Tag Archives: fitness boxing

Use a Pre-Workout to Help Kill it in Boxing Class


By Bryanna Fissori 

A pre-workout is some form of a consumable substance that is formatted to boost your performance during your workout, or at least get you motivated. 

There are a plethora to choose from, all complete with unique colors and flavors.  There are natural foods that will help boost energy and performance, but the term “pre-workout” typically relates to powder that you mix into water and drink 15 to 30 minutes before a workout session. 

What is in Pre Workout Powder?

Caffeine

The big boost of energy that comes from a pre-workout is highly instigated by caffeine. The compounds in caffeine work by blocking the neurotransmitters for adenosine, which serves the purpose of making the body tired. Caffeine has also been found to have some effect on promoting weight loss. The amount in pre-workout differs for each brand but typically ranges between 150 and 350mg per dose. Because of this, it is a good idea to adjust your scoop of pre-workout to your desired level of caffeination. 

Beta-Alanine

This is the substance responsible for the “tingly feeling” you may get shortly after taking a pre-workout supplement. The good news is that the tingles are relatively short-lived. Beta-Alanine is a naturally occurring amino acid that helps to delay the onset of muscle fatigue, meaning you can train at a higher intensity longer without your muscles getting tired. 

Niacin

Having enough niacin (Vitamin B3) in your system is important for general good health. Niacin helps the dilation of blood vessels for an extra “pump” during hard workouts. It also promotes energy, potential weight loss and is proved to be beneficial for skin health, prevention of cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Niacin may also be the culprit for the warm feeling on your face after taking a pre-workout. 

Creatine

A staple for most bodybuilders, creatine is known to hydrate muscles, increasing size and strength. There are also studies showing improved performance with shorter workouts, but less variance for endurance athletes. Creatine may also assist in muscle recovery after a hard workout session. 

BCAA

Branch Chain Amino Acids (BCAA’s) are the building blocks for protein synthesis. They also assist in reducing the rate of protein breakdown. Increased protein synthesis and reduced breakdown means more muscles and less body fat. That sounds pretty awesome. Another positive thing about BCAA’s is that they are also available in a non-stimulant form and can be added to your drinking water any time during the day. 

These are the most common ingredients that make up powdered pre-workout, but each brand boasts their own unique formula. 

Other key ingredients may include L-Arginine, Citrulline, Agmatine Sulfate, Theanine, Glycerol and Taurine to name a few. 

Deciding and Dosing a Pre Workout 

The important thing about deciding on a pre-workout is determining what your body is going to react to the best. Sometimes too much of one ingredient can cause undesirable effects. For example, if you are sensitive to beta-alanine, you will find that having a full serving of a pre-workout that is high in the substance will result in an uncomfortable level of tingling throughout the body. Too much caffeine may cause jitters. 

We recommend you start your pre-workout supplementation by using only half the recommended dose for the first workout or two, in order to evaluate how your body responds. 

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The Boxing Details that Make You Look Like a Pro


By Bryanna Fissori

When watching people hit the heavy bag there are a couple of factors that determine who looks like they know what they are doing and who does not. Details are crucial! Here are a few boxing details you can use to clean up your technique and box like a pro.

No Chicken Wings!

It is important to keep your elbows from flaring out when you punch. It is common for beginners to start their punches by lifting the elbow. Doing this leaves you vulnerable to body punches and takes longer for your punch to reach its destination. There are several ways to correct this using some serious mental focus.

  1. Imagine you are throwing your elbow rather than your fist. This boxing detail should help propel your elbow forward rather than to the side.
  2. Focus on pinching your elbows to your sides until the last second of your punch.
  3. Pretend you are Superman and someone tries to attack you in your phone booth (There is a chance you may be too young to know what a phone booth is). The space is too small to flare your elbows. Focus on punching the bad guy straight ahead of you in your limited space.

Be So-FIST-icated

You are high class and that includes in boxing. Sophisticated people drink tea with their pinky finger up. When you punch, keep your fist closed, but angle that pinky finger up like you are sipping a cup of tea. This will help straighten out your punches and allow you to connect with your first and second knuckles, which is ideal. This angling of the wrist also assists in splitting someone’s guard (punching between their gloves). This technique may also help correct the chicken winging because if you were to bring your elbow out before throwing with the pinky up, it is going to feel kinda weird.

Keep Your Hands Up

The number one sign of a newbie is that their hands do not return to their face after each punch. It is an EXTREMELY obvious indicator of inexperience and not difficult to correct. There should never be a time when one of your gloves is not touching your face. This would mean that you were punching with both hands at the same time. That’s a no-no. Please don’t do that. As far as boxing details go, this might be the most important. 

Keeping your hands up is not only crucial for defense, but also for proper punching technique. Your punches should never start from your hip. (Yes, there are exceptions to this, but until you can move like Floyd Mayweather you better keep your hands on your face!). Your punch should initiate from the defensive position against your cheek, extend out to your opponent and then come right back. A punch is a great toy to play with, but we have to put our toys back where we got them.

Keep your hands up or you will look like this!

