Boxing isn’t just for tall, athletic guys who dream of beating the hell out of each other. It’s a serious invigorating workout to spice up your routine. Everybody can box, regardless of their gender and fitness levels.
In addition, everybody has different boxing goals – some people simply want to ease stress and enhance coordination, whereas others want to shape up with active punching.
This type of sport hasn’t lost its popularity. Instead, it attracts more people as it offers many benefits in addition to stronger arms and a leaner physique.
Versatile Boxing Techniques engage all the muscles in your body and fill your head with thoughts of winning, whether you’re punching a bag or directing your hit at an opponent.
Most importantly, boxing is an effective and speedy way of shedding calories with pleasure. You punch, feel powerful, and lose weight. Sounds good, doesn’t it?
This is what boxing entails: it helps you enjoy a blissful moment of releasing your negative emotions and burn an extensive number of calories at the same time.
You may not enjoy jogging, intensive heavy-weight training, or doing other sports, but you still want to trim the fat so badly that you regularly seek out new methods of losing weight healthily.
Kudos to you, as boxing could be your best choice for promoting your weight loss, while also honing your self-defense skills. Keep reading this piece to reveal the number of boxing calories burned: lose weight by punching. In addition, you’ll explore the basic boxing benefits (hitting someone in the face doesn’t count).
How many calories do boxers burn in a fight?
Boxing sparring is a life simulation of a real fight. Generally, its main purpose is to prepare you for boxing and fight competitions. This makes sparring quite aggressive and dangerous.
As boxing is a form of high-intensity cardio, it demolishes calories vigorously.
If you’re wondering how many calories you could burn in a boxing match, pay attention to the following Harvard Health estimates.
They selected three weights and matched them with the calories burned during 30 minutes of boxing sparring. Here are the results:
Yes, the number of calories a boxer burns in 12 rounds and 30 minutes differs. The more time you box, the more calories you destroy. Also, the number of burned calories is dependent on the body size of the person. The bigger your size, the more calories you will burn.
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How many calories does 15 minutes of boxing burn?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that the average weight for men aged 20 to 39 is 196.9 pounds, while men aged 40 to 59 average 200.9 pounds (7). The average weight for women aged 20 to 39 is 167.6 pounds, and 176.4 pounds for those aged 40 to 59.
A 15-minute heavy bag boxing workout may burn approximately 133.9 calories for a man who weighs 196.9 pounds and 136.5 calories for a man who weighs 200.8 pounds.
A female who weighs 167.6 pounds will burn approximately 114 calories in 15 minutes of punching a heavy bag, while a 176.4-pound woman will smash 120 boxing calories. Generally, calories burned when boxing with a heavy bag vary according to many factors.
Does boxing count as cardio?
If you ever watched or tried boxing in your life, you’ll know that it takes only a few minutes for the participants to be covered in sweat and have difficulty catching their breath. Boxing is a killer cardio workout as it engages the entire body, involving short bursts of intense effort.
Many people mistakenly assume this activity is focused on the upper body and arm strength when it’s actually a full-body exercise.
It’s no secret that boxing can be quite challenging and it requires a high level of agility, speed, strength, endurance, and technical skill.
Why does boxing count as cardio? The answer is based on the general outcome of a typical boxing session: increased blood flow, reduced risk of type 2 diabetes, and a sharper mind – the same benefits you will obtain from a cardio workout (9).
Boxing combines periods of aerobic, anaerobic, and strength-building. You can proudly call it high-intensity interval training as boxing keeps burning your calories for hours after you cool down (1).
If you don’t believe me, get in the ring, put on some boxing gloves, and try punching a heavy bag for at least 10 minutes. As a beginner, you’ll most likely be out of breath. Throwing a punch is exciting and fun, but it can be daunting too. Don’t expect to enjoy your blast without huffing and puffing.
Cardio Kickboxing is another invigorating way of shedding calories that engages different muscle groups to elevate your heart rate and train your speed, agility, and quickness.
