3. Increased Hand-Eye Coordination
When you’re in the ring throwing punches at an opponent, you need to know that your fists and eyes are working together in perfect harmony. One wrong move or misdirected punch and you could be hit with a right hook that sends you spinning towards the floor.
So, it’s lucky then that one of the benefits of boxing training is that is works to improve your hand-eye coordination. Drilling your punch combinations can help you to train your arms to hit at the right angle and position will build muscle memory that is vital in the ring.
Whether you’re shadowboxing, working with a punching bag or sparring with a partner, ensure you don’t just strike out blindly. You want to set clear targets for where you land your punches, training in this way will build up your hand-eye coordination.
This hand-eye coordination isn’t just useful when you’re boxing, it builds up your fine motor skills which are valuable for a range of day to day activities such as buttoning clothes, holding a pen and many other actions.
That might not sound like a problem now, you’ve been getting yourself dressed since you were a child, but these actions become harder as we age so training your coordination now will pay off later in life.
4. Increased muscle mass
Just as boxing builds up your overall body strength, it also works to increase your body’s muscle mass.
The combination of increased cardiovascular activity and strength training works to burn fat and build muscle. This means that with prolonged boxing training, you’ll begin to see an increase in muscle mass and definition.
Boxing is a fantastic sport for working almost every muscle in your body, so when you regularly train and eat a healthy balanced diet, you’ll work to reduce the fat and increase the muscle you carry.
5. Better Stamina and Endurance
Regularly working out, especially cardio exercises like boxing training, helps to build up your stamina. Getting your heart pumping with a high-intensity cardio workout doesn’t just strengthen your muscles, it increases your stamina and endurance.
When you first enter a gym, if you’ve never really exercised before, it’s likely you’ll find it hard to work out continuously for very long. But, the more you go back and train again and again, the more stamina you’ll build up.
No one starts out at the top of their game so don’t be put off if other people are able to last longer than you when you begin boxing training. With practice and commitment to your boxing training, you’ll find yourself able to work out harder and for longer.
And, the great thing about increased stamina and endurance is that it doesn’t just pay off in your boxing training, if you walk to work or find yourself running for the train in the morning you’ll see the benefits as you can do more without feeling worn out.
The mental benefits of boxing training
The effects of boxing training go much further than just the physical. Regularly exercising and improving your overall fitness can also have huge benefits for your mental wellbeing. We’ve already published an in-depth guide to the mental benefits of boxing, but we’ve included a few of the highlights below too.
6. Decreased Stress
Whether it’s at home, at work or just in general day to day life, all of us experience stress in one way or another; it’s a natural part of life. But, with regular exercise, research has found that stress can be reduced.
Exercise increases the levels of endorphins in the body, they’re the happiness hormones which help to boost our moods. Regular moderate to intense exercise, such as boxing, can help to release these endorphins and reduce feelings of stress.
And, while any exercise is good for releasing endorphins, boxing is particularly good for stress-busting. If you’re feeling frustrated or pent up, an hour in the gym letting it all out through your fists into a punching bag can be great to help you release your feelings and cut back any tension you’re feeling.
These repeated exercises, where you focus your attention on the movement of your body and the coordination of your hands and feet, allows you to stop concentrating on anything outside of the gym.
Boxing can be a very meditative exercise. When you clear your mind and focus just on hammering away in the ring, all of the outside stresses in your life fade away; it’s just you and your fists.
7. Better sleep quality
Alongside less stress, regular boxing training can also help you to improve your sleep quality. Research has discovered that high-intensity cardiovascular exercise, such as boxing, has a beneficial effect on the quality of sleep and how fast people can fall asleep.
After a heavy session in the ring, your body is going to be physically worn out and in need of more hours of sleep than usual to recover from the work you’ve put in at the gym that day.
And, because the repetitive actions of hitting a punching bag or sparring with a partner can help to clear your mind, you could be able to drift off to sleep easier without any stress or having thoughts popping into your head about work or any other issues.
The additional benefits of boxing training
8. Improved Confidence
One of the greatest benefits of boxing training is that you can begin to feel more confident in yourself. As you progress through your training and commit to regularly working out, you’ll see your body adapt and your mindset shift.
Getting stronger, seeing more definition in your muscles, being able to lift heavier weights and punch harder and generally benign healthier can all have an incredibly positive effect on your self-confidence.
But it’s not just about looking good, boxing can also help you to experience confidence in yourself in other ways. Boxing can help you to experience pride in your commitment when you show up for yourself and head to the gym week after week, even when you’d rather sit at home with a takeaway.
Or you might feel a sense of achievement when you reach a certain goal, whether that’s your first competitive fight or KO.
9. Joining a Community
Perhaps one of the biggest benefits of boxing away from the physical is the community that you join when you begin boxing training. From the lads down at the local gym that you spar with, to international boxing fans that you communicate with online and global organisations, there are thousands of people out there who share the same interests and passions as you.
Joining that community and actively participating is an incredible thing. The boxing community is there to celebrate your wins with you and pick you up when you’re down.
So, now you know all the benefits of boxing training, what are you waiting for? Get yourself a pair of Cleto Reyes Sparring Gloves, head to your local gym and experience the benefits for yourself.