A 20-Minute Boxing-Inspired Workout You Can Do at Home Without Gloves or a Bag

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There's no doubt this novel coronavirus pandemic has presented us with a lot of unprecedented situations (like all gyms being closed) — along with sky-high stress, anxiety and frustration. One thing that can help? Staying active. Boxing in particular can be a great stress-reliever.

Forget the punching bag and gloves: You can get a heart-pounding boxing workout at home.

"The punching aspect of boxing helps relieve muscle tension and requires you to fully concentrate on your workout (enabling you to forget your stress and turn off from the outside world)," says Tommy Duquette, former U.S. National Boxing Champion and co-founder and trainer at FightCamp. He points to the fact that 94 percent of FightCamp users report feeling less stressed after starting a boxing routine.

But what are you supposed to do if your go-to boxing studio is closed for the foreseeable future? Duquette has you covered. He designed the below at-home boxing workout to rev your heart rate, sculpt your arms and shred your core. It only takes 20 minutes, and you don't need a heavy bag or boxing gloves (so no excuses!).

Get tips on how to stay healthy, safe and sane during the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Try This At-Home Boxing Workout — No Equipment Required

There are three parts to this workout: jump rope cardio, ab exercises and boxing combos. "A boxer or fighter's workout is a combination of cardiovascular and strength training," Duquette says. "Fighters have to be up on their feet moving around the ring for long durations of time, and jump rope is one of the best ways to build cardio endurance."

As for the ab exercises: "A strong core protects you from body punches but also ensures that you can maximize the power of your punches, because proper punching is a total-body motion that heavily engages rotational power from your core," he says.

Check out more of our 20-minute workouts here — we’ve got something for everyone.

Do: 30 seconds of each of the following moves, completing the full circuit four times

  • Jump rope coast (light pace)
  • Jump rope high knees (moderate pace)
  • Crunches
  • Leg lifts
  • Boxing combo 1: jab, cross, jab, cross, sprawl jump
  • Boxing combo 2: jab, cross, lead hook, rear hook, roll, roll
  • Russian twists
  • Shoulder taps
  • Boxing combo 1: jab, cross, jab, cross, sprawl jump
  • Boxing combo 2: jab, cross, lead hook, rear hook, roll, roll

Move 1: Jump Rope Coast

  • Lightly skip in place over an imaginary jump rope.

Move 2: Jump Rope High Knees

  • Skip over your imaginary rope at a faster pace, lifting one knee at a time up toward your chest as you hop.

Move 3: Crunches

  1. Lie on your back with your legs bent and feet flat on the floor close to your butt. Place both hands behind your head, elbows out.
  2. Using just your abdominal muscles, lift your head, shoulders and upper back off the floor without compressing your neck too far into your chest.
  3. Lower back down slowly and with control.

Move 4: Leg Lifts

  1. Lie on your back with your hands under your tailbone for support and legs extended straight out.
  2. Keeping your knees locked, lift your legs up until they're perpendicular to the floor.
  3. Using your abs, lower your legs back down again. Focus on not letting them hit the ground, instead hovering just above it.

Move 5: Boxing Combo 1

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, your non-dominant foot a few feet in front of the other. If you're a righty, your left foot should be in front and your right foot should be behind the left and slightly to the side.
  2. Your lead hand (if you're a righty, your lead is your left) should sit at about eye level with your back arm tucked close to your body, nearly touching your ribs. Keep your rear arm along your cheekbone to protect your face.
  3. Jab: Punch straight out with your lead hand (same side as your front leg) and pull the arm back in.
  4. Cross: Punch straight out with your rear hand (same side as your rear leg), then pull the arm back in.
  5. Jab: Punch again with your lead hand.
  6. Cross: Punch again with your rear hand.
  7. Sprawl jump: Place your hands on the ground between your feet, hop them back into a high plank, then hop them back to your hands. Stand up and jump.

Tip

"Keep your hands up, elbows in and throw the punches at head level," Duquette says. "It’s important to throw the punches in a straight line from the point of origin, and it’s important to bring them back in a straight line."

Move 6: Boxing Combo 2

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, your non-dominant foot a few feet in front of the other. If you're a righty, your left foot should be in front and your right foot should be behind the left and slightly to the side.
  2. Your lead hand (if you're a righty, your lead is your left) should sit at about eye level with your back arm tucked close to your body, nearly touching your ribs. Keep your rear arm along your cheekbone to protect your face.
  3. Jab: Punch straight out with your lead hand (same side as your front leg), then pull the arm back in.
  4. Cross: Punch straight out with your rear hand (same side as your rear leg), then pull the arm back in.
  5. Lead hook: Throw your lead arm out slightly to the side of your body, then bend your elbow to a 90-degree angle as you swipe across your body. Shift your weight slightly to your lead leg.
  6. Rear hook: Throw your rear arm out slightly to the side of your body, then bend your elbow to a 90-degree angle as you swipe across your body. Shift slightly to the rear side, but keep your weight in your front leg.
  7. Roll: With your arms in a fighting stance (see step 2), bend both knees as you duck and lean to your rear leg side as if you were avoiding a punch. You'll also be leaning slightly back toward your rear leg.
  8. Roll: Bend your knees again to duck and lean toward your lead leg and slightly forward.

Tip

Don't throw "arm punches," Duquette says. "Powerful, effective punches come from engaging the entire body and generating rotational force through your core." That also means shifting your weight from right to left as you throw each punch to maximize your power, he says.

Move 7: Russian Twists

  1. Sit on the floor with your legs bent and feet off the floor. Hold your hands together at the center of your chest.
  2. Twist to the left and let your hands come with you, touching (or nearly touching) the ground on your left side.
  3. Come back through center, then rotate to your right side, bringing your hands along with you.
  4. Continue alternating side to side.

Tip

"Pretend you are holding a medicine ball and touching it to the floor on each side," Duquette says.

Move 8: Shoulder Taps

  1. Start in a high plank (the top of a push-up) with your hands under your shoulders and your body in a straight line from head to heels.
  2. Lift your right hand off the floor and tap your left shoulder.
  3. Lower your hand back down and repeat on the other side.
  4. Continue alternating right hand to left shoulder and left hand to right shoulder, making sure your hips stay square to the ground.

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