Boxercise in the UK: Pure Fitness Fun

Posted by on Wednesday, November 13, 2013

The Rise of Boxercise and its Benefits as an Activity

IMG_4717Boxercise is a popular form of exercise that has flourished in the UK since the early 1990s. Andy Wake started Boxercise in the UK in 1992. His goal was to create a fitness class that that was safe and could be enjoyed by anyone. As a result of his vision, many of the disciplines that professional and amateur boxers deploy in training are incorporated in the program.

Boxercise is popular with people of all ages, from teens to seniors, and with both genders. It is a high energy workout without contact. That is the beauty of the program. The Boxercise practitioner learns many moves and achieves high fitness standards without the dangerous physical contact usually associated with boxing.

When Wake brought Boxercise to the UK, it had been in development stages in the US for several years. No two Boxercise classes are exactly the same but they are all designed to be functional, instructional, and fun. Instructors are knowledgeable and motivational, and at Project Active we always prioritise safety.

Why is Boxercise Popular?

The amazing growth of this particular fitness program is based on many factors. Former British and European boxing champion, Clinton McKenzie, who runs Boxercise and other boxing training classes at his popular gym in south London describes it as follows; “Boxing training is for everyone: Whatever your size, shape or sex. Remember, every boxer will have started from ground level, so anyone and everyone can work their way up to a good level of fitness: attend classes three times a week and you’ll be fit in three months; twice a week and it will take six months. Most people don’t know what to expect, so going to a real boxing gym is essential.”



According to McKenzie the reasons that people enjoy this exercise are:

Release of Aggression – Boxercise is a great way to release aggression and reduce stress. Despite the fact that there is no physical contact, Boxercise is a terrific way to get control of your body and gain confidence in your ability to protect yourself.

Raises Your Discipline – Boxercise is as much about discipline as it is about physical training. Learning to train like real boxers train can make you much fitter.

Improves Concentration – Training inspires self-confidence and requires levels of focus and concentration. The exercises are demanding and challenging and require total concentration, which carries over to other all aspects of life. It is widely agreed that good fitness positively affects the brain, and you’ll find that you can maintain better concentration in your work life if your program keeps you active and healthy.

Improves Eye-hand Coordination – For Boxercise, equal emphasis is placed on both the right and left sides of the body. Boxercise is a very different program than training for one-sided sports like tennis and golf.

Increases Stamina – The Indian Journal of Medicine estimates that boxing is 70-80% high intensity training and 20-30% aerobic training. Overall, Boxercise is an excellent way to increase stamina in the heart and lungs.

Strengthens Muscles – The training builds muscles that can be used in everyday life. Students learn much more explosive movements as they progress.

Increases Core Strength – Boxercise not only increases muscle strength but also strengthens abdominal muscles, which, in turn, reduces the risk of back injuries and leads to better posture.

McKenzie has witnessed the improvement in all these areas with his practitioners. We may not be able to float like a butterfly and sting like a bee, like Muhammad Ali, but we can be the best we can be and that is what Boxercise strives to teach us.

Boxing Concepts But No Sparring

Boxercise is a unique type of fitness training that embraces many boxing concepts but never involves sparring. The following elements of boxing are practiced:

  • Punching
  • Skipping
  • Ducking
  • Weaving
  • Quick Combinations
  • Speed
  • Agility
  • Endurance
  • Power
  • Balance

Exercisers learn these basic concepts and practice them during classes or at home. However, while no classes are identical, fun is the central theme of all classes from beginner to advanced, from teen to senior and from male to female.

If the exerciser is working in pairs, the punches are directed at pads held by the pad-holder, and never at the face.

Boxercise students learn the basic boxing punches:

  • Jab
  • Cross
  • Head hooks
  • Body hooks
  • Uppercuts

Students learn to throw punches with both hands and to complete sophisticated combinations. Traditional exercises like burpees, skipping, shuttle runs, pushups and sit-ups are used to strengthen the right muscles and increase the effectiveness of the punches. There is additional emphasis on aerobic exercises and anaerobics, those short bursts of power.

The amazing appeal of Boxercise is impressive. Beginners will typically see a wide range of students from both sexes. In fact, there are as many female boxercisers as there are males. McKenzie describes his patrons as “smiley, happy, sweaty, normal people.” Boxercise is truly for everyone, and you don’t have to be in great shape to start.IMG_4618

For Boxercise classes in Oxfordshire, and for information about other fitness groups and classes, contact Project Active by calling 07940733102 or getting in touch online.