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At Home Workouts: Why Shadowboxing is Effective for Beginners

At-home workouts have not only been a game changer to stay sane during the pandemic but have also given novices the confidence to try new things in the privacy of their own home. Whether you’re an experienced boxer or brand new to the sport, shadowboxing is fundamental to boxing. Shadowboxing is basically sparring with an invisible partner as a form of training. It may feel awkward at first to be punching the air, but trust us, this foundational skill will help you both physically and mentally.

Here are a few tips and tricks to help you understand why starting with the fundamentals is so important. Even if you are an experienced boxer, you must practice and drill the fundamentals in order to grow as an athlete.

Shadowboxing requires no equipment and minimal space

There is no equipment necessary! You do not need gloves or a bag to shadowbox. As long as you have room to stand up and take a few steps forward, backwards, and laterally you have room to shadowbox. If you happen to have a mirror, window, or even a TV to view your reflection those can be helpful but not necessary tools as you are learning and practicing your form. Unless that reflection is directly in front of you, don’t get to stuck on looking at yourself. You should be looking at that invisible partner in front of you.

Shadowboxing improves your footwork and balance

Cardio boxing requires a lot of technique. Everything from stance, form, footwork, and correctly throwing each punch can be overwhelming at first. It can feel constricting and it may even feel awkward when you first start out. Therefore, the most important thing to focus on at the very beginning when shadowboxing is your stance and the distribution of your weight.

Everything in boxing starts from the ground up. Once you create that framework you will feel more comfortable in your movements creating a total body workout that tests and improves your balance and coordination.

For beginners and experts – take 5 minutes and check out our Stance and Footwork video.

Shadowboxing is a great full-body workout

Once you get over feeling silly/awkward and commit to the practice, you can work up quite a sweat. While punching air may seem like a breeze, it is actually much more tiring than you think. Think about an actual fight for a minute and how tired the boxers are by the end. The reality is, most punches don’t land! Heavy bag work allows for the punch to always land and doesn’t require as much retraction or continuous motion. Shadowboxing not only increases your heart rate to build endurance, but it also trains the muscles to recover a lot quicker because your whole body is doing the work to pull the body back into its defensive stance – hands at the check bones, elbows at the ribs and even distribution of weight between the feet.

If you are practicing your footwork, dodging imaginary punches, and truly committing to each punch you throw, you will feel and see the effects on your entire body. For the experienced boxers, even the experts say that shadowboxing is the best way to polish strategies, footwork, timing, distance, power and so much more.

Shadowboxing is great for your mind

Shadowboxing can be very meditative. Once you find your rhythm or flow, it is easy to get lost in the art of shadowboxing. One punch seamlessly flows into the next and before long, you’ve created a dance of sorts freeing you from outside distractions and you focus on what you are doing in the present moment.

Cardio boxing can also decrease stress and empower you in your daily life. There is just something about punching it out that can let “stuff” flow out your mind.

Helpful tips from Master Coach Kyle

  1. Stay nice and relaxed – resist the urge to tense up and have your shoulders come up to your ears
  2. Hone in on form and technique by focusing on the little details that make all the difference – hands always back to the cheek bones, elbows always back to the rib cage, and never cross your feet
  3. Maintain proper balance – fight the urge to lunge forward with your punches.
  4. Keep your eyes on the prize – if you were punching yourself in the mirror, aim for your chin
  5. Connect your breath to every punch – exhale with each punch you throw.
  6. Practice, practice, practice until the movements become second nature

Take the next step! Use cardio boxing at home as total body workout that trains both your mind and your body. There is no excuse not to get started! Shadowboxing requires minimal to no equipment, so for more tips and techniques check out our How to Box section on YouTube. See another tutorial below and follow along with Master Coach Justin.

Now that you have the basics down. Head to BoxUnion Digital for our 14-day free trial where we offer over 100 on-demand classes and daily LIVE classes all to the beat of the music. BoxUnion Digital offers shadowbox classes like we mention in this article, but also over 10 different categories of workouts to really round out your workout week all in one app. Don’t forget to use the code STAYSTRONG for an extra 33% off your first two months after your free trial.

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