Does boxing build muscle?
Yes, throwing a punch will not only make you stronger, it will also help with muscle gain. Boxing provides one of the most complete workouts you’ll find, combining aspects of full-body resistance training with cardiovascular endurance.
This activity is a perfect blend of cardio and resistance training. Although boxing alone may not be enough to effectively increase muscle mass. Resistance training promotes muscle growth, so specific resistance training sessions should also be incorporated into your overall training program (10).
In boxing, the resistance comes from the boxer’s own body and the striking target (a heavy bag).
Therefore, boxing can help you build muscle. You should also pay attention to your eating habits. To gain more muscle, your body needs a protein and calorie surplus. This is essential for maximizing skeletal muscle hypertrophy (6).
Is boxing worthwhile?
Yes, it is. Walking into the boxing gym may be intimidating and frustrating. You’ll notice all the other boxers, observe their vigorous kicks and punches, and feel as if you’re too weak for this sport.
It must be said that these thoughts may enter your head every time you try something new (in most cases connected to sports). However, through time, sweat, and enough practice, your body and your mental health will both change for the better.
Without further ado, here are the six key boxing workout benefits:
- Improved coordination
- Better heart health
- Increased strength in your entire body
- Better mental health
- Honed self-defense skills
- Weight loss
You will improve your coordination
During boxing sessions, you will work out your hand-eye coordination, particularly when hitting the target. In real-life duties, you can see the positive effects of boxing as you navigate around your busy kitchen and feel more alert (8).
You will promote your heart health
You already know that boxers perform regular bouts of high-intensity activity during a boxing match or training. This sport is a form of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) which may decrease the risk of heart disease (5).
You will boost the whole body’s strength
This is a bit of repetition, but boxing is a form of full-body training that engages your upper body, your core, and your lower body. A good boxing workout can help strengthen your back, stabilize your shoulder muscles, and work parts of your legs you had no idea existed (2).
Every session will make you stronger and able to punch longer.
Your mental health will get better
So, is it all about physical strength and bigger muscles? No way, boxing is more profound than it might look. Studies have shown that non-contact boxing improves mental health.
Studies involving non-contact boxing displayed the potential for significantly reduced symptoms of anxiety, depression, PTSD, and negative symptoms of schizophrenia (3).
Non-contact boxing can provide a cathartic release of anger and stress. Therefore, you feel more content, your self-esteem improves, you’re more confident, and your concentration is enhanced (3). Impressive, right?
You will hone self-defense skills
I hope you won’t need to use boxing skills against a stalker who follows you through the park at night. However, it could be useful to learn some practical self-defense punches. You will be practicing an actual real-life skill while also getting an effective workout.
This will make you more prepared, confident, and empowered both inside and outside of the boxing class.
You will lose weight
This is perhaps an obvious point, as you are aware of the calorie-burning benefits of boxing practice. This sport involves all the best activities for your body, which will make you leaner, stronger, and sharper. It provides a full range of body movement that helps develop strength and mobility (2).
Kickboxing For Weight Loss is also widely used, not because it burns more calories, but for its engaging nature.
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Can I lose weight by shadowboxing?
Yes, you can lose weight by shadowboxing. Shadowboxing is a perfect workout as it’s easier and you can do it anywhere. Many people start shadowboxing before they hit the bags or real opponents.
The number of shadowboxing calories burned will be dependent on your weight, workout intensity, and how long your workout lasts.
How do you box like a pro?
Do you want to box like a pro? Then you need to work on the basic techniques: standing and punching. The way you stand and punch will help you reap the basic benefits and achieve the goals you desire.
Check out the essential boxing techniques – learn how to stand and punch properly.
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, facing your lead shoulder at your opponent (or a mirror). Keep your knees bent.
- Make sure the center of gravity is slightly toward your back leg as if you’re leaning against the edge of a bar stool.
- Position your fists against your face. Your lead hand should be touching your cheekbone and your back hand needs to be against your jaw.
