Shadow Boxing

Here at the Bristol Boxing Gym we regard shadow boxing as one of the most vital aspects of boxing training as it allows you to study your boxing technique and correct errors with your form, footwork and defence. Shadow boxing allows you to have a proper feel for your punches and weight transfers. One of the best ways to develop balance in your boxing stance is by throwing punches that don't hit anything. This will enable you to tell if you're throwing your punches too hard or too wild.  

We recommend a combination of shadow boxing in the ring and in front of the mirrors and we will explain the benefits of both.  We also recommend to shadow with your hand wraps on and now again shadow with your gloves on.  Shadow Boxing with light hand weights can also be a great fitness and strength workout. 

Shadow Boxing in the Ring. 

Shadow Boxing in the Ring gives you the opportunity to work in the space where it all happens.  Once the bell rings you need to fully focus, creating a mental picture of an opponent is a great start.  You need to imagine the punches coming at you so you slip and move looking to counter punch whilst on the back foot and then you can practice on your attacks moving forward off the front foot working on combinations.  

Being in the ring can help you familiarise yourself with the ring and the space you have to work with.  This allows you to use all the space and ropes to practice and this experience will benefit you when it comes to sparring and finally competitively boxing. Having this knowledge and being aware of where you are in the ring is known in the trade as ring generalship.

Shadow Boxing In Front of the Mirror.

The mirror is a great opportunity to take a look at yourself from your opponents point of view.   You can examine your technique and especially your defence.  

When learning new punches or combinations start slowly allowing you to perfect the technique before speeding things up.  Again if a certain move or punch does not seem right break it down and analyse the technique to locate the problem.  It is also a good idea to keep still while you’re learning new techniques, followed by practising whilst moving.

Shadow Boxing Workout

For your first time you need to get into your boxing stance and practice moving in all four directions forward, back and side-to-side.  To move forward you need to move your front foot first followed then by your back foot ensuring you maintain the correct distance between feet to remain balanced.  You certainly don’t want to get your feet into a position where they are too close together otherwise you’ll be off balance.  Whatever direction you move in you have to move that foot first, for example, to move backwards you move with you back foot first followed by your front foot.  This will seem slightly robotic at first but slowly your rhythm will improve and it will eventually become much more fluid as you move around the ring.  All steps should be small as you only need a sufficient amount to get in and out of punching range. A good guide for a step is two inches with each foot.

Next, incorporate some jabs with your steps. Throw your jab as you step in with your front foot. Remember to only make small foot movements as boxers work closely in and out of range and avoid jumping in and out.  One thing to remember about all the punches is that you are going to want to turn your hips and shoulders into the punch. From there you can move onto combinations and before you know it you’ll start looking like an accomplished boxer shadow boxing! But remember to constantly examine your technique as it will never be perfect as you will pick up bad habits and improvements can always be made.   

For our beginner’s classes we recommend to shadow box 3 or 4 round of 3 minute duration with a minute break, mixing the shadow between the ring and in front of mirrors.

For more experienced boxers we recommend to shadow box for around 4 – 6 rounds of a 3 minute duration with a minute break again mixing between the ring and in front of mirrors.   

Fighters of all levels from a beginners first day in the gym to a World Champion all incorporate shadow boxing into their boxing training.  It gives you the opportunity to practice and perfect your boxing technique and come fight night this could be the difference between winning and losing.