Have you had a hard day?
Maybe a row with hubby?
The kids being more ‘toddler’ like than normal?
How about a workout that not only gets your heart rate pumping, it works your upper body and lower body, increases your fitness level and it gets you working off all of that stress? And what's more, all in the comfort of your own home.
OMG! What is it I hear you cry?
Boxing. It’s boxing.
Moving. Weaving. Ducking. Diving. And Punching. Not only an effective workout, it's a great way to ‘workout’ the tension of the day.
Ok. But I’m not a fighter. I don’t know how to punch and I don’t want to get hit.
I’m not talking about getting into a boxing ring, I’m talking about taking the principles and turning it into a boxing workout at home.
Let me tell you more...
Ok, first things first. What do you actually need for a home boxing workout?
In a word...nothing.
That’s right, you don’t actually need anything.
Yes, you can get equipment, and we’ll go into that in a minute, but, to have a great workout, and have fun, you don’t NEED anything.
It’s called shadow boxing.
You punch the air. You still move, duck and dive, weave and bob as a ‘fighter’ would. But the punches you land, you land in the air rather than on something.
It’s used by professional boxers quite a bit. It’s how they hone their techniques, prepare for a fight and keep in fighting shape. We’re going to use it to get sweating.
On the other hand, if you do want to get some equipment, it’s relatively inexpensive. And none of it takes up that much space.
At the most basic level you’re looking at a pair of gloves and focus pads.
These are basic in terms of equipment available, but I think they give you the best boxing workout. Especially if you have someone to workout with.
After you’ve done your round, you switch and put on the focus pads. But it’s not rest time. You can get just as much of a workout wearing the pads as you can wearing the gloves. And that’s what I love the most.
It’s a slightly different workout. But still a workout.
Essentially you’re getting two workouts for the price of one.
If you haven’t got someone to workout with, you could tape the pads to a wall, or you could invest in a punching bag.
Again, not that expensive. Well, depending on the make you go for. And it’s a good option for practising punches on your own.
You will need to allow enough room to manoeuvre around it, but it still shouldn’t take up that much space. It will be a heavy bag though, so make sure it’s secured properly to a wall or the ceiling. The last thing you want is that bag falling down on you.
Boxing is the best workout for helping get rid of some of that built up stress and tension. But did you know there are few more reasons boxing is such a great workout?
Boxing workouts are full-body workouts. You might think that you’ll just be using your arms to throw your punches, but, you’ll soon realise, the power of those punches comes from twisting into it. Putting your whole body behind those punches.
It’s a great for strength training. It helps you develop a strong core. And it’s a high-intensity workout. All of this means boxing is really effective. It will help you reach your goals, whatever they are.
And the best part... you can do it in your living room. No need to traipse all the way to a gym.
Technique, as with most workouts really, is super important with boxing.
Because, if you don’t get it right, you’ll get yourself into a muddle and you won’t enjoy it.
Ok, yes, you could injure yourself, which we obviously don’t want to happen, but having fun is the main driver. Am I right?
Just as an aside, injury is less likely if you’re shadow boxing. There’s no contact in shadow boxing so there’s less opportunity for injury, even if your technique isn’t 100%.
I’m sure you’ve all seen a boxer stand with one foot in front and one foot behind.
This is the basic boxing stance. And the one that you will do for the workout below, and most boxing workouts to be honest.
If you want to take up boxing properly, I’m sure there are many other stances that you will be taught but for our workout purposes, one leg in front, the other slightly behind, is the standard.
Your non-dominant foot is in front.
For the most part, if you are right handed, your left foot will be in front and if you’re left handed your right foot will be in front.
But, it’s not always the case.
So try both and see what works for you.
If you want to get technical, try this...you’ll have to get hubby involved.
Stand up straight, with your eyes closed and get hubby to push you from behind.
We don’t want you falling over. Just hard enough that you have to use one of your feet to steady yourself.
