Boxing Gloves

By Airman 1st Class Kerelin Molina [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

To do this workout at home you won't need Billy Blanks or Jillian Michaels.  Leave the DVD player for entertainment.  I've designed the workout to be doable in 15 minutes including warm up and cool down).


Jump Rope

Be sure that you have enough clearance. If the ceiling is too low, then just use the alternative warm up. You can figure out the right jump rop length by making sure the middle touches the floor when you hold both handles in one hand

Heavy Bag

Last Punch Heavy Duty Pro Punching Bag with Chains Empty Red
Amazon Price: $25.00 Buy Now
(price as of Aug 27, 2015)
There's no need to splurge on these for beginners. Start with a basic version, not too extreme. Heavy bags can be tricky to install. You need to have a strong support beam to anchor it too. I recommend getting the hardware installed first, the filling the bad and mounting it. They are called heavy for a reason, so you may need some assistance getting it hung. I used a bunch of old clothes and sheets to fill mine. There are some free standing heavy bags that will work well for most people.

Wrist Wraps

180" Elastic Cotton MMA Handwraps (Pair) - Black
Amazon Price: $5.99 $2.99 Buy Now
(price as of Aug 27, 2015)
It make take a little practice to get used to putting these on. Stop by a local boxing gym and "try" a couple classes. The instructors should help you get set up. These are crucial to help support your wrists as you punch.

Boxing Gloves

Everlast Neoprene Heavy Bag Gloves
Amazon Price: $19.99 $16.12 Buy Now
(price as of Aug 27, 2015)
Boxing Gloves - You can use MMA style, or traditional. Most come in one-size fits all. Again, you don't need to splurge here, just basic pair will suffice. You could even go without them.

Floor Mats

Supermats 6 Pieces of Solid Black Rubber Interlocking Floor Mats Pack (19.5-Inch x 19.5-Inch)
Amazon Price: $69.99 $51.99 Buy Now
(price as of Aug 27, 2015)
If your floor is already pretty forgiving, you may not need these, but if you are working on concrete or wood, a little padding will help

The Basics

Basic Terminology and Techniques.

  • "GUARD"- Always come back to the guard position after any movement. Hold your fists near your cheeks.
  • Boxing Diagram"JAB" - a straight punch. Extend an arm straight out, no higher than your chin, and no lower than your shoulder, keeping it on one side of the body.
  • "CROSS" - a straight punch. This time, as the name indicates, extend your arm across your body. Right to Left or Left To Right. 
  • "HOOK" - a bent punch. Bring your fist chin high. Turn your hand so that your fingers face your mouth. Crook your elbow to make a v-shape, your elbow should be at the same height as your shoulder. Your fore arm should be parallel to the ground from your chin to your shoulder. Lock your self in this position. In stead of using your arms, twist your body using your abdominal muscles. 
  • "UPPERCUT" - a bent punch. Probably the most well known, and most fun punch to throw is the uppercut. It is the vertical version of the hook. Make sure your fingers are toward your face. Hold your arm close to your body with elbow bent. Use you legs to generate the power for the punch., Drop low, than explode up.
  • "PIVOT" - For all punches, it is crucial that you move correctly. Improper movement can cause injury. Use legs and abs to generate almost all mosvement. When twist use your feet to direct your body's direction. The pivot should lead the punch, no tthe other wya around. Pivots come in play with hoks, and crosses. 
  • Bob and Weave"BOB AND WEAVE" - The motion here almost looks like you are making a figure eight with your torso. Squat and duck, imagining a punch is coming to you, then as you come up do so in an arc in the opposite direction that the punch came from. Come back to center,and duck/bob again and weave out to the other side.

Punch Combinations

Different strings of punches, also known as combos, are often assigned a number. Here are a few examples:
1 - Left Jab Left Jab Right Jab Right Jab
2- Left Jab Right Cross Right Jab left Cross
3 - Left Jab, Right Cross, Left Hook
4 - Left Jab, Right Cross, Left Hook, Right Hook
5 - Left Jab, Right Cross, Left Upper cut, Right Upper cut
6 - Left Jab Right Jab, as quick as you can for 30 seconds.

The Routine

  • Warm up: 3 minutes- Turn on your favorite workout song and jump rope until it is over. As an alternative to jump rope if your cieling is too low, set a line on the ground and jump over it. Go forward and backward, side to side, and alternate feet.
  • Stretch: 2 minutes - Simple arm olds, arm circles, and toe touches will suffice.
  • Work the bag: 7 minutes.
    • 30 seconds combo 1
    • 1 minute each for combos 2-4 (3 minutes total)
    • 30 seconds for combo 6
    • Bob and weave for 1 minute
    • Work the bag however you want mixing punches. 2 minutes
  • Hit the floor and do an ab exercise: 2 minutes. I like the plank, but crunches work too.
  • Cool down: 1 minute - cool downs are important. Stretch your arms, back, and abs. Shake out the muscles.

Fifteen minutes, just like that. Grab a drink of water and go at it again as many times as you want.

Modifiers and additions:

If you can't work a heavy bag, see if you can work out with a friend or signficant other. You can buy some pads and alternate being a holder and a thrower. When you hold pads, make sure to offer resistance to the person throwing punches. They can easily overextend their joints if their punches don't hit something solid. Make sure you ask if the level of resistance is good, too much can be uncomfortable as well.

If heavy bags or pads cause too much discomfort, then try shadow boxing. You do all they same movements, just without contact. Keep your motions tight and control. I recommend still wearing gloves because the added weight will add to the workout.

If you get pretty comfortable with the routine and want to add some more elements, use elbows instead of fists or think about Muay Thai inspired kicks:

  • A front kick is when you raise your knee to your belly and push out with your foot. Imagine you have a bag full of groceries and you want to push open a door. It's also called a push kick. 
  • High knees are exactly what they sound like. It's and uppercut with your leg. Bring the knee up sharply to the bottom of the bag.
  • A side kick is when you are turned so that you are at a 45 degree angle to the bag. Pivot with your back foot and bring your front foot to the bag. You want the the top of your foot between your ankle and toes to be flat when it hits the bag.
  • A reverse kick - this is the same as a front kick, but you push backwards.

Boxing can feel aggressive or violent, so I also like to mix in a little Yoga or meditation as part of the cool down to bring myself back to a center.

For even more inspiration, go to a local boxing gym, or a fitness center that offers cardio kickboxing or introductions to MMA type workouts. They can be really fun.