There’s a reason the sport has gotten so popular
Many models have made it clear on social media recently that they love anything and everything boxing-related, and Gisele Bündchen is no exception. The supermodel posted a video on Instagram Monday that featured herself sparring with Japanese MMA fighter Tateki Matsuda.
“Thank you @tech8mma for my new Brazilian gloves!” she captioned the photo. “I needed the motivation today.” In the video, Bündchen throws punches and jabs at Matsuda’s boxing mitts, while dodging swats from her sparring partner. This isn’t the first time Bündchen has displayed her boxing prowess—she showed a boxing bag who’s boss in a 2014 ad for Under Armour.
But Bündchen isn’t the only model to show an affinity for the sport: Adriana Lima, Karlie Kloss, Chanel Iman, and Joan Smalls are fans of boxing, too. Gigi Hadid has also posted several photos and videos on Instagram of herself boxing and even thanked her boxing instructor on Twitter in late September after a stranger tried to physically pick her up on the street (she elbowed him and freed herself).
As more evidence that boxing has completely taken off, a slew of boxing studios has popped up across the country, and many gyms now offer boxing classes. So, why does it have such a big fanbase?
Doug Sklar, a certified personal trainer and founder of New York City-based fitness training studio PhilanthroFIT, tells SELF that boxing is such a hit because it’s a full-body exercise. “It requires you to move your body through multiple planes of motion—forward and backward, side to side, and rotational,” he says. “Most people tend to focus their workouts on the sagittal plane (i.e., moving forward and backward), missing important components of a true full-body workout.” Exercising all three planes, on the other hand, is good for injury prevention and challenging your body in different ways, he says. “You’re bending, moving, and ducking, all while throwing punches,” Sklar says. “Your heart rate is jacked up, and you’ll feel smoked after just a short session.”
“Boxing in the gym can be an incredible workout,” Mike DellOrfano, N.A.S.M.-C.P.T., a personal trainer at Prescriptive Fitness, tells SELF. “You literally use your entire body when boxing, with the primary muscles used being your deltoids (shoulders), arms, core, and legs.” Boxing gives you both an anaerobic workout from the explosive power needed to throw punches and kicks and an aerobic workout (i.e., cardio) from the oxygen you need to perform over an extended period of time, he says, making it a “perfect combination for a calorie-blasting and fun workout.”
Sklar agrees. “Boxing is a complex form of exercise,” he says. “As a beginner, the best thing you can do is talk to a fitness professional to make sure you are performing the movements correctly.” If you’re interested in boxing, ask a trainer at your gym if they provide instruction, or see if a local fitness studio near you offers boxing classes. Most beginner classes start out with some technical instruction before you start your official workout.
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