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Fresh, Fit and Healthy Fitness  

Knock Out!Knock Out!

by Tom Bonanti

Without a doubt, boxing is a very masculine sport. But beyond the machismo, the combination of working the cardiovascular system along with strength and endurance training add up to deliver a powerful workout package.

You may not have the time to train like a Holyfield and you may not have access to all of the accoutrements like gloves and a boxing ring, but you can still get started easily. All you need is a jump rope, a speed bag, and a good heavy punching bag (a sturdy laundry bag filled with sand, sawdust and rags will do). A basement, garage or empty guestroom should give you enough space.

A great way to get started with a boxing routine is to find a partner. Next be sure to warm up together by doing pre-workout stretches especially for shoulders, back and legs. Start your workout with a circuit training approach where you move quickly from one station to the next. Employ calisthenics like push-ups, pull-ups and crunches, as well as light to moderate weights. Shoulder dumbbell presses along with front and lateral dumbbell raises will pump your shoulders. Dumbbell or barbell (bent over) rows are best for back; and nothing beats barbell squats and lunges for legs. This workout should take a half-hour.

Knock Out - Mark Cover And now let’s go on to your boxing routine. Wearing heavy gloves (boxing gloves or even heavy duty workout gloves should do), start by throwing moderate punches at the heavy bag. Make sure your hand does not turn—you don’t want to strain or break the wrist. Alternating with your partner a few sessions, turn up the heat and hit the bag with more force. Try working up to three minutes of non-stop heavy hitting at a time and you’ll feel it.

Now try jumping the rope. This will help you build rhythm, co-ordination and stamina. Jumping rope is a great form of cardio that will help you melt away body fat.

The speed bag is the one that hangs from a platform and springs right back at you when you strike it. A speed bag allows the user to develop hand rhythm and hand/eye co-ordination, along with endurance capabilities. You should practice hitting the speed bag until you get used to its feel.

These exercises should be performed for three minutes each and then repeated. Eventually, work up to five-minute cycles of punching bag, jumping rope and speed bag. After you and your partner have completed the circuit twice, move to an area large enough for some action.

Put on the gloves with your partner and begin a block/sparring session. One is the aggressor and the other guy blocks the punches. The aggressor should throw the punches at 80 percent speed without trying hard to connect, and the defender only blocks the punches with no return blows thrown. Switch roles after a couple of minutes. This provides good basic training in how to punch and how to defend against a punch. This will give you the feel of how an actual fight unfolds. Be careful to avoid actual head blows and wear a mouthpiece for protection just in case.

There you have it: a basic beginners boxing workout that anyone can use. Team up with a buddy today and try it out!