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Do you want to burn fat, develop your endurance, shape your entire body and boost your cardio? Well, boxing for exercise provides all of these benefits. And, it is a gratifying activity.
However, it is not about throwing punches here and there or hitting the bag without a brain. This type of training is far more than that. It requires some basic knowledge, practice and existing fitness.
To help you, I created this boxing workout for beginners guide from which you will learn the basics so you will not commit the mistakes I did some years ago.
Boxing techniques for beginners – Learn boxing basics
1. Boxing Stance
The first you have to learn is the proper stance that provides stability, flexibility, balance for your body. Plus, it helps to throw punches and find the range. Using your feet the right way is essential for both defense and offense purposes.
If you are right-handed, you will have the Orthodox stance when you left feet is ahead. If you are left-handed, your right feet is going to be in front of you.
Since, it is not easy to write how to get the proper stance, watch the following tutorial in which a professional fighter will teach you. Boxing stance for beginners step by step guide.
A few typical mistakes to avoid.
- Do not lean forward or backward too much.
- Center your weight to keep your balance and mobility.
- Bent your knees slightly.
- Do not plant your feet, make your lower and upper body relaxed allowing you to move quickly to all ranges.
- Lift your shoulders a bit and keep your chin at your chest.
Practice! If you feel your lower body obey when you want to step away, your legs are relaxed enough which will be necessary for the footwork.
Beginners usually make the mistake that they stand at the same place during a workout. Have you ever seen a boxer doing that in the ring? Of course, not.
Footwork is critical for offense and defense. For example, you can step away from a particular punch, or you can step into a position from which you can target the opponent better.
It is also important to burn more calories since your lower body is activated. Hence, it boosts your heart rate.
The footwork seems to be an easy task to learn, but actually, it is pretty hard, since you have to keep the proper boxing stance all the time. And, it is easy to forget about it. In most of the cases the excellent footwork what makes a boxer a champion not the power of his punches.
To sum up, it requires a lot of practice since there are a lot of mistakes you can make.
From the following boxing training techniques video, you can learn what watch out for.
How to practice?
The best two ways are shadow boxing and jump rope. With the help of the jump rope, you can strengthen your legs and learn the rhythm. While a shadow workout is an excellent opportunity to teach your body to “dance.” (I have read about fighters who went dancing lessons for better footwork.)
From the following video, you can learn a basic boxing moves and techniques to start.
3. Basic Punches
Throwing punches seems to be the most natural part of a boxing training program for beginners, but they are after stance and footwork. Without, the previous two fundamentals you cannot throw proper punches and have a practice that will serve your needs.
Someone who has never hit the heavy bag before, or had boxing exercises, usually thinks that punches are easy to throw. Yes, in the movies but in reality they are very complex movements that require your entire body not just the power of your arms.
Actually, throwing punches with the power of your arms is the worst you can do. If your stance and footwork are right, the energy comes from your entire body (starting from your feet). Hence, it is going to be more powerful as if you were using the strength of your arms.
What are are the basic punches?
- Left and right hooks
- Left and right uppercuts
These are the hits from which all combos built up aside from the defense hand moves.
The jab is the easiest to learn, but it is also the most important one that you are going to use the most. And maybe crosses and hooks are the most popular since they are the easiest to launch powerful hits. But, in most of the cases, beginners do them poorly.
The following boxing tutorial will help you to learn the proper techniques.
What about combos?
Well, until you are not so good at the elemental punches, it is good for nothing to perform combos.
If you feel your jabs, crosses and hooks are OK, which are maybe the easiest to learn, you can try simple boxing combination drills like:
- jab – cross
- jab – jab – cross
- jab – right hook
- jab – cross – left hook
Hitting a heavy punching bag or just performing shadow boxing requires good condition even if they seem to be comfortable.
The most important is to develop your cardio. Running and jump roping are two boxing training exercises for that. I do both high-intensity interval training and regular, steady workouts as well. But, such exercises like high knees, burpees, plyometric jumps, etc. are also beneficial.
The next is strength training. You do not need to lift weights, for that bodyweight exercises will do. They are perfect to get stronger in a natural way without ruining your footwork, punches, stance, etc.
