Boxing: Why You Feel Tough After Throwing Those Punches


When it comes to boxing, whether you’re crushing it or getting crushed, you walk out feeling tougher, stronger and have a little more swagger in your step. But why is this? Sure, we’ve all seen the movies – underdog trains hard, overcomes some sort of obstacle and comes out on top (Rocky, South Paw, Million Dollar Baby) but that’s not real life and incredibly different than boxing class/one-on-one training sessions you’ll find throughout the city yet you still walk out feeling like a champ. I attribute this to three reasons: a killer workout, stress relief and throwing a punch.

A Killer Workout: Have you seen a boxer’s body? They are typically lean, strong and well-conditioned. Boxing is a high intensity interval workout that packs in both cardio and strength training into one workout; so while your torching calories during your training, you’ll continue to burn calories after you’re done (win/win). The fast repetitive motion of the punch and the resistance provided by the bag both help tone your arms and shoulders. The rotation of the hips and lower back to deliver powerful blows flattens your belly and give your oblique’s that killer definition. No doubt this workout will leave you feeling exhausted, but also completely exhilarated.

Stress Relief: Turns out, sometimes hitting stuff really hard can make you feel really good. Whether it’s a rough day at the office, a disagreement with a significant other or just a generally hectic day, boxing can leave you feeling calm and collected. The rush of hitting something in a productive manner can help you let go of tension. The simple act of jab-cross-jab-hook will put you in a meditative state where your mind only wants to focus on completing the task at hand and not what was originally bothering you. The endorphin rush will leave you feeling happier, less stressed and like a total badass for overcoming that mental block. To quote Ellie Goulding, an avid boxer, “I feel all the pain, then I feel none”.

Throwing a Punch: While I certainly hope you never have to, there’s a empowering feeling to knowing you could throw a decent punch and defend yourself if you needed to (note: violence is never the answer but it’s better to know this stuff than not). When your boxing coach brings out the pads and you work one on one with someone bigger than you, throwing punches can be intimidating at first. However, once you get into a rhythm, you not only feel tough, you look tough too. There’s a certain pride that comes with throwing a decent punch and knowing you nailed it.

Whatever your reason for throwing punches at a heavy bag, boxing is the perfect way to stay in shape (from models, to athletes, to musicians), it’s a hell of a stress reliever and it teaches you to throw a decent punch you can be proud of. So go on, try it out and thank me later when you feel like a total badass.


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About Rachel Mitz

The self-diagnosed work-out-a-holic, Rachel Mitz can be found all around Chicago, staying fit when she isn't crunching numbers as a director of corporate finance for a commercial real estate company. Chicago area bred and University of Illinois alum, Rachel works hard and plays hard so her daily workouts are her chance to connect with her mind and body. Rachel keeps it exciting by creating up a lineup of both fun and challenging morning workouts from personal training sessions, to boot camps, to spin classes or runs along the lake front (she just completed her first marathon in October). For fun, you can find Rachel trying new restaurants, traveling, volunteering with her favorite middle schoolers at San Miguel or enjoying a glass of red wine and fro-yo.

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