Sports scientists agree that cardio-boxing is one of the best forms of exercise, because it conditions the total body and provides a complete workout for your cardiovascular and endurance systems.
The major benefits of cardio-boxing include:
Cardio-boxing also promotes a person's well being by strengthening their self-discipline and combined with strength training it's well and truly the total package for self-defence and fitness and usually consists of:
Adjusted heart rate work
Actual boxing techniques
The usual workout consists of the age-adjusted heart rate work starting with 10 minutes for beginners and leading up to 20 minutes for the more advanced. For the second part of the workout, you'll need to perform and practice 20 minutes of actual boxing techniques.
The best way to measure the effects of an exercise program on your body is to check your pulse.
The easiest way to check the pulse is to place your index and middle fingers on your carotid artery or the wrist. Immediately after the exercise, count your pulse for 15 seconds and multiply by 4.
You can also check your pulse during the exercise but with safety as a first priority. To get a more precise reading of your pulse rate, purchase an electronic device from any sports store.
Now you have your exercising pulse rate or heartbeats per minute. We'll be concentrating at the upper end of your pulse region: the 50% - 70% ranges.
To figure this out, deduct your age from 220. Suppose your age is 40, deduct this from 220 and you get 180.
50% of 180 is 90 beats a minute,
60% of 180 is 108 beats a minute,
70% of 180 is 126 beats a minute and so on.
Don't jump into 70% work straight away. Start with 50% and slowly work your way up to the 70% upper limit.
Start with no more than 10 minutes, and work up to 20 minutes. Once you're comfortable with working out for 20 minutes at 70% then try to increase the heart rate up to 80%.
Mix up your cardiovascular activities in the gym. Use the treadmill, skipping, rower, climber, and bike and other equipment that might be available to you.
The boxing stance is the posture a boxer takes before and after every action depending on whether you are left or right handed. We'll be dealing with the most common; right-handed. For left-handed people, just reverse the instructions.
Stand with your feet shoulder width apart, with your left foot in front of your right foot. Your right heel should be slightly raised with your left foot flat on the floor and toes pointing ahead.
Bend your knees a little and balance your weight comfortably and evenly. Place your elbows close to your body with your left fist held at head height and in a position that corresponds to your left foot.
The right fist should be at head height also and guarding the chin, with both elbows protecting your body and both fists protecting your chin.
This is your defensive and offensive position after throwing punches, so please practice this before going any further. When moving forward in this boxing stance the left foot moves forward first and then the right follows.
When moving back, the right moves back and then the left follows. When moving sideward to the right, the right foot moves first followed by the left. When moving sideward to the left, the left foot moves first followed by the right.
Practice this moving forward, back and sideward in the boxer's stance until it is done smoothly and quickly. Remember to keep your guard up and elbows tucked in to your sides.
Keep your head at eye level with your upper body leaning forward slightly. In boxing it is important that punches are thrown quickly and then bought back quickly to assume a defensive posture.
A left jab has many uses, it can be used for both offensive and
Defensive actions. From the set stance the left arm is pushed quickly and forcefully forward, the weight is shifted to the front foot. The fist moves in a straight line and straight back again for defence.
At the moment of impact the back of the hand and the lower arm are in a straight line. Keep the right fist in the defensive position and elbow tucked into the body during the movement.
The straight right is also known as the punching hand and can be thrown with considerable force. The arm moves straightforward from the chin, the body weight is shifted to the front foot with the ball of the foot of the back leg pushing into the floor for more power.
The back of the hand is straight and pointing up at the moment of impact. The arm is then immediately pulled back for protection after the hit.
The left hook to the head and body is an effective punch for closer range work. From the set stance turn your left shoulder quickly and move your elbow up to shoulder height. The fist moves in a circular motion to the target, with the elbow bent.
Rotate your hip and body whilst pressing your front left down keeping the back of your fist pointing up and in a straight line with the lower arm. The left hook to the body is similar to the above but increases the rotation of the body
The right uppercut is also carried out at close range. Drop the lower part of your punching arm until the lower and upper arm is at right angles to each other. The back of your hand should be pointing away from you, now thrust your arm forward and upward to your target.
Shift your body weight to your front leg and rotate your hip and shoulder on the same side. Remember to keep your left fist guarding your chin during the entire movement. Now practice all your punches until they are done quickly and smoothly.
To develop speed and endurance, try punching straight left and right combinations into the heavy bag. The duration of the exercise period is the same as the rest period i.e. 10 seconds exercise, 10 seconds rest, 20 seconds exercise, 20 seconds rest, and so on. Move up higher as your condition improves.