10 Tips To Get Started With Boxing

Boxing devotees are quick to sing the sport’s praises: not only does it define and tone muscle, and burn fat, it’s also a fantastic form of cardio to boost your mental health. But stepping into the ring as a beginner can feel intimidating. To help you on your way, we asked some of the fitness world’s biggest boxing names for the lowdown on what you can expect.

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It’ll Kickstart Your Fitness Levels

“Boxing is one of the most accessible, heart rate-rising workouts you can do. It offers a full-body workout, toning both the upper and low body in the same session while also offering an excellent cardio workout. In fact, as it’s a combination of aerobic exercise (which increases heart rate, builds endurance and helps the body use oxygen more effectively) and anaerobic exercise (which helps build and preserve muscle), boxing is the perfect way to get fit and lean in one fell swoop.” – Katie Higginbotham, personal trainer at Train Fitness.

There Are Six Punches To Master

“Boxing comes down to six basic punches – I like to number them from one to six. One and two are the jab and the cross – these are both straight punches. The jab (one) is thrown with your front hand and is one of the weaker punches, often used to find your range and create openings for the more powerful punches. The cross (two) is thrown straight with your rear hand and is more powerful than the jab. Punches three and four are called hooks. Hooks are big power punches that are thrown to attack your opponent or the bag from the side. To do them well, you’ll need to focus on rotating your body to generate the necessary power. The final punches – five and six – are uppercuts. Your legs are the key drivers of these punches.” – Shane Collins, founder of KOBOX

Taking Your Time Will Pay Off

“Boxing isn’t just a workout – it’s a craft that needs to be learned. Whenever possible, focus on your technique. Ten punches, thrown well with good technique will have far greater impact on your body, and your enjoyment, than throwing 100 messy punches.” – Shane

Footwork Is Important

“A good boxing stance is the difference between being a great boxer and an average one. Your footwork will determine your speed, balance and punching power. A proper stance will allow you to transfer energy from the ground, through your core, and out of your fist into the bag. Mastering your footwork will come from consistent training and repetition of each of the basic punches.” – Jay Revan, boxing and conditioning coach at My Manor London

It's All About Full-Body Engagement

“You may be punching with your arms, but the power generated comes through the whole body. Remember a punch starts from the leg drive, goes through the core and finishes with the arms. In fact, the most common mistake beginners make is relying on upper body strength only – remember the whole body needs to move to generate power, not just your arms and shoulders. At the same time, try to keep your muscles relaxed. Tense muscles aren’t fluid and won’t allow for smooth movement. Relaxed, flowing muscles work together to generate tremendous speed and power.” – Katie

As it’s a combination of aerobic and anaerobic exercise, boxing is the perfect way to get fit and lean in one fell swoop.

Results Will Be Quicker Than You Expect

“It depends on your starting place, but two to three sessions per week of around 45 minutes will be enough for most people to start seeing increased muscle tone and fat loss within two to three months. Some of the mental health benefits, such as improved mood and reduced anxiety will come quickly – in fact, it’s likely you’ll feel better as soon as you start.” – Katie

It Pays To Be Patient

“When you’re starting out, be patient and take time to learn how to do movements correctly. Boxing is a very technical sport and requires good motor skills. You’ll need speed and coordination as well as balance to stay on your feet while moving quickly around the ring, and agility to move and change direction quickly and accurately. A great boxer will also have power to be able to throw hard, effective punches and good core strength, which is essential for power.” – Katie

Shadow Boxing Is A Good Place To Start

“If you want to practice your punches and footwork, consider combining an in-studio workout with a shadow boxing session at home – think of it like homework. You may feel silly doing shadow boxing but it’s an expert secret to honing your technique and cementing it into your muscle memory. If you’re completely new to boxing, have a look on YouTube to learn the basic punches and footwork and get moving around your living room.” – Maria Binns, instructor at KOBOX

Confidence Plays A Part

“Fake it till you make it – if you’re struggling with boxing, be bold. It’s very common to get nervous when it comes to boxing, not because of the getting hit part, but instead due to the movement, the rhythm your body must find. Try to leave your inhibitions at the door and go for it – think about how a boxer would move and try and replicate that when you’re working out.” – Maria  

Studios Vary In Their Approach

“If you’re looking for a boxing class, it’s important to know there are two different formats – either a boutique boxing gym, such as KOBOX, or a more old-school boxing gym. London has plenty of both. Studios like KOBOX offer a 50-minute session which combines boxing on bags with strength and conditioning work in a nightclub-style environment. A more traditional boxing ring, however, offers a more authentic approach and environment. It’s rough and ready, luxury is few and far between, but the coaching and sessions are unrivalled.” – Maria 

Ready to get going? Book a class at one of these SL-approved studios…

KOBOX: The capital’s original boxing workout and arguably still the best, Kobox offers a high-energy, full-body workout. Sessions vary according to each trainer’s personal style. Visit KoboxBoxingClub.com

Sweat By BXR: The pay-as-you-train version of Anthony Joshua’s slick studio BXR, sign up for a signature boxing class or a session that’ll focus on skill and technique. Visit SweatByBXR.com

Blok: With studios in Clapton and Shoreditch, Blok’s schedule is jam-packed with a variety of classes, but it’s the boxing sessions, held by industry pros, that get our vote. Visit BlokLondon.com

Jab: New-kid-on-the-block Jab is tucked away in Mayfair and fuses authentic boxing vibes with a boutique experience. The sessions mix cardio, bodyweight and resistance training. Visit Jab-Box.com

TwelveThree: You’re in good hands at TwelveThree, where all the coaches have previously represented club and country. The studio offers small group classes and focuses on weights and mobility as much as boxing technique. Visit 12x3Gym.co.uk 

For more information, visit Train.Fitness, KOBOXLondon.com and MyManor.London.

If you’re boxing at home, this is the kit to try… 

 

DISCLAIMER: Features published by SheerLuxe are not intended to treat, diagnose, cure or prevent any disease. Always seek the advice of your GP or another qualified healthcare provider for any questions you have regarding a medical condition, and before undertaking any diet, exercise or other health-related programme.

 

CREDITS: DANIEL NEVSKY / STOCKSY
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