Friday’s Fitness Inspiration: A Full Body Boxing Burner
by guest blogger, Robyn from happiesbetter
Have you ever stopped to wonder what the deal is with curling up our fingers and punching something? Why does that release of our power and muscle tension feel so gratifying?
The energy transfer that happens when we aim for something, strike, and retract sends messages to our brain that generate those satisfying feelings. Plainly speaking, hitting and kicking (nonviolently, of course) feels awesome!
This is why I regularly turn to boxing, either in the air or on a bag, when I need to destress and get some of that gratification from my workout. I also teach it in my martial arts infused fitness classes, and usually incorporate boxing drills into my personal trainings.
Boxing and kickboxing moves are amazing for core power and strength. Combining the basic moves into simple combinations makes for a heart pumping, fat burning, full body training session. All it takes is seven or eight good songs and some gloves. Suddenly, we are working out like Rocky Balboa: chin down and hands up!
How exactly are we getting a full body workout? Every jab, cross, hook, and uppercut is combining power from your legs, moving up through your hips, and extending all the way out through your fingers. The ability to speed up punches or find more power is never going to depend just on your arm strength; that comes from down low.
The key to maximizing your full body results is this: engage your core as you execute each punch, every kick, and even as you jump, duck, and shuffle. Engaging your core just means tightening the muscles up and down the middle portion of your body. It takes practice and lots of reminders when you’re just getting started, but muscles have amazing memory and are trainable.
Now, grab some gloves, get your music ready, and find some space where you can punch, jump, and kick in all directions. If you have access to a heavy bag or a standing bag, great; if not, you don’t need one to get all of the benefits of this 20 minute Boxing Burner:
Shadowbox Warmup: 2 Minutes
Get light on your feet. Bounce a bit, and throw some easy punches, duck, switch feet, loosen up your shoulders and hips, throw some low and light kicks. You’re boxing now, so get into character!
Straight Punches: 2 Minutes
Step out to feet slightly wider than shoulder width apart, and lower into a half squat keeping your chest proud. Punch straight forward right, then left, and continue alternating. Visualize a target in front of you. You’re aiming toward the height of your own gut.
Jumprope: 1 Minute
This is pretend jump roping. Unless you have a real jumprope and prefer it. Fake jumprope is great because you focus on your feet and keeping the core engaged. Jump it side to side, or jump from one foot to the other. Hold your hands out as if you’re holding a real jumprope. Play around. There are no jumprope rules!
Jab Cross (R): 1 Minute
Right foot is forward and the right punch goes first (jab), left punch come across your body. Repeat this in a 1, 2 count. Remember to keep your hips loose and let the hips help you power the punches. Abs are tights!
Shadowbox: 90 Seconds
Same as the warmup, but pick up the intensity a bit.
Jab Cross (L): 1 Minute
Put that left foot forward this time.
Jump Squats: 1 Minute
Feet shoulder width apart, deep squat, push up through your toes and come down with a SOFT landing. Repeat for 1 minute.
Shadowbox: 90 Seconds
You’ve Got This!
Straight Uppercuts: 2 Minutes
Step out to feet slightly wider than shoulder width apart, and lower into your half squat keeping your chest proud. The uppercut comes up from your hip, fist up. Visualize your target, which is at the height of your own chin. Keep your abdomen engaged.
Knee Ups: 30 Seconds
This can be done with a bounce or without. Alternate bringing your knees up toward your waist. As you get comfortable, start to lean back as the knee comes up and push your knee out towards your imaginary target.
Front Kicks: 1 Minute
Feet shoulder width apart. Lift up the right knee, extend your leg and reach out with the ball of your foot (curl your toes back). Repeat on the left side and continue alternating.
Combinations: 2 Minutes
Combine your jab, cross, and uppercut in a 1, 2, 3 count (Right, Left, Right). Switch sides. Remember that your jab side is whatever foot is in front.
Freestyle: 3 Minutes
Get lost in the music. Throw it all out there…jabs, cross punches, uppercuts, kicks, duck away, switch your feet, shadowbox. Get it done and MAKE IT FUN!
Speed Punches: 30 Seconds
Finish strong with the speedbag, either up high or down low.
Bonus Boxer’s Handstand
I hope you’re willing to give it a try. Start slow. Reverse your blood flow.
Robyn Jennings is the Founder of www.happiesbetter.com