Boxing For Seniors [Is It Safe Or A Good Idea?]

Welcome! In this article, you will learn about boxing for seniors. Is it a good form of exercise for seniors and more importantly is it safe?

Boxing is a popular sport that used to be even more popular in the past.

I’m sure you are aware that boxers are in very good shape. They can fight and keep fast on their feet for several rounds.

They also have a lot of explosive strength that’s required for hard punches.

But I’m also sure you know that getting your head hit is not really beneficial in any way

Fortunately, it’s possible to train boxing without getting punched in the head.

But there are many health considerations seniors need to beware of if they are thinking about starting boxing.

What Is Boxing

Boxing, also known as pugilism, is a sport that involves punching an opponent. I’m sure you have seen a boxing match at least on tv in your life.

Competitive boxing always happens between two opponents. The rules are very strict and allow striking only above the waist. This makes boxing very different from other competitive martial arts like MMA, kickboxing, or Karate.

In short, boxing is a violent sport with gentlemanly rules. You can win either by a knockout or by points. There is always a referee who deals points and makes sure the rules are followed.

Just like weightlifting, boxing has weight classes. It’s a simple fact of life that a larger person has a strength and reach advantage.

Boxing is not really considered a self-defense martial art these days. But it used to be and especially boys often learned it a bit. You can rest assured that an experienced competitive boxer can hold their own in a fight.

If you are interested in improving self-defense skills, there are better options for seniors than boxing. You can learn about them in the articles Tae Kwon Do For Seniors [Short Guide] and Tai-Chi And Seniors [Comprehensive Guide].

Is Boxing Safe For Seniors

Competitive boxing has a really bad reputation for a good reason. Medical science has proved that getting constantly hit in the head causes brain damage over time. Who could have guessed?

This can cause a condition known as boxer’s dementia. The constant hits to the head develop scar tissues within your brain tissue. Eventually, causing you to have cognitive decline.

Seniors can have varying amounts of cognitive decline due to the aging process and medical conditions. You really do not want to make this process faster by getting your head hit.

That’s why no one in their right mind would recommend competitive boxing for seniors.

Boxing of course has many other risks for seniors. Punches and strikes can cause muscle and joint injuries because of the high forces. It’s possible to break bones in your hands or wrist if punch with bad and are not used to it.

The risk of falling while boxing is of course very real. A boxer needs to be really quick on their feet while avoiding and blocking punches. This all is very demanding on your balance.

That said, something called fitness boxing can be an excellent form of exercise for fit seniors. Let’s look at it in more detail.

What Is Fitness Boxing For Seniors

Fitness boxing is a form of boxing where you don’t fight an opponent. Instead of an opponent, you hit a bag or simply the air.

People who trained in boxing realized how exceptionally effective it is as an exercise. The combination of quick footwork, high-intensity punches, and practicing evasions is a very effective metabolic exercise.

So it’s no wonder that fitness boxing has become a popular exercise for staying fit and lean.

Fitness boxing often includes typical boxing accessory work like exercise with a jumping rope. This is a very effective exercise as I mentioned in the article Jumping Rope For Seniors.

Fitness boxing can also include kicks, elbow strikes, and varying punches. Since it’s not a competitive sport, there really are no strict rules.

A man kicking a punching back

Fitness boxing can be great for seniors because it helps to maintain your balance skills and fitness. But it’s important to realize that many of the risks of competitive boxing are present in fitness boxing.

The risk of falling or twisting your wrist while punching a bag is very real. Boxing can also elevate your heart rate very rapidly. In the worst-case scenario, this can trigger cardiac events.

How To Get Started With Fitness Boxing For Seniors

If you want to get started with fitness boxing, I recommend you find a local fitness boxing class that offers instruction classes.

It’s important to start very light and take into consideration your overall fitness level.

An experienced instructor can tailor the exercises and intensity for you

If you want to use a punching bag at home it’s especially important to start very light. And it’s a good idea to talk to your doctor before starting any type of boxing to rule out any contraindications.

If you are generally healthy and in good shape, fitness boxing can be a great form of exercise.

It will get your heart rate up but it will also help to keep your body strong. Boxing is no match for strength training in this regard. But the high-intensity punches do help build muscle strength and explosiveness. As do moving fast on your legs.

But once again, remember to wark up and start light. Develop strength, mobility, and punching technique before going all out on a bag.

Anyone who has punched a bag before knows that it’s really easy to twist your wrist or bruise your knuckles even if you are wearing good gloves.

And that’s the final tip actually. Invest in good boxing gloves. If you go to a class, they usually provide you with one. But if you have a bag at home, good gloves with wrist support is a must.


I hope you found this post about boxing for seniors useful. If you have any questions or suggestions, you can leave them in the comments section below.

Competitive boxing really isn’t suitable for seniors because of the risks. But fitness boxing is a great form of exercise. It can help you keep your heart health, balance, and body weight in check.

But there are still inherent risks involved with fitness boxing. So it’s important to get a medical check, coaching, and start light.

I also recommend you really think about if the benefits are worth the risk. You can get the same benefits with less risky forms of exercise.

I especially recommend combining strength training, balance training, and low-intensity cardio like walking or indoor cycling.

You can learn more about these in the articles:

Benefits Of Strength Training For Seniors [Complete Guide]

Printable Balance Exercises For Seniors [2 Recommendations]

Nordic walking for seniors

Indoor Cycling For Seniors [Short Guide With Tips]

Thanks for reading and see you next time!

Leave a Comment