Flat Stance

In order to generate power, you have to be able to engage your hips and core while maintaining stability. Standing with both feet parallel to the heavy bag is going to leave you powerless and off balance. In a fight, it will get you knocked out faster than you can say “jab-cross!”

Your specific stance will strongly depend on whether you are right-handed or left-handed. If you are right handed you will generally stand with your left foot forward. This is an “orthodox” stance. Left-handed people generally stand with the right foot forward and this is called the “southpaw” stance. The front leg should be facing forward and the rear leg angled slightly (45 degrees or so) to the outside. Your weight should be on the balls of your feet for ease of movement.

An easy way to check your stance and balance is to have a training partner push you (not hard) from each side, as well as front and back. You should be able to easily adjust to not fall over or stumble.

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Everything You Need to Know About Shadowboxing 


By Bryanna Fissori

What is Shadowboxing?

Shadowboxing is the act of moving and throwing punches in a way that mimics fighting or sparring an opponent without an actual opponent present. Punches are thrown to the air as if there is an imaginary person to hit. 

Why is Shadowboxing Important? 

Having the ability to practice lifelike movement repetitively without an actual threat is instrumental in developing muscle memory. From proper footwork to solid technique, it is important to drill these movements to the point where they are fluid and natural. Getting comfortable with new combinations, defensive styles and general movement can be done through shadowboxing. This is not just a drill for beginners. Professionals at the very highest levels of boxing still shadowbox every practice to reap the benefits of training movement. 

The Basics of Boxing to the Air

The overall point of shadowboxing is developing proper muscle memory for solid boxing technique. That being said, shadowboxing can also be a great cardio workout. It is important to remember that when you are moving you should always use proper fundamentals such as keeping your hands up, elbows in and moving your head. Shadowboxing is mostly a freestyle activity and a way to figure out how your body is comfortable moving. 

This can be done virtually anywhere! 

Suggestions For a Better Shadowboxing Session

Stand in Front of a Mirror:

If you have the availability of a large mirror to stand in front of while you shadowbox, you should use it. This is a good way to keep yourself in check. If you look goofy, if you drop your hands, if you are slouching it will show in the mirror. This allows faster adjustments and less propensity for bad habits to develop.

Upbeat Music for a Better Cardio Burn:

Boxing is like dancing. There is a certain rhythm to the movement. Everyone is different, but we recommend listening to something you can dance to, and we don’t mean slow dance. Put on something that inspires you to keep up with the tempo and you will see the sweat start to fly. 

Don’t Skip the Defense:

It is fun to throw punches, but it is important to practice your defensives skills as well. Starting out with one or two minute of just blocking and evading imaginary punches can be crucial to rounding out a solid shadowboxing session. By placing the heavy defensive work in the beginning of your rounds you are more likely to remember proper footwork and blocking throughout the rest of your session. 

Use a Place Marker as an Opponent:

A cone or a piece of tape can make a great opponent for shadowboxing. Having a place marker to represent a person can help with distancing and angles. Try and stay within punching distance of your marker. This will also encourage lateral movement and angles rather than just in and out attacks. 

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Eat Like a Boxer: Standard Boxer Diet


By Bryanna Fissori

Boxers have to maintain a consistently healthy diet to perform to their highest potential. This is true for most athletes. If you have watched the movie classic “Rocky,” rest assured that it is not necessary to drink raw eggs. One of the differences between boxers and many other athletes is that they must also maintain weight their within a certain division in order to compete.  Heavyweight fighters are the exclusion, as they don’t typically have a top weight cap. 

The three components that make up the majority of a standard boxer diet are:

1. Carbohydrates

2. Proteins

3. Fats 

Carbohydrates

Carbs are essential for maintaining sufficient energy levels. The correct carbohydrates gradually release energy over the course of the day, replenish depleted glycogenic levels and increase stamina for workouts and competition. Carbs have a negative connotation in the fitness and diet world, but they are essential for a number of things including processing protein. More on protein later, but generally the body requires a 2 to 1 carb to protein ratio to adequately process protein. There is a strong distinction between good carbs and bad carbs, which is based heavily on their effect on blood sugar levels. 

Bad (Simple) Carbs

Simple carbs cause notable fluctuations in blood glucose and are considered high glycemic. They assimilate too rapidly which floods the body with excessive amounts of sugar. Insulin is then released to regulate the sugar, which triggers a tired feeling commonly known as a “food coma.” Going to sleep instead of burning off that sugar will result in it being stored as fat. 

Good (Complex) Carbs

Carbs that are complex are low on the glycemic index because they have little immediate effect on glucose and insulin levels. They take longer to absorb, which is by they provide long-lasting energy. Complex carbohydrates can also reduce cravings, help in weight loss or maintenance and reduce the chance of diabetes and heart problems. 

Protein

Protein is crucial to the foundation, construction and care of muscles, which are not only important for training and competition, but also for functioning in daily life. Boxers specifically put a lot of wear and tear on their bodies. Injuries, muscle fatigue and occasional pain are often a factor in a boxer’s overall health. 

Protein work to prevent long-term muscle damage through regeneration of cells and tissue as well as increasing muscle mass. Will you get big and bulky and veiny by eating protein? No, that takes a whole other level of training and nutrition, so fear not. In general, nutritionists recommend boxers consume between 35-60% of their daily intake as protein. The large variance is primarily due to the body fat percentage a boxer must maintain to make their specific weight division. 

