Punch Your Way to Fat Loss!
Ever wonder why you hardly ever see a boxer, muay thai fighter, or any other combat athlete with a soft mid-section or soft anything else? Well, aside from the intense conditioning they must go through, prior to a fight or competition, they are on a strict diet, but in reality, these people BURN CALORIES!
Making weight can be difficult for anyone, but when you consider their profession, it's no wonder the vast majority of pugilists are lean.
For the rest of us, boxing can provide an unreal calorie burning workout that few can rival. The average boxing session can burn up to 600 calories per 60 minutes. Now, in this sense, when I refer to boxing, I'm referring to bag and focus mit work. Not actually sparring. If we talk about sparring the rate of caloric expenditure goes up much higher. Muay Thai training burns even more calories due to the addition of knees, elbows and kicks.
In order to get the absolute most out of our boxing sessions, what I like to do is incorporate movement drills with the boxing. For instance, there's one drill we do often--"Running to Battle".
Basically, the client throws 20 punches, then has to run a pre-determined distance, and then back to me for another round of punching. Try doing that for 5 straight rounds and see if the sweat doesn't pour down. Once comfortable with the coordination of the movements, I also incorporate Thai knees into the equation, making the body work just that much harder.
Also, boxing offers amazing core work. The constant rotation of the hips and upper body creates tension throughout the entire abdominal complex, in particular, the obliques. Your obliques are your shrink wrap. Work them well, and they help pull the rectus abdominis in creating a leaner mid-section. You will also develop a strong, defined back. Look at the back of any combat athlete and see if you can't point to each specific muscle.
For stress relief, aside from maybe meditation, I don't know of a better exercise. If a client comes in and says they've had a bad day, we go straight for the gloves. If their mind is distracted, even in the least, clean and presses will have to wait!
Now, for safety considerations, I highly recommend taking a few lessons, buying some large gloves and hand wraps. Some contraindications to boxing are if a client has any shoulder, elbow, or wrist conditions.
When I teach clients to punch, I prefer to teach them the old bareknuckle style which is to NOT turn the hand over as you see in boxing today. The reason is simple, it protects the wrist. As you turn your wrists over during a punch, it is easy to "snake", or bend, the wrist and upon impact if your wrist is not straight, it will hurt..bad. Having done this before, I can assure you, this is something you do not want to do.
Also, when first beginning, I never advise punching hard. Most people don't spend time punching anything, and to, all of the sudden, start slamming your fist into bags or pads will result in bad cramps in the hand. Go easy and focus on speed and movement. After all, this is to burn fat and not to train to fight.
Boxing offers a change up to the traditional workout. It makes things fun and exciting, and at the same time, helping to burn fat at a high rate. I have yet to see a client not have fun with this while working extraordinarily hard at the same time.
Again, make sure you always focus on what you are doing to protect yourself from injury. Just like any other exercise in the gym, one lapse in concentration can result in you getting hurt and that's not point of any workout plan.
Now, get out there and punch your way to fat loss!