Here at the frontier, the leaves fall like rain. Although my neighbors are all barbarians, and you, you are a thousand miles away, there are still two cups at my table.

Ten thousand flowers in spring, the moon in autumn, a cool breeze in summer, snow in winter. If your mind isn't clouded by unnecessary things, this is the best season of your life.

~ Wu-men ~

Monday, September 05, 2022

Shadow Boxing for Fitness

Over at the Art of Manliness was an article on how to shadow box for fitness. Below is an excerpt. The whole post may be read here.

Shadow boxing is a fundamental boxing skill. It provides an opportunity for boxers to fine-tune their technique and mentally prepare for a workout or fight.

For non-boxers, shadow boxing can be an excellent warm-up for a workout or even a workout in and of itself — you’ll be amazed at how quickly it revs up your heart rate. This low-impact cardio can be done pretty much anywhere —the gym, your garage, a hotel room. You can even shadow box in the dark after you’ve rambled in the park. (Only real ones know that reference).

To get the lowdown on how to shadow box like a champ, I talked to boxing coach Aaron Sloan, owner of The Engine Room — a boxing gym here in Tulsa, OK.

How to Shadow Box

To get set for a shadow boxing session, get in a proper boxing stance, with your hands up. You don’t need to wear gloves, but you may want your hands wrapped if you’re going to be moving right from a shadow-boxing warm-up to doing something like hitting the speed bag.

Stay focused.

The biggest mistake Aaron sees boxers make with their shadow-boxing work is that they just go through the motions. “Shadow boxing is an important part of your development as a fighter,” Aaron told me. “It’s the only time you get to really practice your technique perfectly. The boxers who just go through the motions are missing out on becoming a better fighter.”

So the first tip for effective shadow boxing is to stay mentally focused during your entire session.

Only use a mirror if you’re a beginner working on technique.

Despite its name, when you’re shadow boxing, you’re not really going to be sparring with a shadow on a wall. Aaron doesn’t like to use mirrors for shadow-boxing work either. He wants his boxers to feel a correct punch being thrown, not just see it. With that said, he’ll sometimes have his beginning boxers stand in front of a mirror while shadow boxing to help them fine-tune their technique.

Vividly visualize a boxer in front of you.

Even when you’re not using a mirror, you should be sparring with an opponent in your mind. Visualize him: How far is he from you? Where is his body relative to you? At what height is his head? “I have my fighters imagine a boxer in front of them in the middle of the ring, but it has to be vivid. It requires mental focus,” Aaron says. “To make sure my fighters have a vivid imaginary boxer in front of them, I’ll ask them, ‘What color are his shorts?’ If they can’t answer right away, it means they’re not focused on the practice, and they need to get their head back in the game.”

Don’t throw full punches.

You don’t want to throw full punches while you’re shadow boxing. “You’ll just give yourself tennis elbow,” Aaron says. Go hard, but don’t extend your arm all the way when throwing straight punches.



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