Burn Steam and KO Stress: Box Your Way to Fitness

Mix it up and get fit.

Had a rough day? This 20-minute boxing workout will help you burn calories, steam and stress.

The benefits of boxing are numerous: it can give you conditioned muscles, a lean physique and in general, a strong body that’s athletic enough to move freely. It can also help you to clear your head and reduce stress. Here’s a practical, minimal-equipment, boxing workout I’ve developed that you can do at home, with weights, leaving you no excuse not to stick with it:

3 Punch Boxing Blast

    • Dumbbells. If you don’t have them, use water bottles. If you don’t have water bottles, you can still do this boxing workout using your body-weight. (No excuses!)
    • Jump rope. If you don’t have one, just pretend that you do and jump without it.

Stretch for five minutes. Focus on your neck and shoulder muscles. Rotate your ankles and prepare your leg muscles with simple dynamic stretches.
Relaxed jump rope for three minutes to get your heart rate up.

Boxing Workout Method

Punch 1: Jab

A jab is a punch that goes straight forward.

    • Place your left foot in front of your right and angle your right foot out as if pointing it toward an opponent.
    • Put your hands up by your chin, tuck your elbows in, keep your chin down and make sure your hips are above your feet. Whichever foot is forward is the hand you’ll jab with.
    • Keep an athletic stance with a slight bend in your knees and bring up your back heel just a bit. Bounce around and get comfortable in the stance. Make sure your feet are around shoulder-width apart and your front foot is pointing mostly forward and your back foot is pointing mostly out.
Punch 2: Cross

The cross is a punch where you punch across your body. You must transfer your weight from your rear foot to your lead foot. Do this by pivoting your rear foot, rotating your body, bending your knees and leaning forward very slightly. All of this is done at the exact same time as the cross is thrown.

    • Stand in a jab stance. As you punch, rotate your body counter-clockwise (if your left foot is forward), or clockwise (if your right foot is forward).
    • Pivot your rear foot at the same time that you’re throwing the cross. You should end up with your heel upward and toes on the ground, facing in the same direction as where your cross is heading.
    • Rotate your fist just before you reach the end of the punch so that the palm of your hand is facing downwards towards the floor.
    • Sit down on your punch as you throw the punch. Bending at your knees will allow you to gain more power and maintain your balance.
Punch 3: Hook

A hook uses power from your hips and upper body. It should be done in a fluid motion, using both your upper and lower body to follow through with the punch.

    • Take a comfortable boxing stance by putting both of your legs parallel to your shoulders. Then bring your most dominant foot one-half of a step back, and slightly bend your knees so you’re in an athletic stance.
    • Keep your fists in front of your face. Your hands should be lined up outside of your eyes and a few inches away from your face.
    • As you punch, twist your body to your dominant foot side and rotate your front foot. Rotate your upper body as well.
Round 1:

Perform each of the punches without weights for 45 seconds. After each one, do 60 seconds of relaxed-pace jump rope.

Rest for 30 seconds.

Round 2:

Perform each of the punches with your chosen weight. Be slow and controlled with each movement for eight punches.

Jump rope for 30 seconds at high intensity after each set of eight.

Rest for 30 seconds.

Round 3 – Knockout Round:

Do 30 seconds of punches without weights. Do all five sets, then jump rope for three minutes at a moderate intensity.

Cool down with your favorite stretches, placing added focus on your upper body. Hold each stretch for 30 seconds.

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How to box away excess fat & build your energy reserves

From Herbalife's Discover Good Fitness & Nutrition Blog

How to box away excess fat & build your energy reserves  |  Discover Good Fitness  |  HerbalifeIf you’re ready to get your body into fighting shape, you can spice up your workout with these boxing-inspired exercises and box away any excess fat without having to pick a fight at the end!

You just have to look at a boxer’s body to know that their training regime is perfect for sculpting a lean, toned and fat-fighting body.  Boxers are known for being toned in all of the right places, especially their upper-body and mid-section. But a boxer isn’t only interested in looking good: boxers need to have the cardiovascular and muscular endurance to fight for 12 straight rounds. In my opinion, this makes boxing one of the best forms of functional exercise for toning your entire body.

Admittedly boxers, like all other professional athletes dedicate hours upon hours every day to training their body and perfecting their boxing skills. They must also focus on following a careful nutritional plan, especially when they are preparing for a big fight. In the world of professional boxing, getting rid of excess body weight and fat in order to make a set weight class is an essential part of the sport.