When preparing meat, avoid options for frying or breading in order to achieve the best results. Also remember to have adequate carbohydrates, fiber and hydration levels when consuming higher amounts of protein. 

Fats

Yep, you read that correctly. Not all fats are created equal and “good” fats are important to a boxer’s diet. Fats help the body maintain energy, promote cell building functions and assists in vitamin and mineral absorption. 

Unsaturated fats are usually considered good fats. There are also fats that cannot be made by our bodies and are considered “essential.” Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids can be obtained through proper nutrition and are also important in stimulating brain health. For competitive boxers who take frequent punches to the head, these should be a crucial part of the diet. Even good fats should be consumed in moderation. Some sources of good fats include:

Water

Water is not often considered part of a “diet,” but it is absolutely crucial to overall health, weight loss, performance, energy levels and so much more. Your specific hydration needs are dependent on your energy exertion and size, though it is very difficult to drink too much water. We recommend carrying a water bottle with you as often as possible. 

Standard Boxer Diet

This is the basic diet that helps most boxers stay in healthy, athletic form. A specific diet will change with each person’s individual needs and goals, just as it changes for boxers as they get closer to competition, depending on their necessary weight loss requirements. 

Take a look at your current diet. Are you getting enough protein? Maybe you are getting too much without enough carbohydrates to process it. Do you feel fatigued? Maybe you should add in some good fats. We hope these guidelines help you find the diet that is right for you. 

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Get Great Calves with This Boxing Workout


By Bryanna Fissori

Just because there are no kicks in boxing does not mean you get to skip leg day. Power starts from the ground up. Follow this boxing workout to build beautiful calves and generate power in those punches.

Warm Up:

Jog around your boxing workout space or outside if necessary.
1 minute: Jog normally
30 seconds: High knees- raise your knees to at least waist level as you jog
30 seconds: Butt kickers- kick the heels of your feet toward your butt as you jog
30 seconds: Shuffle to the inside (keep legs wide and hips low)
30 seconds: Shuffle similarly to the outside
30 seconds: Skip like you are bigfoot. Jump high and swing your arms freely
30 seconds: Jog normally
30 Seconds: Shoot hoops- Plant both feet and jump up as high as you can, swinging your hands upward just like as if you were shooting a basketball. Take several jogging steps between shots.
30 seconds: Jog normally
30 seconds: Job backwards (carefully)
30 seconds: Walk/recover

Use this 1-3 minutes of rest time to stretch out your calves. This can be done by placing your hands on the ground (like downward dog in yoga) and shifting your weight from one heel to the other, causing a stretch in the calf of the downed heel.

2 minutes: Jump Rope (jump rope is often used as part of a boxing warm up but for this workout it is part of the exercise routine)

1 minute: Frog jumps – start standing with your feet parallel. Jump forward as far as you can, landing in a low squat position to absorb impact. These will assist in explosive boxing movement.

1 minute: Inch Worms- Place your hand by your feet as if you were touching your toes. Leave your feet planted on the ground and walk your hands as far forward as possible without falling on your face. Then walk your feet up to your hands and repeat. This serves as an ab workout as well as a stretch to increase mobility in the legs, primarily calves and hamstrings.

*This is a low intensity move and should also serve as a recovery period.

2 minutes: Jump Rope

Try and stay on the ball of your foot
30 seconds: Hop back and forth on one foot
30 seconds: Switch and hop back and forth on the other foot
30 seconds: Hop side to side on one foot
30 seconds: Switch and hop side to side on the other foot
10 second: break
30 seconds: With both feet together hop front to back
30 seconds: With both feet together hop side to side
These will assist in balance and endurance

1 minute: Inch Worms

2 minutes: Jump Rope

1 minute: Bounding:- Standing on one foot in a fighting stance or with feet even. Leap with one foot as far as comfortably possible either at an angle or side to side depending on your space. Once you land on you lead foot, quickly regain balance push off in the opposite direction leading with your other foot. This should create a zigzag pattern if moving forward at 45 degrees per leap, or side to side if space does not a lot forward motion. This will help with explosive lateral boxing movement.

1 minute: Inch Worms

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How to Keep Your Boxing Gloves from Smelling


By Bryanna Fissori 

Take a minute to enjoy that fresh smell of new boxing gloves. Without proper care, it will not last long. With some conscious effort, you may be able to keep your boxing gloves from smelling. Here are some tips to avoid being the “stinky glove person.”

Wash Your Hands

It sounds simple enough, and possibly even irrelevant given that you are about to get super sweaty. Hands carry a lot of bacteria, and though it may not seem like a big deal now when that bacteria is introduced to the awesome environment of a hot and sweaty glove, they flourish in odorific ways. Keeping a travel size bottle of hand sanitizer is a quick way to help keep your gloves boxing gloves from smelling as a precaution before you even put them on. 

Wear Wraps

Before we even get to gloves, let’s address wraps. If you think you are too tough for wraps, we assure you are not. Not only do wraps provide crucial protection for the hand and wrist, they also serve sanitary purposes. Think about a pair of shoes that is repeatedly worn without socks. Ewww… That smell is hard to get rid of and the same can be said of gloves worn without wraps. 

