In HellaWella’s first installment on boxing, we talked about how boxing is both a serious workout and high-end fitness trend. Now check out how you can take some of the boxing moves you’ve learned in at the gym and apply them to a major workout at home!
Boxers train hard to condition their bodies for optimal performance in the ring, as do the actors who play them. Take Jake Gyllenhaal, for instance. A recent Men’s Journal article details Gyllenhaal’s transformation for the movie Southpaw, where he plays boxer Billy Hope. Under the guidance of boxing trainer Terry Claybon, owner of Los Angeles boxing gym LB4LB, Gyllenhaal turned his body into a lean, mean fighting machine. In addition to actual boxing maneuvers, his regimen consisted of running, jumping rope and intense strength training, some of which you can see in a video included in the Men’s Journal article. Of course, Gyllenhaal’s regimen is an extreme example — you won’t catch me flipping tires in the near future, that’s for sure — but his multifaceted approach to training shows that boxing is about a lot more than just learning how to punch. You may not be stepping into the ring for a fight any time soon, but you can still benefit from increased speed, strength and agility.
HellaWella recently revealed that jumping rope for 15 minutes burns the same amount of calories as running an eight-minute mile. Aerospace gym co-founder Michael Olajide Jr., a former boxer and current trainer for the Victoria’s Secret Angels set, praises the jump rope as a powerful tool in getting fit, telling Harper’s Bazaar that it works the entire body in a unique way: “When you're jumping rope, muscles are contracting but not with heavy weights, it's a reflex weight in the front and back and it's fast, and so different than say, a bicep curl or squat. Think of it as if all of a sudden the air was more resistant yet you were still moving around naturally — how would your body change?” Olajide also shares some advice for newbies: “For beginners, I always say to start by jumping for the length of your favorite song…Just the time but not the pace, this way you don't over-think it.” As you become more adept, Olajide suggests phasing out the music, since it can become a distraction.
There is, of course, the matter of learning how to jump rope. Sadly, subscription fitness site Radius Fitness has folded, but its YouTube page lives on, and here you’ll find Radius trainer Natalie Uhling’s awesome jump rope tutorials that were a part of her Jump Cut workout. Uhling teaches a variety of techniques, from a basic jump to high knee and hopscotch. She also recommends trying the movements without the rope first to get a feel for them.
Now we get to the good stuff: fighting with flair. Learning technique with a trained professional is the way to go, but Chalkboard Magazine’s Boxing 101 feature, created with the help of boxing expert Michael DeGood, director of training at House of Fitness in Los Angeles, will help you practice what you’re learning at the gym. The article gives the lowdown on three basic moves: Jab Cross, Left Hook and Right Uppercut. This feature also includes directions for how to incorporate the boxing moves into a circuit workout for 30 minutes of major exercise. According to Chalkboard, you should work on these moves with a trainer and then practice them on a punching bag once you’ve gotten familiar with them. Chalkboard alsorecommends having your trainer wrap your hands to prevent injury and give your hands proper support.
Strength training is an essential component of any boxer’s regimen. The Coveteur demonstrates how to build strength like a boxer with 6 Kick-Ass Boxing Exercises, a gif workout courtesy of Milan Costich, founder of Prevail boxing studio in Los Angeles. This workout is seriously tough and will challenge your entire body. The Coveteur recommends doing each exercise for a minute, completing four rounds, but make sure you honor your body and progress at a pace that works for you. For instance, I removed the weight on the floor for skiers because I was so concerned about tripping on the weight that I wasn’t focused on proper form. One solid round is better than four sloppy ones. (Bonus: Prevail has a video tutorial that will teach you how to properly wrap your hands for boxing.)
Remember to check with your doctor before getting started and consult a professional who can help you nail these movements safely before practicing on your own. Get into fighting shape with these workouts and feel like a champ all day, every day!