Who said you need a bag and a pair of boxing gloves to get a good boxing workout in? Shadowboxing is an intense aerobic exercise that is just as effective, fun, and fast-paced as boxing on a bag.
If you don’t have access to a punching bag at home, shadow boxing drills are the perfect way for you to break a sweat, challenge yourself, and improve your form (and confidence) for all of your strikes.
If you have participated in a boxing group fitness class, chances are your coach had you warm up with shadow boxing — whether that be through combos or freestyle. Consider these shadow boxing tips as you get started from home and utilize these 6 combos to keep your boxing skills sharp outside of the gym. If you are a tad more advanced in this space, consider the “go pro” modification and reap all of the shadow boxing benefits.
HIGH JAB, LOW JAB, CROSS (HIGH 1, LOW 1, 2)
This simple combo is the perfect way to kickstart your at-home shadow boxing workout. It is simple but promotes movement across your entire body. Remember that the difference between a high jab and a low jab is not just where your jab finishes. You need to use your lower body to create the difference between these strikes– this requires you to bend your knees!
GO PRO: Take this combo up a notch by making both the high and low jabs double jabs. So the combo will read: high 1, high 1, low 1, low 1, 2.
CROSS, LEAD HOOK, CROSS, LEAD UPPER (2, 3, 2, 5)
The key to mastering this combo is to think about one movement fueling the next. The power that you put behind your cross will be wound up and rechanneled to create power behind your hook. Don’t think about these movements in isolation– the combo is one fluid motion!
GO PRO: Between each run-through of the combo, pivot clockwise, rotating only your back foot 90 degrees. This will keep things dynamic and will engage your lower body in a way that mimics that of fighting an opponent.
JAB, CROSS, LEAD HOOK (FACE), LEAD HOOK (BODY), CROSS (1, 2, 3 (face), 3 (body), 2)
Just like in the first combo, the difference between a lead hook to the face and a lead hook to the body is in the legs. Create a real level change in your lower body, and your strike placement will follow.
GO PRO: Every time you see a “CROSS” in this combo, make it a CROSS, SLIP, CROSS. If you are going for this modification, your combo will look like: JAB, CROSS, SLIP, CROSS, LEAD HOOK (FACE), LEAD HOOK (BODY), CROSS, SLIP, CROSS (1, 2, slip, 2, 3 (face), 3 (body), 2, slip, 2).
LEAD HOOK, CROSS, LEAD HOOK, PIVOT, JAB, JAB, CROSS (3, 2, 3, pivot, 1, 1, 2)
A pivot is a simple movement that forces you to think actively about how your lower body plays a part in boxing. Remain grounded in your fighting stance and when it comes time to pivot, simply sweep your back leg clockwise 90 degrees. Your body will follow. Reground yourself in your stance and complete the combo. After 4 pivots, you will be back where you started.
GO PRO: When it comes time to throw the double jab and a cross, make it dynamic. Move forward smoothly, taking micro-steps forward with each of the jabs. This movement mimics that of pushing an opponent backward.
REAR UPPER, LEAD HOOK, CROSS, SLIP, CROSS (6, 3, 2, slip, 2)
Keep things tight in this combo. Your hook should still come in at the right angle, but shouldn’t sweep super wide. Keeping the first two strikes concise will allow you to jump into the cross, slip, cross with optimal power and control.
GO PRO: Make it double. 2 uppers and 2 hooks before you finish the combo out with the cross, slip, cross. This modification in total will look like this: 6, 6, 3, 3, 2, slip, 2.
JAB, SLIP, JAB, REAR HOOK, LEAD UPPER, DUCK (1, slip, 1, 4, 5, duck)
Remember that a slip is a tiny upper body movement. Keep your hands up and shift your shoulders as if you were dodging a quick punch. You want to keep this tiny enough so that you can come back to your stance with ease and speed.
GO PRO: Get your lower body involved. For the last three strikes of this combo (1, 4, 5), move backward, taking small steps back with each strike as if an opponent is driving you towards the outermost part of the cage.