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ISSA, International Sports Sciences Association, Certified Personal Trainer, ISSAonline, Top Benefits of a Boxing Workout and Why You Should Try It

Top Benefits of a Boxing Workout and Why You Should Try It

Reading Time: 5 minutes


DATE: 2022-09-20

Boxing workouts are increasingly popular and not just for boxers in training. The average person who will never step into a competitive ring can benefit from this type of workout. It involves cardio, agility, and strength. Boxing fitness can be a rewarding and fun new challenge.  

What’s Involved in Fitness Boxing? 

Boxing classes can be adapted for fitness and experience levels but generally include three segments or types of exercise: 

  1. Cardiovascular. Most classes begin with a warm-up and a cardio session that varies in intensity, depending on the participants or class level. This could include agility moves, jumping rope, and other moves that amp up heart rate quickly. 

  2. Strength. Boxing requires strength. If you look at any pro boxer, you can tell that they spend time building muscle. Boxing classes usually have a strength training portion that includes core work. 

  3. Boxing Intervals. Of course, the class also includes actual boxing, typically with a bag. In one-on-one classes, you might hit into the instructor’s punching mitts. In a kickboxing class, you’ll use your feet as well. This portion of the workout is usually in a HIIT (high intensity interval training) format with rest periods. 

There can be a lot of variation, depending on the instructor or class, but these are the basics of a boxing workout. Clearly, one of the benefits is that you get cardio, strength, agility, and HIIT all in one session. 

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Boxing Training vs. Fitness Boxing

Boxing training is not the same as a fitness boxing class. Training has the specific goal of preparing you to win a match. Most people interested in this as a type of workout have no intention of actually competing. If you do, you can find competitive boxing trainers to work with you. 

Fitness boxing is inspired by real boxing training, but the goal is to improve fitness and health. It takes many of the elements of training that are fun, challenging, and good for cardio health and strength. You may or may not spar with another person during fitness boxing, but most classes use punching bags only. This makes it much safer and eliminates the risk of head injuries, like concussions. 

7 Benefits of a Boxing Workout 

With intense cardio, strength training, core work, agility, and footwork all in one workout, how couldn’t there be benefits? Proponents of boxing workouts have good reason to rave about them. These are just some of the many reasons to try it for yourself or to offer boxing to clients: 

1. Boost Cardiovascular Health

One of the biggest benefits of boxing is that it improves your cardiovascular fitness, which in turn reduces your risks for cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and other chronic conditions. In fact, one study even found that a boxer’s ranking correlated with aerobic capacity (1). Those who ranked higher were fitter. 

The evidence comes from studies of cardio fitness generally but HIIT workouts in particular. The bouts of high-intensity training followed by a rest period is particularly good for your heart. One study looked at overweight and obese participants and found that HIIT workouts provided more benefits in less time compared to moderate-intensity training (2). Other studies comparing moderate-intensity and HIIT workouts found that blood pressure in particular responds better to high-intensity training (3). 

2. Build Muscle and Strength All Over

Strength training is another major component of boxing fitness classes. Many classes do intervals of strength work alternating with punching a bag and other technical moves. Even when boxing workouts do not include specific resistance moves, they boost full-body strength. 

This is because you need your entire body to box. Throwing a punch correctly involves the whole body and most muscle groups. You need your core to stabilize yourself, your lower body and hips to pivot and give power to the punch, and of course, the upper body to deliver the blow. 

3. Develop Endurance

A boxing workout is not easy. It is an intense experience. No matter what your skill or fitness level is, a good boxing session should put you through the ringer and be very challenging. Many people inherently enjoy this, but it’s also good for your fitness because it builds stamina and improves endurance. 

If you attend boxing classes regularly, you’ll find it easier to work out longer and more intensely. Boxing workouts are great additions to training plans if you participate in endurance events like distance running and triathlons. 