Now, I’m not suggesting that you take up this sport in order to box away your excess fat, I simply want to share with you four common exercises that seem to be a staple in boxing gyms around the world. Boxing training can get you fit, sculpt your upper-body and of course help you work toward obtaining that oh so desirable six-pack tummy.

Here are my top five boxing-inspired moves:

How to box away excess fat & build your energy reserves  |  Samantha Clayton  |  Herbalife

Boxing move 1.  Simple jab punch

This simple punch is great for working out your shoulders, it’s a punch that can be intensified to build strength by using dumbbell weights or be kept simple in a fast cardio style to burn fat.

Simply stand in a staggered stance with one foot in front of the other. Your feet should be slightly wider than hip-distance apart. If your right foot is forward you will punch with your right arm, so bend your arm at the elbow and tuck your elbows close into the side of your body. Then make a fist at chin height; start with your palm facing toward your body and, as you extend your arm forward to punch, rotate the wrist so that your palm is facing the floor. Try to keep your arms up and punch at shoulder-height.

-   If you are using weights, try to do 12 punches with each arm and repeat for three sets.

-  Without weights, punch continuously for 60 seconds before switching arms.

In just five short minutes you should feel the burn.

Boxing move 2.  Punch crunch

Crunches (or sit ups) in a boxing gym have a slight edge to them – you need to sit up slightly higher to make sure you don’t strain your neck.  For this exercise, as you get to the top of your crunch, do 10 rapid punches then slowly lower your body back to the starting position.

I particularly like working out with a friend for this move – try putting on a pair of boxing gloves and asking your buddy to hold out a pad for you to hit. Alternatively, try using a light set of dumbbells – this move will work your abs and your arms at the same time.

Boxing move 3.  Jumping rope

Jumping rope is a classic, for many people it’s the exercise that comes to mind when they think of a boxer – I bet your mind either went to a speed bag or skipping when you first started reading this article, right?

Jumping rope is also a perfect fat-burning cardio exercise as it works your entire body and it will make you sweat. Try jumping rope in an interval style (for really effective fat burning results take a short rest in between intense periods of jumping). If you don’t have a rope or if you are lacking the co-ordination, simply jump without the rope – in the sports world we call it “ghost rope”.

Aim to jump continually for 60seconds at first.  The rhythm, or speed, you set will determine whether you can follow your first minute with a 30 second rest and then complete another 60 seconds.

Boxing move 4.  Cross punch

The cross punch is similar to a jab in that you punch at shoulder height and start with your hands in the same position at chin height. The key differences are that you are punching across the body instead of straight out in front of you.  You should also position your feet in an athletic stance, rather than a staggered stance, with your feet a comfortable distance apart and keep your knees slightly bent.

It’s important to remember that whenever you are performing a rotating- style movement. Always allow your lower body to naturally follow your movement by pivoting your feet to protect your hips and knees. This cross cross body punching action makes your abdominal muscles – especially the obliques – work extra hard.

Try to complete 30 seconds punching to the left and then 30 seconds punching to the right.

Boxing move 5.  Speed bag punches in squat hold position

I saved my favorite move for last; this boxing-inspired move could also be confused with an old-school dance move!

Stand tall with your feet shoulder-width apart and sit down into a squat position as if you are sitting in a chair. Ensure that your knees are behind your toes and your chest is high. Bend your arms at the elbows and lift them up on line with your shoulders, then make a fist with your palms facing the floor and put one hand above the other.  To complete the move, simply roll your hands one on top of the other in a circular motion (think of a funky70’s style disco move).

Try to hold in a squat position for 20 rolling punches, then stand up and repeat for a total of 20 squats. This move works your legs, butt, arms and abs.


The most important thing when trying a new exercise is that you have fun, listen to your body and always exercise safely within your own personal comfort zone.  I always say before teaching a fierce kickboxing class that “I’m a lover, not a fighter” but I must admit that when it comes to fighting to be fit and healthy, or boxing away unwanted fat, I’m always ready to put on my boxing gloves and build up a sweat.

I hope that after reading my blog your ready to fight fat with me too. So tell me, what are you fighting for? Share your goals in the comments section below – I love seeing everyone’s thoughts. Are you fighting to get a six pack for summer or to lose a few pounds maybe? Whatever your reason, remember that good health is always worth fighting for.

Written by Samantha Clayton. Samantha is a paid consultant for Herbalife.