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!
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 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.
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 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.
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.