Four Things you need to get Started with Boxing
Boxing is a dynamic sport with numerous physical and mental health benefits associated with it. The continuous movement and punching is great cardiovascular exercise and contributes to building lean muscle. The physicality and intensity also has a knack for building self-esteem.
Anyone can learn boxing, no matter the body type, so long as you’re willing to put the work in. Even better, it doesn’t cost that much to begin reaping the benefits of boxing. Whether you intend to be competitive, or simply want the high intensity workouts, all it takes to get started is some basic gear and leaning a few fundamentals. Here are the four things you need to start in boxing.
Positive Attitude and Mindset
Trying a new activity can be intimidating on its own, and stepping into a boxing gym can amplify the nerves. The best thing to bring with you those first few workouts is a positive attitude. All your coach wants is a willingness to learn and work hard. You will make plenty of mistakes, but a can do mindset will take you far. Soon you will begin to find some self-confidence replacing the self-doubt.
The fear of getting hit is always one of the first things you must get over. No one gets away without taking a punch, thus, the sooner you get comfortable with that, the better. Learn and practice the fundamentals on a daily basis. Your coach won’t throw you into the ring for a sparring session until you are ready.
Basic Gear to Get Started
Boxing doesn’t have to be pricey when you’re just starting out. All that is required is some basic gear. We’ll assume that you already have suitable clothes to work out in. You need clothes that will allow you to move freely. Beyond that, these are the essential items you’ll require.
- Boxing Gloves: Boxing gloves allow you to deliver hard punches while protecting your hands from injury. Talk with your coach about what style of gloves to get. Training gloves are versatile and can be utilised for live sparring, bag work, and mitt work. Training gloves differ with various weight classes, and they range between 10oz and 16oz.
- Hand Wraps: Hand wraps support the joints, muscles, and bones of your wrists and hands. You will learn to wrap your hands before putting on the gloves. Good wraps will also keep your hands from getting cut.
- Headgear: Contrary to popular belief, it may not provide a fighter with cushion from the power of a blow. Headgear is important during live sparring as it protects your head against soft tissue damage including cuts and scrapes.
- Footwear: To start with, you may not require a pair of boxing shoes. Any pair of athletic shoes should come in handy. However, if you plan on getting in the ring, some boxing boots are a necessity. Wrestling style shoes are inexpensive and are a good substitute to boots.
- Mouth Guard: A mouth guard is important while sparring as it shields your lips from cuts and your jaw and teeth from damage.
This equipment is enough to get you started. You can always access more at your nearby gym before you decide to buy more for your personal use.
Understand the Basics
As you being your journey into boxing, you will focus heavily on the fundamentals. They are basic, but important for your safety and long term success in the sport. Learning theses fundamentals will teach you speed and agility. Here are some basic boxing moves that you will learn.
- Footwork: Being light on your feet is important. The better your footwork, the less likely you will get hit, and more likely that you can successfully counter your opponent. Good feet also puts you in the position to deliver powerful punches.
- Jab: This is the most widely used boxing punch. Throw your lead hand in a motion that mimics pouring out a cup. Your palm should be facing down on landing the punch. Be quick to strike and to retract the hand back to guard your face.
- Cross: Use your rear hand to land a punch on the back shoulder. Use your upper body and hips to rotate towards the direction of the punch and pivot the rear foot. It is critical to protect your legs when shifting your weight from the back. Be quick to rotate and return the hand back to guard position.
- Hook: Use your leading hand to deliver a punch to the sides of your opponent. Use your hips and legs to generate power and momentum.
- Uppercut: This punch can be delivered with either hand. It usually works at close range. Just like the hook, rotate your hips, and upper body, drop your fist and swing it upwards with the elbow pointing the ground.
Find a Good Gym
Finding a good coach or a good gym is important. The gym you chose should match your goals. Don’t pick a fight gym if you want to focus on boxing for fitness. A legitimate boxing gym should be keen on technique and continued improvement. Your coach should also provide workouts that meet your physical abilities and explain different techniques to you. The atmosphere in the gym should feel supportive to learning.
Ask around from friends and check out some gyms in your area. Talk to some trainers and be honest about your goals and budget as well. Various fitness centers teach boxing including youth centers, pro boxing gyms, MMA gyms and fitness gyms. A good trainer should consider your needs, and you shouldn’t be forced to spar if you don’t want to. Choosing a good trainer will help you get started on the right foot. Don’t forget to have fun and bring your positive attitude!
Photo via Flickr/CC BY 2.0