What is non-contact boxing and why is it beneficial for your health?

For a few years, boxing has re-entered Spanish gyms conquering a very wide audience. Men and women of all ages unleash their fists seeking health benefits, ranging from reducing stress and anxiety to burning calories through high-intensity training that combines arm and leg movements.

In recent years, non-contact boxing has become popular, a form in which you do not have to face an opponent and, therefore, do not receive blows and there is no risk of head injury.

Unlike traditional boxing, in this one you hit a bag following, generally, the instructions of a teacher who will be the one to mark the series of boxing movements and choreographed with music in a similar way to an aerobics class. The moves include a combination of punches, smaller punches; squats and short, quick steps back and forth. The other type of exercise class involves strength training, stretching, and hitting the bag.

Linda Arslanian, director of rehabilitation services at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital, says: “This type of boxing has a lot of health benefits, because it constantly requires you to think, shift positions, and change posture,” she says.

According to Harvard Health Publishing, “Aerobic exercise gets the heart pumping and helps reduce the risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. It can strengthen bones and muscles, burn more calories, and improve mood. Aerobics can also increase endurance, which helps to climb a flight of stairs or walk longer.”

Benefits for Parkinson’s

A team from the Perron Institute and Edith Cowan University developed a high-intensity exercise program using non-contact boxing for people with Parkinson’s disease.

Neurodegenerative diseases

Woman with Parkinson's

The study was the first to use continuous heart rate monitoring and ratified effort scales used by sports scientists. Training included quantifiable balance and movement exercises, high-intensity aerobic bursts, and striking sequences using a Fightmaster training machine.

Clinical Professor David Blacker, Medical Director and Consultant Neurologist at the Perron Institute, who led the study, said: “Boxing movements, footwork and balance are excellent for Parkinson’s because the postures and movements required are almost exactly the opposite of what happens in this disease,’ said Professor Blacker.