8 Reasons Women Should Take Up Boxing

You will burn calories like a buzzsaw.
I am not kidding. You may think you’ve done serious workouts before but you haven’t touched the level of output it takes to go hard for three minutes in a boxing ring. This is anaerobic activity; your muscles literally don’t operate the same way under this kind of test as they do when you’re swimming, running, or cycling. Sprinters have a sense of what this takes, but even they are primarily working lower body only.

You will feel like Superwoman.
Three times I had natural childbirth at home and it doesn’t compare. I am still terrified every single time I step into the ring, and every time I come out I feel like a rock star. Boxing is the most physically and mentally demanding sport I’ve ever taken up, and the high demands also produce a tremendous positive charge: “I survived! I kick ass!”

You won’t have to take care of anyone else.
The ring is the only place I can think of where this is true, and it takes some work for most women — society’s caregivers — to get used to the idea. When I first started landing serious punches on my opponents, my tendency was cringe, inquire after them, or (worst of all) apologize. Everyone knows what they are getting into when they climb between the ropes, and you can rely on your trainer or a ref to stop the match if it gets dangerous for either boxer. And once you can begin to relax into it, it’s a phenomenal rush for a woman to be in a space, even for a very short time, where we aren’t responsible for someone else’s welfare.

You will take better care of yourself.
This follows naturally from the tenet above. In the ring, you are responsible for yourself. You have a support network, but you aren’t looking to pass to a shooter or hand off the baton to the next runner, or get the ball down the court to your team. Not only are you dealing out violence, you’re evading it as well. You look to your own safety, and you start training harder to insure yourself. You eat better. You plan things so that you don’t miss ring time. You ice sore shoulders, and immediately address minor injuries that might get worse with inattention. When I look back at how little or poorly I took care of myself before boxing I am amazed at how culturally ingrained it is for women to continually sacrifice their own benefit for someone else’s.

Your kids will think you are the coolest mom evar.
They won’t be embarrassed to friend you on MySpace. They will look for excuses to tell their friends that their mom is a boxer. They’ll casually show off moves that they’ve learned, or tell how many pull ups you can do. My husband plays in a rock band and as cool as my sons think that is, I still get more props. Forget bringing home the bacon and frying it up in a pan, mom boxers rate.

The rituals are relaxing.
There are several rituals connected with boxing, but for me there is nothing so soothing as wrapping your hands in preparation for boxing. Wraps are strips of elasticized cotton about 180″ long, and they protect the hands from sprains, strains, and fractures to the metacarpus (the bones connecting your fingers to your wrist). Every boxer wraps their hands differently, and there are as many schools of thought on it as there are trainers and boxers. But once you settle on a method, you tend to stick to it with an almost superstitious ferocity, and you guard your hand-wrapping time jealously. Most boxers don’t like to chit-chat while they’re wrapping up; they find a quiet spot and attend to their hands like priests silently preparing the altar for a high holy day. It gets even more serious if you are wrapping for a competition; in that case you sit quietly while your trainer or corner wraps your hands with yards and yards of delicate gauze as if you were a bride being prepared for her wedding. It beats Calgon all to hell.

More women should be in the spotlight.
Stepping into the ring is like stepping onto a stage. There may only be a handful of people watching, but there’s no denying who’s getting the attention. Sometimes I think we fail to turn the spotlight on women in our society; we just take them for granted so long as the wheels of the universe that women work so hard to turn keep moving. I like the idea of more women being seen in the ring as the tough, proud, hard-working women we are.

Feminine muscle is just damn sexy.
My arms are even more toned and cut than Michelle Obama’s, and that’s saying something. I love the way women’s bodies start to look after they’ve been working out for a while; we lose the soft, squishy look and begin to look sturdier and sharper. Collarbones appear and quads pop out; we have curves, but also angles and energy. And even though we could rip the door off it’s hinges, we still get to enjoy having the guys open it for us instead.

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20 Responses to 8 Reasons Women Should Take Up Boxing

  1. Sonja Foust June 1, 2009 at 9:34 am #

    Wow, great reasons! You, um, almost make me want to do it. 😉 Keep kicking ass!

  2. Lisa Creech Bledsoe June 1, 2009 at 9:47 am #

    Hot dog! If I nearly convinced you, I’m feeling much more secure about my plan for world domination by women boxers. I think it’s gonna go over big.

  3. Jennifer June 1, 2009 at 10:32 am #

    All great reasons! I’ve done some training through my city sport and leisure program but they couldn’t allow sparring due to legal reasons.

    When my husband and I first started, all the girls who would partner together would always be apologizing for hitting hard, even though we were only using target pads. I was so glad I had a boy to partner with because I learned really quickly that you don’t apologize for doing it correctly!

    I love the ritual of putting on my wraps too! Totally gets my psyched and ready to workout!

  4. Lisa Creech Bledsoe June 1, 2009 at 10:49 am #

    Hi, Jennifer — thanks for commenting on TGE. It’s so unusual to hear from another woman with some boxing experience (of any kind) that I wanted to be sure and say howdy.

    Have you considered looking for a boxing gym in your area? If you ever decide to, I’ll be glad to ask my trainer if she knows reputable gyms where you live…

    Thanks again for dropping by!

  5. Jennifer June 6, 2009 at 12:51 am #

    My husband and I have thought of it, but right now the amount of time I have available to commit to training doesn’t really make sense with what it would cost to join a full boxing gym. For now it’s just a fun addition to my normal workouts but if my time commitments in the future change, it’s definitely something I’d consider doing on a more serious basis.