Like feet, hands also sweat and profusely so during any intense boxing class. Wraps help to soak up a lot of that sweat and are much easier to wash than gloves. They can easily be thrown in the washing machine with the rest of your workout clothes. If using traditional cloth wraps, in order to keep them from getting tangled you can purchase small mesh bags that allow the wraps to get fully cleaned without strangling the rest of your clothes. 

Glove Care

Once your gloves get stinky it is hard to go back, so pay heed to the warning. Air your gloves out before they are past the point of no return. 

The moisture in the gloves is the biggest contributor to smell because it provides a great environment for bacteria to breed. Ensuring that gloves are fully dried out between workouts is crucial. The keys to achieving dry gloves without too much time consumption is to take them out of your gym bag as soon as humanly possible. If you can avoid even putting them back in your gym bag, that is even better chance that you can keep your boxing gloves from smelling.  

Folding the Velcro back so that the glove is as open as possible will also be very helpful. Hanging them up in an open area with a lot of airflow is also ideal. You may even stuff them with newspaper to help soak up the sweat. 

Tricks of the Trade

There are some tricks that may help reduce smell and keep those gloves fresh and clean. They take a little more of a conscious effort, but if you have high-quality gloves that you aren’t looking to replace any time soon, you may want to take notes.

Vinegar and Water Spay

First of all, the fun smelling stuff like Fabreeze or body spray may seem like a great idea in the moment, but it does not address the underlying bacteria and it may cause the fabric of the glove to harden and crack. Using a 50/50 mixture of water and vinegar has been used for decades to get rid of smell and bacteria. Either white vinegar or apple cider vinegar would be appropriate. Put the mixture in a spray bottle so that it is easily available for multiple uses. Spray your magic potion on both the inside and outside of the glove. Wipe it down and air it out. Vinegar is also a great additive to your laundry when washing stinky gym clothes. 

Baking Soda

Known universally for its odor-killing power, a sprinkle of baking soda in you DRY gloves should help alleviate some of the remaining odor. Let the powder sit for a couple of hours and then remove by holding the gloves with the open side down and clapping them together. 

Dryer Sheets

They will not do anything to assist in the drying process, but they will make your dry gloves smell fresh and clean. You may wipe out the glove with a dryer sheet or just leave one in each glove. This method of odor mitigation can be paired with any of the other tips we have given to help keep your boxing gloves from smelling. 

Cedar Chips

Take a pair of clean socks and stuff them with cedar chips like the kind that can be used for smoking food or for animal bedding. Tie the socks at the end and stuff one in each glove. Not only do they smell great but they help soak up moisture and bacteria. 

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Why Boxing is Perfect for Absolutely Everyone


By Bryanna Fissori

There are a lot of fitness trends that may sound good but are just not a good fit for all levels. Basketball may look like fun, but for those who aren’t naturally coordinated, it may prove to be a bit of a struggle. Running can be a great way to zone out and get fit but quickly wears on joints and ligaments. Fitness boxing is perfect for a number of reasons.

Train at your own pace

If you are new to putting on the gloves, there is no real pressure to have to keep up. The heavy bag is not going anywhere. You will not get “left behind.” There is certainly technique to punching, but really all you are expected to do on day one is put leather to leather… or leather to air. Shadowboxing is awesome. 

Uses the whole body = Plenty of Options

There is more to fitness boxing than just arm strength; much, much more. Boxing uses the whole body, literally from head to toe. Let’s say your shoulder is feeling a bit sore. That’s a great opportunity to work on footwork! Knee a little tight? Sounds like it is time to work on your straight punches to the head, with a little less bend. With options for core strengthening, legs, arms and even head movement, there is always something that can be done.

Progressive Intensity

Regardless of age, gender or fitness level, you start where you start. Your level of intensity is dependent completely on your personal progression. If you would like to prioritize technique without power punching, that is up to you. Working out on your own, you have the ability to set your timer for one minute rounds or five minute rounds. You can build at your own pace, easily keeping yourself accountable with the help of a timer or boxing app (yes, that is a thing).

 Carrie Berry, owner and head coach of The Corner Boxing Club works with Charlie Schumacher or Broomfield during the boxing class for people with Parkinson’s at The Corner Boxing Club in Boulder Colorado

Literally EVERYBODY

There are old grandmas who take boxing fitness classes, and there are children who are running circles around some of the adults. From professionals to those who have never even seen a heavy bag, the learning curve for basics is not steep. Even those in wheelchairs have been known to get work in with a partner or a coach holding mitts.

The moral of the story is, drop the excuses, grab your gloves and let’s do this.

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The Importance of Keeping Your Hands Up for Fitness Boxing


By Bryanna Fissori

 

Ok, let’s be real for a minute. If you are taking a fitness boxing class, you are probably primarily hitting things that aren’t hitting back. There is nothing wrong with that at all, but you may be tempted to slack on your defensive technique. We at BoxingInsider.com strongly urge you to make a conscious effort to keep your hands up regardless of if someone is punching back or not and here is why:

Arm Strength and Tone

Returning your glove back to your face can simulate a lot of movements that are crucial to building epic muscle tone in the upper body. Pulling the arm back from a jab or cross simulates the act of standing row workouts. Bringing the arm back up from a body shot or uppercut is much like a bicep curl.

