4 Reasons to Fall in Love with Shadowboxing
By Vanessa Weingarten
At first, punching the air during those rounds of shadowboxing might seem…silly…or boring…or a waste of time” and might not be your favorite...
You may be thinking,
“What’s the point?” or “I’m pretty warmed up, lets hit the bag already!”
The best part about shadow boxing is the time dedicated to move, play and figure things out by yourself. It is meant to be the section in training where you get to find what it is that gets you primed to FIGHT. Take note of
the punches that work and feel good, those that need some polishing, and everything in between onto the bag.
This is your greatest training drill. Not only for warming up physically, but mentally as well.
Everyone has their own movement in boxing, so take yours and run with it (or in our case, shuffle with it). Here are 4 reasons you should fall in love with Shadowboxing.
1. INCREASE STAMINA
Have you seen Manny Pacquiao move around that ring nonstop?! He is able to keep his
heart rate almost “at rest” whenever he’s not making contact. Teaching your body to stay moving
while recovering is key! If you find yourself getting gassed after 1 minute, try to use the rounds
in between bag work to shadow box. Keep your hands up to build shoulder endurance and feet
working to keep your stamina high.
2. FOOTWORK FOCUS
If you have 2 left feet... focus on the dance. Start your shadowboxing with footwork only. I
prefer to use the first :45 seconds to establish grounding my feet and then the rest will add.
You will find that connection from upper to lower body become less forced. Let the punches
layer with your quarter turns, shuffles, and pivots. Lastly, don’t end your shadowboxing where
you started and paint that damn floor with your feet!
3. COMFORT WITH COMBOS AND DISTANCE
Think of it as your rehearsal.
The experimentation that you get to explore is endless. Creating new patterns, combos, bobs and weaves, ducks, slips and connections around that ring will pay off when the time comes. Those who know their way from one punch to the next with quick reflexes will be able to defend, move, and counterpunch seamlessly.
Build your muscle memory to take you to and from that “JAB/CROSS/HOOK” into your
knockout combo without second guessing it.
4. MENTAL GAINZ
While the rest of your body is getting amped with adrenaline, let’s get your mental gains growing! My favorite part of shadowboxing is how much you can improve your focus. It is a true connection of mind and body. When you don’t need to check the clock to see how much longer you have left, you know you’re in it! The distractions around you can snap you out of your practice. Next time, try and make it a goal to not look at the clock once! Envision your FIGHT, and most importantly…visualize your win.
Your shadowboxing training doesn’t have to be reserved for class time only. Take 5 minutes at home, watching TV, making dinner, or after class and work it out. Get that hand speed, footwork, conditioning, and focus to the next level!