You don’t have to step into the ring to get a great workout. Boxing classes are becoming the norm in many health clubs and fitness centers across the country. Participants are learning what boxing enthusiasts have known for years, that boxers are highly conditioned athletes, and that if you follow some simple procedures, you can build stamina, tone your muscles and burn calories.
A proper stance allows you to throw harder punches and get a better workout. Stand with your feet hip-width apart and knees slightly bent. Balance on the balls of your feet and take a natural step forward with your left foot (step forward with your right foot if you’re left-handed). Bring your hands up to cheekbone level, keep elbows tucked and your chin down. Remember to keep your abs tight, as if you were doing a sit-up. Stay light on your feet as you move around, and lightly bounce, shifting your weight back and forth. Keep your knees soft throughout the workout. When throwing a basic punch, never lock your elbow because that can cause serious joint injuries.
The jab is a quick punch with a snap to it and is most often used to set up other punches. Push off the ball of your back foot, take a small step forward with your front foot and explode your left fist out. From the left-handed stance, you’ll jab with your right fist. Rotate your shoulders, palm facing down, and extend your punch. Don’t lock your elbow. Snap your fist back into position quickly as you step back into your original stance.
The uppercut is a punch that lands with your palm facing your body and your fist pointed up toward the ceiling. Bend your knees and tuck the elbow of your punching arm into your hip. Thrust with your hips and drive your punch upward, keeping your elbow bent at a 90-degree angle or greater.