What started off as a form of self-defense, followed by becoming a sport, has now become one of the most popular high-energy workouts worldwide.

Boxing is a combat sport dating back to prehistoric times in which two people wear protective gloves and throw punches at each other with the objective of knocking their opponent down.

A boxing match is divided into 12 rounds for men and 10 for women, each lasting around 3 minutes.

People like Muhammad Ali and Mike Tyson have become famous worldwide due to their enormous success in this sport.

In the fitness world, boxing has become the ultimate full-body workout for both men and women. Boxing workouts include cardio, conditioning and flexibility training.

Even though boxing has always been seen as male-dominant, more and more women have started practicing the sport and workout. Besides the health and fitness benefits, women are also gaining self-defense techniques.

Continue reading to discover the numerous types of boxing and the amazing benefits that come with this sport.

Practicing Kickboxing as a Workout

boxing as a workout
Trade your running sneakers for some boxing gloves for an exciting workout such as kickboxing! Source: Dylan Nolte on Unsplash

There is a reason why more and more people have traded their running sneakers for a pair of boxing gloves.

If you are not taking any workout classes then it is easy to fall into a boring routine where you are just spending your gym time on the treadmill and your workouts become boring very quickly.

Going to the gym or simply working out doesn’t have to be like this. Let’s take boxing classes for example. Boxing can be a fun way to break a sweat!

Boxing has been proven to tone your body and bring out your muscles that are just eager to make an appearance. Boxing can be considered a full-body workout. Working out your arms, back and core when punching and working out your legs and hips when going from side to side and up and down.

Because boxers need to be quick and light on their feet, they are always on the move, even when “standing still” you will see boxers doing small skips from side to side. Being on the move is required for boxers so that they can be ready for when their opponent decides to strike.

These small side skips also help boxers keep their heart rates up and they can maintain their intensity on the ring.

These are just additional reasons why boxing is such a great cardio workout, which results in burning more calories.

It may be a great time to look for that jump rope to practice those “floating like a butterfly” skips and get that heart rate up!

We have gone on and on about the fitness benefits from boxing, but why not mention the very important mental benefits that boxing can have on you?

You heard right, mental benefits do come from boxing! In fact, boxing as a workout has been proven to be highly effective in releasing stress.

Why you may ask? Well, boxing is about punching and punching a bag over and over again can be a healthy way to release tension and stress, which can result in leaving the gym in a much better mood.

Coordination is crucial when it comes to boxing. You always have to be on the lookout of when your opponent will decide to attack.

Having good coordination in boxing will allow you to have fast reaction times when it comes to punching and kicking and with practice, you will make those moves seem easy.

Female Boxing versus Male Boxing

boxing match as seen from afar
Boxing has always been seen as a male-dominant sport but women have been boxing since the beginning of the sport. Source: Joel Muniz on Unsplash

Generally speaking, female and male boxing is mostly the same. There may be minor differences when it comes to competition times, protective gear, equipment, and rules but the techniques and bases are the same.

When it comes to differences in boxing fitness, the differences may be even more minor. This will mainly be on protective gear and equipment being used, like gloves.

As a sport, boxing competition times are different for men and women.

All boxing competitions are broken up in rounds. For men, there are up to 12 rounds with each round lasting up to 3 minutes whereas, for women, there are up to 10 rounds with each round lasting 2-3 minutes.

In regards to protective gear, this will be different in any sport when it comes to men versus women due to the different sensitive areas in each sex. In boxing, this is no different.

For both sexes, a mouthpiece can be suggested as well as protective headgear. In addition to this, some women will choose to wear protective chest wear and some may even decide to wear a crotch guard.

For men, in addition to a mouthpiece, a crotch guard is necessary for some boxing types such as kickboxing and Thai boxing, but in regular boxing, it is not required.

Boxing gloves, no matter if it’s for men or women, will look the same. A padded top where your four fingers will go, typically called “hand cage” and a thumb section, which will make sure have a better grip and good punching control.

Women’s boxing gloves tend to be a bit slimmer and have a smaller hand cage versus men’s boxing gloves. This is due to women generally having smaller hands than men. The form and purpose of the gloves will be the same.

Finally, there are certain rules that women must follow when it comes to boxing competitions.

If women have long hair, it must be secured and kept away from the face. This may pertain to men as well but generally male boxers keep their hair short.

Also, women may be required to provide a negative pregnancy test before competing, as they will not be allowed to compete if they are pregnant.

Finding Boxing Classes For Women

woman practicing punching on a punching bag
Practicing kickboxing at the gym can serve as an all-body workout and can help tone your body. Source: Sergio Pedemonte on Unsplash

Before you actually start boxing lessons, you may want to first think about what you want from boxing.

Do you want to compete professionally or do you want to start boxing mainly for the fitness aspect of it? This will help you decide where you will practice boxing.

If you are interested in boxing professionally then maybe going to your gym’s kickboxing classes won't help you get to a professional level. Gym classes will teach boxing techniques but they will mostly focus on the fitness aspect of it.

When boxing professionally you may want to look into boxing studios near you. This will guarantee you get the best boxing instructors, access to top-notch boxing equipment, full training within a boxing facility with a ring available and lessons based on your level.

If your boxing goal is strictly to stay in shape or mix up your workout routines then a gym will be your best bet. You’ll get a taste of what it is to learn the stances, defense, punching, and kicking techniques but you won't be required to knock anyone out.

Boxing at a gym will mix you up with both men and women, since you aren’t there to compete, and you’ll get to experience how boxers train on cardio, conditioning training, and learning techniques.

Superprof had an online community of trainers all around the world that are specialized in different areas of the sport! So it's easy to connect to trainers that are near you!

Hiring a personal boxing trainer can be great if this is your first experience of the sport because you will have a more personalized learning approach.

Different Forms of Female Boxing

Women practicing to box with protective gear
Kickboxing is a form of martial arts that combines boxing and karate techniques where you will also be kicking your opponent. Source: Pop In the City on Visualhunt.com

Now that you’ve decided you are ready to start boxing, it’s now time to decide what type of boxing is best for you.

There are many different types of boxing but here are the most popular:

  • Kickboxing
  • French boxing
  • English boxing
  • Thai boxing
  • Burmese boxing

Kickboxing is a form of martial art that combines boxing and karate techniques. You will not only be punching but you will also be kicking your opponent.

Kickboxing is also one of the most popular fitness workouts and continues to increase in popularity because of it’s “all-around body workout”.

French boxing, also called, “Savate”, is a type of boxing where you use your hands and feet as weapons. This type of boxing mixes English boxing elements with graceful kicking techniques.

The difference between kickboxing and French boxing is that kickboxing uses kicks as power shots whereas French boxing uses kicks to jab and counter as well.

English boxing, also called Western boxing, is the most traditional form of boxing. This type of boxing will focus more on stance, punching and defense techniques.

Muay Thai boxing, also known as “the art of eight limbs”, is a type of boxing in which both fists, elbows, knees, and shins are used. Talk about technique, discipline, AND coordination!

As if eight limbs weren’t enough, let's talk about Burmese boxing, also known as, “the art of nine limbs”! This may be considered the most dangerous form of boxing due to its lack of boxing gloves.

This type of boxing includes fists, elbows, knees and feet techniques and in addition, head techniques! This makes it a very unusual martial art.

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A California native, reader and writer who is enthusiastic about traveling, cooking, cinema, and yoga.