YouTuber turned boxer Logan Paul has been making headlines again, this time for taking on legendary fighter Floyd Mayweather at an exhibition match at Miami Gardens, Florida.
While no winner was declared in the bout, with 44-year-old Mayweather admitting that his 26-year-old opponent was “better than I thought he was”, it’s clear Paul – a relatively recent boxing convert – is in the best shape of his life.
But you don’t have to don a pair of gloves and take to the ring to discover what an incredible workout you can get from throwing punches – and it’s not just about upper body strength. Whether at home, outdoors or in the gym, anyone can enjoy the health benefits of boxing…
1. It’s a tough cardio workout
“Boxing really improves your cardiovascular fitness because you’re constantly moving,” says Rachael Penrose, trainer at F45 Oxford Circus. “A lot of athletes and fitness professionals, they love to throw a bit of boxing [into their training]. There’s a workout and then there’s a boxing workout – it really, really gets your heart pumping.”
2. Boxing can work every part of your body
Not only will it help you work up a sweat, boxing can provide a full-body workout. “The full range of movements and techniques will take you through pretty much every conceivable body movement as you duck and deliver your punches and deflect those of your opponent,” says personal trainer Ruth Stone from Sweatband.com.
Jay Revan, boxing and conditioning coach at My Manor London, says: “Boxing training is a great way to increase muscle mass, stamina and endurance. Through punch repetition, bag work and conditioning the body [you] will naturally develop and build strong muscle.”
3. It’s a mental workout
“Boxing has been compared to dancing many times, and while they may seem far removed from each other, they’ve actually got a lot more in common than you’d first imagine,” says Stone.
As with dancing, you’ve got to concentrate on getting the footwork right as well as working your upper body. “It is a bit of choreography when you watch boxers and how they’ve paired together,” says Penrose.
“They’ve got to be so mentally switched on – if someone’s coming at you with a punch you have to be so switched on to dodge that. That’s where the mental side of things comes through and having to pair all those moves together.”
4. It tests your coordination skills
“Boxing involves a lot of coordination because you need to be able to bounce around and move in a certain direction with your feet, while at the same time landing punches on your opponent,” says Darren Sealy, co-founder of Mindset Fitness. “Moreover, you must be able to aim your hands perfectly to get that big punch in on your opponent’s sweet spot, something that requires a lot of coordination.”
5. It’s a sociable sport
While you can go it alone by doing shadow boxing, sparring with a partner brings additional benefits. Rose says: “Because it pitches individual against individual, you’d imagine it may not be the best for building social bonds, but the camaraderie of the boxing community is legendary and the respect boxers have for each other – even when they’re fighting – is paramount.”
6. It’s great for stress relief
Got some pent up frustration you need to release? Pummelling a punching bag can be a satisfying way to let off steam.
“Firing out a punch is a really good way of getting out any kind of aggression,” says Penrose. “Life’s crazy, we’re always running around, we always feel like we’re working our nervous system, so it’s a great way to just kind of let it all out.”
7. It could help you sleep better
“This is the most important benefit of boxing in my opinion,” says Revan. “Through consistent training and hard work you will naturally find the body switches off easier at night, allowing for a deeper sleep and better sleep quality which [can] lead to improvements in your mood and mental health.”