"The Fighter" put the sport of boxing back in the spotlight. Men & women both took notice of Mark Wahlberg's ring-ready physique in the film and got inspired to spar for themselves. Plus, who could forget Hilary Swank's winning bod in "Million Dollar Baby"?
"Boxing is a total body workout," reveals boxing expert and author of "White Collar Boxing," John E. Oden. He also adds, "It is a simple matter of math. You will burn more calories in a shorter period of time than you ever have before. Your waist will become smaller, and your clothes will become looser. The cardiovascular drills help lower cholesterol and fight fatigue. You'll sleep better. You'll be less stressed. You will be faster, stronger, and know how and where to punch..." In other words, boxing is the ultimate one-two fitness punch!
Oden, who boxes by night and works in finance by day, believes the sport is also good for the brain. Besides de-stressing the mind, John also adds, "...in the boxing ring, there are no words, only actions. And behind the actions are many of the human emotions and complications that one might encounter in life - preparation, concentration, purposefulness, goal setting, challenges, pain, perseverance, and a host of anxieties and fears."
Don't think boxing is just a guy's sport. Oden, who sparred with Swank during her training for "Million Dollar Baby," says, "You don't have to do hard sparring to enjoy a good boxing workout - you can shadow box, jump rope, punch the heavy bags, the speed bags, work the mitts with a trainer, work on your footwork in the ring, do endless pushups and situps - all of these things are part of a good boxing workout, which both men and women can enjoy."
As for lacing up for your own regimen, Oden shares 3 basics moves. "If they are done properly, in sequence, and using good technique, they work the arms, the legs, the midsection of the body, the waist, and the hips."
3 Basic Boxing Moves: (can be practiced by "shadow boxing" in front of mirror)
Left jab: It is executed by starting from the basic boxing position--left foot forward (if you are a right hander), and hands raised in front of you at eye level--weight between your feet should be distributed evenly. At first this might feel awkward, and you may have trouble keeping your arms up and elbows tucked into your sides. The jab is then executed by stepping forward with your left foot (if you are right handed), and at the same time extending your left arm, from the shoulder. You should aim for the spot between your opponent's chin and chest. During the extension, rotate your fist so your closed palm is facing down--this gives punch power and protects your wrist. Punch through your target, and then bring your arm back quickly.
The Straight Right: This is your money shot, the one most likely to knock out your opponent. The straight right is executed by shifting your weight to your front foot and pivoting off your back foot, rotating through your hips as you extend your right arm toward the point between your opponent's chin, neck and chest. As your body snaps forward, snap your wrist so your fist quickly turns palm down and punch through your target. Retract your fist, retracing your motion until you return to your starting position. As you do this, rotate your hips for increased power and effectiveness.
The Left Hook: If your left hook is good, you're gold. From a basic boxing stance, you lead with your fist, raise your left elbow, so your upper arm is parallel to the floor and forms a right angle with your forearm. To deliver the blow, rotate your hips to the right, pivoting the ball of your left (front) foot to the right, and follow through with your fist, thumb down, aiming for your opponent's shoulder. The power of the hook originates in your hips. Picture your body whipping around, allowing your left fist to pick up speed as it moves forward.
For more information on white collar boxing, check out www.johneoden.com
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