9 Benefits and Advantages of Boxing for Females

Christiana Mikesch, CPT
Published by Christiana Mikesch, CPT | Senior Coach
Last updated: June 21, 2024
FACT CHECKED by Benedict Ang, CPT, PN1-NC
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Being in the fitness industry for years, I get the widespread stereotype that boxing is a sport for men as it’s all about fighting, getting punched, and injured.

Despite this, whenever women clients come to me asking if they should try boxing, I always say, go do it!

Top models like Adriana Lima, Karlie Kloss, and many others have put on the gloves and started to practice boxing -- no wonder when they’ve experienced the amazing physical and mental benefits of boxing for women.

Here are some positive effects girls who start boxing may expect.

Quick Summary

  • Boxing for females offers a full-body workout, engaging muscles across the body and providing both strength and cardiovascular benefits.
  • Regular boxing practice enhances cardiovascular fitness and overall health, strengthening the heart and improving endurance.
  • Research conducted by Harvard Medical School indicates that boxing is an excellent aerobic activity that can aid in the prevention of various health conditions, including diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, heart attacks, and several other diseases.
  • In my opinion, boxing is an empowering and effective fitness choice for women, offering a unique blend of physical and mental health benefits.

1. It Provides a Full-Body Workout

Female Boxer on a boxing gym

According to the National Institute of Health (NIH), to generate force and power while boxing, your entire body is effectively engaged, including the muscles in your shoulders, arms, chest, back, core, glutes, hips, and legs [1].

As a trainer, I can confirm that incorporating a variety of exercises such as punching a boxing bag, push-ups, lunges, jumping squats, sit-ups, planks, and burpees into your boxing routine can effectively define and tone both your lower and upper body muscles.

Did you know that boxing works more muscles in your core than crunches or sit-ups without causing back pain?

The result: a flat tummy and improved posture.

Sparring punches, side hooks, rotation movements, and leg kicks particularly target your obliques.

The best part:

Ladies concerned about getting too bulky - worry no more!

Regular, repetitive movements in boxing won’t result in bulking up, just progressive muscle toning and strengthening.

2. It Improves Your Cardiovascular Fitness and Overall Health

Boxing improves your cardiovascular and overall health

By igniting so many muscle groups simultaneously, boxing strengthens your heart muscle, making it work harder, i.e. increasing your heart rate to supply all the muscles from head to toe with blood and oxygen.

“A good boxing workout makes you breathe heavily and increases the rate at which your heart pumps blood around your body. Increased heartbeat strengthens your heart’s muscles and lowers your chances of developing cardiovascular complications such as heart attacks and strokes.”

- John Kalu, Personal Trainer

A stronger heart, increased cardiovascular fitness, and endurance level make you feel more energized, sleep better, and stay healthy longer.

Your blood circulation gets improved, blood glucose levels stabilized, lymphatic and immune system stronger, and more. According to research from the Harvard Medical School, boxing is a great aerobic exercise that can help you prevent diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart attack, and many other diseases [2].

3. It Burns Fat and Enhances Weight Loss

Boxing burns fat and enhances weight loss

I find boxing to be an ideal combination of a fat-burning cardio workout and muscle-building strength training. It not only offers muscle definition and strength but also enhances overall physical condition and body shape. Additionally, incorporating a punching bag workout accelerates fat loss effectively.

“An hour of boxing burns around 350-500 calories depending on your weight and the intensity of the workout. An advanced female boxer on a high intensity boxing workout can burn more than 500 calories an hour.”

- John Kalu, Personal Trainer

As a high-intensity workout that boosts your metabolism and burns fat, boxing, according to NIH, helps you target visceral fat accumulated around your internal organs, which is a serious health risk [3].

4. It Can Get You in Great Shape Fast

Boxing can get you in great shape fast

I often recommend the core workout in a boxing training session for women looking to burn visceral fat and flatten their stomach.

This workout is not only effective in increasing strength and stamina but also helps in getting into fantastic shape quickly. It's a perfect blend of aerobic and anaerobic activities, offering a plethora of amazing benefits.

In my experience, this activity surpasses the effectiveness and enjoyment of just running on a treadmill, cycling, or skipping rope. The dynamic and engaging nature of boxing workouts makes them a preferred choice for a comprehensive fitness regime.

5. Boxing Improves Your Reflexes and Hand-Eye Coordination

Your reflexes and eye-hand coordination will improve when boxing

Punching a speed bag or trying to block a punch from your opponent requires instant reactions and decisions, swift movements, excellent footwork technique to stay stable, and impeccable striking precision, among other skills.

