Shadow Boxing Combos to Learn Weight Shifts
I was watching reruns of the Bachelor recently with my wife and got really, really mad when they showed one of the contestants working mits with a trainer. No hip twist, 100% arm snaps when punching. When done correctly shadow boxing, pad work, bag work, etc, etc becomes functional training. A punch isn’t an isolated action from the shoulder to the hand (or even the elbow to the hand.)
Go up to something soft and move just your arm to punch it. Now twist your hip while letting your arm swing through the air. Did you notice how much more force you got behind the movement? The power comes from the hips and utilizing your entire body to create torque and force (I might be misusing science words here but whatever you get my point.) It’s like the kettlebell swing being a HIP movement. You don’t move the bell with your arms, you move the bell with your hips and hold onto it with your arms. Same idea with a punch. Your arm is free in space, it’s the hips whipping it through that space that gives you power.
Let’s Start With Shadow Boxing Videos You’ll need
This should be coming at you via email so here’s the links to everything you’ll need today (which is part of my Push Ups and Pizza program with a bazillion other videos)
- Stance – https://d32bybd4ch3b1c.cloudfront.net/muay-thai-stance.mp4
- Switch Step – https://d32bybd4ch3b1c.cloudfront.net/switch-step.mp4
- Punch – https://d32bybd4ch3b1c.cloudfront.net/punches.mp4
- Hook – https://d32bybd4ch3b1c.cloudfront.net/hook.mp4
- Teep (or push kick) – https://d32bybd4ch3b1c.cloudfront.net/teep.mp4
- Me not being lazy throwing the teep – https://d32bybd4ch3b1c.cloudfront.net/teep-velocity.mp4
- Knee – https://d32bybd4ch3b1c.cloudfront.net/knees.mp4
Shadow Boxing Combo
If you have a heavy bag swap the knee with a kick. I have a personal aversion to including kicks in shadow boxing routines due to not knowing available space to whom I’m writing to (kicks can involve spinning around in a 360 degree environment where couches and ottomans may be in the way) and they don’t teach the weight shifts I’m attempting to drive home.
Left knee, right punch, left hook, right knee
Left kick, right punch, left hook, right kick (on pads or a bag)
If you’re left handed you’d do the opposite (right, left, right, left.)
For all the right handed people your left foot is in front by default. This is where the switch step video comes into play in this combo (although it doesn’t have to.) After teaching this combo to people in the real world the biggest hang up I’ve seen is on that first left with the switch step.
Left foot forward, right foot back. You switch step (or side step) or do anything to get that left foot in the rear. You throw the left knee (or the kick) then naturally and instinctively want to return that left foot to the position it was in when you threw it, the rear.
Don’t do that.
Start with the left foot forward, switch feet so the right is now in front and throw the knee. Now slam that left foot down so it’s in front again. You should immediately feel your entire body wanting to surge forward upon doing so. Throw the right punch, using your entire body and momentum to do so.
Did you feel that power?
Try it without slamming your left foot down (or even putting your left foot in the rear again.) What happens to the power? It’s gone and if your left foot is in the rear you’ve turned a powerful straight punch into a jab.
This is what I mean by functional training, weight shifts, and understanding body movements. Shadow boxing is just another tool to teach body mechanics. Ignore the strength athletes who complain about momentum “helping you” with the movements. They do 1-5 heavy reps in a fixed path and call it a day. It’s a different energy system and it’s working different movement patterns. That kind of training totally has a place in a well rounded, complete, training program. But it’s not what we’re doing here.
Shadow boxing is a Speed, Agility, Quickness program and can vary between High Intensity Interval Training or Slow Steady Cardio depending on the intensity you’re putting into your movements. It teaches proper breathing techniques with each movement as well (exhale when you throw a blow.) And it’ll help with working calves and ankles / balance.
– End Rant
After the straight, throw a left hook. This again will involve the hips and a twist on your front foot. We want the entire body getting into this. The end of the hook is going to leave your body twisted and ready to attack. Throw the right knee with all the force your body has to offer.
Did that combo feel good?
This will test your coordination as well.
Start with a 2 minute timer working that pattern – left knee, right punch, left hook, right knee (or replace knees with kicks if you’ve got a bag.)
Did you work up a sweat?