Danessa Rodriguez | Why Boxing is a Great Core Workout
It’s no secret that boxing is a fun way to get a full-body workout that will make you feel like a badass, but more importantly, it secretly works your core, without having to bend like a lawn chair.
Your core, which is arguably the most essential muscle region in your body, connects your upper and lower body. It protects vital organs in its region and it’s also your center of gravity (think power). A common misconception with boxing is that it uses and builds a lot of upper body strength. As such, you’ll see some beginners using every muscle fiber in their arms to throw a hard punch, but sadly it isn’t effective.
Like with most sports and exercise, the more you control and condition your center of gravity (core), the more impact it will have on your power and technique. For example, throwing an effective, straight right hand (a cross) involves all muscles, beginning with your lower body, if you allow your center of gravity to rotate. If you don’t, you only allow the upper body muscles to work. Ever seen a baseball player hit a home run? How can they generate so much power with a single swing? When players hit the ball, they twist their entire body; left shoulder, hip, knee and foot simultaneously moving back as their right shoulder, hip, knee and foot thrust forward. Once the impact of the motion makes contact with the ball, it goes flying.
The concept is the same in boxing, but instead of bats you have gloves. For your cross to be effective, you have to turn your hip and stabilize your core to allow your upper and lower body to move simultaneously. Your core must work in order to transfer the power generated from your lower body to your upper body, and ultimately to your target. This is why boxers have incredible balance, power and endurance. Their training allows them to strengthen and condition their core organically rather than doing a million crunches a day.
Still not convinced? Try this: Stand facing a wall, in your boxing stance, an arm’s distance away. Place your front hand flat on the wall and keep your weight distributed 50/50. Then try to lift your front leg (without shifting your weight fully to your rear foot). Can you do so without engaging your core? The answer is no. This position is your jab. Every time you land your jab, or any punch for that matter, your core is working!