Boxing is the ultimate full-body workout that challenges everything from your endurance to your speed to your strength and more. And you don’t need equipment to get in a good boxing workout! Shadowboxing is an excellent boxing exercise for everyone from the beginner boxer to the boxing pro.
Join us as Liteboxer Trainer and pro-MMA fighter Christina Marks leads us through a 30-minute shadowboxing workout that will hone your boxing technique while challenging your cardiovascular fitness.
How to Do This Workout
This 30-minute at-home shadowboxing workout features a three-minute warm-up followed by six rounds of high-intensity cardio and boxing exercises. You’ll start small so you can get comfortable with your basic jab and cross before you add on extra punches to increase the endurance challenge.
Throughout each round, you’ll work on four different punches: the jab, cross, uppercut, and hook. You’ll also master two boxing defensive moves: the slip and roll. If you’re new to boxing or need a refresher on how to throw each punch head to the section below for a quick breakdown.
The only piece of equipment you’ll need for this workout is an empty water bottle that you can easily grip. The workout also features several rounds of jump roping. But don’t worry if you don’t have a jump rope. Jumping in place works just fine.
This is a full-body cardio workout that has you moving for the full 30 minutes. So expect to get your heart pumping and your sweat flowing! Take each round at your own pace, building in rest when you need it, and make sure to hydrate throughout.
Lastly, we recommend turning on your favorite workout playlist! After all, music elevates the workout experience and makes it more fun.
Ready? Follow along in the video or our instructions below to get started:
How to Throw Each Punch
Here’s a quick breakdown of all the punches and defensive moves you’ll use in this workout and how to perform them. For more detailed instruction head to our blogs on how to master the basic punches and defensive moves.
- Jab: A punch to the body that involves a slight squat position and the full extension of your front arm (left for Orthodox and right for Southpaw).
- Cross: Your front arm remains in guard position while your back hand (right for Orthodox or left for Southpaw) finds full extension.
- Uppercut: With your elbows bent drive your fist upward as if you’re striking your opponent’s chin from below.
- Hook: Bend your arm to a 90-degree angle and drive your fist into your opponent’s cheek. Unlike the jab or cross, you’re not extending your arm and driving forward. Instead, you’re coming at your opponent from the side, creating an almost half-circle motion.
- Slip: Slight movements of your shoulder and head so that your opponent’s punches “slip” past you without impact.
- Roll: Squat down and transfer your weight between your right and left foot imagining that you’re avoiding punches from your opponent.
With each punch, make sure you’re using those hips and not overextending your arms. And most importantly, have fun with it.
Now, let’s get into the workout:
Warm-Up: 3 Minutes
Before you get into the action of your workout it’s essential to get those muscles and joints warmed up so they’re ready to go.
Here’s Christina’s warm-up routine:
- Arm circles (10 reps forward and 10 reps back): Pretend you’re doing a forward then backward stroke in the water.
- Over and under arm swings (10 reps): Swing your arms out to your side then cross them in front of your chest, rotating which arm goes over versus under.
- Arm swings side to side (10 reps): Pivot from one foot to the other, twist your hip and swing your arms in a circle from side to side.
- Small arm circles (10 reps forward and 10 reps back): Extend your arms straight out like a T and warm up those shoulders with smaller arm circles forward then back.
- Boxer bounce (30 seconds): Warm up the calves with a little bounce from foot to foot as you shake out your wrists and arms.
- Calf Raises (10 reps): Slowly lift your heels until you’re standing on the balls of your feet. Then slowly lower back down to target your calf muscles.
The Workout: 25 Minutes
Now that you've warmed up your legs, shoulders, and arms, it’s time to get into the workout. First, let’s start with your boxer’s stance.
If you’re right-handed (an Orthodox boxer) you’ll start with your left foot forward and your right foot back. If you’re left-handed (Southpaw boxer) you’ll start with your right foot forward and your left foot back.
Ready to go? Let’s get started:
We’re getting warmed up in round 1 as you practice your basic jab and cross combination, mixing in some cardio and defensive moves.
- Practice your boxer’s footwork (30 secs): Start by pushing forward and back in your boxer’s stance keeping your fists up at your chin and your legs slightly bent. Do this a few times to warm up and get comfortable with the movement.
- Jab (10 reps): As you step forward, practice throwing your jab. Then step back into your boxer’s stance and repeat.
- Jab, cross (10 reps): After mastering your jab, add in a cross as you step back into your boxer’s stance.
- Jab, cross, pivot, slip (3 reps): Pivot 90 degrees after throwing your jab, cross combo so you’re facing to the side. Repeat this jab, cross, and pivot movement until you’re back facing forward. Then, once you’re facing forward again, rep out 5 slips. Repeat this set 3 times.
