If you’re a woman and happen to have seen the boxing movie Million Dollar Baby, then there is a high chance you might have been inspired to train like Hilary Swank, find yourself a Clint Eastwood mentor and learn how to punch some bags like a badass.
It is no lie that boxing is a male dominated sport, and women who succeed in boxing are the best of the best, they have to work against traditional views of female roles and define their own way often under the scrutiny of their male counterparts.
But boxing isn’t just about having arms like Linda Hamilton in Terminator 2:
For the ladies, it might be about having the confidence to walk a little taller, to feel a tad stronger physically and mentally. It might mean that she feels she is more capable in her job, her life and within her family. This is one of the reasons why boxing is excellent for females young and old, it truly builds confidence.
At Fitness Ring, we are encouraging women to master the complex skill of boxing, which has so many awesome benefits:
1. All over tone
“Boxing is the best high-intensity, kilojoule-burning activity that you can do,” says Lauryn Eagle, professional boxer, owner of Lauryn Eagle Boxing Gym, ambassador for Adidas, and Everlast – boxing offers an awesome mix of muscle-building strength training and kilojoule-burning cardio. From head to toe, boxing creates lean muscle!
2. You are in the present moment
Women (and men) are often multitasking constantly, fatiguing the brain. Learning the combinations for boxing requires concentration and single pointed focus. Using your mind in this way, in harmony with moving your body is a form of moving meditation – take your concentration away for a second and you might end up punching yourself in the face. Boxing is a present moment experience and after an hour of turning your brain off to all else, you will leave with a calm state of mind and your body will thank you.
3. Fun = Routine
You will be more likely to stick at something that is fun. Boxing requires ducking and weaving, upper body movement and footwork. Constantly changing up the movement will keep boredom at bay, you will be in your body rather than your mind wandering off to your ‘to-do list’ (which might happen if you were grinding away on a treadmill for 45mins, staring at a TV).
Strength developed on the inside as well as the outside. Working on your boxing technique and working hard on your fitness will give you a quiet confidence that will translate into all areas of life outside of the ring. Perhaps for some women, this training might foster the confidence for her to walk into a boardroom full of men and speak her mind, having more conviction in her life and her own abilities.
Also, while most exercise routines don't do much in this department, hand-eye coordination is key for boxing. Working with a partner either punching or holding the pads requires focused movements and amazing recall, challenging your muscles and strengthening your mind.
5. Battles the effects of stress
Boxing has been linked to lowering stress and anxiety and if you have had a hard day at work, kids are driving you up the wall, you rushed to class in peak hour, or been through some emotional turmoil, punching it out is a great way to work through some tough emotions like fear, anger, anxiety and frustration. After your workout, your mind might feel lighter and brighter and those nasty emotions seem a little less turbulent.
Several studies have confirmed the benefits boxing has on our moods. This study by the Japan Society of Physical Education, Health and Sport Sciences, found that boxing programs significantly improved negative effects, produced positive engagement, and induced tranquillity in both males and females.
So, for all the ladies who might feel a bit anxious to walk into a boxing gym, but want to give it a go – please contact Tonia who will be able to talk you through all the information and help you plan your training to suit your goals and your schedule!