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How to Perform Shadow Boxing

Updated on September 2, 2020

Shadow boxing is a training exercise that is incorporated in practically every boxer’s training routine. It originated from the training technique in which boxers boxed with their shadows, although today shadow boxing generally refers to boxing with an imaginary rival. Shadow boxing works to improve the punches, agility, stance, accuracy, and footwork. But it is not just for boxers. It can be executed as a cardio exercise and can also be integrated in the warm-up and cool-down routines. But although there seems to be no rule in shadow boxing, there are actually some things you need to remember when doing this exercise. Here are some of them.

  • Find a place where you can shadow box. Because it doesn’t require any machine or tool, you can shadow box practically anywhere. In the gym. At home. In your room. At your office. However, make sure to choose a discreet place to avoid weird side glances from people. It has to be a place where you can freely move. For a better workout, shadow box in front of a mirror, so you can see your movements.
  • Take note of your stance. Always keep the boxer stance when shadow boxing. Make sure your hands are in front of your face to shield yourself and to readily throw punches. Roll your shoulders in, while keeping the back straight. Your one foot should be in front of the other.
  • Practice your movements. This is a good way to start shadow boxing. Focus on your movements without doing some punches. Start with your footwork—how you step, slide, pivot, and move sideways. Practice also how to avoid punches. Duck once in a while and follow it up with solid footwork.
  • Throw some punches. When you already have developed good movements and footwork, start to punch the air. Execute the basic punches like jab, uppercut, and hook. Remember to properly execute the punches. It will help if you throw them in slow-mo, so you can properly guide your hands and correct any error. If you can already execute the punches the right way, work towards improving your power.
  • Increase your speed. Now that you are familiar with the punches, begin working on your speed. Target a number of punches to throw in a minute or more, but make sure to execute them fluidly. To reinforce mastery, it will help if you concentrate on one form of punch at the beginning. Then do combinations when you have mastered all the punches. Make sure to always beat your best record. If you made 65 punches in a minute, target to do 100 in your next round.
  • Take down your imaginary opponent. Now, this is the part where you will put your skill to the test, in an imaginary way. Picture yourself in a ring with an opponent. In your imaginary scenario, tackle the opponent with punches and move about to avoid his blows. Do everything you can to beat him down. Remember that it takes lots of imagination to pull this off, but this will prove to be a lot of fun.

If you are into boxing, it will be practical to put on your mouthpiece as you do this exercise. This will help you practice breathing techniques and will prepare you for your fight.


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