Shadowboxing & Jumping rope: two favorite exercise staples of mine that should become yours too.
Are you ready for a set of activities that torches calories, reduces stress, increases bone density, is easy on your joints, improves cognitive function, is cost effective, can be done anywhere, can be both a warm up and a full routine and a did I also mention fun?
If so…keep reading…
Let’s Start with Jumping Rope:
Usually when jumping rope is mentioned the first thing that comes to mind is children reciting double Dutch rhymes on a school playground.
Or perhaps when you hear the mention of jump rope the visuals of a training montage from your favorite boxing movie immediately comes to mind.
Yes boxers and most combative sport athletes jump rope and for good reason too, which I’ll explain later, but first let’s take a closer look at the many benefits jump rope has to offer:
In today’s hectic lifestyle not everyone has time, or maybe you do but live in an area with less than desirable weather that just won’t cooperate so you can go for that run, never fear!
Just 10 minutes of jump rope is equivalent to about 30 minutes of jogging.
Studies show that jumping rope at a steady pace can burn 10 to 16 calories per minute.
Do the math, that’s an upward of 1300 calories in one hour!
Jumping Rope produces less stress and impact on your joints vs the constant pounding while running
Have you ever heard of anyone getting shin splints while jumping rope?
Increases Bone Density:
A researcher who has studied the bones of the elderly and of athletes, Dr Daniel Barry notes the latest studies show simply jumping rope is one of the best exercises you can do for improving bone density.
You can pick up a good jump rope for $20.00 or less.
Think about how much serious runners spend on a quality pair of running shoes.
Builds Agility & Speed while improving Cognitive function:
THIS is why it’s so popular with boxers and other combat sport practitioners.
When you jump rope your, body connects with your mind to make “neural muscular adjustments” to keep you balanced.
Essentially, skipping rope improves your balance and quickness/coordination by making your mind focus on your feet for sustained periods of time, even if you’re not conscious of it – while also improving coordination between your eyes, feet and hands.
You are learning new patterns while honing rhythm and timing , all essential tools for fighters.
Why do you think it’s a favorite for fighters?
This one is simple.
Jump ropes can be taken anywhere and can be done anytime.
Can be both a warm up and a full workout:
Try doing a 2- 3 minute rounds as a warm up before hitting the weights.
Mix up the speed, rhythm and patterns, and once you start to improve add time to your session.
You could also try six rounds at five minutes a piece for a total body, metabolic workout that will leave you in a puddle.
So what are you waiting for?
Grab that rope and have fun!
On To Shadow Boxing:
Shadow boxing is a staple for all fighters—it’s also a great cardio workout.
While it’s not as calorie consuming as jump rope you still will be burning upward of 400 calories per hour, you add kicks, knees and elbows to the mix and you will burn even more.
Shadow boxing also helps you develop foot speed, hand coordination, and technique.
And, best of all, it can be done anywhere, anytime – for a quick and heart-pumping session.
“Shadow boxing is a great full-body workout with minimal impact,” boxing instructor Cole Williams says.
“Every punch is like a pulley system, working your hips, core, and shoulders—just shredding your body.“
When you shadow box, remember to keep your hands up and chin down!
Now, visualize an opponent coming at you trying to hurt you. Imagine punches coming towards you, and evade them as if they were real.
Try to picture what it feels like to get hit… and focus to remind yourself to remain loose and relaxed.
Work on defense & counter-striking… making ‘punches’ miss, and sending counters towards a specific area.
When throwing a combination, always try and end with some form of moving out of reach. Examples are slipping, Bob n Weave, Fading, Shielding and Parrying as if your opponent is immediately attacking back.
In a real fight your opponent WILL fight back, so it’s worth visualizing the same in shadow boxing and teaching yourself good habits.
Remember to keep your hands up and chin down!!
Visualizing an unwanted scenario allows you to grow accustomed to it, and it DULLS the emotional response that you’d actually end up having in ‘real life’ simply by being mentally prepared for it.
So try it as a timed warm-up before you hit the weights or take it to the next level making a full timed workout honing your technique, defense and movements.
Did I also mention it costs ZERO dollars to shadowbox and it’s a lot of fun?
So now hopefully you see why these two have been in my repertoire for almost 20 years . Hopefully after reading this they will be in yours too
All the Best,