Hello guys! Before getting into our article on some “lockdown workout”, we would like to say that we hope you and your families are safe! Boxing is important, but not more important than human well-being and life! Hence why, stay home and stay safe! Let’s knock the Coronavirus out together.
While doing that we have a special article for you! Knowing that the quarantine affects us all and that some people are not that fortunate to own a garden or a place with a space to workout in, we prepared special tips/exercises/activities that everyone can perform, even in the smallest flats or homes.
#1: “The worse thing is inactivity”
As Teddy Atlas—the legendary boxing coach and persona—once said, the worse thing to do when you train boxing is being inactive. So, our first and most important tip is—DO SOMETHING!
If for some reason you don’t have access to books, internet (I guess you have if you are reading this), or someone to help you with training, just do the simplest things—run, do push-ups, burpees, sit-ups, or pull ups. Even doing light exercises will keep your body in relatively good shape and allow you not to lose the gains you worked for during your previous trainings.
Crucial thing about training for boxing at home is to perform boxing exercises—shadow boxing, pads workout, and heavy bag workout. While you box, it might seem to you that you throw the combinations that you want at the time that you choose—this isn’t exactly true. You throw what your muscle memory allows. Muscle memory, reflexes, and reactions are tremendously significant in this sport. You must keep letting your hands go, so that the proper movement and technique you learned in the past stays with you throughout the uneasy coronavirus period.
If you do not have a boxing bag, try to buy one online to get one delivered at home. If for whatever reason that’s not possible, then try to improvise one. People make quantum computers, rockets, and plan to send cars into space within next few years—I am sure you can sort out the bag. This can be as simple as tapping a pillow on the wall. If there is a will, there is a way. Most important tip is not to lose the movement, so let your hands go!
#2: Do not become a gym boy/girl!
In this period of inaccessibility to the gym, it is unlikely that you will make this classic mistake, but it is nevertheless important to be mindful about it: doing too many gym exercises.
Lifting and squatting with heavy objects are simple exercises everyone can do. Yes, it will increase your raw strength, but that is not the strength that you need for boxing. If that was the case, then weightlifters would be the hardest punchers and world champions.
Remember that pure physical exercises that practice only your strength are not optimal for boxing, as they will decrease your agility, speed, and movement that are essential for boxing. I am not saying not to do them at all, but when exercising, try to combine strength with explosiveness and speed—this will bring much better results than pure lifting. Here are some examples below:
Rather than doing normal squats with a heavily-loaded barbell on your back, hold light dumbbells (or whatever available at your home) and squat with explosive jumps.
Don’t load yourself up with a weighted dipping belt while doing pull-ups. Instead, do pull-ups in a fast, explosive manner without additional weight.
In short, do not do bodybuilding exercises but instead do boxing related exercises such as shadowboxing, explosive squats, and explosive pull-ups.
#3: Run, Forrest, run!
Unless you are in a country with strict lockdown rules, then go for a run outside. Run as much as you can and for as long as you want. A run is a simple, yet effective exercise for boxing—there’s no big philosophy behind it. It strengthens your core, your legs, and most importantly—your cardio. Here’s some variations you can implement to vary your workout and make it more interesting and effective:
A 2/3 km run that is done in a slow or moderate pace. Very good for cooling down after training or as training during your rest days.
A 10/15 km run done in a moderate pace. Such run strengthens your legs and your endurance. I recommend doing them 2-3 times per week tops!
A run that is sport-specific to boxing. Sprinting gives you the feeling that resembles a boxing fight and is an effective exercise to develop that boxing ring cardio. For this exercise, I usually set a distance between 30 – 50 meters depending on the steepness of the hill and run as fast as I can. 5 to 10 sets of 50 m sprints should be good enough!
A dreaded one, yet the best simultaneously. Hill runs strengthen your legs, your cardio, and your mental toughness. 10 km in a mountainous path is a killer. Remember to walk back down, as running down from an elevated place is an easy way to injure your knees and ligaments.
This run also resembles a boxing fight, as it consists of light jogs and sprints that imitate periods of high and low intensity. I usually do it in the following way: 3-minutes light run, 1-minute moderate run, and 30 seconds sprint. Repeating that for 30 or 40 minutes should be enough even for a horse.
No matter what kind of run you do, the most important thing is to do it and consistently!
