Get access to everything we publish when you sign up for Outside+.
At the end of a long day, who doesn’t want to punch something — or someone? In the interest in avoiding a battery charge, you might want to try this quick, stress-relieving workout instead.
“Boxing is incredible for building cardiovascular strength, losing overall body fat and toning muscle, but its benefits extend beyond the ring,” says Tommy Duquette, co-founder of FightCamp and former member of USA Boxing. “It can be incredibly liberating to learn how to punch, jab and block an opponent’s attack, and it can lead to improved confidence and empowerment as well as mental clarity and stress relief.”
Boxers have to be able to think quickly on their feet with minimal rest, which is why Duquette recommends an EMOM (every minute on the minute) programming format. “The progressively shortened rest periods keep your heart rate up and your head in the game since you have to focus on giving the maximum effort every round,” he says.
Forward/Backward Lunge and Punch
Stand with your feet hip-width apart and your hands in a “ready” boxing position — fists closed, elbows bent, arms in close to your body to protect your face and head. Take a large step forward with your right leg, bending your knees to lower into a deep lunge while simultaneously throwing a straight punch with your left hand. Return to the start, then step your right foot back into a reverse lunge and throw a jab with your left hand. Return to the start. Repeat with your left leg/ right hand and continue, alternating sides.
Tip: Make sure you’re stable in your lunge before throwing your punch. Otherwise, you might lose your balance and compromise your form.
Forearm Plank Punch
Get into a forearm plank with your elbows underneath your shoulders and your head, hips and heels aligned. Brace your core and keep your hips stable as you punch forward with your right fist, arm parallel to the floor. Return to plank and repeat on the left side to complete one rep. Continue, alternating sides.
Tip: Don’t allow your body to rock back and forth. Drive through your heels as you punch forward to stiffen your core and keep your body stable.
Power 180 + Hooks
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, back straight, core tight, arms in the boxer’s ready position. Quickly bend your hips and knees to load your posterior chain, then jump into the air and turn 180 degrees to the left. Land softly, load up and jump 180 degrees back to the start. Hold here as you throw a hook punch with each arm — shoulder level and parallel with the floor, elbow bent — driving across your body — to complete one rep.
Tip: Generate more power and engage your core with a pivot: Drive through your same-side foot and turn your hips in the direction of the punch as you extend your arm.
Get into plank with your fists underneath your shoulders and your head, hips and heels aligned. Bend your elbows and lower your body in a push-up, keeping your elbows in tight until your chest almost touches down. Extend your arms forcefully to return to the start and punch forward with your right hand. Keep your arm extended as you open your chest to the right and pivot into a side plank, hips and shoulders stacked. Return to the start and continue, alternating sides.
Tip: Don’t rush this move. Complete each portion with precision to maintain balance and be efficient.
Lie with your feet flat on the floor, knees bent and your fists in front of your shoulders, elbows bent. Sit up quickly and throw a straight jab with each arm before lowering back to the floor. Continue, alternating lead arms with each rep.
Tip: If you’re having trouble sitting up from the floor, anchor your feet underneath a set of dumbbells for additional stability and support.
At the top of each minute, begin the programmed task. On the odd minutes, perform Couplet 1 and rest any remaining time. On the even minutes, perform Couplet 2 and rest any remaining time. At the end of 10 minutes, perform the finisher. Record the number of reps you got and try to beat it next time.
Couplet 1 (minutes 1, 3, 5, 7, 9)
|Forward/Backward Lunges and Punches||5|
|Forearm Plank Punches||10|
Couplet 2 (minutes 2, 4, 6, 8, 10)
|Power 180s + Hooks||8|
|1-2 Push-Ups||8 (4 each side)|
Finisher: 1-Minute AMRAP (as many reps as possible)
You can do these moves with or without the gloves, but the gloves add a little weight, making the moves that much harder.