Even if you’re just hitting pads, wrap your hands to prevent acute injuries.
If you want to increase cardiovascular fitness and build some muscle at the same time, you have quite a few options at your disposal. Instead of doing the same old tired treadmill routine, however, you can opt an elliptical workout, which is less stressful on your joints. Boxing represents an alternative workout that can increase aerobic and anaerobic fitness, but it does expose your joints to frequent impacts.
Boxing is unique in that it can qualify as both an aerobic and anaerobic exercise. Whether you’re hitting the mitts, shadow boxing, sparring or doing rounds on the heavy bag, you will alternate between periods of high and low intensity. During lighter-impact movements and shadow boxing drills, you’ll primarily rely on your cardiovascular system for energy, but intense burnouts on the bags will tax your muscular endurance. In addition to increasing stamina, boxing training improves reflexes, coordination and agility.
Elliptical trainers are effective tools for improving cardiovascular fitness, and they offer some distinct advantages over traditional treadmill workouts. The smooth path your legs go through on the elliptical pedals makes a long cardio workout less stressful on your joints than the constant pounding you experience during a run. You can also work out your arms and legs at the same time by using the handles on an elliptical trainer.
Although ellipticals are less stressful on your joints than treadmills, it isn’t always ideal to perform low-impact exercises. Your joints won’t be conditioned to endure changes in pressure or load if you never challenge them. Boxing, on the other hand, involves fast movements with your lower and upper body. Your wrists, elbows and shoulders experience recoil forces whenever you strike an object or miss a punch. These movements build strength and stamina, but overuse injuries are relatively common in the boxing gym.
Overall, elliptical trainers are marketed for their relative ease when compared with other forms of cardiovascular exercise. Boxing workouts can be as difficult or challenging as you and your trainer want to make them. According to a survey conducted by ESPN, the U.S. Olympic Committee ranked boxing as the most difficult of 60 international sports in 2012. If you’re up for the challenge, strap on a pair of gloves. Otherwise, you might want to stick with more traditional forms of cardio training.
By : Steven Kelliher, Demand Media