#4: Work on your core!
Having a strong core is important for many reasons.
Number one is of course for having abs and getting girls/boys. Others are more important for boxing. Having a strong core protects your organs from damage—bigger muscles you have, the more protected your body is. A strong core is also important for the strength of your punches. Power from your punches is mainly generated from the rotation of the hips, legs, and your side core muscles.
Working on your abs is actually one of the easiest exercises to perform at home, as you basically need nothing to work out. Here’s some core exercises that can be performed at the confinement of your home, but it is by no means an exhaustive list:
By far the most classic core exercise. Even within sit-ups, there are many variations you can implement. For example, you can twist to the left and right every sit up you perform. You can also explosively get up and then slowly get back down in your sit ups. The variations are endless and I encourage you to apply them to vary your workout.
The bicycle crunch is a killer exercise for your abs, but more importantly, it also trains your stability. Performing the exercise requires a great deal of balance—an important component in your boxing that is often neglected especially by beginner boxers. Why not implement it in your workout?
A solid exercise especially for cooling down during a core workout session. Like the sit-ups, there are many variations you can implement apart from the traditional one. For example, in your standard plank stance, you can raise one leg and arm to make the stance harder to maintain, or do side planks.
These exercises are a class of core exercises that are performed while with your back on the floor. These include but not limited to: leg raises, leg circles, side leg raises, leg hold, slow kicks (knees to chest), etc.
How much and how long you do these exercises truly depends on the level and overall fitness of the boxer. What I suggest you do is to come up with a set of core exercise routine and then repeat the set three or more times while putting breaks in between the sets. Do them on a regular basis and gradually increase the number of reps/time for each exercise to see noticeable improvements.
What are the best core exercises, you might ask. That doesn’t really matter and what truly matters is to do them in a regular basis! This comes back to my advice on inactivity earlier I discussed.
#5: Train your footwork!
Boxing is not hands, but legs!
Good footwork will get you way further than a strong right hand—believe me! Training footwork is repetitive, boring, and dull—I know—but we rarely have so much free time as we do now! So might as well do it!
The good thing about footwork training is that you can do it nearly everywhere including your living room. Here are some good exercises to train your footwork:
One of the most well-known boxing exercise for your footwork is the skipping rope. The movement of the feet it stimulates is exactly the one you should be applying in your boxing. Boxers need to stay light, agile, and fast—the skipping rope encourages that.
A solid skipping rope session is usually about a 30 to 40-minute, but this usually depends on the pace and intensity as well as the level of the boxer. During such a session, I highly advise you to mix up different jumps; this is to make sure the session is more interesting to keep you going and to practice different foot work that you can use in your boxing.
For example, mix slow-pace with high-pace, do double/triple under, and jump on one leg. There is a variety of exercises that one can do on the rope, but similarly to throwing punches, skipping rope is one of the exercises that you need to perform in order to develop and retain that boxing muscle memory as I mentioned earlier.
Another great exercise for footwork is the boxing ladder—if you have one you are basically set for life, but if you do not, then imitate it. What I use to imitate the boxing ladder when one is not available is the masking tape—use this to tape a ladder on your floor and there you have it. Alternatively, if you’re doing your boxing workout on a concrete floor outside, then you can use chalk.
The number of exercises you can perform with this simple tool is truly infinite. I recommend checking out YouTube ladder drills of Vasyl Lomachenko—he is a master at using the ladder and demonstrates many good exercises!
#6: Learn your craft
Becoming better at boxing is mostly done by physically training your craft, but this is not everything. There are many things you can do on your free time that will make you a better fighter and do not involve space, gym, or proper equipment.
One of the things we recommend while being under quarantine due to the coronavirus is concentrating on analyzing your own style to spot any mistakes and correcting them. For example, if you watch your own sparring, shadowboxing, and heavy bag videos you took the other day, you might spot mistakes such as you dropping your right hand when throwing the jab. Be critical of your mistakes when analyzing and be aware of it next time you train your boxing. Sometimes, being aware of a fundamental mistake and fixing it is worth a lot more than a thousand push-ups.
