Home boxing workouts are a great addition to any overall fitness plan. They add variety, and also give you a good cardio workout as well as strength training. You will also use some muscles that you haven’t used in a while, and you will be working your entire body.
It will also improve your self defense by improving your striking. If you want to improve your punching power, it is just a matter of practice and timing, and working these striking muscles specifically.
ESPN ranked boxing the toughest sport of all in a recent report. It considered such categories as:
I agree 100% with this ranking. As a freshman at West Point, I took a semester of boxing. I was 18 at the time and in peak shape (or at least I thought). At the end of the course we had three graded bouts, where we fought (3) 3-minute rounds. Those fights forever changed my opinion of the sport of boxing.
At the end of each bout, I had complete rubber legs walking down the 3 steps out of the ring. It was truly brutal. I was so exhausted near the end of the fights that it was hard to throw a jab. I fully understood why professional fighters do so much clinching near the middle and end of fights.
I had a completely new appreciation for these heavyweight fighters who go (15) 3-minute rounds…unimaginable. I was completely smoked after 3 rounds, so I can’t even imagine going 15 rounds (and I was in pretty stout shape).
The physical conditioning of these athletes is scary, and I would not have had this appreciation but for my semester of boxing.
Anyway, you don’t have to be a heavyweight champion to experience effective home boxing workouts. Even in the comfort of your own home you can get a taste of what Mike Tyson felt in Round 12. We’ll cover some of the boxing essentials:
- Jumping Rope (with the Boxer’s shuffle)
- Basic Form – Boxing Stance
- Jabs and Combinations
- Shadow Boxing
- Heavy Bag work
Prior to any workout, you want to do some light cardio and dynamic stretching to prepare your muscles.
- 2 minutes light cardio – jog in place doing the boxer’s shuffle, and also doing some wrist stretches
- 2 minutes dynamic stretching to loosen the muscles
I also recommend doing some elbow rotations to really prepare your elbows to snap those punches in your home boxing workouts. I do these in my warm-up, but for a demo I will defer to the greatest fighter of all time, Russian great Fedor Emelianenko (I think he does them just a smidge better than me). It’s a continuous loop, so you only need to watch the first 30 seconds.
Basic Boxing Stance
This is the basic stance for a right-handed (orthodox) boxer when performing your home boxing workouts. Left-handed (southpaw) boxers would mirror this stance.
- Stand with feet slightly wider than shoulder width apart, with your legs slightly bent.
- Your lead foot points slightly to the right of your target (30 degrees), rear foot points more away to the right of your target (75 degrees).
- Your upper body should face in the direction of your lead foot, slightly to the right of your target. This minimizes the exposure of the upper body to your opponent, and minimizes your target area.
- Your left hand should be up in front of your left cheek, and your right hand just off your chin.
- Keep your elbows close to your body, with your palms facing you. Make a fist with each hand, but do not clench your fists. Keep them relaxed.
- Stay on the balls of your feet at all times.
Jabs and Combinations
The jab is the most important punch in boxing. Throwing a lot of jabs keeps your opponent off rhythm, and keeps him or her busy on defense versus offense. This goes for whether you are in a boxing ring or defending yourself in a street fight.
Throwing your Jab:
- From your boxing stance, drive off your back foot but do not step forward. You just want your momentum moving at the target.
- Throw jab with your left arm rotating your fist as you punch the target until your palm is facing down at impact.
- As you punch, you want to lift your left shoulder so it protects the left side of your face against your opponent’s punch. Keep your right hand “glued” to the right side of your face for protection.
- Anytime you throw a punch, you open yourself up to a counterstrike. Your left shoulder and right fist are your protection.
- Recoil your fist to the start position on the same line that you threw the punch
This is a combination that I learned while boxing at West Point. I am no Muhammed Ali, but this combo really is super effective, and great for your home boxing workouts or protecting yourself in your local watering hole.
- Throw your left jab and then recoil the punch to the start position so that your left hand is protecting your face.
- Then take a step forward with your left foot as you unload your straight right. You can throw the right to your opponent’s face, or to the body. I was taught this combo by throwing to the body (not the head) because the next punch (left hook) goes to the head.
- Shift all of your weight to your left foot while throwing the straight right.
- As soon as your straight right lands, pivot on your lead foot to the right and rotate your body to the right to throw a left hook to the head.
- The key to the hook is the torque rotation of your body. You don’t want to throw the hook with your arm power only, but instead use the rotation of your legs and torso to generate the power.
- Left Jab – Straight Right – Left Hook
Home Boxing Workout
Putting it all together to do great 20 to 25 minute home boxing workouts:
- Warm-up – couple minutes of light cardio and dynamic stretching
- Boxer’s Jump rope – 5 minutes of jumping rope doing the Boxer’s shuffle
- Shadow Boxing – 5 minutes of shadow boxing using great footwork, always moving. Be careful snapping your punches without a resistance target (punching bag). It puts strain on your elbows. Practice good form with your stance and punches.
- Bag Work – 10 minutes of heavy punching bag work throwing jabs, combos, and variations. Always keep moving, and focus on dynamic foot work.
- Push-ups – 2 sets of 20 reps of push-ups
- Rocky Crunches – 2 set of 20 reps of “Rocky” crunches (crunches with twist)
Heavy Punching Bag
If you have an interest in a punching bag but don’t yet have one, they are really not difficult to install. You just need a garage (or room in your home) with 2×4 studs above the ceiling (pretty standard). You definitely will want to have a professional construction contractor confirm that your ceiling studs can support the load of the heavy bag if you are not sure, and help you with installation should you have any questions or concerns.
Installing a heavy bag for your home boxing workouts:
- Find the best location with a 6′ to 10′ radius around the desired bag location.
- Take a stud finder to the ceiling and mark the edges of the 2×4 stud in the attic where you want to hang the bag.
- Take a box cutter and cut the drywall (line stud edges out first with pencil) to the dimensions of the anchor plate in your bag kit. This will be done directly under the 2×4 stud, which you should see as soon as you cut the drywall. Your anchor plate is what screws into the stud and your bag will hang from.
- Screw the anchor plate into the stud, and make sure you do this correctly. It’s not difficult, you just want to make sure that you are really torqueing those screws at the end to make sure the anchor plate screws into the stud as solid as a rock.
- Adjust the chain to the correct length so your jab connects to the center of the bag (vertically).
- Get a buddy to help you lift and hang the bag.
I ordered a 100 # UFC bag because I like the UFC. I have been very happy with this heavy bag. But you can also order bags and gloves from Everlast…timeless quality.
I have Everlast gloves and they are awesome. They will ship these items and have them on your door step within a few days, and they will definitely add some flavor to your home boxing workouts.