Starting any new hobby is exciting. Those new to boxing might crave the jaw-dropping abs or bold shoulders their idol has, or the desire to take up the sport might be to improve their defense.
Whatever the reason to take up boxing, it’s essential to recognize and avoid some very simple mistakes. Below are 5 simple beginner boxing mistakes those new to the sport should avoid, which will help you stay motivated and injury-free.
1. Pace of Training
When starting any new sport, there’s a temptation to go all-out at the beginning. The problem with training too hard is that you run the risk of losing interest quickly. Treat your boxing like a new relationship with a partner and go slow. Celebrate small achievements, like training a certain number of rounds, and enjoy getting to know your new sport without doing too many things at once.
Most boxers learn to pace themselves to avoid running out of energy too soon. So, focus on using the correct form and aim to train longer each time you work out.
The first time you begin training, you might find yourself only able to go for a few minutes, but as you build your stamina and can train for fifteen to twenty minutes, increase the number of punches you throw and throw with more power.
Before you train alone, try to gain some feedback from a professional boxer or a coach who can guide you on the proper boxing form. If this isn’t possible, YouTube does have some useful training videos which can help those unable to afford a trainer to develop skills and learn the craft.
2. Other Activities
There’s a reason boxers go outside running or attend the gym to lift weights. Other exercises compliment boxing, helping to promote flexibility and strengthen muscle groups which might be lagging inside the gym. Don’t be afraid to practice new activities alongside your boxing, which can help promote a healthier and fitter you.
Some weight-bearing exercises like bench pressing, crunches, and squats in the gym, can help produce faster punches. Trained body parts all play a role when throwing a punch, from pushing off the back foot (leg muscles) to twisting the torso (abdominals) and extending the arms as the punch is thrown (chest muscles).
3. Staying Consistent
Boxing is similar to any other activity in that if you start slacking in training, any progress you made can quickly disappear. Typically, fitness levels drop even a few days after a lack of training. Within a few months, any benefits gained through training are undone. So make sure you stay consistent, even if you train two or three times a week.
Imagining an opponent when you are training can help in many ways. The most obvious is the rush of adrenaline, which can give you the focus to try your best. The next time you’re training, visualize somebody who you feel threatened by and aim to beat them. Make the session fun by setting mini-goals. An example could be jabbing your opponent for a set amount of time. Having good concentration can help keep a tight form, stopping you from throwing flailing punches, which can lead to injury.
5. Waiting for Equipment
Unable to go to the gym or a piece of equipment you usually train with is being used?
Don’t let that stop you from training. The temptation to sit around and talk to a friend as you wait might be there but resist.
The best part of boxing is that there are lots of drills you can do even when a piece of equipment you planned to use ‘isn’t available. Aim to keep going until the time you have set aside has elapsed, whether ‘it’s a three minute round or a five-minute session on a piece of equipment.
If you ‘weren’t able to attend the gym, you could shadow box in a room. You could even spice things up if you have a staircase by combining step-ups with shadow boxing and even some lunges.
Here’s a great 3-minute workout to try at home which only requires a stool or a staircase. If you are new to training, try going up to three rounds. More experienced can aim for up to 12 rounds.
Each 3 minute round:
- 30 seconds of shadow boxing
- 30 seconds of stair climbing (or step-ups)
- 30 seconds of squats
- 30 seconds of jumping jacks
- 30 seconds of burpees
- 30 seconds of crunches
How You Start is Crucial to Long-Term Success
If you struggle to stay focused or end up leaving a new hobby after a short period of time, you might find this article an invaluable tool during your boxing journey. Even if you have already established yourself in the world of boxing, there is some useful advice you can also take away by simply recognizing the five above training pitfalls.