Boxing is a great sport and it provides a way for you to have fun while you get fit and achieve a pile of positive benefits like increased confidence, released endorphins, a valuable self defence skill and a hobby that you can pour your passion into.
Almost everybody wants to get better at boxing but not everybody has access to a gym or even a lot of equipment so in this article we are going to show you solid ways to improve your boxing skills from the comfort of your own home.
If you already have experience or train in a gym and just want to improve while you are at home, that is perfect and if you are starting from scratch, you can still do a lot to become a better fighter in your own household.
You don’t need any equipment to get better but the more that you can get, the more effectively we can train and a lot of the equipment you need to improve is relatively cheap.
List Of Equipment That Will Help You To Improve At Boxing At Home
Light Dumbbells (1kg/2lbs)
Resistance Bands – (Optional)
Heavy Bag (Recommended – Wall Mounted If Possible Or Else Heavy Bag Stand Or Freestanding)
Reflex Or Cobra Bag
If you can get access to a heavy bag in your house, it will make a big difference in how fast you can get better. It doesn’t have to even be that expensive. Wall mounted or ceiling mounted is best, then heavy bag stand(more expensive) and then free standing(Usually move around too much).
Cardio And Conditioning
One of the first things you need for boxing is a basic level of fitness and if you have this already that is great but doing a 5-10km run once to twice per week will help you to build up a solid aerobic base of fitness that will act as a foundation as you improve.
The first thing you will probably think about when considering improving at boxing at home is shadow boxing and that is with good reason. Shadow boxing offers a ton of benefits for fighters and although it can feel awkward at first, it is a toll that is used by all the best fighters to hone their technique and visualize their way to victory.
Shadow boxing is also a great way to build up cardio conditioning, tone the arms and get a good workout in.
If you add in light 1kg dumbbells, the resistance will increase and this will allow you to potentialize your punching power and speed and you can also build lean muscle in the shoulders and get ripped.
Things To Work On In Shadow Boxing
Foot work is the most basic, yet the most important skill you can learn in boxing which is why it is the first thing your boxing teacher will train you to do.
Get into your boxing stance and when you move forward, the lead foot moves first, followed quickly by the rear foot. When you move backwards the roles rear leg moves first, followed by the lead leg.
Always avoid crossing the legs as if you get hit with a punch, you will lose your balance.
I would recommend working 2 minute rounds of shadowboxing and you just focus on your footwork for the first round.
The Jab (1)
The jab is the most important punch in boxing. It helps you to keep the distance between you and your whether you are attacking or defending and it starts almost every combo when you are fighting.
I would focus on just Jabs and double jabs for another 2 minute round, with your footwork included.
The Cross (2)
The cross follows the jab in the 1-2 and it is the punch that often does the damage in a combo. Remember to turn your hip into the shot to generate the maximum power and bring the hand back to the jaw as quickly as you can.
Focus a round on 1-2’s and 1-1-2’s to improve these skills.
The Left Hook (3)
The 1-2 makes your opponent centre their guard and this is where the left hook can find a home on the side of you opponents head and do some damage. Don’t forget to turn your hip and lead leg into the shot to generate the maximum power and practice 1, 1-2 and 1-2-3 for a 2 minute round.
Uppercuts are good for when your opponent is trying to block the middle and side of the head and they leave a gap in the middle for the uppercut to come through and land on the chin.
Add in a 2 minute round of 4 and 5 punch combos including uppercuts for a great cardio round and to improve at combining your punches together with rhythm and cohesion.
Head Movement And Chin Tucked
As you shadowbox, remember to keep your head moving. Imagine your opponent throws a jab and slip to the right, image they throw a cross and slip to the left.
Straight after you slip you can roll from left to right or from right to left to avoid any further punches from your opponent and return to the centre.
Shadow Boxing with weights
Shadow boxing with your light dumbbells can also come with a ton of benefits due to the increased resistance.
Builds The Shoulders And Arm Endurance
The extra weight causes the fibre and muscle in you shoulder and arms to tear and this will come back stronger the next time you do the exercise. Throwing punches with the heavier weight helps to increase arm endurance as your body gets stronger.
Increase Punching Power And Speed
Punching with a slightly heavier weight gets your arms used to throwing punches being weighed down and when you throw punches without the weights the next, your hands will be faster and have more power.
It won’t perform miracles but it will help you reach the speed that your body is capable of or ‘Potentialize’ your speed.
Jumping rope is a lot more important for improving at boxing that you might think especially for beginners. The late Roger Mayweather is even quoted as saying that “Jumping Rope is the key to being a great fighter” and if you look at Floyd Mayweather, Mike Tyson and Muhammed Ali, they were all exceptional with the rope in their hands.
There are a number of benefits to skipping:
Hand And Feet Coordination:
Boxing requires the hands and the feet to be deeply in tune with each other to close gaps and land shots or to land shots and escape effectively. Jumping rope is the perfect way to build cardio while increasing your coordination. Jumping rope is almost exactly like fighting in a cardio format and it is even more important than running for beginners in my opinion.
Builds Arm Endurance:
With jumping rope, your hands will get tired long before your feet so it builds up the endurance in your arms which is so important for boxing. It also helps to build lean, ripped and toned arms and it is great for burning belly fat too.
Circuits will build your anaerobic conditioning for fighting so that when you do go to a gym, you will be able to keep up with the class and not get tired too quickly.
A typical Circuit will be 30 seconds on each station and a total of 6 stations – Take a 1 minute break between rounds and do 3-5 rounds for maximum results.
Station 1: Push Ups
Station 2: Squat Jumps
Station 3: Mountain Climbers
Station 4: Plank
Station 5: Lunges
Station 6: Burpees
If you have a heavy bag available it will certainly help you to improve at home a lot quicker. Actually landing on a target is different than shadow boxing and probably more enjoyable.
The heavy bag allows us to increase punching power, work on heavy combos, increase our footwork and movement to create angle and it is perfect for anaerobic conditioning drills.
Double End Bag
This bag swings around when you hit it so it teaches you how to miss and increases your hand eye coordination, speed and accuracy. If you can have one in your home as well as a heavy bag it’s a big advantage. The double end bag will also swing back at your head so you can learn to slip it from side to side with your head.
Speed bag is perfect for developing hand-eye coordination and building endurance and muscle in the shoulders and arms. It is perfect for developing rhythm, hand speed and it also a lot of fun to hit.
10 Round Home Workout – 3 Minute Rounds With 1 Minute Rest
Rounds 1-2: Jumping Rope
Rounds 3-7: Shadow Boxing, With Dumbbells, Heavy bag, Double End Bag, Speed Bag (Whatever You Have)
Rounds 8 – 10: Conditioning Circuit
Do this 3 times a week and get two 5-10km runs in as well during the week. If you can get two strength training session in as well that would be great.
You can improve a lot in your home but if you can get to a boxing gym to spar and get direction from a coach it will help you to develop as a fighter much quicker and increase your capabilities.