Boxing with a punching bag can burn anywhere between 312 and 500 calories per hour depending on your weight, according to a 2011 article in Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise.
Active Acadiana caught up with local boxing champion, Mason Menard, to find out the do’s and don’ts of a beginner boxing workout.
Menard is the current North American Boxing Organization Lightweight Title Holder, a former Universal Boxing Organization World Lightweight and All-American Lightweight title holder and former Louisiana State Lightweight Title Holder.
The 28-year-old boxer who hails from Rayne got his start in boxing at the age of eight and now shares his passion by training others in the ring at Red Lerille’s in Lafayette.
Although Menard strongly advocates taking a few introductory classes to get a solid foundation in proper technique, he shared some basic tips for an effective and safe boxing workout.
Before jumping into your workout, Menard recommends spending about 15 minutes warming up, including a five minutes of stretching, five minutes of shadow boxing and five minutes of jump roping.
Shadow boxing is a warm-up aimed at loosening you up before diving into the meat of the session.
Menard explained, “It’s where you move around by yourself throwing punches at the air. At first you want to lightly punch, and avoid throwing anything too hard or fast. You just want to over-exaggerate your punches to warm up your joints. After a couple rounds of that you can start throwing your punches with more speed and intensity, and after four to six rounds of that you’re ready for the bag work”
The next 20-30 minutes should be spent on the actual boxing portion of the workout.
Before you start whaling out your pent up aggression on the bag though, be sure to take time to gear up properly.
Before putting on your gloves, wrap up with hand wraps which, according to Menard, help to absorb the sweat from your hands and give added wrist support.
After outfitting yourself with the proper gear, be sure to set up in the proper stance.
If you’re right handed your left foot should be in front and right foot in the back with your left hand in front and your right hand close to your face, and if you’re left handed the stance should be reversed.
Feet should be shoulder width apart, knees slightly bent, hands up to your face, chin tucked behind left shoulder (or right if you’re left handed) and shoulders tucked into your side for protection.
From there you can start slowly punching and to get warmed up.
Next you can take a small break and then get on the bag and punch as fast and hard as you can.
Repeat until you’re worn out.
To increase your calorie-count go ahead and add in some fancy footwork to mimic boxing an actual opponent.
Menard said, “You can move around left and right, but make sure you don’t cross your feet because you lose your technique and form which takes away the power from your punches. If you use a GlideBoxx, it moves like an opponent and you have to use your footwork to get your punches in.”
The last 15-20 minutes of the workout can be used to cooldown from the workout.
Boxers can spend three to five minutes cooling down by jump roping or shadow boxing and the rest of the time doing ab work, including crunches, leg lifts, push-ups and/or jumping jacks before doing a final stretch.
Whatever variations of the Menard’s suggestions you choose for your workout, boxing is a full body workout that is sure to get your heart racing.
Menard said, “Boxing is the best cardio workout you’ll ever do. You’re moving around on your legs, you’re punching using your back, shoulder, biceps and triceps, you’re working your forearms by gripping the gloves and everything you punch goes through the legs, hips and torso, chest, pecs and shoulders. There’s no other workout that has as much cardio and works out the entire body like boxing does.”
Using these techniques to throw a punch are some of the best ways to avoid injury, but in order to have a truly solid foundation, Menard recommends taking a few private sessions.
“I would recommend taking one or two private classes. Within those sessions you learn the proper stance and a one two punch. It can make a difference on how you punch and the way you get off your shot, because it’s easy to throw a wild shot, catch it on the bag and pull something in your shoulder.”
Menard’s private sessions are rated at 38 dollars per person per hour for one on one sessions, 24 dollars per person for two people, 16 dollars per person for three people, 12 dollars per person for four people and 10 dollars per person for five or more people.
For more information about these sessions or to get in touch with Menard, contact Red’s at 337.984.7738.