Boxing is an absolutely great way to get a cardio and fitness workout. Over the years there have been a few ‘fad’ style workouts like the Billy Blanks Cardio Kickboxing and similar workouts that have really shown people what an upbeat, fighting styled program can do for you.
But aside from just punching at the air, a true boxing program should incorporate some actual bag work. Not only does this help with muscle tone, but it is also a great way to unleash stress and tension. There are a few options for getting your cardio sessions that involve pugilism in. You can either join a gym that has these facilities (which seems to be rare), join a fighting type club that trains boxers or mixed martial artists, or opt for the home gym workout.
No matter which option you choose, the workouts have the potential to help with your strength, speed, and agility as well as burn some fat and increase your general level of cardio fitness.
Start with a warm-up of jumping rope for 10 minutes. This helps get the heart rate up as well as gets blood flowing from your head to your toes.
Practice putting punches where you want by shadow boxing. Stand with your knees slightly bent, feet shoulder width apart, and on the balls of your feet. In a boxing stance you usually have your non-dominant hand forward for jabbing. Take a step forward with your lead foot and snap a punch straight out with your non-dominant hand. Your foot should hit the ground the same time you hand hits the target. Follow it up with a cross from your dominant hand, pivoting your hips and shoulders for power. Hop back to the original position and then repeat the sequence.
Do 3 minutes of shadow boxing and then move to a heavy bag and do the same sequence for 3 minutes. Rest for one minute then repeat the sequence with 3 minutes of shadow boxing and another 3 minutes on the heavy bag. For the heavy bag work focus on hitting your target and use 50-60% power.
Now it is time to put some power in those punches. You will hit the bag for 3 minute rounds and rest one minute between rounds like an actual fighter might. Do as many rounds as you want but follow the below sequences for each round.
- Round 1 – Full strength jabs. Aim high and aim low. Ideally you will shuffle around the bag to the left and right as you pop jabs into the bag.
- Round 2 – Use the jab/cross combo from above but put everything you have into the punches. Again move around the bag as you strike.
- Round 3 – Throw a jab/cross/hook combo. You can mix up the tempo at this point and go quick jab with power cross and hook or quick-quick-power. Just make sure to keep moving and throw at least one power punch in each combo.
- Round 4 – Now we add one more punch to the combo with jab/cross/hook/uppercut.
- Round 5 – Finally we finish the sequence with jab/cross/hook/uppercut/body shot (1 to 3). Start to picture Rocky in your head because you should be throwing leather like he was in his training sequences.
Speed is What You Need
After blowing out you power finish up with speed work. This works great to music (fast paced is best). Again work in 3 minute rounds with 1 minute of rest. All punches you be thrown as quickly as possible trying to get back to the original position as fast as you can.
- Round 1 – jab/jab/cross
- Round 2 – cross/jab/uppercut
- Round 3 – cross/left hook/right hook
- Round 4 – jab/right body punch/left body punch
Cool down with another 5 minutes of jumping rope.