train like a boxer

Boxing is one of the hottest fitness trends on the planet. As we continue to work out from unconventional gym settings, more people are turning to boxing as it combines cardio, strength, power, and speed and can be done from pretty much anywhere and with minimal to no equipment. We enlisted fighter extraordinaire Joe Buckner, founder of Beautifully Savage Boxing in Fort Collins, Colorado to share his tips for sharpening your shadow boxing skills so you can make the most of each round and be ready to get in the (virtual) ring with confidence.

 

Boxer Stance

  • Stand with both feet shoulder-width apart with your arms by your side.

  • Right-handed fighters should pivot on your left foot and take a step back with your right foot; left-handed fighters should pivot on your right foot and take a step back with your left foot. Your dominant foot should be the one closest to the wall behind you; your non-dominant foot should be the one in front of you.

  • Line up your front toe and rear heel with feet pointed at 2 o’clock for right-handed fighters and 10 o’clock for left-handed fighters.

  • Keep the weight of your rear foot on the ball of the foot with your heel off the ground; this will allow you to move and pivot within your boxer stance more quickly and efficiently. Be sure to keep soft knees (don’t stand up tall like Woody from Toy Story!).

  • Now let’s add in your arms: Bend both arms at the elbows, bring your hands up to your face, and make a fist with both hands. You should be able to put your thumbs on your cheekbones and have your chin tucked down as if you’re holding a tennis ball between your chin and chest.

  • From this stance, your lead hand is the one in front of your body and your rear hand –your power hand – is the one in back.

  • Now you’re ready to rock!

There are 6 basic punches in boxing that all fighters use and that you can use in shadow boxing workouts.

 

Straight Punches

  • Commonly referred to as “1” and “2,” or “Jab” and “Cross” respectively.

  • These punches are thrown straight from your chin directly to your opponent’s face. They should be thrown at eye level and with some quickness.

  • The Jab is a straight lead hand punch beginning at your chin and shooting out towards your opponent’s face. Extend your arm out until your front cheekbone is behind your front shoulder. Turn your front knuckles over like you’re pouring out a glass of water. Your rear hand should stay in a fist at your chin (like you’re holding a telephone to your ear) to protect your face.

  • The Cross is a straight rear hand punch starting from your backhand. Extend that arm out until your rear cheekbone is behind your rear shoulder and your knuckle is turned out in front of you. Pivot on your back foot like you are squashing a bug so as to get full rotation in your hip, range of motion, and power.

  • Retract your hands back to your face after throwing each punch instead of sticking the punch out in front of you; this will not only keep your face protected but allow you to get back on the offensive and ready to throw more punches.

 

Hooks

  • Commonly referred to as “3” and “4,” or “Front Hook” and “Back Hook” respectively.

  • Hooks are power shots. They allow you to let out a little aggression!

  • Your elbow should be in an “L” shape or 90 degree angle when you throw each hook while your opposite hand stays in a fist by your chin (still holding that phone to your ear).

  • When throwing hooks be sure to pivot on the foot that you are punching with – this is where all of your punching power comes from. Rotate through your core and pull your hips and shoulders as you throw the hook.

  • Remember to always punch THROUGH the target whether it’s a bag or the air!

 

Uppercuts

  • Commonly referred to as “5” and “6,” or “Front Uppercut” and “Back Uppercut” respectively.

  • If you can open and close a drawer, you can throw an uppercut. The motion from elbow to hand is very similar!

  • When throwing an uppercut, you are punching up the middle of your opponent towards their chin. Your fist should finish at your opponent’s face level while your opposite hand remains in a fist by your opposite chin protecting your face (still holding that phone to your ear). Imagine pushing your hip up to the ceiling and pivoting on the foot that you are punching with. Engage your core and lower body in order to generate power.

 

Now that you have the punches locked in, a few other tips to keep in mind:

  • Exhale with every punch. Stay in control of your breathing.

  • Keep your shoulders relaxed while in your boxer stance and when throwing punches. Don’t tense up!

  • Keep your hands loose in a fist until the point of impact and THEN make a tight fist. This will prevent your hands from cramping.

  • If at any point you get confused, just punch like crazy and have fun with it!

 

Joe Buckner is an entrepreneur and founder of Beautifully Savage Boxing. To see more from Joe, follow him on Instagram: @mrjoebuckner

 

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