Boxercise refers to a form of physical workout and fitness programme that involve combining boxing together with a prolonged exercise of moderate intensity such as the aerobic exercise. Boxercise is a fantastically fun exercise class based on boxing training principles. It is a pad focused workout incorporating some old school style boxing training, creating a highly effective fitness class suitable for literally everybody.Boxercise is especially popular with women as it allows them to attend a boxing style class without the pressure of sparring.
Boxercise is defined by Collins English Dictionary as (Individual Sports, other than specified) a system of sustained exercises combining boxing movements with aerobic activities.
Boxing blasts up to 600 calories an hour while sculpting your arms, shoulders, core, and legs. And since nailing the punch sequences requires extreme focus, boxing is an excellent way to train your mind and body at once.
Boxing drill No. 1: Skip rope
Skipping rope builds cardiovascular strength as well as the coordination, timing and rhythm needed in boxing, while working nearly every muscle in your body.
Skip rope drill:
- Keep upper body relaxed while jumping a quarter-inch off the ground.
- The rope touches the ground just in front of the tips of your toes.
- Maintain a slight bend in your knees.
- Let your wrists do the work and keep your forearms horizontal to the floor.
- Keep elbows close to your sides.
- If you trip up, get right back in your rhythm.
Boxing drill No. 2: Torso twist with medicine ball
A standing side-twist with a medicine ball strengthens the core muscles while twisting your body in boxing to make punches more effective.
Torso twist drill:
- If you bend your knees a little more in a squat position, you will also work your quads and glutes as you work your shoulders and obliques.
- Depending on your fitness level, use a 5- to 15-pound medicine ball. Hold the medicine ball with both of your hands directly in front of you, keeping your arms straight.
- Stand with your back against the wall, legs slightly bent. Twist at the waist to the left, tapping the ball on the wall, then twist to the right. When you twist to the right, pivot your left foot and vice versa. Continue for two minutes.
Boxing drill No. 3: Knees up
This knees-up drill will improve cardiovascular endurance as well as strengthen lower abs and help develop the coordination needed to match hands with feet in boxing.
- Standing on the floor, bring one knee, then the other, up to your waist, attempting to reach chest-high. All the while, move steadily forward around the floor in a circle, forward and backward or simply in place, depending on your space.
- Hands are held in “hands-up” position until 30 seconds before your rest period, then you “punch up,” throwing punches directly above your head and bringing knees up at a much faster pace until the timer goes off for your rest period.
Boxing drill No. 4: Jump squats
Jump squats are effective in strengthening the legs and core for defensive boxing moves such as the bob and weave.
Jump squats drill:
- Start in standing position with feet facing forward and shoulder-width apart, then drop into a squat position and immediately push back up into a jump; try to jump at least 1 foot off the ground.
- As you return to the ground, immediately drop back into the squat position, making sure knees don’t go past toes, then repeat the sequence.
- You may swing your arms to give your body momentum.
- This is an excellent anaerobic exercise that works your cardiovascular system and strengthens your quads, hamstrings, glutes, calves and even abs and back.
- If you get too tired before the two-minute timer goes off, continue with regular squats until your rest period.
Boxing drill No. 5: Mini push-ups
Mini boxer push-ups strengthen triceps, deltoids and back, all of which are used to “turn over” your punches in boxing.
Mini push-ups drill:
- Lie face-down on the floor, placing hands palm down right next to the shoulders. Keep elbows in and arms touching the sides of your body. Push your entire body up, then lower. Just rise only 6 inches off of the ground.
- Raise your entire body all at the same time, without arching your back. It is important to keep your arms in tight and close to the body.
- You can do these on your knees to start and work your way up to doing the push-ups on your feet.
- If your arms get too fatigued before the timer goes off, straighten your arms completely and hold your body up until you are ready to start the push-ups again.
Boxing drill No. 6: Core strengthener
This drill requires lying your stomach over a basketball. This exercise will strengthen your abs, obliques and back muscles, and teach you to keep your core constantly tight. This will keep you from getting the air knocked out of you if you are caught with a body blow!
Core strengthener drill:
- Lie face-down on a basketball, with your stomach (between hips and ribcage) positioned on the basketball.
- Spread your arms and legs wide, straight out, then roll your body from side to side (left and right) on the ball, keeping knees and elbows off the ground.
- The trick is to keep your abdominals as tight as possible.
- Incorporate this workout into your regular exercise routine and consider taking a boxing class. Boxing shreds calories, improves your cardio health and makes you a lean, mean fighting machine.
40 percent of MMA enthusiasts being female. Sammie Kennedy, a Toronto trainer, launched Femme Fitale, a new program for women to learn kickboxing and MMA skills without the intimidation factor of being around male partners twice their size who’ve been doing it for years. The workout includes partnered pad work instead of air punching and cardio kickboxing.
“Doing kickboxing with pad work and MMA conditioning is the perfect routine to take a womans exercise program up to that next level, Kennedy says. The use of kickboxing pads pushes women to burn more calories by engaging their muscles in each move, she says. Empowerment comes with learning actual self-defense techniques that can be used in threatening situations. The program is designed to be increasingly challenging so that women will see themselves getting stronger each week, with a focus on trouble spots, such as abs and glutes. There’s a reason why actress Hilary Swank looked so great in the award-winning film Million Dollar Baby.
The perception that boxing is too dangerous for women is changing as more women are choosing kickboxing to be part of their weekly exercise routine. Mixedmartialarts.com reports that kickboxing is considered the fastest-growing sport in the world, with womens interest on the rise, and women represent 40 percent of UFC enthusiasts, a number that will continue to grow with more media coverage of the sport, Kennedy says.
As the saying goes, “A great boxer plays chess and the average boxer plays checkers.” Developing the jabs and punches in a partner workout helps women learn the sport’s competitive skills of timing, footwork and moves to out-think and surprise the opponent. Watch for those perfectly timed counterpunches in the ring at the Summer Games.
Refining boxing skills is also about coordination: Moving the head, bobbing and weaving, slipping and ducking by bending at the waist to remain in punching position are all effective types of movement in boxing that build strength and endurance. The payoff in the Femme Fitale program is a sleeker, more toned physique and a shot of confidence.
This kind of a workout demands focus and hard work, but the benefits are many, Kennedy says: There is something so exhilarating about punching and kicking not only are you getting in a great workout but youre also achieving more mental clarity and stress relief, all positive things.