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Shadow Boxing Workout

I am a big fan of trying to find new and exciting ways to keep in shape. Recently, a co-worker of mine suggested a workout called shadow boxing. Shadow Boxing is a workout in which a person throws different combinations of punches into the air. It is pretty simple, but it makes for a great workout.

The first thing you need to do is to get your stance correct. The shadow boxing I have been doing has been more tuned towards UFC type of fighting. For this, you want to keep your legs shoulder length apart with your dominant leg back and your non-dominant leg forward. The distance between your legs should be enough to keep your balance, but also enough to get a lot of power behind your punches. You are also going to want to have a little bit of bend in your knees and your hands up around chin level. Keeping your hands up for the whole workout will add to the workout.

The punches

One thing to remember about all the punches is that your are going to want to turn your hips and shoulders for every punch except the jab. Also, you are going to want to put a lot of power into every punch. The power for all punches comes from your back(dominant) leg. So make sure to keep this planted when you throw your punches.

Left Jab:This is just a quick punch to the opponent's head that is used to stun more than knock-out.
Left Straight:This is a left straight punch to the head of your opponent. This punch should be thrown with knockout power.
Right Straight:This is a right straight punch to the head of your opponent. This punch should be thrown with knockout power.
Left Hook:To throw this punch, you start your left hand by your chin area. You then move your fist out to the left of your body, then back right again towards your opponents head. It is called a hook because the motion of the punch is like a semi-circle or hook towards your opponents head.
Right Hook:Same as the left hook but opposite.
Upper Cut:For this punch, you want to drop your body down 6-12 inches then bring a punch to the opponent's chin. This should be a quick, powerful punch and should not be a big looping punch that starts from your hip.
Liver Shot:This is a left hook to the opponent's liver stomach area. It helps if you drop your body a bit to throw this punch.
Left and Right Straights to the body:These are the same as the left and right straights except that they are directed towards the midsection of your opponent.

Now that we have the punches and stance covered, we can get to the workout. The workout is pretty simple and all you need is a timer or stop watch and a bit of open space. Depending on your level of fitness, you can do 2-5 minute rounds in which you throw a combination of the punches above. Between rounds you take a 1 minute break. A good amount of time to shadow box is for 30 minutes including breaks. Remember when doing this to keep your hands up and to put a lot of power behind every punch. Also, keeping your feet moving a bit will also make for a better workout. You should be throwing punches at a good pace for the whole round. If you get really tired, feel free to mix in a 5-10 seconds or so when you just throw a jab or two. Here are a few good suggestions for combinations to be using:

  • Left Straight, Right Straight
  • Left Hook, Right Hook, Left Hook
  • Left Hook, Right Hook, Left Hook, Right Straight
  • Left Hook, Right Hook, Left Hook, Right Upper Cut
  • Jab, Right Straight, Left Straight, Right Upper Cut

When you are throwing these combinations, try to get yourself into a rhythm. For example, threw a combination, reset, then throw another combination, reset, etc. Make sure to be quick with your reset though.

Other important tips:

  • Make sure to get a real good stretch in before doing this.
  • Don't do this if you don't think you are healthy enough to be doing this. For example, if you haven't been doing any type of aerobic activity, don't start with this. Start with walking or something a bit easier first.
  • The first time you do this, I would suggest throwing your punches at 50-75% power. This will help you get used to the stance, punches, rhythm, and will also help cut down on some after workout soreness.
  • If this is too hard for you, cut down on round time, take a bit of power of your punches and take longer breaks between rounds.
  • If this is too easy for you, make the round times longer and the between round breaks shorter.

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