Another way of learning your craft is researching and watching boxing in your favorite online or offline platforms. Read articles (we highly recommend checking out articles in our website!), watch YouTube boxing clips, check out videos of boxing tips videos—do everything that can increase your knowledge of boxing and then apply them in your home workouts. As we already mentioned in the article about rest days, a good thing to do is watching fight breakdowns. Look what boxers do and why. Learn and apply!
#7: Contact a personal boxing coach
My experience tells me that no private coaching will be better than training at an old, rusty gym where they teach you boxing and beat you to pulp, but in times of lockdown due to the Coronavirus, it might be the only solution.
Currently many private coaches are unemployed. Gyms were one of the first places that closed due to lockdown, and all the people that worked in them temporarily lost their jobs. Getting a private coach might be a solution both for you and the coach.
As mentioned earlier, going to a boxing gym is the best way to learn boxing, but those gyms also have their disadvantages. One of them is the fact that because many people train at the same time, a one-on-one training with a coach is hard to get.
This is not the case during a private boxing session with a coach, so try it out during quarantine.
I recommend getting a private coaching session, but I however do emphasize NOT to meet in person, but rather get it done through an online session. Of course, this is because to not break the lockdown rules. Although an online coaching session of boxing is less efficient than a face to face one, it is nevertheless still good, as you get feedback on your boxing skills to correct any potential flaws.
An important thing to do on a private coaching session is to prepare beforehand. Many people when going into one such training come with the attitude of “make me better at boxing”—that’s not how you should go about it. Beforehand, think about what you’re not good at and what you want to correct. Then come to the session to speak about it with the coach. This will allow you to get most out of your one-on-one session and make it easier for the coach to spot and correct your mistakes. As a coach myself, I can assure you that sometimes it is hard to see all the flaws that needs to be corrected in a hour; this is even more so if you’re going to get an online coaching session.
#8: Online Boxing Course
This is the thing I recommend with the current situation, if you have some money to spare.
Best way to train boxing is to go to a boxing gym, but good online boxing courses can take you farther than the majority of people think. For some reason, there is the ‘online-rumor’ which states that ‘real boxers’ train in the gym, while losers use online boxing courses. Nothing is more far from truth than that. Many boxers I have trained started their boxing journey with online boxing courses and by the time they first came to the gym, their technique and skills were better than some boxers with months or even years of training at a boxing gym.
There is a variety of reasons why they are good and why we recommend getting into that!
Thanks to the fact they are online, you can practice at home. That is a big advantage for many people. If you are more introverted and don’t like personal coaches or crowdy gyms but still want to be good at boxing—online boxing courses are a necessity.
They include very good information that are often presented by professional boxers and coaches. Believe me, some of the people that create the material might be way better and more experienced than your coach in a regular gym. The fact that your gym training happens ‘in real life, not online’ doesn’t make the boxing course any worse!
You can rewind it! How do you feel when your coach shows you some exercise and after trying it 10 times, you cannot get it and need to ask him again to show it one more time? Exactly. With online material, you just rewind few seconds and you can practice at home whenever you want. Also, when you go for a training you do it once and go back home, with online course you can revise it as many times as you want.
Majority of the times, the cost-performance is very good. At times, a good online boxing course is equivalent to several private sessions with a boxing coach. I assure you that a good online boxing course will get you farther—IF YOU USE IT SMARTLY AND TRAIN CONSISTENTLY.
You can share it with your friends and family. This is especially important in uncertain times like this. Not only can it keep you and your family entertained in stressful times like this, but also encourage your family to start boxing and gain a training partner!
Based on my personal experience of testing numerous online boxing courses and reviews of several boxers and coaches I’m acquainted with throughout the years, the one I would recommend the most is Expertboxing’s online boxing courses. There are several good things about it:
The videos really go into fundamentals; this is especially important if you are a beginner since it prevents you from learning bad habits that can be hard to undo later on.
I’ve found the videos to be easy to follow, clear, and well presented. It was not a pain to watch his videos.
The boxing course covers a comprehensive list of topics, ranging from foot work to nutrition. Even a seasoned boxer will learn something from it.
If you’re curious about it, check it out below!
Enjoyed our tips on boxing workout at home?
Boxingholics! I hope those tips will help you improve your boxing at home and make this stressful period a bit better! Let us know if you used any of our tips and be sure to send us yours if you have good ones at [email protected] or in the comments below.
Stay safe and stay home! We wish you and your families all the best!