It’s the perfect way to warm up your specific muscles before you do your boxing session as you will be moving around. Use your legs, move your head, relax the shoulders, throw some punches, shake your limbs out, repeat! Make sure you breathe and put some purpose to your movements and you should be breaking a sweat.
It’s great to work on technique. It’s great to work on certain offence or defensive moves; you can take your time and check out your form in your mirror. Instead of working on the entire movement, maybe you can pick out one or two key points to focus on. Once that part feels right, you can move on to another detail or try the movement in its entirety. Repetition is important, but only after you know for sure that you’re practising the right thing. Practice makes permanent, so make sure you’re doing it right or you will quickly pick up bad habits. This is where having a coach helps.
Most pro fighters use shadowboxing for game plans. It’s perfect for working on key strategic moments before a fight. Maybe you’re boxing an opponent who always drops his lead hand after throwing a punch; if you know this, you can work on a game plan of countering the jab with an overhand right. Or, if you’re fighting a southpaw, you can visualize their stance in front of you while you are moving around shadow boxing.
Every now and then after a hard session, we can use shadow boxing as a warm down. Move slowly, relax and breathe; reflect on the session that you just have just done. Think about different techniques or movement strategies that could have helped you and work on them. You’ve already done the hard work for the day. Help remove all the lactic acid out of your body while you are shaking it out, burning the last few calories, keeping the sweat coming out of your body before you shower and get weighed.
Watch this video where I give you a brief explanation on shadow boxing:
After retiring from boxing I now teach people how to teach boxing with the Box ‘N Burn Academy.
FOOTWORK is the best form of defence. The reason is that if you’re not there to be hit, how can they hit you?
Other defences include slipping, rolling, leaning back, blocking, and parrying. They can all be great, but with these, your feet are still in range so there’s a chance you can still get caught. Also, if you do get hit while you’re moving away from a shot then you will take the sting out of it.
Footwork gets you in range to get your shots off and allows you to move out of range and away from danger, setting you up for power punches. Good footwork equals good balance, which means you can have better speed and accuracy. This allows you to punch harder.
If you look at every great fighter past and present, they have all had impressive footwork – even if you look at the likes of Mike Tyson. To the uneducated eye he can look like he is flat-footed and be plodding forward, but he had some of the fastest feet ever in the heavyweight division. The way he could cut his opponents down and pivot to get that famous punch power in his shots is some of the best footwork you will ever see.
You don’t really think of footwork in the heavyweight division but all the great champions have all had great footwork, the likes of Ali, Lennox Lewis, Klitschko and now Anthony Joshua’s footwork is fantastic.
This video I made shows some of the common mistakes we see with footwork and how to fix them:
From a fitness point of view, moving your feet after you throw your punches really helps increase the calorie burn and give whoever you are teaching a much better work out. We teach you all this and more at the Box ’N Burn academy where we certify trainers on how to teach boxing.
RESEARCH indicates a punch starts from force development in the lower body. The lower-body needs to be strong to transfer this energy to the hips, through the core and to the fist to deliver forceful punches. This is what we call the kinetic chain.
In our data analysis, we discovered strong relationships between jump height and medicine ball throw distance. This suggests the higher you can jump, the harder you can punch.
Additionally, the ability to produce force in the lower-body is important to run at high speeds during your conditioning. The faster you can run, the more strain you can put your muscular and cardiovascular system to improve fitness.
One of the main moves to develop lower-body strength and speed is THE ROMANIAN DEADLIFT!
Benefits of the Romanian Deadlift
Develops the posterior chain, this is important to improve function of glutes and hamstrings, as well as strengthening the lower back and core. This is important for athletes as the posterior chain is not strengthened through traditional boxing methods, therefore the Romanian deadlift can also reduce the likelihood of injury.
Movement assessments show that boxers are quad-dominant athletes and find it difficult to hinge at the hips, this means that the glutes can become under-active. The Romanian deadlift is a great tool to learn the hip-hinge pattern.
Promotes a forceful hip extension, which important transferring force generated from floor to the hips and through to the core.
Develops core strength, this is important for rotational velocity and effective mass.
A large eccentric component to the lift will strengthen hamstrings and glutes, this develops an effective stretch shortening cycle whilst reducing the likelihood of injury.