Why did I say that? I tested on myself. When I lifted weights for a period, my footwork became much worse. It also slowed me down and with that the power of my punches.
The best boxing exercises for beginners are the various push-ups, squats, pull ups/chin ups.
To sum up
These are the boxing skills for beginners you have to learn before working out. There are more such as defense skills, but at the beginning, I think they are enough to start boxing workouts.
Practice as much as you can what you have learned above. The more natural the moves and punches come, the more enjoyable and efficient your training will be.
Beginners guide to boxing training
Now, you are over the basics, how to start?
Well, getting a heavy punching and hit it is very tempting, but I say wait a little a bit.
From my experience and my friends when we get a bag, we forget the basics. I mean, the proper footwork, punches, stance, everything. We plant our feet in front of the punching bag and hit it without any purpose with power. Yes, it is cool, but that is not a boxing workout.
So, I recommend to do shadow workouts for a period, not just to refine the boxing drills and techniques, but get so familiar with “dancing” that you may not stick to the ground behind the heavy bag. Plus, it is good for conditioning as well because the bag work will be much harder.
Anyway, I recommend always to have shadow boxing in your plan.
Get ready for heavy bag workouts
Getting a bag
If you have not got a punching bag yet, you need to get one which is suitable for you. There are two types, freestanding and hanging. Both have their pros and cons, but I believe hanging ones are more durable and provide better training experience. Although, they are more difficult to install.
The rule of thumb when buying a bag is to get one which is half of your weight. That size will stand more powerful punches, develops your punching power, but swings enough to practice punches, counter attacks, blocking, footwork (pivot, slipping).
I have written a detailed guide about how to buy a heavy punching bag here.
You can also have a speed bag which helps to develop your hand-eye coordination and speed of your punches, but it is not a must.
Related: How to set up a boxing gym at home.
Other equipment for safe boxing bag workouts
Never hit the bag with bare hands since you can suffer severe injuries besides scratches. You must use both hand wraps and boxing gloves.
Gloves alone are not enough. Wraps protect your entire hand from direct impact, keeps your wrists straight, etc. You can learn how to wrap your hands here and how to choose the right heavy bag gloves here.
Getting the maximum from your punching bag workout
We were talking about a typical mistake of just standing behind the bag and hitting it with no brain. Here is my advice on how to avoid that.
Imagine that the bag is a real opponent and fight with it as if you were in the ring (or as if you were sparring with someone)
Would you stand in the same place? Would you throw the same punches? Would you let your head to be being hit?
Of course, no!
Would you be tricky to hit the opponent from various directions and his different body parts?
Yes, of course!
Do the same with the bag. It is your real enemy who wants to beat you in pieces, but you do not let him, you will be the winner with your tricks and power.
There is no need to hit the bag with full power all the time. If you do that, after 30 seconds, you will just huff and puff, and you will not have the energy to finish the round and the next ones. Divide your energy.
Just check out a boxing match, they get a steady pace and have only a few “I KO you now” intervals.
Each round should have a purpose
Since you are a beginner, it is a good idea to train one particular technique within a round. For example, in round one, you practice your jabs, in two focus on your crosses, in three your head movement, etc.
You can also have “lighter rounds” and “harder ones” when you increase the speed or power of your punches. Or one when you practice footwork. Apparently, you can get rounds when you mix everything up.
There are a lot of things to practice.
About the length and number of rounds
Those depend on your condition. For newbies, I think 3-4×1-2 minutes long rounds with 1-2 minutes rest are OK to start with.
And, as your endurance and technique improve, you can lengthen the round up to 3 minutes and shorten the rest to 1 minute. And, of course, have more rounds. I aimed to be able to do 10×3 minute rounds with 1-minute rest.
I suggest you get a goal as well.
Example at home boxing workouts for beginners
Finally, here are excellent boxing training at home workouts you can follow, and you can get a virtual trainer as well.
The last boxing routine for beginners video is the one that forces me to start this sport.
I hope these boxing tips for beginners help you to understand the basics. A boxing training program is a very efficient way to exercise that makes you a rock solid body. It develops your confidence, agility, and may help you to defend yourself from attacks. It is not boring since there is always something to learn and something that requires even more practice.
If you have any questions about boxing workouts, feel free to ask below. I help you asap.