This boxing workout has been designed to increase punching power and fitness conditioning. In addition, because the exercises are arranged into a circuit, the objective of which is to maintain a high output, it can improve muscular endurance and aerobic stamina.
In short, the workout aims to promote the main components of fitness involved in boxing. Those components include cardio, strength, power, and muscular endurance.
And because the circuit features boxing-specific stations, you can also develop your skillset while improving your strength and conditioning.
Related: Learn How to Improve Your Boxing Fitness
Boxing strength and conditioning workout
Before starting the workout it’s important to complete a 5- to 10-minute progressive intensity warm-up. A standard boxing warm-up involves skipping and a few shadowboxing rounds. However, as there are resistance exercises in the workout, you should also include these in your warm-up.
The circuit is comprised of six stations which are a mix of cardio, bodyweight, and resistance exercises. Organised into three levels – beginner, intermediate, advanced and pro – you are to spend one minute on each station before transitioning.
Depending on the level you select, you will complete either 4, 6, or 8 laps of the circuit. Take a minute break after one full lap of the circuit.
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Boxing workout key points
Progress through the 5 minute warm up below. If this isn’t long enough, complete two laps. (Need more warm-up ideas?)
Select the level most suited to your current fitness ability. Remember, if you start off at the beginner level, you can always progress up to pro as your fitness improves.
On your boxing training timer, set a one-minute countdown followed by a 5-second interval. The interval provides you time to transition between stations. This ensures that you spend the full round on the exercise.
Complete the number of laps scheduled for your level. Beginner = 4 laps. Intermediate = 6 laps. Advanced = 8 laps. Pro = 10 laps.
Use the session plan to track and monitor your progression through the workout.
5 minute warm up
1min skipping → 30 secs shadowboxing → 30 secs press-ups → 1min skipping → 30 secs burpees → 30 secs kettlebell swings → 1min skipping → Start the boxing strength and conditioning workout!
Boxing strength and conditioning workout exercises
This section takes a closer look at the exercises selected for this boxing strength and conditioning workout. I’ve briefly outlined the muscle groups and components of fitness each exercise engages.
Furthermore, I’ve justified the relevance of the exercise and related it to the aims of the workout.
Skipping is synonymous with boxing and it’s been used by boxers for centuries to improve aerobic conditioning and muscle endurance. But as well as being one of the best cardio exercises (Bruce Lee said 10 minutes of skipping was equivalent to 30 minutes of running), skipping also improves agility, balance, and coordination – all desirable boxing attributes. And if you want to turn up the tempo, throw in some double unders.
Burpee with a press-up
Burpees are a brilliant bodyweight exercise for promoting functional fitness. They involve a broad range of muscle groups many of which are involved in boxing – such as the quads, core, and deltoids. By adding a press-up (or the explosive ‘clap hand’ variation if you can do them), this exercise can also increase punching power and endurance.
The swing is an explosive power-strength exercise that engages all the muscles of the posterior chain (hamstrings, glutes, erector spinae, latissimus dorsi, trapezius). Though comparatively simplistic, kettlebell swings have been shown to be an effective ‘drill’ for enhancing fitness conditioning. Also, as with most functional exercises, you can turn up the intensity of your swings by propelling the bell high above your head.
Shadowboxing with weights
The relevance of this exercise speaks for itself. Shadowboxing with weights enables you to polish your punching technique while also increasing muscular endurance in the shoulders and forearms. Typically performed with dumbbells, you can also use resistance bands when shadowboxing.
Barbell clean and press
Clean and pressing an Olympic barbell is an efficient way to build strength in all the major muscle groups. But because it’s such a monstrous movement, the clean and press also stimulates the cardiovascular system. Not to over exaggerate, but a workout with the aim of improving strength and conditioning could just feature this one exercise.
No boxing workout would be complete without a punching bag station. This affords you the opportunity to develop both your punching power and technical application. And, because you’ll be tired and worn out from the previous five exercises, you will be able to work on your boxing discipline. That is, forcing yourself to keep your guard up and remain active while fighting fatigue.
Related: Best rated Boxing Bag for the home gym
Boxing workout hints and tips
There’s a lot of exercise in this workout. Many of the stations involve functional whole-body movements. Trying to maintain constantly high output is not sustainable. Unless you’re super-fit, soon you’ll quickly succumb to fatigue which will negatively affect your performance for the remainder of the circuit. It’s best to treat this workout as you would a boxing bout – that is, mostly moderate intensity interspersed with high-intensity bursts.
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The exercises are subject to change. For example, if you don’t have access to a kettlebell, you can do dumbbell swings instead. Novices might not yet be able to perform a complex movement such as the clean and press. That’s not a problem. Replace with either hang cleans or a functional exercise that you can competently perform. (Here’s a list of compound exercises.)
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Don’t forget to invite some friends along! As Watson points out, ‘Circuit training is extremely adaptable and with efficient organisation large numbers of individuals can be accommodated with minimal space and equipment,’ (Physical Fitness & Athletic Performance). At your boxing gym (or home gym if you’ve got the kit), you could recruit a squad of pugilists to complete the circuit with. If you need to change the exercises or reduce/increase the number of stations, don’t hesitate to do so.
Related: Brush up on your pugilism with this Complete Guide to Boxing
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