Is Boxing Better Cardio Training Then Running (Comparison)?

Is Boxing Better Cardio Training Than Running (Comparison)?

When it comes to cardio training there are many different training exercises to try, and one of the best cardio training are boxing (punching a bag with your boxing gloves for training) and running. But if we have time or will for only one of them, we have to ask ourselves, is boxing better cardio training than running?

Both running and boxing are excellent cardio training, but while running is repetitive, boxing offers much more variety.

Cardio boxing can be different than regular boxing in a way that you don’t have to fight to loose calories, get in shape, and do cardio training, also, you don’t have to have a black eye.

Unlike running, it offers all kinds of elements, that are much more fun then repetitive running. From hitting the bag, shadowboxing, core exercising, jumping the rope, and so on.

Evidently, boxing provides its practitioners with a range of cardio advantages, but without the right gear, you might not fully enjoy these remarkable benefits. If this is your first journey into the world of boxing, or if you’re an experienced boxer looking for the high-quality gear, you should delve further into our informative article on the best boxing gloves for women, which will augment your experience even further.

Boxing and Running Cardio training compared?

Running for Cardio

Running is a very effective way of doing cardio exercise, has a high effect on fat consumption, and improves cardiorespiratory capacity.

The main feature of running is that with its high intensity it burns a large number of calories, and at the same time stimulates and accelerates the metabolic rhythm which remains accelerated for a long time after.

For the purpose of burning fat, jogging could be considered a variation of running, given that this method (we can also call it higher-intensity aerobics) does not exceed the anaerobic limit at which carbohydrates become the primary source of fuel.

Running includes thigh flexors, knee tendons, quadriceps, and gastrocnemius & soleus muscles making it a great exercise for the lower body. It also engages hand work, thus providing the added effect of burning calories.

Boxing for Cardio

There is no room in boxing for big, bloated muscles and excess fat. Boxing is popular because it is a sport that really requires a complete endurance system.

Namely, when you decide to train boxing, the results are seen really quickly because the whole body works.

Many mistakenly assume that in boxing everything focuses on the upper body and arm strength, but it is actually an exercise for the whole body. When turning for punches in the bag, the abdominal muscles are also activated. And of course, you stay agile as you turn around.

Also, there is shadowboxing. It is used mainly to prepare the muscles before the person training engages in stronger physical activity. In shadowboxing, only one person is required to participate; the participant throws punches at no one in particular.

Here you can see how Shadowboxing looks like

Duration of Boxing and Running Cardio Trainings

It all depends on how good of the form you are. If you have already trained some sort of cardio exercise you will probably be able to do at least half an hour of them, and people that are already training well, they should go for an hour of cardio training (boxing or running).

On the other hand, if you are complete begginer, I would suggest ‘simple’ & ‘easys’ way to get in cardio training. It applyes to any of these two high cardio exercise.

Try to run or box (shadow or punching bag) for 5 minutes (it’s ok if you can’t do it, the principle is the same), then take a pause, if running, just walk for 5 minutes (or less if you think you can run for additional 5); while boxing, make a pause as well after 5 minutes, and again go walk around the gym, home, or wherever you are training for additional 5.

Do this for a week, and then try to add at least one minute a week (if you can, try adding aditional 5), and increse till you think its right for you (at least half an hour would be desirable).

In the start, I would suggest you to do any of these exercises 3 times a week.

Which is better for Weight Loss Boxing or Running?

Running is one of the best know exercise for weight loss (not sprinting), so you know for sure that it works. It builds your cardio and at the same time you are losing weight. Excelent, isn’t it? Just, it is sometimes boring as hell.

And here comes boxing. Another amazing cardio exercise, that, as you will see later in the article, burns almost the same amount of calories and is much more fun to do. If you are boxing in the ring, against a real opponent, then you are burning even more calories then while running.

So, again, these both pieces of training are excellent for cardio, only boxing is much more fun to do.

Boxing or Running Comparison of Calories Burned

TrainingCalories/hour (150 lb)Calories/hour (200 lb)
Boxing a punching bag394525
Boxing – sparring558745
Boxing ring9161222
Jumping rope (1 jump per sec)600700
Running (6 mph)700950

As you can see, punching a bag, and sparring burns little fewer calories than running, but boxing in a ring is even more effective in burning calories. Also, boxing is great for building abs and losing stomach fat, as you can find out more about it on our link.

Boxing/Running Injuries

All exercise carries with it potential injuries, the same goes for cardio running and boxing. Let’s see what are they and how to try to avoid them.

Running Injuries

Inconveniences, but also injuries are possible during one of the oldest recreational activities – running. Most of these injuries are not severe. These are most often mild bends, muscle strains, tendon strains, blisters.

Runners are mostly injured when they go too far, and this is especially true with beginners, so be careful.

Statistically, but also factually, the most common cause of injury is any of the following forms of exaggeration:

  • mileage (too large or sudden increase)
  • speeding
  • exaggeration in intensity
  • exaggerating in all of the above in order to achieve the (unrealistically) set goal as soon as possible

All of these exaggerations are in fact mistakes in planning training, rich in mistakes. The body has its limits beyond which, without rest and the time needed to recover, one simply cannot go. This leads us to the conclusion that exaggeration actually boils down to neglecting the body’s need to rest, recover, and revitalize after strenuous workouts.

If we train properly and if we give the body enough time to recover, the injury will not occur.

Boxing Injuries

Typical injuries in boxers (as well as in kickboxing, savate, MMA, Muay Thai, etc.) are various sprains (shifts) and cracks of the fingers and wrist with damage to the joint surfaces.

One of the common injuries is an injury known as – boxing thumb. A boxing thumb injury is the result of repeated sprains of the thumb joint.

Dislocation most often occurs due to poor technique when performing punches, but also a poorly placed bandage. Depending on the severity of the injury, the ability for work or sports activity will be only after one to two months for minor finger injuries and up to six months for some hand fractures.

With a suitable bandage, good punching technique, and good gloves, injuries to the knuckles can be reduced.

Conclusion – Which Is Better Cardio Training Boxing or Running

As you can see from above, both these trainings are amazing for cardio, weight loss and building lean muscles.

The main difference is that running is mostly repetitive, while boxing offers various and fun techniques that you can change almost in every training. But, it has to be said, some people just love running.

What would be the best is the combinations of those two. Boxing and running go great one with another and they complement each other. If you already running much, it will be easier for you to start boxing, cardio-related, and the same goes otherwise.

Stefano Secci, French Savate Boxing, and Martial Arts champion
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Stefano Secci

Stefano Secci was born on the outskirts of Genoa. He began practicing sports at 11 by enrolling in a Ju-Jitsu class; from there, I have not stopped playing sports until today. At 16, he switched to French Savate Boxing, which I married and has remained my first and only true love. Our testing and reviewing method.
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