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From fat loss to muscle gain, here’s what shadow boxing can do for you

Published on:30 April 2020, 19:39pm IST
Work your upper body, core, and more with shadow boxing punches and get ready for a chiseled body.
Nikita Bhardwaj
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Shadow boxing is your upper body’s best pal. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Everybody nowadays is trying their hands on martial arts because let’s face it’s not just a great way to do cardio but it also gives you strength and mobility. In fact, a study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research suggests that martial arts can help you build better stamina and make you more agile. 

But, can you guess that one move which makes martial art so fruitful? Yes, it’s punching indeed. When you punch your entire upper body comes in action and all your muscles work in coordination to make this move power-packed.

Your traps, shoulder, biceps, triceps, forearm, chest, quads, glutes, abdomen, and many more muscles are employed when you do this power move.      

Maybe that’s why Disha Patani, Katrina Kaif, Shilpa Shetty, Alia Bhatt, Deepika Padukone, and many other Bollywood divas are including punching into their workout routine. And you should too! 

shadow boxing
Even Disha Patani is a fan of martial arts based workouts! Image courtesy: Disha Patani/Facebook

But even if you don’t have a punching bag at home or a stellar martial arts guiding your every stroke, there’s a way for you. Enter: shadowboxing. Also known as shadow punches or air punches, you need to throw punches at the air in order to move your upper body. 

Here are six reasons why you should do shadow boxing at least twice a week:

  1. It’s a fat cutter
    Shadow boxing is the best cardio ever. All you need is a little speed to get maximum gains. In fact, a study published in the Journal of Sports Science and Medicine suggests that shadow boxing shows prominent results in weight reduction in obese athletes.
     
  2. It will help you gain muscle mass
    Especially for your biceps, triceps, and shoulders – shadow boxing is a wonderful exercise for muscle gain. It will help in toning your muscles.  Basically, when you throw air punches, there is a whole lot of contraction that happens and that’s one of the biggest reasons for muscle gain, suggests a study published in the International Journal of Sports Medicine.
     
  3. You don’t need any equipment for shadow boxing
    All you need is the strength of your two hands and that’s it. No dumb-bells, punching bag, or boxing gloves are required for shadow boxing.

  4. It’s a full-body workout
    Since shadow boxing employs many muscles in one go, this is the one exercise you can do on a daily basis to tone your whole body.

  5. It will help you find balance
    Have you ever lost your balance while doing a squat? If the answer is yes then shadow boxing is all you need to improve your balance. Basically, when you keep your core tight while throwing air punches, it helps you balance better and longer.

    squats
    Shadow punching can help you do squats better by improving your balance.
  6. It can be mixed up with many other exercises
    You can make your own version of shadow boxing by including it with some other cardio exercises like burpees, squats, and crunches. 

Here’s a pro-tip before you do shadow boxing
You should always start your warm-ups with a few air punches, especially if you are doing arms that day. It’s also a great idea to cool down with shadow boxing as it will release muscle stiffness after weight training.

Here’s how you can do shadow boxing
Stand with your feet wide apart and raise your fists in front of your chin or nose. Now punch right in front of you. Remember that your knuckles should come forward. Use both arms alternately.

To start with, you can do 50 air punches with each hand. Just remember to keep your core and arm muscles strong. Try to hit the air forcefully for maximum impact. And since speed is key, try to go as fast as you can. 

So, there you go, it’s time to give unwanted fat a showdown with shadow boxing.

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Nikita Bhardwaj Nikita Bhardwaj

Six-pack abs are all that Nikita needs, along with her daily dose of green tea. At Health Shots, she produces videos, podcasts, stories, and other kick-ass content.