Amazing Sexy Arm Tone with Boxing
By Bryanna Fissori
If you are looking to get some shoulder and arm definition to complement an overall sexy upper body composition, boxing is probably what has been missing in your life.
The majority of cardio workouts such as running, biking, step aerobics and Zumba are focused heavily on lower body cardio endurance. That is great a general calorie burn but leaves out those upper body muscles. That being said, the first time you put on a pair of boxing gloves don’t be surprised if trying to punch for a minute straight makes your arms feel like death. Don’t give up! You are about to earn yourself some amazing sexy arm tone. Here are the mechanics of how boxing will get those muscles poppin’.
Your pecs are the largest muscle used in boxing. It is located in the chest spanning from your sternum, clavicles and lower ribs all the way to your upper arms. This is a powerful muscle that is responsible for a lot of the force generated when punching. The pecs are engaged the most when the elbow is elevated which is the case especially when throwing the hook but also active in all other punches. Strengthening your pecs will give you a more defined neckline and has even been said to help perk up the rest of your chest!
“Delts” are the shoulder muscles that helped to give you the super defined look of a fitness expert. There are three major shoulder muscles that make up your delts: The anterior deltoid, posterior deltoid and medial deltoid. These are the muscles that are likely to feel the most fatigued after a long session, especially when using proper technique returning the hands to the face.
Anterior Deltoid: The anterior deltoid is located in the front of the shoulder and is the most active during boxing. It serves the purpose of generating force in your punches working in conjunction with your pec muscles.
Medial Deltoid: This muscle is triggered every time the arm is lifted especially for a right cross or left hook.
Posterior Deltoid: These are located toward the back of the shoulder and activate whenever you pull your arm back from punching (which is a lot).
You may hear coach encourage you to snap your punches. This is a fast twitch movement that ads speed and power to your punch primarily generated by the triceps. The triceps are located on the back of your upper arm and is often overlooked in a lot of exercise routines. Sexy arm tone requires an overall workout. Without maintenance, this part of your arm can begin to loosen and sag, which is a great reason to keep those straight punches snappy!
This is the muscle that makes people look “buff” or “jacked”. But it really takes little to no conscious effort to tone. The bicep muscle is active the entire time during boxing so long as you are holding your hands up. They are also strengthened more by hitting a heavy bag as opposed to shadow boxing. If you are concerned that your biceps are going to get big and scary, rest assured that usually takes some additional conscious effort and weightlifting to achieve.
Tips to Optimize your Sexy Arm Tone and Shoulder Workout
Keep your Hands Up:
Every punch thrown should finish with the glove being brought back to face level, essentially touching the face. This is a good habit to get into to protect yourself and is proper technique. If you have ever watched a sparring practice or live boxing, you may have heard coaches yelling, “Get your hands up!” This is the same for all boxing practices. The act of keeping your hands up will initially fatigue your shoulders and biceps. This may require shorter training sessions in the beginning, but it will get easier and visible results will follow.
A straight punch is a punch that is thrown directly toward the center of an opponent (or heavy bag). If thrown with the lead hand it is called a jab and with the rear hand is called a cross. There are also other terms for these punches but those are common ones. Throwing a punch straight requires the strength to hold your arm out extended repeatedly engaging all the important muscles. Don’t sell yourself short by letting your punches go limp.
More Training and Conditioning
Five Ways Boxing Reduces Stress
By Bryanna Fissori
Prevention of Anxiety
Many forms of anxiety stem from a feeling of fear and helplessness. One of the greatest benefits of boxing is the confidence it instills. This is derived not only from the physical ability of being able to punch someone should the need arise, but also the ability to react instinctively during a physical confrontation. The strength and fitness gained by spending hours a week with gloves on also instill a level of confidence that serves to minimize anxiety.
Many experts on happiness have stated that people who are able to live in the moment experience the most joy. This is easier said than done. Mediation is one method of attempting to block out all of the negative thoughts regarding failures of the past and fears of the future. The goal of mediation is to focus on nothing but breathing in the here and now. Boxing can trigger this same type of static-blocking mediation. Less static equals less stress.
