Shape Studio: Full-Body Boxing and Dance Hybrid Mini Workout

You can do this no-equipment full-body strength circuit right in your living room, backyard, or a park at the drop of a hat.

Exercise is one of the best things you can do to optimize your health — and the benefits of fitness can actually sharpen your every movement.

A recent study in mice in the journal Science Advances found that cardio exercise builds motor skills by creating stronger neural connections in the brain-muscle superhighway. "Regular training may help improve the learning performance of complex motor skills, like in tennis, boxing, and more," says Li Zhang, Ph.D., a coauthor of the study. (

That's good news for your reps and yoga flow too. To help you pick up a fresh-move groove even faster as you sculpt all over, we've added a twist to the latest Shape Studio workout with a dance- and boxing-infused routine that targets your muscles from multiple angles.

You'll work up a sweat and work big muscles as you Spin or boot camp, but your body could likely benefit from more side-to-side movement and rotation. "In dance, you're rotating and moving front, back, and sideways — when all those things are combined, you're using these muscles that you might not have known existed," says Mindy Lai, a pro dancer and boxing instructor who offers workouts on Bande. "And boxing is about being ready for anything and thinking on your toes."

For this Shape Studio workout video, we asked Lai to create a targeted miniworkout that will tie in "the tiny little muscles in the arms, hips, and legs" that get overlooked with some hybrid exercises you're going to want to keep in your repertoire. Hit play or follow along below to get hooked.

Full-Body Boxing Mini Workout

How it works: Do each of the below moves for the number of reps and sets indicated.

You'll need: No equipment (mat optional)

Squat Punch-Out

A. Start standing with feet slightly wider than hip-width apart, fists protecting face in a ready position.
B. Taking four counts, lower into a squat while alternating punches forward with the right and left hand as fast as possible.
C. Once at the bottom of the squat, continue punching and raise onto toes. Lower heels to the floor, then repeat motion taking four counts to press back to standing, punching throughout.

Do 3 sets of 45 seconds.

Sumo Squat to Lunge

A. Stand with feet wide, toes pointed out to the sides and arms extended out to the sides at shoulder height.
B. Lower into a sumo squat, pausing once hips are at knee-height (as as low as is comfortable).
C. Without standing up all the way, turn to the right and lift left heel to lower into a lunge. Simultaneously pull left arm over to the right so both arms are parallel extended forward over the right thigh.
D. Without standing up all the way, open up left arm and turn to the left to return to sumo squat. Continue alternating.

Do 3 sets of 45 seconds. Switch sides; repeat.

Side Plank to Blast-Off

A. Start in a side plank on the left elbow, feet stacked. Reach right arm toward the ceiling.
B. Place right palm on the floor in front of chest, and raise onto left palm to move into a high plank.
C. Shift hips back and bend knees into a couch, then jump feet forward outside of hands.
D. Stand and jump, landing softly and lowering immediately back into a squat, palms on the floor between feet.
E. Jump feet back to high plank and place left elbow down to return to start.

Do 10 reps. Switch sides; repeat.

Leg Swing to Sumo

A. Start standing at the back of the mat (if using) with feet together and arms extended out to sides at shoulder height.
B. Keeping core engaged and chest tall, lift the right leg forward as high as possible, with the knee slightly bent and turned out to the side.
C. With control, swing the right leg back behind body, knee pointing to the right, squeezing glute.
D. With control, swing the right leg forward to take a big step, landing on the right foot, turning body to face to the left, and lowering into a sumo squat position. Do 2 more squats.
E. Straighten legs to stand and turn to the right to face forward on the mat. Shift weight into the right leg and prepare to swing left foot forward to repeat the entire sequence on the other side.

Do 10 reps total.

Balance to Side Plank-Lunge Combo

A. Start standing with feet together, right arm overhead, bicep by ear. Engage core, drawing belly button into spine.
B. Step back into a lunge with the left leg, dropping knee onto the floor. Keeping core engaged, lower left palm onto the floor to the left of the right foot, spiraling chest open to the right. Right arm still reaches toward the ceiling.
C. Straighten left leg, balancing on the outside of the foot, and shift weight into the left palm. Lift the right leg up and stack it on top of the left to come into side plank. Hold for one second.
D. Lift the right leg and step it forward and to the right to return to a lunge. Stand up on the right leg, lifting left knee up to hip height bent at 90 degrees.
E. Step back into a lunge with the left foot to begin the next rep.

Do 10 reps. Switch sides; repeat.

Turkish Get-Up

A. Start lying face-up on the floor with right leg extended and out at a diagonal, and left leg bent with foot on the floor and knee pointing toward the ceiling. Extend left arm up toward the ceiling directly over shoulder, and extend right arm out to the side on the floor.
B. Lift chest and shift weight onto the right elbow, then up onto the right palm. Press into right palm, right foot, and left foot to lift hips up into a sort of side plank.
C. Thread the right foot under hips, planting knee on the floor. Lift chest tall. Left arm is still extended toward the ceiling.
D. Shift weight into the left foot and stand. Slowly reverse the rep to return to start.

Do 10 reps. Switch sides; repeat.

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