After watching one of the Rocky movies, who doesn’t want to strap on a couple of boxing gloves and hit the gym? It is one of the most fulfilling sports around, even if you never really get into a professional ring.
Contrary to belief, the boxing community is very tight and they are all too happy to welcome a new member to the fold. If you don’t want to look like a complete novice, though, here are a couple of tricks to get you going.
Power isn’t everything
When you start out, you’ll be tempted to throw every punch as hard as you can. You will soon realize that you cannot keep that up for very long. Instead, start out with light punches and stretch your stamina before you work on your power. Focus more on sharp, accurate punches.
Don’t overdo it
Training until you can’t lift your arms is not a great idea. Your body will be sore and you run the risk of injury as well. Your body needs to adapt to the new sport and you also still want to enjoy it. Overdoing it in the beginning could cause you to stop training altogether.
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You’d be surprised at how quickly your body loses water when you start boxing. It is one of the most intense workouts that you will ever do. Your whole body is working out, so you need to replenish your fluids constantly. Grabbing some water is not a sign of weakness, it’s just smart.
Be open to new friendships
When you start out, you might feel out of place, but remember that all the guys in the gym are there to help you. In fact, they appreciate a newbie coming in and asking for advice, rather than a punk who thinks he is a know-it-all.
Use your body for power
The trick to getting more power in your shots is not in your arms as much as it is in your body. If you want to generate more power, then you need to turn with your hips. The faster your hips move in the beginning, the harder your shots will land.
Mix your shots up
You don’t want to hit the bag as hard as you can with every shot. You also don’t want to just work on your uppercut the whole time. Mix your shot selection and combos. Also combine light and hard punches in your routine. Hard punches get countered just as hard. When you are in the ring, it is important to be unpredictable if you want to outsmart your opponent.
Keep on breathing
Breathing is one of the most important aspects of boxing. When you hit, focus on breathing out as this contracts your abs and works your core at the same time. Together with your breathing, you should also focus on your target the whole time. If you look away for a split second, it could be the end of you.
Don’t lean to evade
Many beginner boxers lean away when they try and evade a shot. This throws you off balance and your opponent just has to advance one step to deliver a couple of blows. Instead, you need to learn how to pivot and defend your ground with hard counters. This will also tire your opponent faster.
Sizing your opponent up is good to a point, you don’t always want to wait for him to land the first blow. Instead, be aggressive and interrupt his combos. Let your hands go and give your opponent something to think about. Boxing is as much a game where you need to outsmart your opponent as what it is to overpower him.
If you have decided to take up boxing as a sport, you are joining a very select group of individuals. The one thing that you need to keep in mind is that it is going to take a lot of hard work if you want to get better at the sport. Don’t think that you are going to better if you don’t put in the hard yards, and also don’t expect to turn pro within a month. If you persevere, however, you’ll never look back.
Elizabeth Skinner is a sports blogger who works as a writer for other websites and manages her own blog as well. She also works as an academic writer handling arts subjects that include sociology, geography, history and philosophy. In her free time, she attends boxing classes, reads novels and plays guitar.