Women’s boxing has been slowly gaining momentum since it was first recognised as an Olympicsport back in 2009. Since then, we’ve won a string of Olympic, Commonwealth and European titles, inspiring girls everywhere to take up the sport. And you don’t have to search too hard to find a class to suit you, whatever your ability and fitness level.
“Boxing pushes people out of their comfort zone,” explains boxing enthusiast and personal trainer Eliza Flynn. “It makes them work often harder than they ever have done before. It builds strength and power, agility – all mentally and physically. I can’t think of a better sport to take up.”
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF BOXING?
“Boxing is one of the most popular all-over workouts, providing a full-body strength and cardio session,” says personal trainer and fitness specialist Emma Bord. “Physically speaking, boxing is a great way to improve cardiovascular fitness, balance, endurance, strength and hand-eye coordination.”
It’s a full-body workout
“Boxing is a great full-body session that can tailored to suit to all levels and can be combined with circuit training and core workouts to create a full-on training session,” explains Bord. “It provides the ultimate combination of heart-raising, muscle-building, mental strength in one, which is why it is a highly recommended form of training for both mind and body.”
One of the best things about boxing is that it’s open to everyone.
“Anyone can take up boxing, no matter what their fitness level is,” says Flynn. “There are options to suit everyone, with many clubs offering fitness-only classes, technical classes and sparring classes, so you can pick and choose the elements you want to do.”
It’s also a highly sociable sport, as Flynn explains: “Boxing is great for building camaraderie. You’ll often have to work with someone else, whether you’re doing pad work (boxing against a set of pads held by your partner) or sparring.”
THE BENEFITS AREN’T JUST PHYSICAL
“Alongside the physical health benefits commonly associated with a boxing workout, there are a multitude of ways in which this sort of combat training can help in a psychological way, which is why so many people turn to this method of training,” explains Bord.
It’s a mindful practice
“Boxing is mindfulness for me,” explains Flynn. “It resets my body and mind. After a session, I feel focused with a sense of achievement.
“There’s also a calming sense of routine to it. You prepare for the session by putting on your hand wraps, have a warm-up and then you’re hitting things. I think everyone should hit things! It shakes off all the frustrations and stresses of the week, whether you know you’ve got them or not,” she continues.
Bord agrees, telling Stylist: “Boxing, unlike some other forms of exercise, requires concentration, so you can switch off from whatever is going on in your life to focus on the coordination, physical strength and energy required in the workout. It combines a break from the stresses of everyday life, while simultaneously offering the opportunity for that post-workout high.”
It’s a great stress reliever
“Stress is part of everyday life and we all know exercise is a fantastic way to relieve stress,” advocates Bord. “Boxing as a form of movement can provide the ultimate stress relief through the physical motion of punching – it calms the mind, refocuses one’s attention and stimulates the production of endorphins, creating a sense of happiness.”
It boosts confidence
In addition, boxing is also a great way to boost confidence. “As you work through the movements and become more skilful and competent at the various combinations incorporated in the workout, the result can be a sense of achievement which can also enhances a positive mindset,” explains Bord.
It’s all about discipline
“When someone is hitting me, I get really mad!” says Flynn. “One of my trainers used to tell me that when you get angry, you can’t think clearly. So I’m learning to take the hits and see the bigger picture rather than get distracted and annoyed by it.”
It teaches you self-awareness
“Boxing has been fantastic for helping me understand what I’m like as a person; getting hit in the face and how you react is really interesting,” says Flynn. “I think boxing surprises people – it brings things out in them things which they didn’t realise they had.”
And that’s always a good thing, right?
If you’re looking for a workout that is empowering and builds not only physical strength but benefits mind and soul too, boxing might be right up your street
This is a really interesting article copied for you guys from Strong Women.
Wednesday 7:45pm 45 mins
First class is free