In a bag-oriented fitness class, the instructor is likely to be giving instructions on which combinations to throw and at what speed. Without complete focus on the task at hand, the combination and pace will certainly end in frustration. This is even more true with partner drills in which complete presence in the moment is necessary to not get punched in the face. This type of meditative focus is a relief to the brain.
Sometimes you don’t even have to have something to be upset about in order to really need some sort of emotional release (for many women this is a monthly occurrence.) The emotional release of punching, moving and sweating can help cleans the body, mind and soul much like a reset button.
Physical exercise is proven to stimulate the release of endorphins, which work with receptors in your brain to reduce your perception of pain and stimulate a positive feeling in the body. Boxing reduces stress by your emotions from upset or meh, to oh ya!
People who get at least 150 minutes of exercise a week sleep significantly better and feel more alert during the day according to a study conducted by Bellarmine University assistant professor Paul Loprinzi. The study sampled more then 2600 adult men and women found a 65 percent improvement in sleep quality.
People who achieve adequate quantity and quality of sleep more like to reach the deep level of snoozing called REM sleep which has recently been equated with allowing the brain to reorganize and positively process memories thus subconsciously decreasing stress. This will have you waking up more bright eyed, bushy tailed, and ready to take on the world. All because you didn’t skip out on boxing class!
For a person with a normal healthy level of irritation, boxing can serve as a way to take out the day’s aggression. Everyone has at some point, been so angry they wanted to punch something. Boxing class allows you to safely do that. The act of punching a heavy bag can be very therapeutic. Though your best technique may not shine during these rounds, power and aggression will increase beautifully. The point of using boxing as an anger management tool is not to fuel the fire, but to allow the anger to surface and expel, leaving a level of clarity and calmness so that any real issues can be effectively dealt with.
More Training and Conditioning
Increase Calorie Burn with Fitness Boxing
By Bryanna Fissori
Everyone burns calories at a different rate depending on their metabolism, weight, age and various other factors, but overall boxing is an amazing way to burn a large number of calories in a short amount of time. It is arguably more stimulating, fun and therapeutic than a lot of other exercise routines. Here is what kind of calorie burn you can expect from boxing workouts:
Heavy Bag: Working out on a heavy bag can burn on average between 354 and 558 calories per hour according to LiveStrong.com. You would have to be in pretty good shape already to punch for that long, but intensity intervals can make up the difference. Using the heavy bag is a great way to strengthen muscles, work your core and technique. One suggestion is to set a timer and do sets of intense intervals to get the most out of your training.
According to HealthStatus 155-pound person will burn 423 calories in 30 minutes of sparring drills, while a 185-pound person will burn 505 calories during the same workout. Sparring drills are techniques done with a partner at varying rates of intensity. They do require contact, so if you are just doing fitness boxing and don’t care to get hit, this probably isn’t your best option. It is fun though!
The routine of boxing without striking anything but the air is called shadow boxing. Virtually every martial artist does this before practice or performance. It is a great way to practice techniques for striking, blocking and footwork. It is also a great cardio burn if done with some intensity. An average of 300 calories could come off per hour of shadow boxing. It is a great thing to do in front of a mirror to make sure your form looks good. Shadow boxing can be done with or without any gear. Wearing gloves may provide a little greater calorie burn because of the weight. Some people use weighed gloves and/or ankle weights. This is acceptable but be aware that it could place additional straining on the supporting joints and muscles.
According to WebMD jumping rope for 10 minutes are at a rate of 120 reps per minute will burn the equivalent amount of calories as running an eight-minute mile. For a slower jumper 15-20 minutes of jumping would have the same result and if done correctly may also be lest impact on your joints than running. Jumping also aids in balance and agility, which are important parts of boxing.
Strengthening the core naturally happens in any boxing workout, but crunches are a common addition to the regimen. According to Livestrong.com, a 150 woman could burn an average of 26 calories per five minutes of crunches. She could burn up to 46 calories if the intensity is higher. The big benefit isn’t necessarily the calorie burn, but the muscle that is being built up to form those awesome abs everyone is looking for.