Boxing as a Cardiovascular Exercise

Boxing is not just a fight in the ring. Behind him is a challenging workout with various exercises, from hitting to jumping rope. Many of these movements can be incorporated into your cardiovascular training to build endurance.

It is not necessary to immediately enter the ring; even a short three-round training with a punching bag will be practical.

In this article, we talk about which boxing exercises are practical for cardio and why else it is helpful to include boxing in your training routines.

Boxing as cardio

Boxing is a great way to build muscular endurance. Try actively hitting the bag for 2-3 minutes, and you will feel how much effort it takes. The shoulders and back muscles are under tension for a long time and do not rest for more than a minute between rounds.

This training regimen increases muscle endurance and teaches you to recover faster after exercise. Also, the combination of strength and aerobic exercise in boxing allows you to get rid of excess weight effectively. On average, 1 hour of boxing consumes 500 to 900 calories.

Energy is expended if your training involves sparring in the ring. Concentration increases, the cardiovascular system is activated, and the body is forced to pay more resources to maintain performance.

Why do you need cardiovascular training?

First of all, cardiovascular training is necessary to strengthen the cardiovascular system. Under aerobic exercise, the heart works more actively, and blood circulation increases. As a result, the cardiovascular system adapts to stress, and the body becomes more resilient.

When blood flow to tissues increases, cells throughout the body become more rapidly saturated with oxygen and other nutrients. The metabolism increases, which has a positive effect on burning fat and removing toxins (including lactic acid) from the body.

Boxing exercises for cardio training

The boxer’s arsenal includes dozens of exercises aimed at increasing endurance. We tell you the most basic movements that do not require special training and are available to everyone:

  1. Jump rope – 10 minutes

Begin your cardiovascular training by jumping rope. Exercise will warm up the muscles and prepare the body for aerobic exercise. Boxers jump rope to practice leg movements and develop agility.

To jump rope like a boxer, follow this technique:

  • Jump on your toes and keep your knees slightly bent.
  • Pull the cord with your hands, not your shoulders.
  • Keep your abdomen firm and chest upright in each jump
  • Take short jumps and keep the same pace.
  1. Full jumps

When your leg muscles warm-up, you can start jumping more widely. Boxer’s train endurance and explosive leg strength with this exercise, so we recommend doing them as part of cardio training. Do 4-5 sets of jumps for 20 reps.

How to jump correctly:

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, with your toes slightly out to the sides.
  • Squat down with your heels on the floor.
  • Tense your legs and jump along with your hips.
  • Add a wave of your arms to jump higher.
  1. Bag hits – 3 rounds of 3 minutes

Practicing punches on a punching bag requires specific knowledge and skills. A professional boxing coach will brief you on the intricacies of punching technique, and we consider training on a bag to be intense cardio exercise.

During work on the bag, almost all muscle groups work. The shoulders are particularly stressed. Hit after hit, fatigue builds up in the deltoid muscles. Towards the end of the round, you feel heaviness in your hands, like after training with free weights.

Start practicing hitting the bag in rounds. For example, in the first round, throw only straight punches. In the second, you try lateral blows from above and below, and in the third round, you can organize a “free fight” and throw as many collisions as you like. The constant movement of the legs is the primary condition of percussion training for developing endurance and the burning of fat. Move smoothly and rhythmically; move around the bag using your body and legs.

To train with a punching bag, wear elastic bandages and protective gloves. This will reduce the risk of injury to your hands and prevent cracking of the skin.

  1. Shadowboxing – 4 rounds of 2 minutes

Shadowboxing is a fun exercise that can be used as an alternative to running. The main advantage of training is the constant movement. If you don’t want to master punching technique, a beginner can shadow boxing to train endurance. Throw straight or sidekicks in the air and actively move on your feet.

The essence of the drill is practicing boxing moves with an imaginary opponent. Shooting, dodging, and moving can be trained to prepare for actual combat.

Set a timer for 2 minutes and try to move the entire time to get started. Rest between rounds – 1 minute. Increase the number and time of games over time. According to the standard rules of boxing, a round lasts 3 minutes. Focus on this time under load. Another tip to increase the bag is to take small dumbbells, 1 kilogram in each hand, and kick them in the air. This will make your shadowboxing much more difficult.


Boxing exercises are a great complement to cardiovascular exercises and add intensity. Combine aerobic activity with strength training for specific muscle groups to maximize overall body functionality.

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