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Beginners: Fight the Fat and Get in Shape with Shadow Boxing

All you need for this workout is your body and space.

By Roger Lockridge

What if I told you that there was a way for you to have a great cardiovascular workout that required no equipment, no gym membership, no personal trainer, and the only things you would need are an open space and your body?

What if I went on to tell you that this style of training also can help you improve overall athletic ability, coordination, and serve as a great stress reliever in a positive way without negatively affecting anyone else? Surely after reading that you would be all in on whatever it is I’m talking about.

All of those benefits come with shadow boxing. Yes, it’s exactly as you think it is. You would be throwing punches in a coordinated manner but hitting nothing but air. No opponent, no target, not even a bag. You would just be punching at an imaginary target which appears to be a silly concept but if you do this correctly, you’ll be sweating and burning calories quickly.

How it Works

If you haven’t had any experience performing any shadow boxing type workouts, this can be a good beginner routine for you to try. You put on music if you like, set a timer, and find some open space. You should be able to completely stretch out your arms and kick forward without hitting anything or anyone. Once you’re prepared, you can warm up by throwing a series of punches with both hands.


Throw 10 jabs straight out in front of you with your strong hand. Normally this is the hand you would write with, swing a bat with, or shoot a basketball with. Once you perform 10 with that hand, do the same with the other. Don’t worry about your foot positioning at this point. Just throw the punches. Rest for around 15-20 seconds.


Once your rest period passes, start throwing cross punches using the same method as with the jabs – 10 with the strong hand followed by 10 with the other. Rest for another 15-20 seconds.

Hooks and Upper Cuts

Now throw 10 hook punches with each hand. Don’t just go through the motion either. You should imagine yourself hitting a bag as hard as you can. Completely follow through with each punch. Rest for 15-20 seconds before doing 10 upper cut punches with both hands. Once you finish those, rest for 1 minute.

Round 2

You’re going to repeat that pattern one more time but this time you should also focus on keeping a tight core. Tighten your abdominal muscles and hold them for as long as you can while doing the punching routine. This addition doesn’t feel like much but if you’re not used to it, you’ll feel the difference. You can also now work on your speed, moving your feet around so you’re not always standing still, and throwing the punches a little faster. Once you finish all the series of punches, rest for 1 minute.


Now that you’ve become familiar with how to punch, we’re going to put together a series of combinations. Each of these combos should be performed 5 times before moving on to the next one. If you feel you must, rest for 10-15 seconds after you perform the 5th of each combo. If you feel you can continue, then go right into the next one.

Combo #1 – Left Jab, Right Cross, Left Jab, Right Cross

Combo #2 – Right Jab, Left Cross, Right Jab, Left Cross

Combo #3 – Left Jab, Right Cross, Left Hook

Combo #4 – Right Jab, Left Cross, Right Hook

Combo #5 – Left Jab, Right Hook, Left Cross, Right Upper Cut

Combo #6 – Right Jab, Left Hook, Right Cross, Left Upper Cut

Once you finish all of those combinations, rest for 1 minute. Repeat the combinations one more time and you can call this workout finished.


Once you feel more comfortable with these combinations, you can come up with more combos to do on your own to work into this routine. Perform this 20 minute workout 3-4 times a week in the morning and you’ll find that it can be a great way to start your day. If you prefer training in the evening, you might find it to double as a good way to relieve stress that might come from the work day.




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