Level up your jumps with shadowboxing

Float like a butterfly, and sting like a bee – start mixing up those jump rope tricks with some punches

Athletes and fitness enthusiasts enjoy jumping rope for its fun and engaging nature, accessibility, convenience, and the many benefits that vary depending on the goal of the jumper. For the same reason, I enjoy shadowboxing and I believe that a lot of jumpers will too. 

RELATED READ: 4 Tips on how to get started on jumping ropes by Jump Manila

I began shadowboxing when I was a fifteen-year-old student of amateur boxing who didn’t have a lot of budget for training. I could only visit the gym thrice a month given my limited budget as a student. I always saw it as a privilege to visit gyms as a teenager, and so I focused on building myself through home workouts and bodyweight exercises.

Personally, I believe that shadowboxing is an exercise that can level up your workouts. It adds variety to your jumps and footwork and it engages the same muscles that a jump rope exercise does.

What is shadowboxing?

To begin with, shadowboxing is a training method originally used by fighters to visualize their opponent in front of them and practice their moves even without a training partner or any equipment.

Shadowboxing is among my favorite exercises because it helps improve my technique, muscle coordination, cardiovascular endurance, strength, and conditioning, on top of being a fun way to burn calories.

‘Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee’

In light of this, another exercise that seems to capture the attention of many is jumping ropes. I could understand why it’s important to have a rope with you because of the convenience it offers and the results you get from it.

(Want to mix up your shadowboxing routine with jumps but don’t have a rope? Check out our article: Where to buy jumping ropes in PH?)

It occurred to me how beneficial these two exercises are to your overall fitness and health, and how they complement each other. Both exercises require proficiency in rhythm and balance in order for them to be executed properly. They train your muscles to communicate with each other.

There may be times when you jump where you reach a point when some of your prominent muscles are ready to give in, while you still have some gas left in the tank. Or your mind gives in before your body does because of the endless repetition in movement.

I believe that one of the solutions to this is to add something to your workout that offers similar or close results as the jump rope. Shadowboxing, to me, is that specific exercise. It gives calf muscles time to rest, while still working with other prominent ones to an extent.

The jump rope exercises work well with basic shadowboxing. You may incorporate this in your training to allow variety in your routine. For beginners, you can start by learning how to throw two punches, so you may add it in between your jump rope workout. Here are some of those basic techniques that we suggest you learn:

1. Jabs

What is a jab?

From the boxing stance, you throw the jab with your non-dominant hand. Its purpose is to set-up the more powerful punches from your dominant hand. It can also be used to measure the distance between you and your opponent, or in this case, your imaginary opponent.

How do you do it?

To execute the jab properly, extend your arm as far as you could and as fast as you can. After you feel it fully extend, immediately pull it back. Twist your lead foot as you throw it to fully utilize the range of motion. Your dominant hand should still be protecting your face when you do this.

Mistakes to avoid

A few of the common mistakes when throwing a jab include: not getting the full extension, overextending, and not retracting it back to guard after it’s thrown. Mistakes like these can put a lot of strain on your shoulder or elbow since the muscles are not getting the correct range of motion. It’s best to keep these in mind to avoid the risk of injury and poor form.

2. Cross or straights

What is a cross or straight?

The same goes for the cross or the straight. As the name suggests, your dominant hand should cross all the way to the front when you extend it from behind. Your back foot should twist as you throw your dominant hand, and then immediately pull your arm back.

How do you do it?

Mistakes to avoid

Practice those two punches and try to incorporate them with your jump rope workout. You may use this sample workout you can start with:

  • 3 minutes – Jump Rope
  • 30 seconds rest
  • 3 minutes – Jump Rope
  • 30 seconds rest
  • 3 minutes – Jump Rope
  • 1 minute and 30 seconds rest
  • 1 minute and 30 seconds – Practice Jab
  • 1 minute and 30 seconds – Jump Rope
  • 30 seconds rest
  • 1 minute and 30 seconds – Practice Cross
  • 1 minute and 30 seconds – Jump Rope
  • 30 seconds rest
  • 1 minute and 30 seconds – Practice Jab
  • 1 minute and 30 seconds – Practice Cross
  • 30 seconds rest
  • 1 minute and 30 seconds – Jump Rope
  • 1 minute and 30 seconds rest
  • 1 minute and 30 seconds – Practice combinations
  • Combination #1 – Jab, Jab, Cross
  • 1 minute and 30 seconds – Practice combinations
  • Combination #2 – Cross, Jab, Cross
  • 30 seconds rest
  • 1 minute and 30 seconds – Jump Rope

Total minutes of exercise = 30 minutes

The combination of these exercises has conveniently helped martial artists and boxers level up their game and keep their body in shape. On top of the health benefits is the opportunity to learn a discipline that can be used for sports, cultural appreciation, and self-defense.

The results would have you look good, feel healthy, and dangerous in the ring, all at the same time. It’s also important to increase the intensity of the workout once it starts to feel easy so you can further improve in the future. 

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