Learn to use boxing as a fitness technique with DevFit Boxing
When I was 11 I became friends with one of the colleagues in the new class I was transferred. Andrei (that was his name), was 3 years older and struggling to advance in school, but learning just wasn’t his thing. So that’s one of the reasons we became friends, I helped him with his lessons and learning, while in return he protected me from bullies that didn’t like thin kids with glasses (I was way underweight back then). Andrei had an ongoing childhood dream, of becoming a boxer, but due to financial problems his mother (of 2 others and divorced) never had the money to pay the fee for him to attend the local boxing club.
Everytime we were outside he would tell me this and that about what he heard on boxing and most of the times I was his ‘trainer’ in his boxing endeavors. His physique was impressive and most of the times I felt having half of his height, even if ¾ was closer to reality. Since the most impactful movie I’ve seen back then was Rocky, I wasn’t short of ideas. Dodge this, dodge that, jump the rope, run, hit the trees (personal improvisation) and so on. One day we decided it was time for his nose to get fixed. He came with that idea from a trainer he heard of, that all future boxers have to have their nose broken when they’re young to avoid problems later. No problem at all, just that I had to punch him in the nose very hard for it to break. And we tried, me standing up on rocks to be taller and closer to his face, him on the ground for my fist to fall faster, in the end my hand was hurting and his nose was intact (not even a drop of blood). I’m glad that it didn’t happen, as about 1 year later he was able to get into that boxing club and started training for a career that unfortunately don’t know how it ended up since he left the country shortly after turning 19.
That childhood experience taught me to respect boxing as a sport where you have to have a mix of strength, speed, reflexes and endurance. As a sport that started several hundred years BC (its first mention was at an Olympic game edition by the ancient Greeks) it evolved a lot and if you think that boxing is only a rough sport for tough guys you’re dead wrong. In fact boxing is one of the most popular fitness regimes that can help you lose weight, improve your muscle tone and agility. It’s not only about the arms, a general misconception, it’s actually a full body sport thus you can benefit more from boxing than from any other fitness regime. If you’re eager to learn how to use boxing as a fitness technique, it’s now as easy as listening to your smartphone. ‘DevFit Boxing’ is an app for your Android device that can help you get in shape with a series of boxing fitness workout audio sessions and explanatory videos.
Andrew Devlin, an ex-Rugby player, started Devlin Fitness (in Australia) after an extensive experience of over 13 years in the boxing business. Through his company he helps people get in shape doing various outdoor group fitness sessions, but if you’re not living in the Sutherland Shire, Australia, you can bring his fitness workout sessions in your home.
Recently launched, the ‘DevFit Boxing’ app contains a series of audio workouts, each structured as a list of 8 rounds (of 3 minutes each) that are perfect for a 30 minute exercise. There are also videos that explain different techniques and combinations, which you’ll have to watch first if you’re not familiar with them as you’ll need those in your workouts. These workouts are ideal for fitness sessions, but they can be used by professional boxers too as training videos. If you have a friend that’s not afraid of being hit, you can give him a pair of focus pads and start training, otherwise you can also use a boxing bag.
When you start ‘DevFit Boxing’ you’re presented with a dashboard that gives you quick access to its main actions:
- Workouts. This is the core feature of the app. You can do workouts either alone against a boxing bag, or against a friend of yours that’s holding focus pads. The important part is to start practicing it. Right now there are 3 workouts included for each (pad or bag), with the first one being free and additional ones available for $1 each (more workouts will be added in the future). These workouts are audio-based, so when you start it you’ll have to keep the pace and follow the instructions.
‘DevFit Boxing’ also includes a Heart rate calculator, just tap on the heart icon in the top right corner to start it. What you have to do is count for 10 seconds how many heart beats you have, enter the number in the given window and click on calculate to see your pulse and see how demanding the workout session was.
- Technique. In boxing there are 4 basic types of punches, jab, cross, hook and uppercut. For each of these you’ll be able to see in the Technique section a video explanation, here’s just an excerpt: Jab, a quick straight punch from the guard position with your main hand; Cross, a punch thrown with your rear hand from the guard position; Hook, a punch that follows a semi-circular pattern and hits the opponent on a side; Uppercuts, my personal favorite (in Mortal Kombat at least) is a vertical rising punch thrown with the rear hand. There’s also an extra one included, the High-shoulders technique.
- Combinations. Tapping on it will show you a list of combinations each with an explanatory video where the term is detailed and a demonstration shown. You can learn about 6 of the most popular boxing combinations: 1-2 (Jab-Right cross), 1-1-2 (Jab-Jab-Cross), 1-2-3 (Jab-Cross-Left hook), 1-2-3-2 (Jab-Cross-Hook-Cross), 1-2-5-2 (Jab-Cross-Left-uppercut-Cross), 1-6-3-2 (Jab-Right uppercut-Left hook-Right hand) and also advanced combinations.
- Extras. This section will show you how to properly do push-ups, sit-ups and above shoulders’ exercises. It made me feel ashamed looking at the push-ups video to compare the technique with what I was doing (half push-ups), but being fit never was my strongest point.
- Safety. There are numerous ways you can hurt yourself when practicing boxing and this is why this section should be the first one you start with.
- Sharing & feedback. You can share with your friends via facebook, twitter or email your progress to receive congratulatory messages or envious remarks. Either way you’ll know you’re on the right track to getting in shape.
You can obtain ‘DevFit Boxing’ directly from Google Play here: DevFit Boxing
This app isn’t free but it’s less than the price of a hamburger (no pun intended) and it will help you do proper fitness exercises. All you have to do is be motivated enough to continue through the exercises, I for one prefer doing boxing as a fitness technique than running through my neighborhood (part by choice, part by the desire to escape the stray dogs).