Boxing is the Best Workout Ever!

Boxing is the Best Workout Ever!
taken from:

If getting in shape was one of your New Year’s Resolutions – I hope it includes boxing group fitness classes.  Boxing workouts are the best bang for your buck!  They burn between 600-700 calories and work the entire body.  I’ve been boxing for 26 years.  I got turned onto boxing at the University of Illinois IMPE training center.  Inside IMPE, was a combat room that welcomed boxers and martial artists.  I spent more time there than studying in my freshman year.  At the time, I was a karate practitioner, but boxing was always my calling.  I had been rejected in the 70s and 80s from local Chicago boxing clubs and decided to devote my time to karate.

In my early 20s, people who ask me how I ‘got my arm.’  I loved to shock them by telling them I boxed.  Then any guy I dated, always led to meeting their mom and I would horrify them with the statement ‘I box for fun’ when they interviewed me.

“No American sport or activity has been so consistently and so passionately under attack as boxing, for "moral" as well as other reasons. And no American sport evokes so ambivalent a response in its defenders: when asked the familiar question "How can you watch . . . ?" the boxing aficionado really has no answer. He can talk about boxing only with others like himself.” 

― Joyce Carol Oates, On Boxing

This brilliant quote from feminist writer Oates sums up the average person’s opinion of the sport.  I have been questioned “Why? And How ? I could watch and train in boxing” far more times than I’ve been commended for it.  I have no real answer still today.  All I have to say is,– “I am Cuban! And I Love it”

If you are not a boxing fan you may not know the significance of my answer.  I’ll explain.  My Cuban-exiled mother would call me her boxing ballerina.  It was true, I was a ballerina, but boxer – NOT YET!  But, when Howard Cosell’s World Wide of Sports came on Saturday afternoon – I was transformed into Sugar Ray Leonard.   My mother always reminded me of the number of medals the Cubans won in the Olympics.  And in pure motherly-fashion, she would say silly things like, “ If we never had to leave Cuba and you were a boy – you would win a gold medal too.”  I realize now how ridiculous this mother-speak is – I wasn’t even born in Cuba because she was kicked out – and I was a girl.  Before going on, I’ll just sum it up with the fact that Cuba has won 32 Gold Medals (Yes, just the Golds) in boxing since 1972 and they boycotted 1984 and 1988 (Yes, because they are Communists).

Okay- so back to working out.  Boxing is the BOMB!  Honestly, after 20 years of teaching boxing classes, anyone can learn.  You do not even need to spar.  But learning to box will transform you into a straight up - cooler person.  There is something very powerful about learning how to throw a punch- I mean a ROCK, SOLID,PUNCH!  We have a saying at my West Loop Gym, “ Learn to Hit Sh*t Right!”  Boxing is also the best way to break out of a workout funk.  It is fun! It is exciting! It burns a lot of calories!

chicago boxing classes


Today, my boxing classes are packed with women and my kids boxing and fitness classes are almost at capacity.  I have added more time slots every quarter for the past 2 years, The coolest thing is that my classes have about 40% girls or women.  That is awesome!  Some of my younger girls are gymnasts trying to do more cross training, basketball players that need to become more confident and aggressive, and my lovely figure skater tweens that want to build more upper body strength.

Boxing classes can accomplish everything you ever wanted in a workout.  They  including the following.

  1. Jump rope (develops footwork, cardio and anaerobic training)
  2. How to protect yourself (learning the guard and fighting stance).
  3. Body weight exercises
  4. Builds power for the upper and lower body.
  5. Strength because of the explosive nature of punching.
  6. Footwork training, which simply makes you, move better.
  7. Serious AB work that engages the entire core because of the explosive rotation.
  8. Anaerobic training because rounds take you to your threshold which burns more calories.
  9. Stress relieving because hitting something simply feels GREAT!’
  10. Great looking arms.

What type of group boxing classes are the best?  Here are some suggestions to reap the full benefits from a boxing workout.

  1. Take classes that use mitt training. Training on mitts is a very pure method to learn the punches.
  2. If bags are used, they should only be a portion of the class; not the entire class. Or, use bag only classes once a week, not as your sole boxing workout experience.
  3. Take classes that incorporate jump rope or footwork. Without learning these you never gain the entire workout benefits.  Movement is the key to developing strong punches and skill.
  4. Take classes that emphasize technique.  Without learning how to punch properly you will not gain the benefits of this amazing workout and you are more likely to get injured.
  5. Take classes where it is required that you have your hands wrapped and wear 12 oz bag gloves. Boxing classes with their proper equipment are not dedicated to your safety and skill development.
  6. Do not dismiss shadow boxing.  Most beginners hate to shadow box because it is hard.   Shadow boxing is the most important portion of your workout. It is the opportunity to perfectly practice what you know with no consequences.  It is a chance to put things together without worrying about hitting a target.


best workout is boxing

taken from:!schedule---classes/c66t

If you are not in an area that offers boxing classes here is a workout for the home boxer that has a heavy bag or a training partner.

Active Dynamic Warm Up (14-15 minutes)

  1. Shadow box (practicing punches to the air and working on form) – 2 minutes
  2. 10 air squats, 10 mountain climber, repeat 2 times
  3. Shadow box – 2 minutes
  4. 10 jumping jacks, 10 push ups, repeat 2 times
  5. Shadow box- 2 minutes
  6. Jump Rope – 1 minute
  7. Plank Hold – 1 minute
  8. Jump Rope – 1 minute
  9. Plank Hold – 1 minute
  10. Jump Rope – 1 minute
  11. Plank Hold- 1 minute

Core Section Part II (15-18 minutes) Basic Punching

  1. Round 1: Jab Cross (2 minutes)
  2. 1 minute – active rest – 30 AB exercises of any kind
  3. Round 2 : Jab, Jab, Cross (2 minutes)
  4. 1 minute – active rest – 5 jump squats
  5. Round 3: Jab, Jab, Cross, Hook – (2 minutes)
  6. 1 minute – active rest – 5 burpees
  7. Round 4: Jab, jab, cross, hook, right uppercut (2 minutes)
  8. 1 minute – active rest – 30 AB exercise of any kind
  9. Round 5 :  Circular movement in both directions with the Jab, Jab , Cross
  10. 1 minute: active rest – 5 jump squat, burpees

Core Section Part II (6-10 minutes)

  1. 50 sets of jab, cross
  2. 50 jumps on rope as fast as you can
  3. 50 sets of advancing cross, cross (focus on your pivot)
  4. 50 jumps on rope as fast as you can
  5. 50 sets of cross, hook
  6. 50 jumps on rope as fast as you can
  7. 50 sets of uppercut, uppercut
  8. 50 jumps on rope as fast as you can
  9. 50 sets of right uppercut, left hook
  10. 50 jumps on rope as fast as you can

Core Section Part III (6 minutes)

  1. 1 minute alternating lunges in place
  2. 1 minute shadow boxing
  3. 1 minute alternating lunges in place
  4. 1 minute shadow boxing
  5. 1 minute alternating lunges in place
  6. 1 minute shadow boxing

Cool Down (3-5minutes)

Remember to stretch your shoulder, neck, legs and glutes.

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