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8 Things to Know Before Your First Boxing Class

You bought the gloves. You watched YouTube tutorials learning how to wrap your hands.

You’re committed. You’re ready to step foot in the ring, throw japs and dodge punches with the best of them.

Except … there won’t be any sparring just yet.

While Instagram videos on our favorite supermodels’ channels have led us to believe that we too will magically be overcome with the ability to throw a mean punch, it actually takes a lot (repeat: A LOT) of hard work and conditioning to land a jab.

So don’t be surprised when you’re not there on Day One.

Dara Hartman of New York City’s The DogPound, the choice gym of many celebrities and models alike, breaks down the eight things every first-time boxer should know before the first class commences.

1. Wear Form-Fitting Clothes

“I recommend wearing something form fitting that you’re comfortable moving in,” says Hartman who stresses that you’ll be on your feet moving the entire class. “You don’t want any of your clothing loose or baggy enough that it could get caught on something, block your vision or be pulled by someone.”

2. It's Banana or Bust

“We recommend not to work out on a full stomach. It restricts blood flow to your muscles and the movements in the class then won’t be as effective or powerful,” says Hartman. “If you are someone who really needs to have something in your stomach, opt for a ripe banana or a few pieces of watermelon. They’ll give you a little sugar kick without feeling heavy in your stomach.” 

3. Expect to Jump Rope ... a lot 
dara-dogpound-jump-rope

“Jump roping is a huge element in boxing conditioning, because it requires hand and foot coordination,” says Hartman. “It’s the same in boxing. Your hands and feet need to be coordinated and able to work together. Plus, it’s also a great way to get your heart rate up quickly,” Hartman continues, shedding light on why most boxing classes kick off with a jump rope warmup.

4. Triple Knot Your Laces

“For some reason, jump roping always makes shoelaces come untied. It happens to all of us,” says Hartman. “Here at The DogPound, if your laces come untied at any point during the workout you’re faced with a 50 pushup consequence, so we’re always telling the people who take our classes to double or triple knot before the workout begins,” she continues. 

“Think about it like this: If you were in an actual boxing match, you couldn’t just pause the fighting to tie your laces if they came untied so engraining it in people early on to double or triple knot will only benefit them in the long run.”

5. Accept that You Won't be Sparring in the Ring on Day One

Just because it’s there doesn’t mean you’re ready to use it. “It all comes back to form,” says Hartman. “If you can’t throw your punches in the most precise, correct way, then you shouldn’t be sparring with someone else. It wouldn’t be safe for your wrist or your opponent.” 

6. Learning Your Stance is the No. 1 
dara-dogpound-punch

“If you don’t have your stance correct then you’re not going to throw a proper punch. It’s that simple,” says Hartman. “Your knees have to always be soft; never lock out your legs. Any sort of movement from power comes from a soft knee—think about throwing a basketball or catching a baseball. When you’re boxing, the second your legs lock out is the second you become vulnerable because you can’t catch yourself; your weight’s not centered.”

7. Boxing is Actually a Team Sport

Despite common assumption, a boxing class isn’t like the one-on-one brawls you see on television; Hartman is quick to stress that boxing isn’t a solo sport. “Here at DogPound, everything in our boxing classes is team based,” she says. “It isn’t just you against another person. You partner up and work with others to improve. We want everyone in this together.”

8. Your Hands Won't Get Sore

“Your body will be super sore the next morning, especially after you take the class for your first time because everything will be new,” says Hartman. 

“A lot of people feel soreness in their shoulders and upper traps in particular. However, despite common assumption, our hands should not be sore. If you throw a punch in a proper way, the power will come from your full body so your hands and your wrists won’t be sore.”

Feeling motivated to take on your first boxing class? Tweet @Reebok to tell us how it goes.

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