How to Shadow box like a champ

Shadow boxing is a foundational boxing skill. It allows boxers to perfect their technique while also psychologically preparing for a training session or bout.

For non-boxers, shadow boxing can be a terrific warm-up for a training session or even a workout in itself – you’ll be amazed at how quickly it gets the heart pumping. This low-impact workout can be done almost anyplace, all you need is some room to punch.

How to shadow box

Get into a correct boxing stance with your hands raised to prepare for a shadow boxing workout. You don't have to wear boxing gloves, but if you're going from a shadow-boxing session to light bag work, you might want to put on some hand wraps.

Stay focused

The most common error that top coaches observe in boxers' shadow-boxing training is that they simply go through the motions. Shadow boxing is a crucial element of fighter development since it is the only time one gets to polish their technique. Boxers who happen to only go through the motions are missing out on the opportunity to improve as fighters. As a result, the first advice for good shadow boxing is to remain focused throughout the entirety of the session.

Mirror Use

You won't actually be sparring with a shadow on a wall when you're shadow boxing, despite the name. Most coaches too dislike using mirrors for shadow-boxing. They want their boxers to feel, not just see, a proper punch being thrown. On the other hand, they'll occasionally have their beginner boxers shadow box in front of a mirror to assist them in perfecting their technique.

Visualize being in the ring fighting another boxer

Even if you aren't utilizing a mirror, you should be mentally sparring with an opponent. Consider how far away they are from you. How are they positioned? What is their head's height? Most elite trainers have their boxers visualize an opponent in the middle of the ring in front of them, but this practice must be vivid and cognitive focus is required. To make sure your head is in the game, visualize your opponent to the finest details, what color are their gloves? the color on the shorts? stay focused and shadow box using your imagination, checking your opponent’s punches, blocking and counter punching, it's your imagination, you can't lose. 

Avoid throwing full punches

When shadow boxing, you don't want to throw full swings. When throwing straight punches, go hard but don't extend your arm all the way. You don’t want to unnecessarily injure your arm without even stepping into the ring.

We’ve set you up with the basic dos and don’ts of shadow boxing and now we’re going to leave you with a workout so you can get right into it.

The workout

All you need is some space, a set of trainers (preferably boxing shoes) and a timer to get going.

The warm up

  • jogging (60 sec.)
  • Pushups (30 sec.)
  • Jumping Jacks (60 sec.) This will aid in loosening the arm muscles when it's time to box.
  • Mountain Climbers (30 sec.)
  • Lunges (30 sec.)
  • Jump Squats (30 sec.) Be explosive!
  • Take a break (30 sec.)
  • Now repeat once more but this time put your back into it.

The Rounds

  • Shadow box: Stay light on your feet and move continually throwing jabs, crosses, hooks, and upper cuts, as well as defensive rolls and slips – Punch nonstop for a period of 2 minutes.
  • Run at 80-90 percent of your maximum effort. You should be gasping for air; your opponent is right behind you – Two minutes of running
  • Shadow box: This time, you'll be executing four-punch combinations, turning after each one, moving quickly, and concentrating on your feet. Now is the moment to channel your inner Balboa and show off your greatest skills – Two minutes of showboating
  • Rest: For 60 seconds
  • Repeat: For another couple of rounds – Make your punches even cleaner and quicker than they were in Round 1. By the end of Round 3, you should feel like you've just fought Fury for eight rounds!

After completing a few rounds, ideally a minimum of 3, perform a light stretch to cooldown.

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