- At-home boxing workouts require minimal space and equipment but deliver a great workout.
- You can get started with just a few pieces of equipment, like a yoga mat and hand weights.
- There are also at-home boxing systems like FightCamp that provide structured routines.
At-home boxing workouts are some of the best high-intensity interval training exercises because they burn a lot of calories, build muscles, boost mental health, and even help people with Parkinson’s disease.
Although the sport of boxing uses gear such as gloves and hand wraps, they aren’t essential to an at-home workout. Truly anyone can do a boxing workout so long as you have a little space to move around and know what punches to throw.
Plus, shadow boxing is low-impact so anyone can easily adjust the moves or rounds to their fitness level and boxing technique. Hitting a bag, however, is high-impact on your upper body, so if you want something
I spoke to two personal trainers and a physical therapist for their tips on how to get the most out of an at-home boxing workout.
Get the most from your boxing workout
Before getting started, you’ll want to ensure you’re prepared with two things: proper gear for the type of boxing you want to do and a guided workout. Here’s how to get started:
You can do a boxing workout just about anywhere — all you really need is a yoga mat.
Angelica Segura, personal trainer, boxer, and co-founder of the boxing studio, MELTprjct, recommends the 5 mm Reversible Mat by Lululemon because of its thick grip that won’t slide around, and it’s one of the only mats she’s seen that doesn’t peel over time.
Other equipment you can use to take your boxing workout to the next level includes:
- A jump rope to warm up your muscles.
- A set of small weights: Segura recommends using the 1.5 lb or 2 lb Egg Weights to get started because they have a single loop that goes around your middle finger to stay in place and fits naturally in the palm of your hand, perfect for shadowboxing.
- For a high-impact workout, a punching bag and gloves can also be used.
“Out of all the at-home workouts, boxing would be the one that needs the least amount of space, especially if you’re solely shadowboxing,” Segura says. “If you add HIIT combinations, you’ll need a little more space but essentially everything can be done over a yoga mat.”
If you prefer hitting a heavy bag over shadow boxing, Segura recommends getting a freestanding bag by Everlast and filling the base with water or sand to keep it more stable. Keep in mind that you’ll also need wraps and a pair of gloves to protect your hands and wrists if you plan on hitting a bag.
A sample workout
A boxing workout consists mainly of throwing a series of punches including jabs, crosses, hooks, and uppercuts.
Jabs and crosses are quicker punches while hooks and uppercuts require a bit more power and movement.
The key to an effective boxing workout is to combine these punches in a repeatable pattern. Below is an example workout, recommended by Steven Westbrook, personal trainer at Steven Westbrook Training,
1. Start with your right foot and right arm forward. If you’re using a punching bag, this would mean your right side is closest to the bag.
2. Start with a jab followed by a cross with your opposite arm.
3. Follow that with two lead hooks using your front (or dominant) arm.
4. Finally, wrap it up with a cross, then a jab.
5. Repeat steps 2-4 for 30 seconds, pause, then repeat for another 30 seconds.
“Practice [the] combos a few times in the mirror to get the hang of it and then set a timer for 30 seconds to go as fast as you can with good posture and breathing, then rest for 10 seconds and repeat,” says Westbrook.
To make the workout more complex, F45 boxing trainer and physical therapist, Casey Barnett recommend adding other HIIT movements like squats, lunges, push-ups, and burpees. These can be done between rounds to keep your heart rate up, or at the end of a combo.
The benefit of doing a home boxing workout is that you can structure it however you like.
What about smart home boxing systems?
If you’re looking for more than shadow boxing, there are several home boxing machines that are similar to something like a Peloton bike.
For a full bag experience, there’s FightCamp, a smart bag that tracks your punches, hit rate, and overall output. FightCamp provides its own workouts through a companion app that mimics in-gym boxing workouts such as Rumble. A FightCamp bag plus trackers cost $500 plus an extra $39 per month for access to its app.
Another option is Quiet Punch, a small bag you attach to your doorway. This option also features an app-led experience that provides its own unique punch combos over the course of several three-minute rounds (i.e. the length of an actual boxing round). Quiet Punch costs $125 (or $175 if you want an included punch tracker). Its app is free, too.
On-hand punch trackers are also an option, like the Corner Boxing Trackers, which cost $289. This comes with trackers in the wrist wraps and an app that syncs quickly and accurately to measure your punch speed and output.
The health benefits of boxing as a workout
There are a number of benefits associated with using boxing to keep fit. Not only does it help build strength and improve balance, but its reliance on the proper form also benefits your own body awareness.
Boxing increases your body awareness
Form is vital for boxing, whether you’re hitting a bag or simply shadowboxing. And using the proper form can help you improve your balance (this is especially true for older folks or those suffering from Parkinson’s).
“Boxing teaches you how to understand your own body mechanics and your body within a space,” says Segura.
For example, you aren’t just blindly swinging your arms with any punch. Instead, you’ll aim to use your arms and shoulders, your core, and even your lower body to achieve the correct form and technique.
It also builds strength and balance
“True strength training requires some level of resistance,” Segura says. “With shadow boxing, you focus more on cardio and building endurance that way.”
Boxing can still help build strength, however, as you can opt to either hit a bag or add in some high-intensity interval training (HIIT).
The best thing about getting started with an at-home boxing workout is that you can get an effective workout with minimal gear and space.
All you need is a little tutorial on the different types of punches to throw and a guided plan.
There are also more advanced at-home boxing systems if you want to replicate the in-studio experience. Machines like FightCamp, or peripherals such as QuietPunch, can provide a more in-depth and guided boxing experience.