The extra 8-16 ounces that the gloves carry may not feel like much, but that weight is serving as added resistance to your workout routine. The various angles from which to retrieve your punch can mimic resistance training in numerous ways, rounding out your overall physique. If you don’t bring your glove back to your face, you are letting the glove beat you. You are better than that! Show those gloves who’s boss.

Building Natural Defensive Reactions

Heaven forbid that you may actually ever be in a physical confrontation where you are required to defend yourself. If that does occur, having the natural reaction to place your hands correctly to avoid taking damage could be crucial. Even without the gloves on, protecting yourself with your hands and arms is an important part of self-defense. Instinct can be learned, even from fitness boxing. Train yourself to be ready at all times.

You Look Goofy

No one wants to be that person that is obviously just there for a sweat. Fitness boxing is great, but it is an immediate give away that you are either non-competitive or untrained if you cannot return your hands to your face. You can hit the bag as hard as you want, but without putting your toys (gloves) back where you got them, you are going to be noticeably awkward amongst others also hitting the heavy bag. Seriously, we are just trying to help. Don’t be that person.

See the difference when hands are down?

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Why Fitness Boxing is Perfect for Absolutely Everyone


By Bryanna Fissori 

There are a lot of fitness trends that may sound good, but are just not a great fit for all levels. Basketball may look like fun, but for those who aren’t naturally coordinated it may prove to be a bit of a struggle. Running can be a great way to zone out and get fit but quickly wear on joints and ligaments. Fitness boxing is perfect for a number of reasons. 

Train at your own pace

If you are new to putting on the gloves, there is no real pressure to have to keep up. The heavy bag is not going anywhere. You will not get “left behind.” There is certainly a technique to punching, but really all you are expected to do on day one is put leather to leather. 

Uses the whole body/Plenty of Options 

There is more to fitness boxing than just arm strength; much, much more. Boxing uses the whole body, literally from head to toe. Let’s say your shoulder is feeling a bit sore. That’s a great opportunity to work on footwork! Knee a little tight? Sounds like it is time to work on your straight punches to the head, with a little less bend. With options for core strengthening, legs, arms and even head movement, there is always something that can be done. 

Progressive Intensity

Regardless of age, gender or fitness level, you start where you start. Your level of intensity is dependent completely on your personal progression. If you would like to prioritize technique without power punching, that is up to you. Working out on your own, you have the ability to set your timer for one minute rounds or five minute rounds. You can build at your own pace, easily keeping yourself accountable with the help of a timer or boxing app (yes, that is a thing). 

Literally EVERYBODY

There are old grandmas who take fitness boxing classes, and there are children who are running circles around some of the adults. From professionals to those who have never even seen a heavy bag, the learning curve for basics is not steep. Even those in wheelchairs have been known to get work in with a partner or a coach holding mitts. 

The moral of the story is, drop the excuses, grab your gloves and let’s do this. 

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Squats and Boxing: Build a Better Booty


By Bryanna Fissori

Squats are an underrated part of boxing, but essential for proper movement in the sport. You may be nicely toning up those arms, but don’t forget to work that butt. There are tons of workout routines specifically designed to create a better booty, but if you have found your passion in boxing, there is no need to stray.

Offensive Boxing Squats

If you have spent every single class trying to punch the heavy bag as if it was someone’s face, you may want to try a new class. Punching to the face is only one of many targets.

Work the Body Shots

It is time to change your level and throw right to the gut! Yes, in order to throw a proper body shot it is necessary that you bend your knees and squat down to hit the target. This squatting motion happens right before you throw your punch. As with any squat, it is important to keep good posture with your back straight. Adding to the booty burn and in the spirit of using proper technique, there should also be a little mini lunge involved. When throwing your lead hand punch (jab), you should always step in conjunction with your punch. This adds a little lunge and a lot of power. If you are up for the challenge, try switching your stance to the opposite of your dominant side. This will help keep your tone even on that sexy booty.

Defensive Boxing Squats

Throwing punches in boxing class is an awesome cardio burn, but you are not taking full advantage of the benefits of boxing unless you are also learning to defend punches.

Duck the Punches

There are countless techniques to block and evade punches, but one of the most basic and widely used is a simple squat. Yes, a basic squat. To execute this evasive technique and avoid getting bopped in the head the instructions are simple. Stay in your boxing fight stance (one foot forward) and squat straight down. Don’t lean to the side or get fancy. Just squat. If someone is throwing a punch straight at your head, squat down underneath the punch. Tada! Not only are you building a better booty, you are also using proper boxing skills.

Fun Boxing Drill for a Better Booty

If you have a partner to train with, make it fun. Take turns having your partner throw a jab right at your head. When you see the punch coming, duck directly below it. A good partner will throw the punch straight and not chase your head down as you duck. In most real boxing situations the boxer throwing will be committed to throwing the jab straight out.

