Boxing | how to box at home?
Is it possible, and if so, how do you get started?
Working out at home can have a practical side. However, it isn't always easy to know what to do when you want to exercise outside of a gym, with no one to guide you. What's more, there are generally more limits in terms of available space or equipment. So here are a few tips that should help you maximize your home workouts.
Clarification before we begin
Although it is entirely possible to work out at home, it is nonetheless highly recommended to get coached in order to improve under the best conditions. If you are a beginner, it is an essential prerequisite for preventing bad habits from forming, particularly on the technical side. However, practicing at home is a good supplement if:
You want to add new workouts to your sessions at the gym.
You want to keep working on specific skills or techniques at your own pace.
You want to intensify certain aspects of your workout that you feel are insufficient during your usual time (ex: cardio, physical fitness…).
That said, let's get to the heart of the matter!
Shadow boxing: prepare for combat
This is an excellent exercise that requires no equipment and that can be done independently from any location. It comes from the world of boxing, but can also be applied to many combat sports. The principle is to simulate a fight against an imaginary opponent, using all of the techniques you know. It is a good way to work on combinations and prepare for combat. It is useless here to look for pure power - instead, work on mobility and flow. If you have a large mirror, feel free to use it. It will help you to visualize your shadow and more easily correct any possible technical flaws (dropped guard, lack of hip engagement…). Finally, here are two small variations that require some equipment:
Use small 1 or 2 kg hand weights, or a weighted gilet, to work more on your physique. The weight could seem minimal, but over 3 minute rounds at a good intensity, you'll definitely feel it. However, take care to control your movements and reduce their amplitude in order to prevent injury.
Using special boxing elastic bands will add an additional constraint for developing power, core strength, and explosivity.
Jumping rope for mobility and cardio
This is an essential boxing accessory that can absolutely be used at home. Jump ropes allow you to work on cardio while learning not to rest too much weight on your feet, which develops your mobility. To do so, take care to jump on the balls of your feet. Feel free to move slightly while you jump (forward, backward, left, and right) to practise your movements more. Note that it isn't necessary to try and lift your feet very high - just enough to clear the rope. Also try varying the intensity by building in some acceleration phases. Combat rarely takes place at a constant pace. So by regularly modifying your jumping pace, you approach more realistic conditions.
Finally, to focus on the equipment itself, what are the most suitable models for fighters? In any case, look for ropes with good bearings for more efficiency and comfort (boxing or fitness models). Some may even be weighted with relatively light weights you can add to the handles. It is an interesting solution if you want to tone your muscles even more.
Punching bags, a great classic
When thinking about practicing boxing at home, we immediately think about punching bags. They help you work on both your technique, power, endurance, speed, and accuracy with total independence. What's more, it's a great way to unwind after a hard day! This is the most commonly used option for boxers, and there are many products that cover most people's needs. The most complicated thing is generally finding a suitable place for this type of equipment, which can be rather bulky. Once you've found the perfect spot, be sure to use the proper attachments in order to avoid accidents. If it seems complicated to attach the bag to your ceiling or wall, there are self-supporting stands that will do the job.
Finally, if you also want to work on kicking, look for rather large bags (generally at least 120 cm).
Punching balls, for mobility and dodging
We don't necessarily think of it at first, but it's an accessory that can be particularly interesting for home workouts. First of all, it is easier to install than a punching bag and generally less complicated to move (practical for storage). You will still need to ensure that you have the space you need, since the swinging movements can cover a rather large area around the stand. A little clarification, however: the use of a punching ball differs from that of a traditional bag. You can't necessarily work on power with a punching ball. However, a ball will allow you to work much more on your dodging ability, since in a certain sense it returns your strikes. For working on accuracy, movement, and dodging, it could be an option to consider.
There is no special place for getting in shape
Combat sports generally require a good physical condition (or at least that's what they will get you). Body weight exercises such as push-ups, crunches, or squats require no equipment and can be done everywhere. You can also consider weighting yourself with a gilet or a bag filled with various weights to increase the difficulty as needed. If you have space, there are weight training accessories of many different sizes. However, some are much more discreet and suited to home workouts. For example, kettlebells and medicine balls work on most of your body while completing movements that benefit our favourite disciplines.
Finally, don't forget flexibility, which remains an important factor for fighters. Here too, there are loads of exercises, many of which don't require any special equipment and which allow you to increase the range of your movements.
Remember: motivation and imagination
As we have seen, there are many ways to train at home, and this article does not cover them all. Whether you want to develop your technique, your physique, your movements, or your endurance, there are ways to work on all these things at home. In the end, it's all a matter of motivation and imagination!