Boxing can be a daunting exercise if it’s your first time, and a common misconception is that it’s a man’s sport, or that you’ll look ‘manly’ if you do it too often and build muscle. So we thought we’d ask Cathy Brown – who teaches boxing at Third Space London – to debunk a few myths for us.
What are the common mistakes women make when boxing?
The only mistake is not thinking that boxing is for them as it’s a man’s sport or thinking they will get hurt. I run women only, non contact boxing classes, which focus on correct technique and getting optimum power from punches. My Bitch Boxing classes are designed to make boxing attractive and comfortable for women to attend. I also run mixed classes where the women are encouraged to attend if they want. In terms of common mistakes, actually women tend to pick up technique better than men.
What are the physical benefits of boxing?
It is an amazing form of exercise for cardiovascular and strength training and it works all over body. It is an excellent fat burner because it mixes cardio and strength training. It gives you another form of training to do alongside weight training or classes, so keeps you motivated. It’s important to switch your training up as this prevents hitting plateaus and keeping the mind fresh so you don’t become bored. Boxing training can be transferred onto any other training as it helps with agility, power, faster recovery, fitness, strength and mindset. If you can integrate boxing within your training regime, it will enhance results.
What are the mental benefits of boxing?
It is a magical form of stress/anger release, and an extremely powerful way to help with anxiety, depression and increasing confidence. It gives individuals a stronger inner resilience and ability to build a coping mechanism. Boxing releases so many negative emotions and has a natural ability to be able to open people up about their feelings.
Once you talk about things, you can start introducing a coping mechanism, and talking about feelings/emotions is powerful to healing; suppression is toxic. The serotonin release you get from boxing serves as a natural anti-depressant and anxiety controller. What you learn from boxing in terms of mental strength will be transferred onto all other parts of your life, so you will be mentally stronger/calmer at work/socially and in life.
How does it change your body?
You will get stronger and leaner with boxing training, but you will also become more body confident which is the most important thing.
Can anyone box?
Yes, absolutely as long as the person enjoys it, and comes out of the session feeling good.
What are the benefits of female boxing classes?
Some women don’t want to train with men within a boxing class as if you’re not confident about boxing and haven’t built up the strength yet, it can be daunting if you have to partner with a man during the class. Although there is no contact, you may have to hold pads for a man during combination drills. Some women prefer to train in female boxing classes because of the great camaraderie, there are some lovely bonds and friendships created, you feel part of a ‘pack’ and we all come together to get mentally and physically stronger.