This At-Home Boxing Workout for Beginners Will Get You in Fighting Shape

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Photo: Anthony Cunanan

Try this at-home boxing workout for beginners to get a one-two punch of cardio and strength training, no bag or gloves required.

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At-Home Boxing Workout for Beginners

At Home Boxing Workout
Anthony Cunanan

Contrary to what you might think, you don't need to go to a special gym to try boxing. In fact, this beginner-friendly at-home boxing workout requires zero equipment. The workout "incorporates cardio, bodyweight strength movements, and skill," says Nancy Chen, NASM-certified personal trainer and group trainer at Rumble Boxing. "You learn more body awareness through the different moves while building strength with simple but effective functional movements such as push-ups and bicycles."

A few things to keep in mind when boxing at home: "Brace your core and use your legs," advises Chen. "Boxing is full body and your strength comes from the ground up, even if you're shadowboxing. Your core helps you connect your legs to your upper body, so you're moving safely and it all feels connected."

Watch Chen demonstrate the at-home boxing workout created by Sensei Guillermo Gomez, fifth-degree black belt and creator of Martial Fusion.

How it works: After the jump rope warm-up, do each round of this boxing workout at home with little or no rest in between. You'll alternate between a boxing combo and a strength move. Repeat the full circuit (all four combos) twice more.

You'll need: A jump rope.

If you're a total boxing beginner, watch this video first, which teaches you how to jab, cross, hook, and uppercut.

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Warm-Up: Jump Rope

Get your blood pumping with this traditional boxer's warm-up. Use a real jump rope if you have one handy, but if not, just imagine you're holding one.

A. Stand with feet hip-width apart, holding one jump rope handle in each hand. Arms should be by your sides and elbows tucked in close to ribs.

B. Swing jump rope up and over head to begin. Jump rope as fast as possible, bouncing lightly on the balls of feet in between jumps. Keep shoulder blades down and back, and rotate the rope with wrists, not arms.

Jump rope for 3 to 5 minutes.

(If you're not feeling quite warm enough, add in these other workout warm-up moves as well.)

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Round 1 Combo: Jab, Cross, Jab, Bob and Weave

A. Stand with left foot forward, arms in "guard" position (elbows bent, hands in fists on either side of chin). Throw a left jab (quickly punch left arm forward, rotating fist down, without locking out elbow), a right cross (punch right arm forward, rotating right hip into the punch and lifting right heel off the floor), and then repeat a left jab.

B. Bring arms back to guard, and quickly bob and weave from left to right by lowering into a squat while circling body from the back (lower right) to the front (lower left), as if tracing a letter "U" with upper body. Return to start. That's one rep.

Do 10 reps in a row as quickly as possible, then switch stance; repeat on the other side.

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Round 1 Strength: Boxer Push-up

A. Start in plank position with hands directly below shoulders, core engaged.

B. Lower body until chest is just a few inches above the floor.

C. Press halfway up, then lower back down to hover above the floor.

D. Press all the way back up to full plank. That's one rep. (Note: Make sure to maintain proper form, being careful not to let hips sag or back arch during the movement. Drop to knees if it's too challenging.)

Do 10 reps.

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Round 2 Combo: Double Jab, Cross, Slip-Slip

A. Stand with left foot forward, arms on guard. Throw a double jab with left arm by quickly doing two jabs in a row. Next, throw a right cross punch, then repeat a single jab on the left.

B. Quickly "slip" (imagine trying to dodge an opponent's punches) by twisting upper body (hips stay still) and bringing left elbow toward belly button. Immediately reverse to the right (the pace of this move is very quick, try counting "1, 2, 3" as while doing it to keep tempo up). Return to starting position. That's one rep.

Do 10 reps in a row as quickly as possible, then switch stance; repeat on the other side.

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Round 2 Strength: Boxer Push-Up

A. Start in plank position with hands directly below shoulders, core engaged.

B. Lower body until chest is just a few inches above the floor.

C. Press halfway up, then lower back to hover above from the floor.

D. Press all the way back up to full plank. That's one rep. (Note: Make sure to maintain proper form, being careful not to let hips sag or back arch during the movement. Drop to knees if it's too challenging.)

Do 10 reps.

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Round 3 Combo: Jab, Cross, Hook, Bob and Weave

A. Start standing with left foot forward, arms on guard. Throw a left jab, right cross, and then a left hook. Keep elbow bent at 90 degrees and pivot left heel up while rotating left hip forward to power the hook. (Envision fist swinging around the side of an opponent's face).

B. Bring arms back to guard and quickly bob and weave from right to left, lowering into a squat while circling body from the back to the front. Return to start. That's one rep.

Do 10 reps in a row as quickly as possible, then switch stance; repeat on the other side.

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Round 3 Strength: Bicycle Crunches

A. Lie faceup with knees bent and feet on floor, hands behind head and elbows wide.

B. Lift head, shoulders, and upper back off the ground and then do a bicycle crunch by twisting left shoulder toward the right knee, left leg extending out straight and parallel to (but not touching) the ground.

C. Repeat to the other side. That's one rep. Continue alternating, keeping belly button pulled in tight to spine and chin in toward chest to avoid neck strain. Keep hands behind head throughout.

Do 20 reps in a row as quickly as possible.

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Round 4 Combo: Jab, Cross, Upper, Slip Front

A. Stand with left foot forward, arms on guard. Throw a left jab, a right cross punch, then a left uppercut (bend elbow into the body, rotate right hip and heel, and imagine punching up and under an opponent's chin).

B. Next, quickly slip front by twisting upper body and elbows toward left knee. Return to start. That's one rep.

Do 10 reps in a row as quickly as possible, then switch stance; repeat on the other side.

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Round 4 Strength: Bicycle Crunches

A. Lie faceup with knees bent and feet on floor, hands behind head and elbows wide.

B. Lift head, shoulders, and upper back off the ground and then do a bicycle crunch by twisting left shoulder toward the right knee, left leg extending out straight and parallel to (but not touching) the ground.

C. Repeat to the other side. That's one rep. Continue alternating, keeping belly button pulled in tight to spine and chin in toward chest to avoid neck strain. Keep hands behind head throughout.

Do 20 reps in a row as quickly as possible.

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Cardio Finisher: Jump Rope Shuffle

To finish this at-home boxing workout strong and burn off any remaining energy, grab your jump rope — real or imaginary — and jump from one foot to the other for five minutes.

A. Stand with feet hip-width apart, holding one jump rope handle in each hand.

B. Swing jump rope up and over head to begin. Alternate tapping one foot out to hop on the other foot. Keep shoulder blades down and back, and rotate the rope with wrists, not arms.

Jump for 3 to 5 minutes. Finally, wind down with a few of these dynamic stretches.

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