Get Inspired: How to get into Boxing

Young boxers training at Mick Jelley's gym in Bury
Fast Answers
Why get into boxing?The constant moving and throwing of punches means you are giving your body a full cardiovascular workout while improving muscle strength.
Who is it for?There are numerous weight categories in boxing which means almost anyone can participate.
Is there a cheap option?You can get the health benefits of boxing by working with a punching bag and a pair of boxing gloves.
What if I want a proper workout?The training before you get into the ring is intense. Some clubs also offer more fitness-based sessions.
Can I take it to another level?There are many boxing clubs where you can start your programme and progress to competition level.
Is there a disability option?There are pilot programmes in place to include people with disabilities in non-contact boxing sessions.
So where can I take part?Go to our Activity Finder to get into boxing near you.

Boxing is a dynamic sport that teaches physical and mental discipline, and the training that comes with it is amongst the most intensive in sport. It provides a thorough full-body workout, and can be a lot of fun too.

It's also a fun and effective way of developing communication skills and can help people with self-esteem.

Few progress to actually having fights, with sparring - in which extensive protection is worn and full-strength punches seldom landed - providing a more gentle introduction to the sport.

Aspire to be like: Anthony Crolla

Anthony Crolla WBA lightweight world champion

Manchester lad Anthony Crolla was forced to miss his first world title bout after having his skull cracked while confronting burglars. Later that year, he was the WBA champion, and has since defended his title.

Boxing

Anthony Joshua claimed the IBF World Heavyweight belt in April 2016
Anthony Joshua claimed the IBF World Heavyweight belt in April 2016

Amateur and professional boxing differ not just in terms of finance, but also in rules, with amateurs required to wear protective head gear, and disparities in the scoring systems (based on the number of punches that land in a 'target area', decided by judges).

Britain has enjoyed recent success in both disciplines, leading the way with three gold medals at London 2012 and boasting an incredible 11 world champions.

If your interest has been piqued, GB Boxing has some great resources so that you can see what boxing is all about, and have a better idea of the rules and regulations.

Getting started

WBA lightweight champion Anthony Crolla

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Anthony Crolla tells us how he discovered boxing

Most gyms around the country will house a lonely punch bag in a dusty corner, so if the idea of starting boxing training seems a little intimidating you can try it out at your own pace.

Club finders in England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland will help you along if you feel ready to take the next step, from which your journey into the world of boxing could begin.

And there aren't many sports that are cheaper to try either - most gyms will provide you with the requisite equipment, so all you'll need is your subs!

Women's boxing

Amateur boxer Farah Jamil

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Farah Jamil joined Bellahouston Boxing Club in Glasgow just to get fit and now boxes competitively.

Almost 40% of boxing gyms have classes that specifically cater for women and girls. Some women start by taking part in fun, recreational boxing in schools or youth clubs, or through boxing-related exercise such as Boxercise. Others go straight to a boxing club.

The ABAE support the This Girl Can scheme, and their website has lots of information for aspiring athletes. Boxing gyms are set up to move people from beginners to an advanced stage, so you won't be the only one there who has never boxed before!

Disability boxing

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The wheelchair boxers aiming for the Paralympics

Boxing and wheelchairs may not at first seem like the most natural bedfellows, but as the unbelievable video above shows, some are certainly aiming to disprove that perception.

Our reporter Nate Williams caught up with the Wheeled Warriors in April 2016.

Of course, those in wheelchairs aren't the only people with disabilities for whom boxing offers opportunities. Read more on the ABA website.

Youth Boxing

GB's next generation of boxers

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Jack Bateson, Sam Maxwell and Joe Joyce share what it is like to deal with intensive training at the England Institute of Sport.

Boxing is a fantastic way for children to develop co-ordination skills, build strength, flexibility and endurance, and then the real fun starts at 11 as they can compete in spars against other juniors!

Several schemes, such as the Advanced Apprenticeships in Sporting Excellence (AASE) have been established to help young aspiring boxers in England achieve their full potential.

You can see more information on other endorsed schemes in England or contact your local governing body if your live elsewhere in the UK.

Coaching and volunteering

BBC Get Inspired: Boxing at the Active Academy

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Boxing tips on offer at the BBC Get Inspired Active Academy

Whether you have boxed in the past or just have a keen interest in developing talent, coaching opportunities are available through the Boxing Association in your area.

Find out about becoming a coach in Northern Ireland, Wales, Scotland and England or look for volunteering opportunities on the same sites (and on England Boxing's website.

JoinInUK, Volunteer Scotland and Volunteer Now in Northern Ireland can also help you find a club that could benefit from your efforts.

What's next?

1. Go to our Activity Finder to get into boxing near you.

2. From anywhere in the UK, search for your local club.

3. Share your story and inspire others!

Are you inspired to try boxing? Or maybe you are an enthusiast already? Get in touch and tell us your story by tweeting us on @bbcgetinspired or email us on getinspired@bbc.co.uk.

See our full list of activity guides for more inspiration.