Get In Shape By Getting In the Ring
''Boxing is so basic and simple, yet there's way more to it than meets the eye,'' says Michael Olajide, Jr., a former number one World Middleweight contender and boxing trainer from New York City.
Let's start with the laundry list of physical benefits that comes along with boxing training: improved strength, balance, agility, muscle tone and cardiovascular fitness.
''If you want to tone up your midsection, arms, thighs and glutes, boxing is by far one of the most effective workouts you can do,'' says Olajide. ''The secret is you get cardio and toning benefits simultaneously.''
Of course, the upsides of boxing aren't limited to the physical.
Many beginning boxers tap into newfound confidence from the self-defense tactics that are learned from the sport, says Olajide, who served as fight technician for the feature film Ali. And mentally, nothing erases the stress of a tough day quite like punching a heavy bag.
Bitten by the boxing bug?
If you're looking to improve your technique and maybe even a chance to get in the ring, Olajide recommends joining a boxing club or finding a trainer in your area. Check www.boxinggyms.com or try an Internet search for nearby gyms.
Sometimes, local Police Athletic Leagues sponsor boxing programs, so that may be a good place to start. For more information about amateur boxing, see www.usaboxing.com.
Essential boxing equipment
One of the best things about boxing is that it requires very little equipment. Here's what you'll need for a basic workout:
• Mexican hand wraps
• heavy bag (either hanging or standing alone)
• bag gloves
• jump rope
• boxing shoes (with cushion inserts for jumping rope)
You can find this equipment at most sporting goods stores.
Source: Fighting For Fitness by Mark Anders, ACE Fitness Matters Volume 9, Issue 3 (May/June).
This appeared in ACE FitnessMatters, ACE's official magazine.
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