Dance is only one way to marry music and movement. Whether you're cycling to a beat or squatting to a rhythm, many forms of exercise have a choreography all of their own.
Boxing is a prime example. You'll sway, punch and bounce through this 15-minute shadowboxing video, led by Justin Blackwell, master coach at Los Angeles-based fitness studio BoxUnion. "Let it flow" and move to the melody of this equipment-free, beginner-friendly routine, he says.
Before you start moving to the music, make sure you're wearing a stable pair of shoes and give yourself a few feet of free space so you have plenty of room to punch.
Get ready with a few dynamic warm-up exercises to prep your muscles.
First, Blackwell will explain the basic boxing stance and punches. You'll learn the form and terminology for the jab (1), cross (2), front hook (3), rear hook (4), front uppercut (5) and rear uppercut (6).
Form is crucial in boxing, so feel free to pause the video and practice until you're comfortable with the moves.
- Boxer Bounce: Get started by matching your bounce to the beat of the music.
- Jabs (1) and Crosses (2): As you throw jabs and crosses, remember to snap your thumbs down and use your whole body to generate power.
- Jump Rope: "I don't care if you're on one leg or the other, just have some fun with it," Blackwell says.
- Fighter Bounce: Keep your eyes and hands up and chin down as you bounce.
- Front Hooks (3) and Rear Hooks (4): Don't just throw your arms, Blackwell says. Move your whole body and shift your weight as you hook left and right.
- Jump Rope: Check in with yourself as you move through this transition.
- Squat: Squeeze your glutes at the top of each squat to activate your lower-body muscles.
- Jump Rope: Shake out your legs after all those squats.
- Front Uppercuts (5) and Rear Uppercuts (6): Keep your uppercuts nice and loose, Blackwell says. "We don't have to think about it. Just be about it today."
- Repeat steps 7 and 8.
- Freestyle: Throw any of the six punches to the beat of the music.
- Boxer Bounce: Use this moment to catch your breath and reset for the next exercise.
- Jab (1): "Every time you land that jab, [stay] nice and long with it," Blackwell says. "Really lock out that elbow, rotate that shoulder over. Nice, sharp breath as you land."
- 1s and 2s: Keep your feet moving as you jab and cross faster this time.
- Cross (2): Step and rotate as you punch across your body.
- Cross (2) and Hook (3): Add a hook to your cross, moving your entire body with each punch, not just your arms, Blackwell says.
- Hook (3): On the hook, rotate off your front foot and drop your weight to your back foot.
- Front Hook (3) and Rear Hook (4): Your elbows should follow your hands toward your target with each hook.
- Hook (4): "This should be the strongest punch in your arsenal," Blackwell says.
- Rear Hook (4) and Front Uppercut (5): Your hook should lead you to your uppercut. Then, let the uppercut bring you back to the center.
- Front Uppercut (5): "It's not a scoop, but a pop," Blackwell says.
- Front Uppercut (5) and Rear Uppercut (6): Alternate left and right uppercuts, keeping your arms up at all times.
- Rear Uppercut (6): "Just like rolling that bowling ball down the lane," Blackwell says.
- Front Uppercut (5) and Rear Uppercut (6): Tap these out until the music stops.
- 1-2-5-6 Combo: Mirror Blackwell as he punches through different combinations.
- Fighter's Round: Alternate between rounds of squats and explosive combos of jabs, crosses, front uppercuts and rear uppercuts.
Although you may be eager to hit the shower, run through a quick cooldown routine to stay injury-free.
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