Feeling Frustrated by Life? Try Boxing!
Had a bad day? Some jerk cut you off in traffic? New “match” stand you up? Take a boxing class and punch your troubles away!
For a while now I’ve wanted to try boxing. I’m no stranger to working out and have tried many different types of exercise fitness programs such as aerobics, weight-lifting, yoga, jogging, tennis, elliptical, swimming, bicycling, Pilates, softball, and Zumba, to name a few, so why not boxing?
I first noticed the boxing gym because it was next door to the movie theater I often go to. They have around 50 punching bags hanging from the ceiling and people punching the crap out of them. It’s a little intimidating. Actually, it’s a lot intimidating. They have this mantra where the instructor says: Hit it! and the participants say: Hard! So it’s like: Hit it HARD; Hit it HARD; Hit it HARD. And this is when I generally walk on to the movie theater and ask for buttered popcorn: Pour it ON; Pour it ON; Pour it ON.
So finally I tried boxing. And it’s not as intimidating as I thought, though still somewhat. The best part is, the transformation is quick. My arms are toning and the weight is dropping like no other physical fitness I’ve tried in the past. Here are some helpful tips in case you’d like to try it so you aren’t intimidated.
- There are four types of punches: jab, cross, hook, uppercut. The jab is a fast, straight punch that leads with your hand; The cross is a straight punch that uses the weight of your body (this punch is what you see most in the movies); The hook is meant to hit the sides with a bent arm; The uppercut is a punch thrown by rotating your gloves and punching upward.
- Wrapping your hands. This had to be done for me several times before I picked it up, but what I noticed is they wrap in three’s. Your wrist, your hand, your thumb. Having said that, there are plenty of You Tube videos on wrapping and WikiHow breaks it down into 8 steps. The thing I want to add is you must wash these because they get kind of gross after a couple of uses.
- I’ve noticed that a lot of people don’t wear shoes in this class, and I gotta be honest, it grosses me out. The gym I go to has a large, black rubber mat and by the end of class the bottom of their soles are also black. I get that they have a better sense of balance, so this is a personal choice for the individual boxer.
- Bring a mat or towel for the core work. In an hour class, you will typically have a 15 minute warmup, seven 3 minute rounds, 1 minute active rests in between, 15 minutes of core work and 2 minutes of cool down. After all that sweating – and you will sweat your ass off – you don’t want to then lay down on this sweaty map without a barrier.
- And lastly, have fun. There are times when we are doing all four punching combinations: jab, cross, hook, uppercut, as quickly with as much veracity as we can muster and I go into a zone. I lose track of time and often don’t notice we’ve switched the combination of punches. That’s the mark of a good class. When that hour flies by instead of drags by.