Health Benefits for Girls in Boxing

Feb. 26, 2009, 11:53 a.m. (ET)
There are many ways to participate in boxing -- for fun, for fitness, for recreation or for competition.  Benefits to girls and boys, and to women and men, are numerous and almost impossible to enumerate.  Here are just a few of the benefits of boxing:
  • Boxing transcends age.  Parents can train alongside daughters, and grandparents can hold focus mitts for grandkids.
  • All experience levels can train at the same time, on the same equipment.
  • Boxing training is relatively cheap.   Equipment costs are low, compared to other youth sports that require specialized equipment.
  • Boxing is an indoor sport, so it can be practiced regardless of time of year or weather conditions.
  • Boxing is fun.  Boxers get to meet lots of new people, and travel to compete against other teams.
  • You control how fast you improve.  Boxing training is challenging, and you get out of boxing what you decide to put into it.
  • Anyone can box.  In competitions or sparring, boxers are matched on age, weight, and experience level.
  • No experience necessary.  Boxing coaches and trainers can teach a new boxer everything necessary to succeed in the sport.   Beginners are always welcome.
  • Boxing is affordable.  Training in a boxing gym is often low-cost, especially compared to other activities.  Most boxing gyms have free programs, scholarships, or low-cost options for student-athletes.
  • Boxing sticks with you.  Boxers introduced to the sport when they are young are able to revisit the sport throughout adolesence and adulthood.
  • Currently there are two opportunities for girls (under 17) to participate in National ranking championships:  JO Championships and National PAL.*
  • Spectators, officials and coaches celebrate effort and improvement, not just winning.
  • Boxing is a mix of individual effort within a team atmosphere.

Studies of the benefits of sport and exercise show that physically active girls tend to suffer lower rates of depression, they are less likely to become pregnant, less likely to smoke, and sport decreases their chances of becoming overweight.  Girls involved in sport tend to have higher grades, increased school attendance, and higher graduation rates.**

If she chooses to hit and be hit, a female boxer will compete against other females, matched based on age, weight and experience level.  Referees, judges, physicians and coaches go through training to make sure that competition stays safe. If they observe a mis-match, referees, physicians and coaches are empowered to stop a bout immediately.

To train like a boxer you don't have to hit or be hit, but some boxers enjoy sparring and competition.  Boxers hit bags, jump rope, practice footwork, and develop striking and defensive techniques.  Boxing is a great sport that anyone can practice, at any level.  As opportunities increase, more girls will discover the benefits of boxing for themselves.

* Currently there are three National ranking tournaments for adult female boxers: US Championships, National PAL and Women's National Golden Gloves.