That makes this exercise type a fantastic way of improving eye-hand coordination, balance, and reflexes.

6. Boxing Hones Your Self-Defense Skills

Your self defense skills will improve when you're boxing

After several times spent sparring with an instructor or a sparring partner in a boxing class, any woman can learn some boxing techniques and tricks like knockout critical for defending herself in potentially dangerous situations in the real world.

Honing your self-defense skills makes you feel empowered, which results in higher self-esteem (bringing us to another benefit).

7. It Boosts Your Self-Confidence

Boxing can help you boost your self confidence

As a trainer, I've observed that pushing limits in boxing classes builds not just physical strength and mental endurance, but also significantly boosts self-confidence.

Many women report feeling healthier and more empowered, noting improvements in self-defense skills, better posture, weight loss, and a more pleasing reflection in the mirror, all attributable to the numerous health benefits of boxing.

8. It’s One of the Best Stress Relievers

Boxing is considered to be one of the best stress reliever

Another advantage female boxers may experience in a boxing gym is getting rid of stress, tension, frustrations, aggression, anxiety, and many other negative feelings after an exhausting day, helping you sleep and feel much better and more mentally powerful.

“Boxing helps to relieve physical and mental stress and tension with every punch. Boxing can decrease stress hormones like cortisol and increase endorphins which is your body’s feel-good chemicals, giving your mood a natural boost, which in turn relieves stress.”

- John Kalu, Personal Trainer

9. It Helps Balance Your Hormones and Improve Mood

Boxing helps improve your mood and balance your female hormones

It's clear that boxing workouts are key for women in balancing hormones and boosting mood.

Hormonal fluctuations due to age, menstrual cycles, and other factors can lead to tough mood swings and feelings like frustration and anxiety. Boxing helps manage these effectively.

Luckily, hitting a heavy bag or upper-cutting into pads helps your body re

Comparison with Other Combat Sports

Boxing, compared to other combat sports like MMA, kickboxing, and judo, offers unique benefits for women.

It focuses intensely on upper body strength, cardiovascular fitness, and agility, making it excellent for toning arms and improving heart health.

  • MMA provides a more diverse skill set, combining striking and grappling, which can be more physically demanding.
  • Kickboxing, similar to boxing, emphasizes striking but includes powerful leg movements, offering a full-body workout.
  • Judo, primarily a grappling sport, enhances balance and physical coordination.

For women seeking a focused, rhythmic workout with less physical contact, boxing is often more suitable than the more varied and intense demands of MMA, kickboxing, or judo.

FAQs

What Boxing Does for a Woman’s Body?

Boxing for women boosts cardiovascular health, enhances total body strength, improves endurance, and aids in weight management. It also develops coordination, increases mental toughness, and offers stress relief, while toning muscles for a lean, strong physique.

Does Boxing Help Girls Lose Weight?

Yes, boxing can help girls lose weight. It's a high-intensity workout that burns calories, improves cardiovascular health, and builds muscle, contributing to effective weight loss and overall fitness.

Does Boxing Flatten Your Stomach?

Boxing can help flatten your stomach as it's a high-intensity workout that burns calories and fat, including visceral fat around the abdomen, while also building core strength, leading to a more toned and flatter stomach over time.


References:

  1. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/2402136/
  2. https://www.health.harvard.edu/exercise-and-fitness/punch-up-your-exercise-routine-with-fitness-boxing
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2991639/
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About The Author

Christiana Mikesch, CPT
Senior Coach
Christiana Mikesch, CPT is a personal trainer and author with contributions to publications like the Chicago Tribune and Yahoo. She emphasizes a holistic approach to weight loss, combining an energy-fueling diet, goal-oriented workouts, and daily habits. Her approach avoids short-term goals and fosters a lifelong commitment to health and well-being.
Learn more about our editorial policy
Benedict Ang, CPT, PN1-NC
Staff Writer & Senior Coach
Benedict Ang, CPT, PN1-NC is an ex-National Soccer player turned MMA and Kickboxing champion, with ACE CPT and PN1-NC certifications. His advice is rooted in education and experience, ensuring that readers receive scientific and battle-tested insights. His mission is to empower his clients and readers to realize their potential and become the best versions of themselves.
Learn more about our editorial policy
Dr. Harshi Dhingra, MBBS, MD is a published peer-reviewed author and renowned physician from India with over a decade of experience. With her MBBS from Bharati Vidyapeeth and an MD from Rajiv Gandhi University, she actively ensures the accuracy of online dietary supplement and medical information by reviewing and fact-checking health publications.
Learn more about our editorial policy

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