- Tuck your chin downward with your eyes facing forward. Your elbows should be tucked in by your side.
This is your stable boxing position (2).
There are six major punches: jab, cross, right and left hooks, and right and left uppercuts. When you perform each punch, see how your lower body moves with your hands.
- Jab. Fully extend your left arm and then bring your hand back to its place against your cheekbone. When you have mastered the jab while standing, add some forward or backward movement while punching.
- Cross. Extend your right hand in a similarly quick motion, twisting the body until your arm is fully straight. Punch and bring your hand back against your lower jaw and return your body to a stable position.
- Hook. For the left hook, use your left hand, with your elbow following and your left knee turning inward while lifting the heel of your foot. Then do the same with your right hand and knee.
- Uppercut. This is a quick motion that is aimed at either an opponent’s jaw or sternum. Perform an uppercut by bringing your fist out and up, toward the bottom of your jaw, aiming it at a spot that reflects the midsection of your body. Move your knee and torso slightly inward, toward the center of your body (2).
Is 30 minutes of boxing a good workout?
Absolutely. 30 minutes of boxing is an excellent workout activity that engages your entire body. Doing one boxing workout will help you reap a number of benefits, including better heart work, a stronger body, enhanced balance and coordination, and improved mental health. As it’s considered cardio training, you’ll burn a large number of calories, which is essential for overall weight loss.
Is boxing good for weight loss?
Boxing is not only good, it’s excellent for weight loss. On average, a person may lose approximately 300 calories per 30-minute boxing session. Therefore, if you’re aiming to lose weight healthily, boxing could be the perfect choice with far more benefits in addition to weight loss.
What do boxers eat before a fight?
Before a fight, boxers ensure they’re fully fuelled and hydrated, typically having individualized plans catered to their unique requirements, with consideration given to meal timing to support performance and recovery. An adequate diet avoids processed junk food and sugary beverages. Their diet must include fruit, vegetables, lean proteins, healthy fats, and complex carbohydrates, ensuring all nutrients are met. Sources can include carbs (whole grains, pasta, cereals, protein (lean meat, legumes, tofu, meat alternatives, and/or dairy), healthy fats (avocado, olive oil, nuts, seeds), and the most essential energy-boosting beverage – water.
The Bottom Line
If your aim is to lose weight, boxing could be the ideal starting point for you. This workout is suitable for all people and can be adjusted to different fitness levels. With this sport, you’ll become stronger, your heart will work better, and your coordination will help you deal with daily activities to the fullest.
In addition, boxing will furnish you with self-defense skills that you hopefully won’t need to use in your life. Boxing is regarded as a cardiovascular exercise, but it also includes elements of resistance training, which is essential for muscle mass gain. This sport also smashes your calories.
Boxing calories burned: lose weight by punching heavy bags or an opponent. The number of burned calories is dependent on the intensity of the training, timing, and body weight.
To box like a pro, you’ll need to learn how to stand and punch properly. Only then will you be ready for the challenging sessions.
This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!
- 8 Reasons HIIT Workouts are So Effective (2014, acefitness.org)
- A 20-Minute Boxing Workout to Build Strength and Endurance (2023, nytimes.com)
- Boxing as an Intervention in Mental Health: A Scoping Review (2023, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Calories burned in 30 minutes for people of three different weights (2021, harvard.edu)
- Effects of HIIT and MICT on cardiovascular risk factors in adults with overweight and/or obesity: A meta-analysis (2019, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Is an Energy Surplus Required to Maximize Skeletal Muscle Hypertrophy Associated With Resistance Training (2019, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Mean Body Weight, Height, Waist Circumference, and Body Mass Index Among Adults: United States, 1999–2000 Through 2015–2016 (2018, cdc.gov)
- Punch up your exercise routine with fitness boxing (2015, harvard.edu)
- The (Many) Benefits of a Cardio Workout (2023, clevelandclinic.org)
- Weight and muscle gain (2015, betterhealth.vic.gov.au)