While you are down there, instead of popping right back up, step forward and throw a punch the body of your partner. Keep in mind that if you hit your partner like a heavy bag, you will probably not have a partner anymore. Switch on and off with your partner so you both get some work in.

Once you are more advanced you may add hooks and rolling underneath the punches.

Don’t Settle for an Average Butt

There is so much more to boxing than just punching stuff. Take full advantage of your instructor’s knowledge. As questions and get the all-around athletic boxing body you are looking for.

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Fitness Boxing Equipment: What You Need to Know


 

By Bryanna Fissori 

Though boxing is not one of those sports that requires a ton of expensive equipment (snowboarding, golf, football) you will need a few things to properly participate. Here is the list of boxing equipment that you will probably want to pick up. 

Boxing Gloves

The most important piece of boxing equipment is boxing gloves. Unless you are doing a straight choreographed cardio class, you are going to need gloves. There are two different “types” of gloves that can be used for boxing when you aren’t actually hitting someone. Either will work fine for hitting objects rather than a live person. 

Bag Gloves:

These are gloves that have just enough padding to protect your hands as you hit the heavy bag. They are typically lighter weight (between 6 and 10 ounces) and often do not have protection over the thumb or other areas that would not normally take impact so long as punch placement is controlled. 

Sparring/Training Gloves:

Regular sparring or training gloves provide full protection and can also be used with a human partner. They have increased support in important areas like the knuckles and wrist. They are often heavier than bag gloves (between 10 and 16 ounces), which are important to protect yourself and your partner, but they will work fine in a fitness class as well. 

The full long lace-up competition gloves are not recommended mostly because they will take forever to get on and off and may just be general overkill for a fitness class. 

Hand Wraps

These are long cloth wraps that cover primarily the knuckles and wrists. This helps prevent scrapes or bruises over the knuckles and also supports the wrists when hitting the bag. Wrist support is often underrated. A punch thrown at an awkward angle can certainly result in injury and strong wrist support helps to alleviate that risk. 

“Quick wraps” may also be used in place of cloth wraps. These just slip over the hand like weight gloves. They also provide protection in the same areas as cloth wraps. There are several different brands that carry this style though they may differ in materials used. Most have gel or foam cushion over the knuckles with either a polyester/elastic or neoprene glove base. Make sure when using quick wraps, that the wrist is still properly supported. 

Optional Equipment for Fitness Boxing:

Boxing Shoes

Each facility differs on their shoe policy, usually pending what type of flooring they have. A boxing gym that has canvas mats will certainly require shoes. For fitness boxing wearing regular athletic shoes would be appropriate. They need to have minimal tread. Running shoes would be fine, but hiking shoes would not. The shoes need to allow for sharp pivoting movement without feeling heavy or stuck to the floor. Shoes are a necessary piece of boxing equipment when competing. There are shoes specifically made for boxing. They come up higher over the ankle for support and have appropriate grip for a boxing ring. Even competitors often substitute wrestling shoes for boxing shoes. 

Mouth Guard

If you are doing work with a partner such as holding focus mitts or doing drills, it is a good idea to have a mouth guard in. This piece of boxing equipment protects your teeth and your brain should you accidentally, or purposefully take impact to the face or head. If you are only doing bag work this should not be necessary.

Jump Rope

Jumping rope is a traditional way to warm up in most boxing gyms. It promotes proper foot movement by keeping you off your heels, cardio training and coordination. Even if your gym does not require jumping rope as part of the class routine, it’s a great addition to boxing training at all levels. 

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Conversational Sport Boxing Vocabulary


By Bryanna Fissori

So, you are absolutely loving your fitness boxing class and feel like you have gotten the hang of it. You know the difference between a jab, cross, hook and uppercut. You can throw them all in various combinations on command. So now you want to watch a boxing match with your friends who have been fans for over a decade. Here is some basic boxing vocabulary you should know in order to keep up. 

Boxing 101

Do not confuse boxing with a brawl or a street fight, or with other sports such as Mixed Martial Arts or kickboxing. Boxing has very specific rules participants must follow and the only weapons boxers are given are two gloved fists. Kicking and grappling of any sort are not allowed. If you yell, “Take him down!” in the middle of a boxing match, people will look at you like you are crazy. Your face will turn red and it will be very embarrassing. Don’t do that.

The Boxing Ring

Your gym may or may not have a boxing ring in it. A boxing ring is where the match takes place. Despite its name, a boxing ring is not round. It is a square. Flexible but sturdy ropes enclose the ring. This is the same enclosed space used for the sports of kickboxing and muay thai. MMA, unlike boxing, takes place in a cage. The ring itself is raised off of the ground and covered with a canvas material over about an inch of padding. There are no doors and participants step in between the ropes to enter and exit.

The People in the Ring

Once the bout (also called a match or a fight) begins, the only people inside the ring should be the two boxers and one referee. On a televised or high profile match, there will be a plethora of other people packed in the ring before and after. Those people usually consist of coaches, promoters, managers, announcer and media. Let’s break those down a little to expand your boxing vocabulary.