- Jump rope (1 minute): If you don’t have a jump rope just jump in place!
Pro tip: To increase the intensity of jump roping, try adding in high knees. To decrease the intensity, bounce from one foot to the other instead. The goal is to keep moving.
Now that you’re warmed up and feeling confident, let’s start adding in some longer combos in round 2 to really build up a sweat.
- Slip, roll (5 reps): Practice some back-to-back defensive moves as you rep out a left and right slip followed by a left and right roll. Repeat 5 times.
- Slip, roll, jab, cross (5 reps): Combine your jab, cross and your slip, roll combos together.
- Jump rope (1 minute)
Let’s focus on hand-eye coordination and accuracy in this next round. You’ll need a prop for this one! Grab an empty water bottle that you can easily grip. In this round, the goal is to make sure that your bottle never hits the ground. If it does, drop down and do a push-up (if you want an extra challenge!).
- Cross, catch (10 reps): In your boxer’s stance, hold your empty water bottle in your extended front arm (left for Orthodox and right for Southpaw). Drop the bottle and quickly grab it with your back hand as you throw a cross.
- Jab, catch (10 reps): Switch arms so you’re holding the water bottle with your back arm (right for Orthodox and left for Southpaw). Drop the bottle and quickly grab it with your front hand as you throw a jab.
- Jab, catch, cross, catch (10 reps each side, 3 sets): Challenge your hand-eye coordination as you speed things up by alternating the hand holding the bottle and the hand catching the bottle.
- Cross, cross, catch (3 reps): Throw a double cross, then on your third cross, drop the water bottle and catch it before it falls. Repeat 3 times.
- Jab, jab, catch (3 reps): Switch arms and throw a double jab before catching the water bottle before it falls. Repeat 3 times.
- Jab, catch, cross, catch (10 reps each side)
Once you finish, repeat these exercises another time through. Then, finish this round with 30 seconds of active recovery jump roping.
We’re done with the props and back to the boxing combos. Only, in this round, we’re picking up the pace and adding more punches to challenge your endurance.
- Jab, cross, roll, cross (5 reps)
- Jab, cross, roll, cross, double jab, cross (5 reps): Combine the previous combo with a double jab and a cross at the end.
- Slip, roll (5 reps)
- Jab, cross, roll, cross, double jab, double cross (5 reps): Step back before you throw that last cross!
- Jump rope (30 seconds)
In this next round, we’re adding some uppercuts to your boxing combinations and building more movement into your routine. Practice moving like you would in a real boxing match!
- Lead uppercut, rear uppercut, jab, cross (5 reps): Step back between your uppercuts and your jab cross.
- Jump rope (30 seconds)
- Lead uppercut, rear uppercut, jab, cross, pivot, jab (5 reps): Repeat the combo above only pivot 90 degrees to your right before throwing your last jab. Then face forward before starting again. This is a great way to practice moving in the ring to face your opponent.
- Jump rope (30 seconds)
Things are speeding up in this round as we combine all the punches you’ve mastered so far, plus a new punch: the hook. This last round will get you sweating as you finish out your workout.
- Slip, uppercut, hook, cross (6 reps)
- Jump rope (30 seconds)
- Jab, cross, jab, cross, pivot, pivot (6 reps): Throw a double jab and cross before pivoting 90 degrees and then pivoting back to the front.
Then repeat these combos 3 times:
- Slip, roll (5 reps)
- Jab, cross (15 seconds): Rapid fire your jab, cross combo for 15 seconds straight
- Lead uppercut, rear uppercut (15 seconds): Throw a rapid fire of uppercuts for 15 seconds.
- Lead hook, rear hook (15 seconds): Another rapid-fire round with lead and rear hooks for 15 seconds.
Then, end with 30 seconds of jump rope.
Cool-Down: 2 Minutes
You’ve made it! Now it’s time to take a few minutes to cool down from your workout and bring your heart rate back to normal. In this short cool-down series you’ll repeat a few of the exercises you did in your warm-up and then end with a great shoulder stretch.
- Arm circles (10 reps forward and 10 reps back)
- Over and under arm swings (10 reps)
- Arm swings side to side (10 reps)
- Overhead triceps and shoulder stretch: Extend one arm up overhead and then drop your forearm behind you, resting it between your shoulder blades. Bring your other hand to rest on your elbow to deepen the stretch.
If you need more of a cool-down head to the “Strength Training” workouts in your Liteboxer app where you’ll find one or two-song stretch routines. And don’t forget to hydrate once you finish!