In one word, the answer is “probably”. I know it seems like a stretch, but boxing is amazing cross-training for most sports, but I had to stop and think about it when someone asked me if it helps with softball. After much deliberation, I felt it was worth writing this article to outline some of the general cross-training benefits, as well as my own personal experience.
Boxing is hands-down the best workout I have ever participated in. It’s amazing how quickly you can be whipped into shape, ultimately cutting fat mass while simultaneously building lean mass. In other words, you can get ripped. Most of this is due to the structure of the training. Boxing works on a “round” system (e.g. rounds in a boxing match). At most gyms, you will perform exercises in three minute rounds with 30-60 seconds rest in between, and many different exercises are covered, allowing for a full body workout. Additionally, weight lifting is kept to a minimum, with most of the work being performed under your own body weight.
Boxing is both accessible and affordable. Most cities and towns have at least one boxing gym, but if not, you can always find equipment for your own home. This may be a little more expensive, but you won’t be paying a membership fee. For more information on what may be necessary for your home, we recommend the site www.tomatocanchamp.com. If you’re thinking of joining a gym, we would encourage you to visit them first, as most trainers are more than happy to provide a tour and any other information. Also make sure to check if there is any communal equipment, like boxing gloves, as that can help decrease the number of items you will need to buy. Again, for a better sense of what equipment is good and bad, check out tomatocanchamp.com.
Pure fitness benefits aside, I found boxing to be surprisingly helpful with my swing. This is all subjective information, so take it with a grain of salt, but I’m quite certain the reason is because I was able to focus on the pitch better and adjust my swing speed accordingly. One thing I found most difficult with boxing was remaining focused when on the receiving end of combos during sparring. With practice, I was able to calm my mind, focus on the key aspects of what was happening, and before I knew it, it was like everything just slowed down for me. It was when I started seeing these benefits that my batting average increased drastically (that and I’m a bum to begin with). I cannot conclude cause-and-effect, but it makes sense and it definitely didn’t hurt.
So if you’re playing softball, feel a little sluggish, and want to be in amazing shape, try boxing. It’s fun, challenging, rewarding, and the benefits can extend to many other sports.