Whichever foot comes forward is your, natural, dominant foot and that should be your back leg.
Again, I’m sure you’ve seen boxers stand with the hands up around their face. This is called your guard.
You don’t want to drop your guard. That’s when your opponent can land a punch. Don’t drop your guard. Through the whole workout if possible.
Yes, I know we’re not really fighting with an opponent, but, it does help with the workout. It gets you in the frame of mind of a boxer. And it’s fun.
Stay on the balls of your feet, feet hip-width apart, weight evenly distributed between both legs. You can even bounce a bit from one to the other. Like your ready to move. Ready to dodge that punch. Ready to line up to land the match winning blow.
Always remember, boxing isn’t just about the punch combinations, it’s about moving.
It’s about being quick on your feet. Quick to move out of the way. Quick to get into position.
And let’s face it, the more you move, the better the workout you’ll have.
Now to the nitty gritty, the punches. There are four main punches that we’ll be covering in the workout.
Again, if you were to start boxing at a proper boxing gym, you’ll probably find there are quite a few more.
But, we’re going to focus on the main four.
This comes from your front hand, so your non-dominant hand.
It isn’t your most powerful punch.
It’s a quick punch. It’s a range finder.
Is your opponent in striking distance. If yes, you quickly follow up with the more powerful cross. If no, you move and strike again.
Always keep your guard up...hand returns back in front of your face between punches.
This is your power punch and often follows a jab very quickly.
It’s done with your back hand, i.e. your dominant hand, but the punch doesn’t just come from your hand or arm.
You twist your hips into it. Put your bodyweight behind it.
That's where the power of your punches comes from...putting your entire body behind the punch.
This can be done with either your front or back hand. Known as the lead hook or rear hook.
In a similar motion to the cross, you twist your hips into it as the punch comes around creating awesome power.
It’s a semi-circular motion and, if this were real boxing, you’d be aiming for your opponents jaw line.
As the name suggests, this punch comes in an upward motion from beneath.
Think, aiming for under your opponents jaw.
It’s not actually the case all of the time, but I think that thought will help you visualise the motion of the punch.
Again, twist into the movement so you get a really powerful strike.
I've tried to keep these workouts as close to boxing workouts as I can rather than a workout with a bit of punching thrown in.
But, there is benefit in adding in a few body weight exercises.
Stand with your feet about hip width apart. Flex at the knees and hip, pushing your bum back, keeping your chest lifted.
Lower to a comfortable position, thighs parallel to the floor.
Return to standing by pushing the ground away keeping your chest lifted throughout to maintain a neutral spine.
Keep your knees in line with your toes and your heels down at all times.
In this workout the squat is you ducking out of the way of a punch, so it’s a quick movement, and come back up with your guard up.
These are burpees without the jump in between.
Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and your arms by your sides. Lower into a squat position and place your hands on the floor.
Kick or step your legs back into a high plank position and then jump or step your legs forward to return to a squat position.
If doing more than one kick your legs back again and repeat.
Return to the starting position after the required amount of thrusts.
Again, with this exercise, think you’re dodging a punch, so make it a quick movement and spring back up. Pelvic floor allowing.
Ok, let’s get to it….
This round is 2 minutes of work, rest/swap over equipment for 30 seconds and then move onto the next set.
After each squat, reset and go again.
You will need a bit of room for this one. Just use the room you have, it doesn’t matter how much, or little you have. If you haven't got any room you could do skips in place. Like you're using a skipping rope, but not.
Set your timer for 30secs work 30secs rest (although you’re not going to get much rest).
First 30s is punches...cross, hook, upper, hook...reset and start again.
The second 30s shuffle, or skip in place.
This round might not take you the full 15 minutes. Work at your own pace and rest where you need.
If you’re on the focus pads for this workout, your job is to encourage.
Let your partner know how great they’re doing and to keep pushing.
Ok, so how did you get on?
Do you think boxing is the best exercise for eliminating your stress?
I’d love to know...