Everybody, it seems, is looking for that perfect workout. That exercise Holy Grail.Trainers, exercisers, equipment manufacturers, gyms…all in perpetual reconnaissance for that workout
But the simple truth is the best workout for you is the one you genuinely enjoy
whatever it may be. Because if you truly enjoy it then you won’t find ways NOT to do it. You will continue to do that exercise and the continual application of any activity will garner huge benefits in the long run!RELATED: RECOMMENDED PLANS FOR YOU
My very favourite anaerobic activity
and one that has been around since the ancient pugilistic sport of boxing began, is shadowboxing and hitting the heavy bag. I mention both of these because some people don’t have a heavy bag to hit, but you can still get a great workout just from shadowboxing (translation – throwing punches at an imaginary opponent). Really all you need to get a great workout from shadowboxing is just enough space to move around and extend your arms. An important first step though, should be to learn how to properly throw a punch.
Boxing punches should start from the ball of the foot
If you’re going to throw a straight right hand (as a right-handed fighter) you should push off the ball of your right foot as you are turning your hips towards the target, and extending your right arm from your chin to the target as the fist lands palm down, with the first two knuckles striking the target.
The left jab (for a right handed fighter) is an extension of the left arm from the chin to the target, landing with the first two knuckles, with the palm down. A left hook (for a right handed fighter), involves twisting your torso while keeping your left arm in a 90 degree angle and pivoting on the ball of your left foot, striking the target again with your first two knuckles of your left hand, with your hand in a ‘beer mug holding’ position.
With that as a quick overview of how to throw punches, you could start by doing one 3 minute round, either hitting the heavy bag (if you happen to have one) or shadowboxing – throwing punches at an imaginary opponent. This will be followed by one minute rest. And then try a second round, but don’t do more than that the first couple times you try, as this anaerobic exercise is very intensive and exhausting. You might think that because you are not hitting anything when shadowboxing, it will be easy. Believe me, try two 3 minute rounds and you’ll find out the truth!
For those that can, throw in push-ups, sit ups or body weight squats afterwards (or even in between rounds if your fitness is quite advanced). This is a total body workout that requires no equipment, made up of elements that have been tried and proven since beyond living memory. They have stood the test of time and there is a very good reason for that!
Also for those who can,
Adding a heavy bag to your workout equipment
will be an investment well worth making. While shadowboxing (or throwing punches at an imaginary opponent) is energising, effective and tough, pounding a heavy bag as hard as you can is one of the most physically demanding things you’ll ever do – and thankfully they don’t hit back! The amount of energy expended and the amazingly cathartic effect that an all-out assault on the heavy bag will have will be nothing short of extraordinary!
As you get in better and better shape you can increase your round totals from 2, 3, 4 etc. It is a workout that tests the entire cardio system, all of your pulling and pushing muscles and is surprisingly fatiguing to your legs too! It is no surprise that this type of workout has withstood all the fashions, fads and trends so synonymous with the fitness industry and they will outlast all of us!