Shape Studio: At-Home Boxing Circuit Workout

As you begin to work up a sweat, your body is doing more than shoveling calories into the furnace. “Within 10 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise, your level of hormones — including human growth hormone, epinephrine, and norepinephrine — increase, and all those support your metabolism and help maintain muscle mass,” says Jill Kanaley, Ph.D., nutrition and exercise physiology professor at the University of Missouri and an American College of Sports Medicine fellow. (

Pushing your pace or strength training is key. During workouts, these hormones are deployed only when energy and muscle demands reach a certain level of intensity. Better yet, women tend to produce more human growth hormone and will experience a higher peak from doing exercise, says Kanaley.

An interval routine of rapid-fire strength moves packs in the intensity to boost your metabolism- and muscle-building hormones. So we went to trainer Tatiana Firpo, a former pro at boxing gym Everybody Fights, who now leads workouts online (including on, to create a boxing-inspired circuit that hits the spot.

“People might not realize how every punch is really two reps," says Firpo. "When you extend your throw, your shoulders and core are working, and pulling back is similar to a row, which engages your back as well."

The six-move routine she put together — you’ll do supersets of 30-second boxing drills, including punches and plyometric moves — furthers the intensity with a set of light dumbbells. “By adding weights, you’re getting even more work per rep,” she says. “And with all the moves like slips and ducks, you’re doing squats as you go.” Go ahead, join her "in the ring!"

HIIT Boxing Strength Circuit

How it works: Do 30 seconds of the first exercise in each set, then 30 seconds of the second. Continue alternating twice more (for three rounds total) before moving to the next set.

You'll need: Space to move and two medium-weight dumbbells

Set 1: Fast Feet + Plyo Lunge

Fast Feet Punches

A. Start standing in a boxer's stance with the left foot forward, fists guarding face, and elbows in to start.

B. Staying on the balls of your feet with knees bent, shift weight quickly from one foot to the other, simultaneously throwing jabs (a punch forward with the left arm) and crosses (a punch forward with the right arm).

C. Repeat for 30 seconds.

Slip Plyo Lunge

A. Start in a lunge position with the right foot forward and knees bent at 90 degrees (or as low as possible), with fists guarding fact.

B. Holding the lunge position, dip (slip) your shoulders to the right once and left one as if dodging punches.

C. Jump and switch feet, landing softly in a lunge with the left leg forward. Repeat, slipping on both sides before jumping and switching legs again to return to start. (To modify, step feet back into a reverse lunge instead of jumping. To make it harder, add hand weights.) Repeat for 30 seconds.

Repeat set 3 times total.

Set 2: Sprawl Row + Double 180

Sprawl Row

A. Starting in a boxing stance with weights on the floor just in front of feet about shoulder-width apart.

B. Throw four uppercuts (alternating sides).

C. Crouch down to grab weights (or, without weights, plant hands on the floor shoulder-width apart) and jump feet back to a wide plank.

D. Row the right weight up toward ribs, keeping hips square and without rocking side to side. Return weight to the floor and repeat on the left side.

E. Jump feet forward and stand to return to start. Repeat for 30 seconds.

Double 180

A. Start in a boxing stance. Throw four punches, alternating jabs and crosses.

B. Squat with fists guarding face, then jump and rotate 180 degrees to face the other direction, landing softly in a squat.

C. Immediately jump and rotate 180 degrees in the opposite direction to return to start. (To make it harder, add light hand weights.) Repeat for 30 seconds.

Set 3: Boxer Sit-up + Squat Press

Boxer Sit-up

A. Lie face-up on the floor with feet planted and knees bent toward ceiling.

B. Keeping fists guarding face, use abs to sit up about 3/4 of the way. Throw a jab and a cross.

C. Slowly lower torso to return to start. Repeat for 30 seconds.

Squat Press

A. Start standing with feet slightly wider than hip-width apart, a weight in each hand racked at shoulder height.

B. Lower into a squat until thighs are parallel to the floor (or as low as possible).

C. Press through mid-foot to stand, rotating shoulders and hips to the left while simultaneously pressing the right dumbbell overhead, keeping hand directly over shoulder.

D. Lower dumbbell to shoulder and face forward, then squat to begin the next rep and repeat on the opposite side. Repeat for 30 seconds.

Repeat set 3 times total.

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