4. Support a Healthy Weight

Any kind of fitness routine can be an excellent way to aid weight loss or the maintenance of a healthy weight. However, boxing is proven to beat out other types of exercise for burning calories efficiently. First, it’s a HIIT workout, which triggers the metabolism to keep firing on all cylinders well after the session ends. Then, there is the strength component. As you build muscle, you burn more calories at all times. 

Boxing workouts are fast-paced and challenging. One hour-long session can burn 600 or more calories, depending on your weight and effort level. 

Losing weight takes more than just cardio. Here’s how strength training burns calories and supports weight loss and maintenance. 

5. Improve Balance and Coordination

The agility component of boxing is great for balance, while punching improves hand-eye coordination. Even without core-specific movements during the strength-training portion of the workout, boxing builds these muscles. The moves needed to box build core strength, which in turn helps you balance better. 

Older clients and those with particular health needs especially benefit from core strength and improvements in balance. Studies have used boxing-based therapy to improve coordination and balance in Parkinson’s patients (4). Modified boxing workouts reduce the risks of falls and injuries in this and similar populations. 

6. Stay Interested in Fitness

Adherence to fitness is a major challenge in gyms and for all trainers. It can be hard to keep people coming back for more workouts for a lot of reasons. The more interesting and varied you can make fitness, the more likely people are to stick with it. 

Boxing is fun, even for people who have no interest in violent sports. When the only thing hit is a bag and there are minimal safety risks, anyone can do it and most enjoy it. 

7. The Benefits of a Boxing Workout are Mental Too

All of these physical benefits are enough to encourage most people to give boxing a try, but there’s more. The intense nature of the workout, the physical and mental challenge, and the release of hitting something hard all contribute to the mental health benefits of boxing workouts: 

  • Reduce stress and other negative emotions

  • Find emotional release in a safe environment

  • Lift a bad mood after a rough day

  • Sleep better at night after an intense workout

  • Get self-confidence from meeting a challenge and getting stronger

Related Post: Top 7 Benefits of Kickboxing, a fun variation on the traditional boxing workout. 

Turn Your Love for Fitness into a Career

Boxing-style fitness classes are increasingly popular. As a trainer, are you prepared to meet the demand? Boxing can be a fun, safe, and challenging workout that helps your clients meet their goals. It could be worth your while to learn how to create and lead boxing classes. 

ISSA’s Certified Personal Trainer course is the best place to start a fitness career. With this credential, you can start taking on clients while working on specialty certifications like boxing instruction.  

Featured Course

ISSA | Kickboxing Instructor

As a Kickboxing Instructor you will be able to help individuals work towards a stronger “mind-body connection”. Learning the history and transformation of this craft will give you the understanding and ability to communicate the benefits that come with this form of exercise.


  1. Bruzas, V., Stasiulis, A., Cepulenas, A., Mockus, P., Statkeviciene, B., & Subacius, V. (2014). Aerobic capacity is correlated with the ranking of boxers. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 119(1), 50–58. https://doi.org/10.2466/30.29.PMS.119c12z9

  2. Su, L., Fu, J., Sun, S., Zhao, G., Cheng, W., Dou, C., & Quan, M. (2019). Effects of HIIT and MICT on cardiovascular risk factors in adults with overweight and/or obesity: A meta-analysis. PloS One, 14(1), e0210644. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0210644

  3. Cheema, B. S., Davies, T. B., Stewart, M., Papalia, S., & Atlantis, E. (2015). The feasibility and effectiveness of high-intensity boxing training versus moderate-intensity brisk walking in adults with abdominal obesity: a pilot study. BMC Sports Science, Medicine & Rehabilitation, 7, 3. https://doi.org/10.1186/2052-1847-7-3

  4. Horbinski, C., Zumpf, K. B., McCortney, K., & Eoannou, D. (2021). Longitudinal Study of Boxing Therapy in Parkinson's Disease, Including Adverse Impacts of the COVID-19 Lockdown. Research Square, rs.3.rs-355283. https://doi.org/10.21203/rs.3.rs-355283/v1

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