Boxing and Building a Strong Core
Core strength is more than having a six-pack of abdominals, which is the most common belief. While washboard abs are the desired result of core training, core muscles aren’t just in the abdominals. The core muscles include the pelvis, spine, and the hips. Strength in every core muscle is important to boxing.
The full range of core muscles are designed to support your organs and stabilize your spine. Having a strong core is also beneficial for your reproductive and digestive systems. However, if crunches are all you’re doing to engage and strengthen your core, you’re neglecting the rest of the core group.
Why Crunches aren’t Enough
Engaging your abdominals through crunches alone poses problems. First, there is such a thing as overworking your abdominals and second, you’re neglecting your other core muscles. The muscles deep inside your abdomen become extremely short and tight, while your outside hip muscles aren’t engaged and receive no benefits from crunches. For this reason, many boxing preparatory workouts use forms of yoga and Pilates to build total core strength.
Core Strength and the Risk of IBS
If you’re core muscles are slack, they are weak. Weak core muscles put you at risk for IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), which increases as you age. Since stress contributes to bouts of IBS, exercise plays a vital role in managing and reducing IBS issues. Exercise like a simple stroll will engage core muscle, therefore reducing the risk of IBS. Likewise, frequent exercise that engages all your core muscles supports your boxing routine and performance. IBS isn’t good for boxing, but boxing can be good for IBS!
Core-Building and Targeting Visceral Fat
The most dangerous type of fat is visceral fat. This is the kind of fat that surrounds and smothers your organs, which increases your risk of cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. Exercise, like boxing, is a good way to reduce your visceral fat and your risk of poor health. Virtually any kind of exercise can help reduce this life-threatening fat, but boxing, training and prep workouts for boxing, walking, and weight training engage all core muscles when performed properly.
Core Muscles and Lean Muscle Mass Benefits
You shouldn’t just randomly decide to box one day before learning the proper techniques and body positioning. Lean body mass promotes a boost in your metabolism. Even one pound of lean muscle helps you burn 50 extra calories per day. High-intensity training like that found in boxing and exercises related to boxing will help your body to burn fat for up to 48 hours after your workout.
Now you can see how building your full range of core muscles is more beneficial than focusing on only your abdominals.
It’s also important to eat a healthy diet, balanced with protein, fruits, vegetables, and fiber to improve your overall health. Fruits and vegetables should contain low caloric content and the fiber will promote healthy elimination of toxins and waste from the body.
Stability ball workouts are also great for engaging your core muscles via press-ups, sit-ups, and planks. Squats will engage your legs and your core when you do them right. All these exercises should be done properly to build core strength, reduce the risk of injuries and disease, and boost your boxing performance.
For boxing in the London area, take a look at London Fight Factory.