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Why You Should Start Shadowboxing

What Is Shadowboxing?

Shadowboxing helps you perfect your boxing form, increasing accuracy on the bag and in real-life fight scenarios. Even the most advanced fighters still incorporate shadowboxing into their boxing workouts.

Beginners might be unfamiliar with this essential aspect of boxing training. Here we will answer some of the most common questions on shadowboxing for beginners.

How Do You Practice Shadowboxing?

Most effective shadowboxing workouts will focus on basic boxing moves, working up to shadowboxing combos that you can also apply to the heavy bag (Basic Boxing Moves). In shadowboxing, you are using your shadow or reflection to simulate an opponent in order to practice your movements, punches and range. Shadowboxing in front of a mirror is one of the best ways to start and gain progress.

Since shadowboxing is an opportunity to focus on the form of your punches and kicks, it can be helpful to have the guidance of an experienced trainer. There are plenty of great resources online for shadowboxing drills to help beginners get started (How To Shadowbox For Beginners). Using a video guide on how to shadowbox for beginners allows you to compare your form and technique with that of a professional fighter.

What Is Shadowboxing Good For?

Shadowboxing allows you to sharpen your boxing skills by simulating an opponent with your shadow or reflection. At the same time, it is a phenomenal workout that does not require equipment.

Five (5) Key Benefits of Shadowboxing:

1. Improved form and technique

Shadowboxing is the best way to give all your attention to your stance and your movement, without the distraction of a bag or opponent. Perfecting form and technique means maximum accuracy and power when you do return to the bag or sparring ring.

2. Enhanced muscle memory

Repeating boxing moves with precision will train your muscles to perform the same motions over time. This increases consistency and improves accuracy.

3. Improved balance

Balance is essential in boxing. Shadowboxing will help you develop a better understanding of where your center of balance lies as you execute your punches, keeping you firmly grounded.

4. Great workout

Even without a bag, standard boxing moves incorporate many of your major muscle groups and gets your heart rate up. Shadowboxing even burns fat and tones muscles.

5. Stress relief

Both boxing and shadowboxing are excellent stress relievers. You can use the workout to get out any pent up frustration or anger, or just to clear your mind.

Does Shadowboxing Increase Punching Power?

While shadowboxing itself does not directly increase punching power, working on shadowboxing skills will hone your capability to hit with more force (How To Increase Punching Power). By achieving more precision with every move, you are increasing your ability to deliver more power with every punch. Focusing on shadowboxing techniques means you are training your body to not waste energy on sloppy movement. This results in an increase in punching power.

Is Shadowboxing Better Than a Punching Bag?

Shadowboxing and hitting the bag work in tandem during boxing training--one is not better than the other. That said, a solid shadowboxing workout will directly translate into a more effective punching bag workout.

How Often Should You Shadowbox?

While this is highly individual depending on your level of fitness, the short answer would be as often as possible!

Some boxers make it a point to warm up with some shadowboxing drills before hitting the bag. Doing this will allow you to focus not only on your body but also on your mind. With consistent training, shadowboxing puts you in the ‘zone’ and triggers the muscle memory that you will gain over time.

Get Started Shadowboxing

Shadowboxing is an important part of all boxing training. Beginners will find it to be a great tool to get accustomed to the foundational boxing punches. Consistent shadowboxing practice will help you perfect your form and technique as you advance. It’s also a very effective workout that you can enjoy anywhere, anytime, without equipment!


The Author: Tommy Duquette is the Co-Founder and Head of Content at FightCamp. He is a former US Boxing Team member with 136 fights under his belt and qualified for the 2012 Olympic trials as the #2 seed. He has 18 years experience training clients in boxing and fitness.