  6. Amy Scheer March 8, 2011 at 7:29 pm #

    I’m about to transition from some classes to a boxing gym, and to be honest, I’m nervous. Your posts are helping. I’ve refrained from commenting on everything I’ve read here, but let me just say you’re really engaging, and quite helpful. Right on.

    • Lisa Creech Bledsoe March 9, 2011 at 9:14 am #

      (Cheering very quietly, so as not to scare anyone): Go Amy!

      • Amy Scheer March 10, 2011 at 10:23 am #

        Yeah, and then I watched part of THE CHAMP last night, which didn’t help matters much. (SPOILER: Champ don’t fare too well in the end.)

  7. Beatrice September 14, 2012 at 5:14 am #

    Will boxing make my arms bigger? I don’t want to have muscles at all. I want to make it thinner.. Should I continue with Boxing?

    • Lisa Creech Bledsoe September 17, 2012 at 9:54 am #

      Hi, Beatrice

      Boxing can build your muscles and it can also burn fat. So muscle grows while fat goes. However, you’re not likely to look like a bodybuilder, no matter how much you box. The biggest change I saw in my own arms was that those flabby places under my arms disappeared. Which I loved.

  8. Ameena Persaud February 26, 2015 at 11:02 am #

    All of these reason are absolutely perfect! I’ve been thinking of taking up boxing for awhile now and I think your words might have been what I needed to hear. Albeit I’m only a 16 year old, but I feel very strongly about women moving towards sports that are traditionally for men. Im sure this commitment will be worth it for me! So thank you so, so much!!

  9. Tayla March 6, 2015 at 7:34 pm #

    Hi, just read your post and it has made me want to go in the ring even more. I am 12 and I do boxing as well and my trainers have just moved me up to training with adults. I do my first lesson training with them in a few days. I’m quite nervous as the youngest person there at the minuet is 22. Do you have any advice to not be as nervous ?

    Thanks heaps

    • Lisa Creech Bledsoe March 10, 2015 at 4:25 pm #

      Hi, Tayla! Thanks for taking the time to read and comment. How AWESOME it is that you’ve discovered boxing and are taking it to the next level. Of course you’re nervous — everybody is, no matter what age they are. And the only thing that really helps that fear much is simply getting in the ring, over and over again. It also helps if you’re working with a coach/trainer and sparring partners you trust. Stay with it, Tayla. It will serve you so well in life. Big fist bumps to you! Check back in and let me know how things go for you. 🙂

      • Tayla March 10, 2015 at 6:20 pm #

        Hey thanks for the advice had my first training session last night. It was really hard especially the sprints but over time I think it will get easier. I enjoyed it. Thanks heaps for making this post its prolly the most informative one Ive read so thanks heaps 🙂

  10. Karina April 23, 2015 at 9:26 pm #

    Hi, I really enjoyed reading your post. 🙂 I have been wanting to take up boxing for a while now. However, I’m hesitant because I am not the most coordinated person and I’ve never taken up a sport except maybe when I was younger. You gave out good advice, I think it’s time I start looking around for boxing gyms in my area. Any advice for beginner-beginners like myself?

    • Lisa Creech Bledsoe April 24, 2015 at 7:44 am #

      Hi Karina — It sounds like I need to write a post about exactly how to get started. But for now I can tell you that your first step is to find a gym you like. This can be a tall order, because not all boxing gyms have a welcoming mentality toward women. Once you find a gym that welcomes you, you’ll need to get in good shape. That means doing plenty of sprint-like activities. And as you get in shape, you’ll start learning basics. Stance, guard, defense, punches. Take your time, this is the kind of sport you can invest years in learning. It’s a LOT of fun!

  11. Victoria January 28, 2016 at 10:19 pm #

    I’m a teenager in highschool and I really want to get into boxing or some sort of fighting for awhile now and I just don’t know how I can get into it.My first problem is my mom doesn’t want me doing it even though I want to. Second I already do other sports and I don’t know if I would have time plus I’m tiny. Third I don’t know where to go or even see what I would enjoy best. If someone could help me that be awesome.

    • Lisa Creech Bledsoe January 29, 2016 at 10:33 am #

      Hi, Victoria!

      If you’re still in high school and your mother is set against it, you may have to wait a bit before you explore boxing. Maybe it helps to know that if you’re already in other sports (plural!) you probably won’t have time to make any kind of real progress. Boxing — any fight sport, really — can be pretty demanding, particularly if you think you might like to get into the ring (or cage) at some point.

      Your size doesn’t matter a bit. Fight sports operate by weight categories, although in boxing you absolutely can and must get used to working with people who are different weights and sizes than you are. Most of your sparring partners will be men, for that matter.

      When you’re ready to learn more, all you have to do is find a boxing gym near where you live, and go visit. All that takes is a google search!

  12. Anna January 29, 2018 at 10:17 am #

    I just read ur post..really impressed.I also want to do boxing.My mum negated that its not good for me as it makes shouIlders broad.Is it so??I am also trying to lose weight.I am just a college student

    • Lisa Creech Bledsoe January 29, 2018 at 5:26 pm #

      Your shoulders are going to be however they are genetically destined to be, that has nothing to do with boxing. However, you will certainly lose weight and gain muscle if you decide to do it! Best to you.

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