Shadow Box as an Alternative to Running

by Joe Lawrence | October 2nd, 2013 | Assorted Workouts, Cardio

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERARunning is an awesome cardio workout, but let’s face it…it is gets old day in and day out. There are many alternatives to get the heart pumping; however, doing a little shadow boxing is pretty fun. Besides, I do not like the way my shadow always follows me around and it needs to be taught a lesson!

After watching a Bruce Lee movie, we all think we are fighters and may even practice a move or two on the way to the kitchen. Take that energy and creativity and make it worth your while.

Shadow boxing is something professional fighters have done forever. It is a great way to practice technique, loosen the muscles, visualize a fight, and break a sweat without impacting a target. Shadow boxing is very soothing and a form of meditation for martial artists and boxers. However, you don’t need to be in a pro circuit to get some great benefits from the workout.

To start, there is no wrong way or set number of punches, kicks, elbows, knees, head butts, etc. The only rule is to keep moving. Other than that my goal is to make my shadow pray for light.

1) Location for the exercise is as much fun as the action itself. I like to box in different rooms of the house and imagine attackers coming into my kitchen, bedroom, bathroom, and even in the wilderness.

2) Once you are mentally prepared and ready to fight off all enemies, set a timer. 15-20 minutes is a great place to start and is much longer once you begin than you would think.

3) Get into a fighting stance. If you have no fight training, who cares! You have seen enough movies to have a general idea.

4) Very gently and with full motions, throw some light punches, kicks, or whatever you choose. Don’t go too hard just yet until you get a light sweat and your joints/muscles are warm. Just because you are not hitting anything doesn’t mean you can’t hyper-extend by going too hard or too fast.

I like to pretend I am just minding my own business and do about 10 each of each move I want to do in my fight. By then I have a light sweat and the bad guys suddenly walk into my kitchen looking to take my Rachel Ray cookbook, er I mean my Super Bowl ring.

5) This is when you can dial up the intensity just a little bit and not push it past your comfort level. Imagine you are fighting the low level guy first. The easy fighters are always the first to attack.

6) As you get tired, don’t stop! Simply slow down again and throw slower attacks until you catch your breath. This is the part of the fight scene where the camera action goes into slow motion. It is especially fun to talk in slow motion too. Once you catch your breath take out another enemy or two until timer is complete.

7) Video yourself and send me the YouTube link!

(Photo courtesy of Michal Zacharzewski)

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All health and fitness information is provided for educational purposes. Please consult with your physician before beginning any exercise regimen.