WHY YOU SHOULD BE SHADOWBOXING
1 – Dynamic Warm Up
When warming up, you’ll want to avoid static stretching. While it’s great for increasing mobility, static stretching as a warmup does not prevent risk of injury and has little to no effect on performance (see here). Dynamic warmups, on the other hand, increase blood flow to the muscles, priming them with oxygen & energy, and decrease your risk of injury.
The best dynamic workout is one that targets the same muscles you’ll be using in the training session. So what better warmup for a boxing workout than shadowboxing? While going through the motions, loosening up, sharpening your technique, developing your mind-muscle connection, you’re priming your shoulders, core, legs and all the muscles you’ll be using in the training session.
Shadowboxing should be your go to warmup for a boxing workout.
2 – Build Core Strength
Core strength is paramount in boxing.
When you train on a heavybag, and to a lesser extent on focus pads, you can hurl your weight behind each punch and know your momentum is going to be caught by the target. This is especially true on a punching bag – where it’s almost impossible to miss! In a boxing match, however, you’re probably going to miss – a lot. Not every punch is going to land and that’s a part of the game.
If you throw your weight behind a punch, and miss, you’re likely going to find yourself off balance and in a vulnerable position, making it easy for your opponent to hit you back. This is why core strength is so important. Not only does your core help with generating speed and power in your punches, it helps to maintain your center of balance.
If you train only on a heavybag or focus pads, then start sparring, you’ll likely feel completely out of your element – losing balance every time a punch doesn’t land clean. This is why shadowboxing is so crucial to boxing training. Without a target to absorb the impact of your punches, shadowboxing allows you to develop your core strength and improve your balance and posture, allowing you to throw with power without putting yourself in a bad position.
Shadowboxing is an excellent way to develop your core strength, learn your center of balance and throw punches effectively while maintaining your posture.
3 – Learn Technique
Shadowboxing is a great way to develop your technique.
With no actual target to hit and no pressure of sparring or evading oncoming punches, shadowboxing gives you a chance to really focus on and refine your movements. It gives you a chance to build and reinforce good habits while correcting bad ones.
You could spend a whole round just throwing jabs, focusing on one specific aspect of the technique, a whole round working on head movement or a round just drilling in one combination. Shadowboxing helps you put it all together and throw combinations with speed, proper technique and fluidity.
For the best benefits, don’t forget to visualise your opponent and practice as if you were in a real boxing match. If you have access to a mirror, use it to gain an outside perspective and observe your technique. Shadowboxing should be your go to exercise for learning and developing technique.
Stuck for ideas and want to learn more combinations to practice in your shadowboxing workouts? Click here
4 – Low Impact
Shadowboxing might be the most low impact method of training.
While training methods like focus pads, heavy bags and sparring are an essential part of your training regime, they have their limits. Hitting a punching bag is a great way to develop technique but prolonged use can cause wear and tear on you’re wrists and shoulders.
Shadowboxing, on the other hand, causes next to no wear and tear. With no actual target hit, shadowboxing can be done everyday with little to no strain on your body and is an excellent way to keep up your technique while recovering from an injury, or as a way to maintain your conditioning on a non-training day.
Want to learn more about safe boxing training? Click here.
5 – No Equipment Needed
One of the best reasons to include shadowboxing in your regime is that it’s minimal – you can do it anywhere!
No equipment, facility or training partner required – there’s no excuse for missing a workout. Travelling and looking for a way to stay in shape and maintain your technique? Stuck in lockdown and unable to get to a gym? Or perhaps you’re a beginner looking to get started in boxing? There’s no excuse for missing a workout.
Very few sports offer the same kind of freedom of training as boxing. Shadowboxing is a workout you can take with you wherever you go and is an excellent way to stay in shape and learn & maintain technique.
Want to learn more about boxing? Click here