The main physical benefit beginner boxers will see is cardiovascular. Boxing improves your resting heart rate and muscular endurance – both benefits and can crossover into all aspects of your fitness routine. That lowered resting heart rate and increased stamina can give you in edge in your other workouts.
With a potential burn rate of 13 calories a minute, boxing goes head-to-head with other types of cardio like running and cycling. Plan to punch away anywhere from 200 to 400 calories (for a 140-pound individual) per half hour. Thirty minutes of boxing in a ring torches 400 calories; 30 minutes of punching a bag burns 200 calories; and 30 minutes sparring with a partner blasts 300 calories.
Whatever’s got you ready to snap, boxing will help you calm down. Not only is hitting something a healthy and productive way to help you let go of tension, the rush of endorphins may make you happier too – significantly moreso than moderate exercise.
Hand-eye coordination is a key component of boxing. Punching a bag or sparring with a partner requires focused movements and amazing recall, challenging your muscles and your mind. After all, Muhammad Ali didn’t “float like a butterfly” for nothing.
It’s easy for your fitness routine to become, well, routine, but boxing will keep you on your toes. Boxing requires complete focus, which makes the time fly by, and unlike running on the treadmill, there’s always something new to learn, so you have serious incentive to keep training.
A two-for-one cardio and strength workout, boxing improves overall fitness. In addition to boosting your strength and cardio, boxing improves a number of skill-related parameters of fitness, including balance, coordination, reactivity, and agility. How else do you think you’re going to dodge and counter punches at lightning speed?
And if anyone tells you that boxing is predominantly an upper-body workout, they’re doing it wrong. If you do it right—once you’ve learned how to fire everything with proper form—you’re getting a full-body workout. While, yes, your arms extend for each punch, you’re actually driving power from your hips and legs. You’ll also work your back, shoulders, and core.