After you have learned all the head and foot movements from our last post, you can try them all out with shadow boxing. When a fighter shadow boxes, he/she moves around and throws various combinations of punches in the air, while looking at their shadow on the nearby wall or a reflection in the mirror.

Benefits of Shadow Boxing

It is an excellent way to get ready before a fight or warm up or cool down after a training session. Shadow boxing enhances boxing techniques and helps the boxer improve his speed, strength, endurance, footwork, and reflexes. Shadow boxing helps the boxer prepare himself mentally for a fight and because of the freestyle nature, shadow boxing allows you to practice without any distractions and injury. If you are shadow boxing with a mirror or a coach standing by, you’ll get instant feedback on how you can make your moves and combinations better. You do however have to create a shadow boxing environment at home to get into a zone.

Why do Shadow Boxing?

The main purpose of shadow boxing is to find the combinations and moves that come naturally to the fighter. Every time you are fighting, you fight naturally and you don’t have to force any of your movements. It brings calmness and natural movement to each boxer who tries it. Any boxer, who shadow boxes, gets more comfortable when he is inside a ring. It enhances muscle memory and fighters remember the right combinations and how to land them successfully. It doesn’t require a lot of effort but it requires you to calm yourself and make calculated moves.

Goal oriented

Shadow boxing is always goal oriented. You need to practice your skills in order to become a good boxer.

  • The first step is to warm up properly.
  • Move around, relax and shake your limbs.
  • Practice your punching combinations and work on the techniques.
  • Focus on a few key points and work your way around them.
  • In the next step, see how your mind and body are coordinated.
  • Try different stances when you are practicing jabs and see which stance feels more natural.

At the end, cool down slowly by rethinking all strategies you learned earlier and then remember them for the next workout.

Execution mode

Shadow boxing techniques should be practiced for at least 30 minutes every day. Professionals shadow box for almost an hour. Shadowboxing counts as a rest workout because you can do it anywhere, while watching a fight on TV, waiting in line for the punching bag, with your friend in the gym or the office parking lot etc. The least amount of time spent on shadow boxing is 15 minutes. Try shadow boxing with a partner but keep a distance so no punches connect. It will help you in keeping your reflexes alert.

With or Without the Gloves?

Shadow boxing with your boxing gloves is good. But the gloves shouldn’t be too heavy. You need to be without any distractions and heavy gloves will do the opposite. The focus of the routine is movement and getting acclimated with how your body moves inside the ring. You shouldn’t even try shadow boxing with weights, not at first at least. The resistance training will not improve your power but it will be very hard on your joints though. So if you are doing it with weights, do it slowly and focus on movement not speed.

Feedback to improve

It is always better to get a second opinion on things especially if you are training as a boxer. Trainers and coaches will be able to guide you in improving your stance and moves according to your skill. Make shadow boxing an integral part of your daily workouts and training sessions. A few minutes of it at the end of your sessions are perfect for cooling down and building muscle memory.

Get more advice and information on boxing in our boxing training section.


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