Walk, jog, sprint, jump-rope, jumping jacks... the list of go-to cardio options is never ending, but have you considered boxing as a cardiovascular exercise?
Though I always suggest strength training in your journey to weight loss, it goes without saying that cardio is an absolute must-have to shed fat fast. There are multiple methods to incorporating cardio in your weekly workout routine. Taking a walk outside; running on a treadmill; HIIT plyometrics... these all make the cut but what about a little contact sport? In my own personal weight loss journey, I found boxing (with a heavy bag and focus mitts) to prove most beneficial in giving me the athletic, toned look I desired. My results spoke volumes and I have since been a huge advocate for boxing. Not only do I feel more powerful when I participate in a boxing session, the changes in my physique got a lot of attention as well!
Professional boxing differs from boxing for weight loss. When practicing professional boxing, such as for sport or self defense, form and power as well as target accuracy is the priority. However, when dabbling in cardio boxing or cardio kickboxing, the goal is speed and continuous motion to maintain an elevated heart rate. There are many forms of boxing and kickboxing that include shadow boxing (boxing without resistance or contact), heavy bag boxing (for power and strength) and focus mitts (for target practice and agility). Cardio exercise by definition is any exercise that raises your heart rate. The best way to elevate your heart rate? MOVEMENT! Boxing tasks the cardiovascular system by forcing you to constantly dodge, jab, punch, bob and weave. While jogging is obviously a highly recognized method of cardio exercise, you can burn an estimated 170 calories more during a boxing session (727 calories per hour vs 557 calories per hour).
To get serious with your training, I highly suggest looking into purchasing a heavy bag, as I have shown in the video below. The bag forces you to engage in a more powerful workout that also enables you to improve your coordination and flexibility. It is also recommended (especially when you plan on utilizing a heavy bag!) that you practice your form. Proper form can make an enormous difference in your performance and also keeps your joints and muscles safer from potential injury. Once you are ready to begin your sessions, start with one cardio boxing session a week. Incorporate basic techniques (jab, cross, dip, bob and weave) for a half hour or so. When you are more comfortable and capable of increasing length or number of sessions per week, go for it!
Be sure to stretch well before and after your session. For information of properly performing a cardio boxing session, feel free to contact me! Enjoy!