Cardiovascular exercise does not have to be focused on leg workouts, such as walking, jogging, running, biking, etc. You can achieve excellent cardiovascular fitness solely with upper body aerobic workouts, especially with a shadow box workout. Because most of us are not looking to jump in the ring anytime soon, you can improvise with shadow boxing workouts. Shadowboxing workouts require no equipment, minimal space and only a few minutes to jump your heart rate up and your calorie burning potential. You may feel silly with the shadow box workout at first, but over time, you will be a shadow boxing pro!

Here are a few general tips to help you get started with the shadow box workout:

1. Three minutes shadow box, one minute rest. This format matches round times that fighters actually use. From an exercise standpoint, three minutes of exercise intertwined with one minute rest is considered interval training, and an effective means to achieve cardiovascular fitness. Start with two or three rounds, then, progress to five or six rounds for a full cardio workout.

2. Perform one type of punch for 30 seconds. Break your three minute round into six, 30 second intervals. Perform a left jab for 30 seconds, a right jab for 30 seconds, left uppercut for 30 seconds, and so on. Over time you will notice an increase in the speed and number of punches you can throw in a 30 second period.

3. Bounce like a boxer. “Fly like a butterfly, sting like a bee”; a quote from arguable the greatest boxer of all time. Bounce in place while you are shadow boxing. Although you are working out your upper body, sneak in a calf workout! Stay on your toes and you will soon feel you calves burning. Furthermore, bouncing around will burn more calories to help you lose fat and increase tone.

4. Turn up the music! Shadow boxing is much more fun with music. Box to the beat, and you will soon forget that you are even working out. Choose fast paced music to keep your heart rate and energy up during your workout.

5. Fight your stressors. Picture whatever it is that you want to knock out… I will leave it at that 🙂

Get into this shadow box workout! Good luck.