Weight Classes and Glove Sizes

Each boxer is categorized into a weight class depending on his or her size. This is usually the lowest weight a person can achieve while still being able to perform. The weight for each individual bout is decided at the time the match is made and is written in to the contracts. If a boxer does not step on the scale at the appropriate weight they are typically granted an hour to try and get to the weight. If that does not happen, they often are obligated to forfeit a portion of their pay (also called a purse).

Competitors typically “weigh-in” the day before the match and have approximately 24 hours to re-hydrate. It is not uncommon for an athlete to step on the scale dehydrated and to rehydrate to be 15 to 30 pounds heavier at the time of the match. It sounds crazy, but this is really how it works.

Glove sizes are also chosen according to the weights of the competitors. The gloves are used to protect fighters’ hands and minimize damage to faces. In general, fighters over 147 pounds use 10-ounce gloves and lighter fighters use 8-ounce gloves. This can vary for female fighters. Amateur fighters use larger gloves than professionals (they also typically use headgear).

Boxing No-No’s

There are quite a few things that boxers cannot do in the ring. This helps to prevent injury and keep the fight from becoming a street-brawl. Boxer’s cannot do the following:

• Strike below the belt
• Kick or knee
• Strike when an opponent is down on the canvas
• Grab the Ropes
• Strike with elbows, forearms or the inside of the hand (slap)
• Headbutt
• Wrestle, grapple or hold the opponent excessively
• Bite ears (Yes, this actually has been a problem)
• Poke the eye with a thumb (This has also been a problem)
• Strike intentionally with the back of the glove

If any of these things occur the referee has a few options. Depending on the severity of the offense the fight can be stopped and the offended athlete disqualified. If the offense is minor but has some effect on the fight, or has been repeated and the boxer warned, the referee may call for a point to be deducted off of that competitor’s scorecard.

The most common instructions you will hear from the referee to the boxers are: Stop, Break and Fight.

The Rounds:

The amount of maximum rounds a bout can go is pre-determined at the time the agreement (contract) is signed. This is assuming no one is knocked out prior to the end of the bout. The maximum any boxing match can last is 12 rounds. This is typical for the biggest or most highly promoted fight of the night. Each round often lasts three minutes during these high-level bouts. There is a minute rest in between each round during which each boxer returns to their corner of the ring where they are met by their coaches (also called corners) who usually give them water and advise. The number of and length of rounds are not the same for every bout.

Additional Boxing Vocabulary:

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10 Ways to Recover After a Fitness Boxing Class


By Bryanna Fissori

Don’t be deceived! Just because you are not getting punched in the face does not mean that you don’t need proper recovery for your body after a fitness boxing class. It takes work to make sure you stay healthy and uninjured in the ring or on the mat. Here are BoxingInsider.com’s suggestions for post-workout recovery:

 

Hydration:

The human body is made up of about 60 percent water. There is a good chance that after class a large percentage of yours is on the floor, towel or soaking your clothes. It is crucial to replenish that fluid. Plain water is always acceptable and numerous studies have shown a clear correlation between high water consumption and weight loss. There are a lot of sports drinks available as well to replace electrolytes, but water is generally sufficient as long as you are eating healthy as well.

 

Nutrition:

Eating the right foods is not only important for body composition and weight loss; it can also help to minimize injuries and recovery time. The body needs adequate amounts of protein, carbs and fats to function at peak performance. Proteins such as amino acids are the building blocks for the cells and they are responsible for repairing damaged tissue.  Without these, the body won’t recover and develop. Your diet is heavily dependent upon your goals. Of course, a diet primarily consisting of fast food and cake is not going to leave you in the same physical condition and chicken, broccoli and Greek yogurt. You have to find the balance that is right for you.

 

Stretch:

If you leave a rubber band outside where is cold and you try to stretch it, it is likely to break rather than stretch. The same goes for stretching. Jumping into heavy stretching without warming up is not near as likely to promote flexibility and recovery as stretching after a workout. Anytime is essentially a good time to stretch but don’t overdo it if your body has not warmed up.

 

Natural CBD Supplement for Recovery:

There are a number of natural supplements that can aid in muscle recovery and inflammation reduction. CBD a non-psychogenic cannabinoid that reduces inflammation and serves as a powerful antioxidant. Many boxers and other athletes are using CBD oil as a natural replacement for non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs). The World Health Organization has reported that CBD is safe for humans and animals, non-addictive and has no side-effects. Receptra Naturals has both sublingual and topical CBD products commonly used by athletes. 

 

Warm Up/Cool Down:

Getting the blood pumping before jumping into an intense training session is always a good idea in any sport. Many boxing classes will start out with jumping rope or shadow boxing. These are great ways to get your body ready to go and minimize injuries. These practices can also be added on at the end of a fitness boxing training session to steadily reduce heart rate and adrenaline.

 

Foam Roll:

If you haven’t experienced the painful yet healing effects of a solid chunk of cylindrical foam, you are missing out. The technical term for “foam rolling” is self- myofascial release. It is the act of placing pressure on “trigger points” or “knots” to release tension and promote healing. Releasing trigger points helps to reestablish proper movement patterns, blood flow and ultimately enhance performance and reduce pain. Foam rollers are available most anywhere sporting goods are sold, and many gyms have them at the facility.

