Fitness / Strength Training

Sculpt Your Full Body With These Boxing Moves

Get ready to work your entire body to the max with these calorie-torching boxing moves.

There’s a good reason that Muhammed Ali was one of the best athletes this world has ever seen. He mastered one of the most difficult and calculated sports out there: boxing. Boxing is an incredible workout for a myriad of reasons—from its calorie-torching, fat-burning, and cardiovascular-enhancing abilities to its plyometric exercises and combination movements. If you’re looking to boost your strength, power, perseverance, hand-eye coordination and more, boxing is the workout for you. Here are some of the most effective calorie burning boxing moves that instructors love the most.

The Jab

Perhaps one of the most basic moves in boxing is this one right here. However, it should not be discredited for its simplicity. In fact, the jab, in all its strength and speed, is an incredibly effective calorie burning boxing move. It also builds strength and tones muscle. “This move is one of those fast punches that you can do repeatedly on the same arm for an insane burn,” says Chris Ryan, C.S.C.S and founder of Chris Ryan Fitness. To perform a jab, simply extend your arm and hand out in front of you in a punching motion. Make sure that you’re turning your palm down to shift your weight forward, adds Ryan.

The Cross

This punch packs some power! However, Ryan notes that it does not come across your body as its name seems to dictate. Instead, this is a total body movement involving everything from your legs to your core, and especially those obliques. Because of its ability to incorporate so many muscle groups, it simultaneously burns calories while effectively toning those mentioned areas. To perform a killer cross, extend your back hand straight out in front of you as you pivot on your back foot, and then shift your weight forward, explains Ryan.

The Jab-Cross-Hook

If you’re ready to up the ante on your boxing routine, you might be able to handle this three-step combo. It is a powerful calorie burning boxing move because you’re utilizing nearly every major muscle group in your upper and lower body.

To perform this move, start in a fighter’s stance and prepare your breathing. You’ll want to be sure to fully exhale through each punch while engaging both your abdominals and hips. “Extend your lead hand straight out in front of you with your palm facing the floor and, as you shift your weight forward, exhale while extending your back hand straight out in front of you,” says Caprice O’Bryant, owner and head trainer of Excuse Free Fitness, Inc., in Homewood, Illinois. “Don’t forget to pivot on your back foot!” Then, while keeping your momentum, bring your lead hand around with your elbow up and in line with your shoulder as your front foot pivots into the punch, she explains. Go back to the jab and repeat!

The Back-Hand Uppercut

This punching move involves a powerful twisting motion of your upper body. It packs a whole lot of power into what looks like a relatively small punch. The secret, Ryan says, is in the deep focus, breathing, and lower body movement. It appears to only work your upper body. However, it can work your lower body almost the same amount, depending on how much force you put forward. “Start low and drive your back hand up, and finish with your elbow pointing towards the floor as you pivot on your back foot,” says Ryan. “It works your legs, butt, core, arms, everything!”

The Roll Under

This defensive move is what enables professional boxers to win championships, according to Ryan. It is a terrific calorie burning boxing move and can enhance your overall athletic performance. “A little creative thought is in store for this move, however, as you have to imagine a punch that is coming at you,” Ryan says. In other words, you’ll want to shift your weight into your left foot and bend your knees to lower your body to the ground. “Next, shift your weight into your right foot as you come back up to your original boxer’s stance while continuing to alternate sides,” he adds. The ability to move laterally will not only fire up your caloric burn, but also your proprioception.

The Duck Under

You know those killer moves when one boxer goes to punch the other, but he misses because the boxer he was aiming for ducked under? Yep—that’s this move. “Imagine a punch coming straight over your head and ducking under it into a deep squat with your fists still up, and [then] explosively coming back into the starting position,” explains Ryan. Repeat this move a dozen times and see how it’s not just your arms [that are] getting a great workout, but also your butt, legs, and lungs burning up those calories, too.” It’s all about the squat! Stay punching—and squatting!

Try incorporating any (or all if you’re up to the challenge!) of these moves next time you train for a great calorie burning and a full-body workout.

Check out our other recent boxing posts here!
Shadowboxing 101: Punch Your Way to a New Favorite Workout
The 101 Guide to Boxing Terminology and Techniques

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