The Basics of Boxing

Explore the many physical and mental benefits of jabbing and ducking. Increase your stamina, gain coordination, have fun and enjoy a mental break—all in one sport.

Boxing is one of the most multifaceted training methods because it simultaneously increases and refines power, strength, cardio and coordination, all while offering unique cognitive tasks and even an opportunity for some stress relief. Sami and Brandon Sweeney, founders of RowdyBox, break down the basics for those new to the sport.

BENEFITS OF BOXING

When it comes to boxing, the layers run deep. “You can always get more efficient or learn something new, whether it’s a new combination or a more effective way to move. There is so much nuance to it,” Sami says. “Every single time I do it, I come away better in some capacity.”

Cardio

When boxing, you are in constant motion, which effectively raises the heart rate and encourages greater stamina.

Power

Especially when heavy bags are brought into the mix, resistance training becomes a main focus and builds explosive movements.

Coordination

A challenge for the mind as much as the body, throwing combinations called out by an instructor provides a mental puzzle and a bit of a distraction from the physical effort.

Stress relief

“It’s a safe space to go all out,” Sami says. Simple as that.

Full-body Benefits

Many people assume boxing is primarily an upper-body exercise. But, the defensive moves (see below) provide plenty of opportunity for lunging, squatting and other lower-body challenges.

THE BASIC BOXING STANCE

Boxing is a technique-driven sport, and it all starts with the correct stance. If you’re right-handed, you will stand with your feet shoulder width apart with your right (or dominate) foot back and left shoulder forward. Keep both hands up by the chin and the knees soft and bent in an athletic stance. Lastly, stay light on the balls of feet, ready to move at all times.

SIX CLASSIC PUNCHES

From the basic boxing stance, there are six basic punches you will hear in class. Here is a quick primer straight from the experts:

Jab

The most important punch! Your front fist is thrown straight ahead, extending your arm all the way. Palm down. Turn your front hip slightly with each jab. Return immediately back to the chin.

Cross

Your power punch! This punch starts from the ground up. Your back fist is thrown straight ahead, extending your arm all the way. Palm down. Rotate your back foot, back knee, hip and shoulder with your cross.

Front Hook

The most awkward punch. This punch starts from the ground up. Pivot your front foot as your lift your front elbow to a 90-degree angle. Rotate your hips and shoulders as you throw your front hook. Keep your thumb up and your wrist, elbow and shoulder in line, parallel to the ground.

Back Hook

This punch also starts from the ground-up. Pivot your back foot as your lift your back elbow to a 90-degree angle. Rotate your hips and shoulders as you throw your back hook. Remember: Keep your thumb up and your wrist, elbow and shoulder in line, parallel to the ground.

Front Uppercut

This punch also comes from your chin. Dip your front hip and drop your front shoulder. Rotate on the ball of your back foot and pull your front arm up, keeping your palm directed at your face. Cuts are thrown closer to the bag.

Back Uppercut

This punch comes from the chin. Dip your back hip, dropping your back shoulder. Rotate on the ball of your front foot and pull your back arm up, keeping your palm directed to your face. Cuts are thrown closer to the b

DEFINITIVE DEFENSIVE MOVES

Duck

While there’s no need to actually avoid punches in most classes, the practice of ducking, allows you to squat low and get into the legs to build strength.

Slip

Similar to ducking, slipping (or moving to the side) adds a lateral motion that enhances your proprioception and balance.

THE ROWDYBOX CLASS

When it comes to the format, the Sweeneys have their own secret recipe. “Traditional boxing offers so much potential within the classic movements and technical skills, but we thought it could benefit from a little more program optimization.” The couple does this by combining Brandon’s more than 10 years of boxing experience with Sami’s love of choreography, dance and programming. They throw in a little weightlifting for added strength benefit. Cue the music for a fun sweat session.

Sweat. Box. Sculpt.
Join the Sweeneys at the Bellevue Club for heart-pumping challenge.
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