Shadow boxing is a fun, fat-burning cardio workout that really gets results. Give this equipment-free workout a try…

If you get bored on the treadmill, cross-trainer or rower and aerobics classes just don’t do it for you, then you can perform your own combat workout at home. Combat burns many calories, as it involves short, sharp bursts of movement and it’s also a great toner for the upper body. If you want to do combat moves at home, you can do so without any exercise kit whatsoever. Forget boxing gloves, pads or a punch bag, shadow boxing is a highly effective cardio workout if you do it right and perform the moves regularly enough to get results.

How to do this shadow-boxing cardio workout:

Try these moves three-to-four times per week and you’ll soon be burning calories. Put on some loud music for added motivation and you’ll love it!

For your warm-up, go through all the moves slowly. Do 10 repetitions on each side for each exercise. Repeat the sequence but increase your speed. Complete three-to-five times. As a cool-down, complete each move slowly.

Shadow boxing workout for women

squat to uppercut squat to uppercut shadow boxing cardio workout

Squat to uppercut

Targets: Thighs, bottom, stomach and shoulders

  • Stand with good posture, your feet slightly wider than hip-width apart.
  • Keep your elbows tucked in, your fists covering your chin and your knees soft.
  • Bend your knees and squat back (A), push through your legs and bring one elbow up across your body (B).
  • Pull your elbow back, squat down and switch sides.

Tip: As you push back to the standing position, try and rotate from your waist as you punch up.

ab jab and cross ab jab and cross shadow boxing cardio workout ab jab and cross demonstration

Ab, jab and cross

Targets: Stomach, chest and shoulders

  • Lie on the floor on your back with your knees bent and feet flat.
  • Position your hands in front of your face with your elbows tucked in (A).
  • Slowly curl up, exhaling as you do so, bringing your shoulders off the floor.
  • Pause at the top and punch your right fist out over your left knee (B), and then your left fist over your right knee (C).
  • Slowly return to the start position and repeat, leading the punches with the opposite fist.
grab and high knee demonstration grab and high knee

Grab and high knee

Targets: Stomach, hips and bottom

  • Standing with good posture, take a small step back with your right foot.
  • Reach up with both your hands (A).
  • As you pull your hands down, bring your right knee up to meet your elbow (B).
  • Return to the start position.
  • Repeat on the opposite leg.
jab cross and hook shadow boxing workout shadow boxing workout jab jab cross and hook demonstration jab cross and hook

Jab, cross and hook

Targets: Stomach, chest and shoulders

  • Standing with good posture, rotate to the side (if you’re right-handed rotate clockwise, if left-handed, anticlockwise), tuck your chin in, keep your elbows tight to your body and bring your fists up to your chin (A).
  • Punch straight out with your left hand (jab; B), quickly pull back and punch straight out (cross; C) with your right hand.
  • Pause, bring up your left elbow and rotate your body from your waist, punching around and across with your right arm (hook; D).
  • Reset your position, jab, cross and hook with the other side. Alternate the hooks on each combination.
side kick demo side kick shadow boxing workout

Side kick

Targets: Thighs and stomach

  • Start with your feet hip-width apart.
  • Lean over to the left, tuck your chin in, keep your elbows tight to your body and bring your fists up to your chin and shoulders.
  • Lift your right foot off the floor, then lift your knee up towards your elbow (A).
  • Keeping your balance on your left leg, kick out to the side with the right foot (B).
  • Pull your leg back in and place it back on the floor.
  • Step back to the start position.
  • Repeat on the other side keeping the number of repetitions equal.
rotating side lunge rotating side lunge shadow boxing workout

Rotating side lunge

Targets: Thighs, bottom and lower back

  • With good posture, plant your feet roughly one-and-a-half times shoulder-width apart and squat down, hands close to your face (A).
  • Extend your right leg straight out to the side, keeping your left knee bent. Sink your hips back, keeping your shoulders back and your chest lifted.
  • Take your left elbow out to the side, shoulder height, and extend your right arm out to the opposite side, looking at your right hand (B).
  • Push back through your right leg and repeat on the opposite side.