I have written on boxing many times as one of the greatest and most rewarding workouts. Lately, I have been fortunate to work with many beginners at my west loop gym. They leave class loving how boxing makes them feel, but they want to know how to get even more out of their boxing workout.
My philosophy in building great boxing skills, is building great boxing mitt holders or partners. There are two general types of boxing workouts, 1.) Heavy Bag and 2.) Mitt Holding. Some classes of course combine these two. But the best way to get good at boxing is to focus on fundamentals and train with a partner using mitts. Heavy bags should be an ancillary form of training, not your core-training tool.
The first secret to getting better at boxing is becoming a great mitt holder. If you have great mitt holding skills, you will become a sought out training partner in your class. Your boxing workout is at the mercy of your mitt holder. Without getting time on the mitts it is hard to improve your striking skills. Hitting the heavy bag does not compare to the feeling when you have finished a great round on the boxing mitts.
The second secret to improving your boxing workout is learning to move your head when you box. Head movement is tied to footwork. Since boxing is intended to be a total body training experience, it is critical to use more than just your arms. The movement of your head will help build more honest boxing skills. Although you might be thinking, ‘how is that going to help me burn more calories and boxing in a ring is not my goal;’ Head movement makes your boxing better and improves your technique overall. When you improve your technique overall you activate more muscle groups and therefore burn more calories.