Guest Post: History of Boxercise

Boxercise is a fitness class based on the training principles employed by boxers to stay in shape. A typical class might entail shadow boxing, skipping and hitting pads. It also includes kicking punch bags, press-ups, shuttle runs, and sit-ups.

Ancient Greek Boxing

Ancient Greek boxing, or pygmachia, “fist combat,” has been practiced in various social contexts in various Greek city-states since at least the eighth century BC (Homer’s Iliad). It is challenging to recreate the laws, traditions, and history surrounding this sport in considerable detail. The majority of the texts that now exist on ancient Greek boxing are fragmented or legendary. However, gloved boxing matches played an important role in the early classical era of ancient Greek sports culture.

Origin of Boxercise

Ancient Greek boxing, known in Greek as “pyx” or “pygme,” has been documented in archaeological and artistic contexts dating back to the Minoan and Mycenaean eras. There are many myths about the beginnings of boxing in Greece. According to one myth, the valiant king Theseus devised a sort of boxing. Two men faced each other and pummeled each other until one of them died. Over time, the boxers switched to standing combat. They put spiked gloves and wrappings below the elbows, but they continued to fight.

Although the Homeric epics likely represent later Greek culture, the Iliad claims that Mycenaean warriors participated in boxing as part of their ceremonies honoring the dead. After the Trojan War, one of the competitions held in Patroclus’ honor was boxing. Later, in 688 BC, the Greeks included boxing (pygme/pygmachia) in the Olympic Games as a tribute to Patroclus. Participants worked out with punching bags (called a korykos). To defend themselves from harm, fighters put leather straps, known as himantes. They wore it over their hands (leaving the fingers free), wrists, and occasionally, breasts. Neither the head nor the face was shielded.

Philostratus, a scholar, and historian argued that Sparta is where boxing first emerged. Boxing trained the early Spartans for the inevitable blows to the head they would take in combat and led them to feel helmets weren’t necessary. However, Spartans never engaged in the sport’s competitive side since they thought the way a defeat was achieved was shameful.

History of Boxercise

The Australian Academy of Boxing started registering a network of Victoria fitness facilities interested in the brand-new Boxercise fitness program in 1991. The Academy’s fitness trainers first led the sessions. The typical boxing gym had large punch bags, skipping ropes, a medicine ball, bag gloves, and occasionally a floor-to-ceiling ball.

  • Boxercise Level 1 Coaching Accreditation Courses and Boxercise sporting events started in 1992, expanding Victoria’s Network of Centre’s.
  • In South Australia, Tasmania, and New South Wales, Boxercise Centers were established in 1993, and coaching seminars were held there.
  • The first Boxercise Centers were established in 1994 and offered coaching courses in New Zealand and Queensland.
  • The Northern Territory hosted the opening of the first Boxercise Center in 1997.
  • A Boxercise Level 1 Coaching Accreditation Course was held in July 2004 at Bodynamics in Alice Springs, and the Australian Academy of Boxing held its 103rd course, along with other workshops, at and from its Golden Gloves Boxing Gym & Conference Center in September.

That’s a brief overview of the history of Boxercise in sequential order.

Equipment Used

The fighting style of the contestants may depend on the type of protection used on their hands and knuckles. Himantes were worn as hand and knuckle armor from the time of the Iliad to roughly 500 BC. They were long oxhide thongs that were looped repeatedly around the hands and knuckles, measuring 3.0-3.7 m (9.8-12.1 ft) in length. The thongs typically had loops into which a sportsperson could slide four of his fingers and form a fist.

A speedball was extremely uncommon to find in boxing gyms, and even then, it usually required to be inflated. Sports shops did not carry speedballs and floor-to-ceiling balls back then; they might have had a hefty boxing punch bag on hand. Very few gyms possessed boxing equipment

From the time of Homer until the end of the fifth century, participants wore this as their sole means of protection. Even though these are described as “soft gloves’ ‘ in classical literature, current research has shown that these things weren’t soft at all. These were knuckle protection, not blow softening, similar to how current cushioned gloves protect the hand, allowing for heavier punches. Numerous vases discovered in the fifth and sixth centuries BC had them on them.

Sphairai was introduced circa 400 BC. The sphairai resembled himantes a lot. The exterior of the thong was noticeably more rigid and firm. The interior of the thong contained padding when wrapped around the hands. Additionally, “sharp thongs” which allowed for more damage were developed at this time. They were widely used until roughly 200 AD.

The oxys were introduced to boxing just before the sphairai were put into place. They were made out of several heavy leather bands that wrapped around the hand, wrist, and forearm. Sweat was wiped from the forearm using a ring of fleece. To provide more support during punching, leather braces stretched up the forearm, and the knuckles also had leather reinforcements.

Similar to current punching bags, korykos were used as targets. They were loaded with sand, flour, or millet and used for practice in the Palestra. They were frequently shown in artwork from the era that featured boxing.

Advantages of Boxercise

  • Boxing is a very beneficial exercise for your physical fitness because it helps you build a lot of muscles, improve the strength and density of your bones, and expand your biceps and triceps.
  • Boxing is similar to exercise if you have problems with stress, anxiety, sadness, anger, or any other mental health issues since it raises dopamine levels in the body and lifts mood thanks to the intense exertion boxing provides.
  • It’s a fantastic sport or activity for building self-esteem and self-defense.
  • Your motor skills and hand-eye coordination are improved.
  • There is a great history of dieting when it comes to exercise. The Boxercise requires you to eat more instead of skipping meals.

Disadvantages of Boxercise

  • One of the primary drawbacks of boxing is that it can result in very significant injuries and damages, some of which can even result in death if they strike sensitive parts like the brain or heart, among other things.
  • Your body becomes exhausted after boxing lessons, and you can lose up to 800 calories and a lot of energy in just one hour.
  • If you are a professional boxer, there is a great likelihood that you will be used as a pawn in criminal proceedings by any group or outsider.


Boxercise is great for health and has several advantages but disadvantages as well. It is important to understand its usefulness and purpose.

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