Women’s boxing made its big debut in the 2012 Olympics in London, and since then, its popularity hasn’t ceased to grow. Now, women are running to join boxing lessons and take up boxercise workouts, eager to throw those punches and master those muscle-sculpting moves that have some of the biggest models and actresses raving. We must confess – we’re also huge fans! In honour of our September collection, Pretty/Strong, which features many boxing-inspired looks, we caught up with two of our favourite food bloggers and boxing-enthusiasts, Tanya and Mika, from MT Real. Today, Tanya tells us all about her passion and boxing bootcamp.
In the past few years, boxing has gone from the sports our mums were scared of us taking up (‘but darling, you bruise easily’), to the favourite boutique workout of A-list models and pretty much everyone else. With some fierce female role models in the world of boxing and MMA, and ever more boutique boxing studios opening up, there’s no better time to get your gloves on and give it a try.
We fell into boxing training thanks to our personal trainer, Jordan Young, who specialises in boxing and Muay Thai (traditional Thai kickboxing) training at our gym in London. Boxing is a big stress reliever and one that can easily fit around our busy lives; we’ve even crammed in a quick 25 minutes on the bag when we’re running between meetings.
Above: The Emmy Sports Bra II and the Naar
Jordan encouraged us to add boxing into our training schedule for its cardio endurance, balance, coordination, timing and footwork benefits, using strength and power progressing techniques. There are a few different types of boxing, which you can try:
- Boxing focuses on just striking with the hands.
- Kickboxing focuses on punches and kicks, with its roots in Karate.
- Muay Thai, an ancient martial art, allows for punches, kicks, knees and elbows.
Before starting a session, we’ll wrap our hands and wrists with boxing wraps to protect them. We start the warm-up with 3-minute skipping rounds, aiming for for 3-5 sets to get the muscles warm. Then, it’s onto some shadow boxing, practising punches and kicks in front of a mirror. The focus is on technique; Jordan reminds us to keep our guard (hands) up and switch on our core as we jab with the left before counter-rotating the hips and pivoting on the right foot to throw the cross, exhaling hard with each move.
The warm up is followed by 5-minute rounds on the pads or bag, drilling combos or power shots. Between rounds we hit the mat for a mini abs circuit of 30 leg raises, 30 crunches and 30 seconds holding a forearm plank, before it’s time to hit the pads again. If you’re punching or kicking pads or a bag, it’s important you get the moves right to avoid injury. So, if you’re new to a class or unsure then get the instructor to walk you through the moves before you start.
Tanya Wilkinson, MT Real Co-Founder
Here are a few more benefits of boxing to get you motivated:
- It’s an intense cardio workout, which keeps your heart healthy.
- It burns around 350-500 calories per hour.
- On top of calories, it burns fat, especially visceral fat (around the stomach).
- It’s a whole body workout, which has the potential to sculpt all of your muscles.
- It helps relieve stress.
- Get your own gloves and pads, and you can enjoy it anywhere!
Another BIG thank you to Mika and Tanya for their boxing advice. Time to put on those gloves! There’s no need to be afraid. There are plenty of beginner’s boxing classes out there, so you can start as gently as you’d like.
Your Fabletics Team