Health benefits of boxing: Six reasons you should start boxing

Are you ready to enter the ring?

Health benefits of boxing: Six reasons you should start boxing
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Health Editor Lucy Gornall squared up to Former Heavyweight & Cruiserweight Champion of th World David Haye at his boxing gym to find out what makes boxing such a winning workout.

Whatever your fitness level, boxing is an enjoyable form of exercise that over time will increase your stamina and agility and generally help to keep both your mind and body in shape. Below David Haye shares six reasons why you should don a pair of boxing gloves and give this age-old sport a go...

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1. You’ll get a full body workout

There’s a common misconception that boxing is solely an upper body workout, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.

'If you’re doing it [boxing] right it’s up there with some of the best full body workouts,' David told GoodtoKnow. 'Each time you’re readying yourself for a punch you’re essentially holding a squat position, working your quads and glutes. And as you carry out different series of boxing sequences, you’ll be constantly rotating which works your core and obliques.'

2. It’s a great form of stress relief

'There’s something about clenching your fists and pounding a bag that’s quite primeval. You can’t express yourself in a low-impact exercise – such as skipping – in the same way. When you’re punching you’re connecting to your soul,' David says. 'So whether it’s a it’s 30-minute or 50-minute boxing class putting on your boxing gloves and pounding away at the pads, pounding away at the bags and doing a circuit if need be will soon see all the stresses and strains of the day melt away.'

3. There’s a boxing class for everyone

Credit: David Lloyd

Beyond the traditional few rounds at your local boxing gym there are so many combat classes that involve boxing that you can choose from. David Lloyd gyms, as an example, have Blaze (a HIIT workout that combines cardiovascular training with strength, boxing and martial arts skills) while Kobox, a chain of boxing gyms, run 50-minute and 30-minute lunchtime classes suitable for people of all fitness levels.

4. It’s a boost for the brain

'Boxing is like learning the choreography to a dance, so it fully engages your brain,' David says. 'From the dynamic warm up to different boxing combinations, you're constantly soaking up new information and building up different skills.'

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5. You can practise from the comfort of your own home

Shadow boxing is a great way to learn the techniques of the sport without the pressure of having to hit a pad or a bag or the need to worry about getting things wrong. You can do it anywhere in your home or even outdoors if you have a local park or green space nearby.

6. It’s not just for men

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Victoria’s Secrets models, including Adriana Lima, are just some of the people leading the way when it comes to women using boxing for exercise. David: 'They [Victoria’s Secrets models] all do boxing training to stay in shape. And they wouldn’t be doing it, if it didn’t work. They know it’s an amazing legs, bums and tums workout and they’re not put off by being in a boxing gym surrounded by sweaty men.'

Lucy Gornall
Health & Fitness writer

Freelance writer Lucy Gornall is the former health and fitness editor for various women’s magazines including Woman&Home Feel Good You. She has previously written for titles including Now, Look and Cosmopolitan, Woman, Woman's Own, Woman's Weekly and Chat. She lives and breathes all things fitness.