 

Massage/Bodywork:

Foam rolling and stretching in great for daily post-workout recovery and general well being, but you can’t do it all yourself. Getting a massage is not always for pampering. A good massage therapist will be able to release and relax muscles that foam rolling cannot. Massage can help with the break down of adhesions and scar tissue that can form in the muscle post training. This is especially important in areas such as the shoulder and back that are used a lot in boxing, but hard to work on without assistance.

Bodywork is not limited to massage. Chiropractic and Active Release Techniques (A.R.T.) also fit into this category. After numerous hours of ducking, weaving and punching during fitness boxing an adjustment is a good idea to keep everything where it is supposed to be through a chiropractic adjustment. A.R.T. is a form of massage that uses the movement of the patient to create tension on scar tissue and treats specific muscles, which target the exact area of the scar within each tissue.

 

Ice:

Yes, it kind of sucks because it is really cold, but cold therapy does reduce inflammation to the joints and muscles. The response ice creates in the body is vascular constriction, which causes the blood vessels to narrow, allowing oxygenated blood to the area of the body being treated. This noticeably improves recovery and can be done through local application, full body in an ice bath or in a cryo chamber. On a side note according to Tim Ferris’s book “The 24-Hour Body,” cold burns calories.

 

Sleep:

Getting an appropriate amount of sleep is important for a number of areas in life, but athletic performance is one of them. If your central nervous system is not allowed time to recover you may see a marked difference in your muscle reaction time and response to pain. You may find yourself slower, less coordinated and weaker during your next boxing session if you are not getting the proper amount of shuteye. Sleep is also an important factor in stress reduction.

If you are having trouble turning your brain off at night, one natural sleep aid is melatonin. It can be taken in pill form or boost your own production by eating foods rich in foods rich in niacinamide, vitamin B-6, calcium and magnesium. Drinking a glass of warm milk before bed is an old home remedy for sleep. This is due to the increase in melatonin it causes.

 

Do Not Skip Rest Day:

Taking a day to let your body fully recover is harder to do than you think if you really enjoy what you are doing. Don’t worry, the fitness boxing gym will be there tomorrow. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to how many or what kinds of recovery days are necessary. Some coaches may promote an “active recovery” day, which means maybe going for a jog or easy swim instead of going to class. Others will say complete rest is necessary. Factors such as age and fitness level play a part in finding the right balance. At the end of the day, the best thing you can do is listen to your body.

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Building a Better Body with Solid Basic Boxing Technique


By Bryanna Fissori

There are really only a few basic punches that are crucial for boxing. These are the punches you will be using the most in boxing classes. Having the proper mechanics for your punches will not only make them more effective, but it will cause less stress on your body and promote muscle growth and weight loss in all the right areas. Solid basic boxing technique is sure to get you in fighting shape!

 

The Jab:

This is a quick punch that extends from your lead arm straight out in front of your face. The fist goes straight from point A to point B and back without any elbow curvature. To increase power and speed it is recommended to snap the punch out, finishing with the thumb pointed slightly down. Your lead foot should step slightly forward at the same time as your arm when you throw the jab.

This punch is used to determine and maintain distance from an opponent. It is also the longest reaching punch. The jab can be used to distract, frustrate and set up more powerful punches.

The Cross:

The cross is the straight punch that is thrown with your rear hand. This is often the most powerful punch because if thrown correctly it will engage much of your legs, core and back to generate momentum. To throw a cross the rear hand comes forward in a straight point A to point B line and back, similar to a jab. One big difference is that instead of stepping, the back foot pivots toward the center of the body causing the hips to rotate bringing the rear shoulder forward to extend the punch with force.

The cross usually follows the jab but can be thrown as a lead punch. The majority of knockouts come from the cross or other similar punches thrown from the rear hand.

 

The Hook:

This punch, though basic, is one of the more difficult techniques to master. It can be thrown from either side. In a numbered progression of punches, it is typically learned first coming from the same side as the jab. There are a number of ways to throw a hook depending on your instructor’s style. Generally, a hook is thrown to the side of the body (or heavy bag) with the elbow bent. The power for a hook is generated in the torso and hips as they turn with the arm. The elbow should come up as the punch is thrown and stay elevated as the punch lands.

The hook is a great punch that can be hidden behind straight punches as an opponent focuses on blocking the front of their face or body. It is also ideal for building a strong and toned core.

The Uppercut:

The uppercut is a sneaky punch thrown at close range. Unlike the other punches, it comes from below the opponent’s line of vision. Targets for the uppercut are usually the ribs or under the chin. The rotation in the body is again, where the power is generated. Your knees start the punch slightly bent. As the body rotates upward the first drives upward toward the target.

The uppercut can be a game changer in competition and can be practiced on a heavy bag or a teardrop bag.

Basic Boxing Technique Benefits 

Remember that each punch should return immediately back to the blocking position at face level. This is proper technique not only for defense, but to reload for the next punch to be thrown. Using solid mechanics when mastering basic boxing technique will be crucial in forming the lean athletic build that fitness boxing is sure to help you achieve.

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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’.

Pectoralis Major:

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! 

Deltoids

“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). 

Triceps

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!

Biceps

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. 

Straight Punches:

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. 

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