My days of competitive boxing and martial arts are sadly behind me but that doesn’t mean I’ve stopped the workouts. I can’t even begin to count the number of times I’ve heard women complain about the fact that their arms jiggle or that they hate the fat on their back and how they want to change this.
One of the best workouts for your core, arms, and back is shadowboxing. On those days that I don’t want to pound away at my knuckles on a heavy bag I will shadow box instead. The theory behind shadow boxing was that standing at a heavy bag and working on hooks and uppercuts doesn’t teach you much about staying light on your feet and continual movement.
Shadow boxing simply requires a little room to move about and a light. Shadow boxing is incredibly straightforward, you box your shadow. It sounds rather ridiculous...but it’s a killer workout. Stand so that you can see your shadow on a nearby wall and simply work on your punches-no gloves required.
First off stand with your right leg in front and perform a series of 10 jabs with your left arm. Pull your core in and rotate with only your hips as you jab. Jab straight out in front of you and concentrate on hitting your shadow’s face. Then switch legs and do 10 jabs with your right arm.
Next are crosses. Its the same theory behind jabs only instead of punching straight in front you punch diagonally instead. So instead of going for the face region concentrate on the eye opposite you. Make sure to pivot with only your hips while remaining on the balls of your feet. Do 10 on each side.
Hurray uppercuts! My favorite. Uppercuts are usually thrown to hit under the jaw or a body shot-think the ribs here. With your right foot forward keep your right hand by your face and lower your left fist down then maintaining a 90 degree angle in the elbow aim for your shadow’s rib cage always pivoting with your hips and keeping a strong core.
Lastly are hooks. Hooks are a tool which can be placed on the side of the head or on the body. They are quite similar to uppercuts except that the punch is thrown from the side. In the picture above, the last punch is a hook. To practice you can place your left hand in front of your face and practice "hooking" it with your right fist.
After you have the basics down you can concentrate on doing a proper “round.” Set your timer for a minute and mix up all of the different punches while moving. Remember to keep yourself up on the balls of your feet, there’s a good reason you see boxers and martial artists jumping rope all the time.