A lot of people wouldn’t really think there is a connection between ballet and boxing given that one is all about graceful movements and music while the other is about sheer, brute strength and lots of hitting. However, those who know better will quickly say that the connection is far closer than you may think. In fact, some of them would even liken boxing to ballet—just minus the music and with the addition of punching.
It really does seem like a major stretch when you first think of comparing the two but try to take a look at a boxer and a ballet dancer move and you can quickly see the similarities between the two. For one, there is a matter of the footwork and balance—these two are just as essential to boxing as they are to the dance. When people undergo boxing training, one of the most important things they learn is footwork because they need to maneuver around that ring as quickly and as nimbly as possible. Try to watch Muhammad Ali’s old fights and you can see that guy’s feet move as nimbly as any ballet dancer. Ballet dancers work on their balance since it is so much a part of ballet and they need it to stay upright as they twirl and leap about on stage and the same is true for boxers, only they do it inside the ring.
Boxing and ballet are both incredibly strenuous and require a lot of cardiovascular strength and it is for this reason why boxers and ballet dancers are often made to undergo extensive cardiovascular training. They need it if they are to last on stage with all the twirling and leaping they do and boxers who do not get enough cardiovascular exercise are often the ones who lose steam on the 5th or 6th round and end up losing.
Then there is the matter of strength training; this is something that people would equate with boxing more, given that they often have huge and cut muscles. Now some people might think of ballet dancers as being slim and sylph-like but take a good look at their bodies and you will see that under all that lace and tulle are muscles of steel.
Boxing and Ballet for Fitness
It’s really amazing how both boxing and ballet have so much in common and for people taking up boxing, it will not hurt to incorporate some ballet techniques into your boxing training. In fact, some people who are into boxing for fitness can now try a ballet/boxing workout hybrid that promises not only fat loss, but also cardiovascular strength, balance, endurance training, etc. This new workout is called Aerobarre and it was developed by former pro-boxer named Michael Olajide Jr. and Leila Fazel who used to be a dancer for the Dance Theater of Harlem. Putting together the elements of ballet and boxing will not only result in greater strength and balance but will also mean a flat stomach, less fat, and a more cut physique.
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