Boxing for weight loss has been around for years and continues to be a popular pastime for many fitness enthusiasts. Unfortunately, many people do not fully understand how it works and how to use it effectively. We’re going to be covering these types of questions in our article and offer some useful tips to help improve your boxing workout.
How Does Boxing For Weight Loss Work?
Calorie Burn – Understanding the in Versus Out Rule
To really understand how boxing for weight loss works, it’s important to learn the basics. In short, boxing is a great form of calisthenics exercise. Calisthenics is a group of exercises that use minimal to no equipment to achieve calorie burn through controlled movements. It’s also commonly referred to as body weight training and includes activities like push ups, sit ups, burpees, and jumping jacks. The great thing about calisthenics is that they can be performed virtually anywhere and are a perfect solution for people who are on a tight budget.
The calories that each person burns during an effective boxing workout will vary significantly from person to person. Some of the factors that will determine how many calories you burn include the length of your boxing session, the intensity of your workout program, and your current fitness level and weight. Most of the free available calorie calculators online show that a 185-pound person will person 80 to 85 calories boxing every ten minutes.
The calories you burn are what will cause you to lose weight. According to the Mayo Clinic, one pound of fat equates to approximately 3,500 calories. To lose one pound each week, you would need to cut 3,500 calories from your total calorie consumption. By increasing your physical activity through exercises like boxing, you can increase your calorie burn to make this process easier.
To determine what your base calorie needs are for each day, consider using a body weight calculator like the one on the USDA website. These calculators use factors like your height, existing weight, and current activity level to give you an approximate calorie goal to stick to.
The Positive Effects of Increasing Lean Muscle Mass
Boxing for weight loss also has another positive effect on your body. It helps to increase your total lean muscle mass with continued use. While not enough to develop six pack abs on its own, the lean muscle mass development it does encourage has a net positive impact on weight loss and body image.
There are two reasons lean muscle plays such an important role in weight loss and body composition. The first reason is that lean muscle mass is more metabolically active than fat is. While often exaggerated in many fitness publications, switching fat out for muscle mass will cause your body to have a higher resting metabolic rate. This rate reflects the number of calories your body needs to consume to maintain its current weight without any physical activity.
In short, more muscle mass directly correlates to a higher resting metabolic rate. This translates to having a higher calorie budget to work with each day to maintain the weight you are happy with at the end of your weight loss journey. However, do not overestimate the effects of muscle mass on resting calorie consumption. Each pound of muscle only uses approximately seven to ten calories each day compared to two or three calories for fat tissue. While the effect is small, every little bit helps when you’re trying to achieve lasting weight loss.
The other reason lean muscle mass is beneficial is the visual impact it has on your body. Muscle is much more dense than fat and takes up significantly less space. This is why people who have built up muscle who may not have lost much total weight can look significantly more trim and fit into tighter clothes.
How to Use Boxing for Weight Loss Effectively
It’s All in the Footwork
Footwork has a huge impact on the effectiveness of boxing for weight loss. As stated earlier, boxing is a type of calisthenic activity that burns calories from controlled bursts of movement. By keeping your feet moving at a rapid pace, you can drastically increase the number of calories you burn for the duration of your workout. In addition to quickening your pace, consider adding in some light jumping movements that take you two to three inches off the ground as well.
Consider Wrist Weights and Weighted Gloves
Another way to increase the effectiveness of your boxing for weight loss program is the addition of extra weight on your hand and wrist area. You can accomplish this with a wide variety of different wrist weights and weighted boxing gloves. It’s important to start with the lowest weight possible and gradually increase it to allow your body time to adjust appropriately. When the current weight is no longer challenging, consider increasing it again gradually over your next few workouts.
Add in Additional Calisthenic Activities
While boxing for weight loss can be effective on its own, you can really maximize your results by incorporating additional calisthenic movements into your weight loss programs. Some great ideas to consider are push-ups, jumping jacks, and skipping rope. These exercises can help further strengthen your core muscles and increase your total calorie burn.
The Disadvantages of Boxing for Weight Loss
While boxing for weight loss may have a lot going for it, there are several downsides to consider as well. The biggest drawback to it is that the calories burned from this activity are significantly less than other cardiovascular activities like running. This is why it’s recommended to include additional activities in your boxing plan to increase the effectiveness of your weight loss program.
In addition to its less than average calorie burning potential, boxing can also be harmful to people with joint issues. This includes arthritis sufferers and people with hypermobility syndrome. The constant blows can cause joint pain and worsen these conditions with time.
While there are a few drawbacks to boxing for weight loss, it’s still a viable way to lose weight safely and improve your body composition. It helps to burn calories and can increase your lean muscle mass with time. Remember, you should always consult with your family physician before beginning this or any other exercise program. Only they will be able to tell you if a new potential program is safe for you to begin.