With the bursts of energy, the constant movement on your feet, and the powerful punches required in boxing, this sport makes for a great way to do high impact interval training (HIIT). When interspersed with some bodyweight strength exercises, a HIIT boxing workout can, well, pack a punch.
But before you start crossing and jabbing, you’ll want to make sure you’ve properly warmed up. That includes stretching, mobilizing your joints, and activating your muscles. This is true for every type of exercise, but the quick reactions and ability to generate power on demand that are necessary for boxing make a mobility-focused dynamic warmup even more important.
“As a boxer, you need to train 360,” Rumble boxing instructor and Well+Good’s Trainer of the Month Club instructor Olivia Platania says. “Everything needs to be loose. It needs to be ready. It needs to be fired up.”
That’s Platania’s strategy for this new 16-minute HIIT boxing workout video. She starts with six minutes of mobility and strength warm-up exercises that both feel good and start sending blood flowing to your muscles. This includes spinal mobilizers like cat-cow and downward dog exercises, but also more heart-pumping moves like push-ups to prepare your upper body, core, and legs for the work ahead.
“Push-ups are one of my favorite things to do every single day,” Platania says. “You do it a little bit over and over again every single day, and you’ll see that progress.”
Push-ups are just where the fun begins. After the mobility, stretch, and dynamic warm-up, you’ll reach the HIIT boxing workout. You’ll do HIIT mainstays like squats, lunges, and jumping jacks, in between intervals of shadowboxing. You’ll play with tempo, power, and coordination, all while doing one of the most efficient exercise formats around.
You can watch the video of the workout above, or follow along on your own with the guided steps below.
A 16-minute HIIT boxing workout (plus mobility warm-up)
Format: Six minutes of mobility and stretch followed by 10 minutes of boxing and bodyweight HIIT.
Equipment needed: A mat (or other soft surface) and some space to move.
Who is this for: Anyone who wants to stretch and sweat. But if you’re brand new to boxing, you might want to check out this shadowboxing for beginners workout to learn fundamentals like boxing stance and how to execute common moves.
1. Cat cows (30 seconds)
- Come down onto hands and knees
- As you breathe in, dome your back up and round your head, neck, and shoulders downward.
- As you breathe out, come back through neutral and then arch your back as you look up.
2. Quadruped thoracic rotation (1 minute)
- While on your hands and knees, put your right hand behind your head.
- Rotate your head, neck, and shoulder up and out, so you’re twisting looking to the right.
- Come back to neutral and repeat for 30 seconds.
- Repeat on the other side for 30 seconds.
3. Mini flow (1 minute)
- Come into a downward dog, with your hands and feet on the floor, and hips hiked into the air.
- Lower your hips down into a plank position.
- Bend your knees and pull your hips back coming into a child’s pose.
4. Alternating lunge and twist (1 minute)
- From a plank position, bring your right leg up and place your foot outside your right hand with your knee bent.
- With your left hand on the ground, raise your right arm and twist up and open to the side.
- Return your right arm to the ground, and bring your right leg back into a plank.
- Repeat on the other side, and continue alternating.
5. Hand release push-ups (1 minute)
- From a plank on your toes or your knees, bend your elbows to slowly lower yourself down to the floor.
- Once your torso reaches the floor, release your hands.
- Replace your hands back on the floor, and slowly push yourself back up to straight elbows.
6. Good mornings (30 seconds)
- Stand upright with your feet in a wide stance and your knees slightly bent.
- Place your hands on your head with elbows bent out to the side.
- Push your hips back as you hinge forward with your chest, coming parallel to the floor.
- Use your core to return your body to standing.
7. Good mornings with twist (30 seconds)
- While in the bent-forward good morning position, remove your right hand from your head and extend it down to the opposite (left) foot.
- At the same time, twist your upper body open to the left side.
- Come back to neutral and stand upright.
- Repeat the reach and twist on alternating sides each time you come into the bent-forward position.
8. Squats with a kick (1 minute)
- Stand upright with your feet slightly more than hip-width apart and knees bent slightly.
- Lower down into a squat.
- Repeat for a few reps.
- Once you feel warm in the position, the next time you return to standing, add a front kick at the top.
- Repeat on the other side and continue alternating.
9. Boxing burst (1 minute)
- Come into a boxer stance, with your knees slightly bent and your dominant leg back behind you.
- Keeping your feet stepping from side to side, bring your arms up to a guard position by your face.
- Add in punches, alternating jabs and crosses.
10. Reverse lunges (1 minute)
- Begin standing upright.
- Send your right leg back and bend your knees into a lunge.
- Come back to standing and lunge on the other side.
- Continue alternating for 30 seconds.
- Then, when you come back to standing, instead of placing the leg that was lunged back behind you immediately back on the ground, bring that bent knee up in front of you into a knee drive.
- Continue alternating for 30 seconds.
11. Jumping jacks (30 seconds)
- From standing, jump your legs out as you bring your arms up over your head.
- Jump legs back in together with your arms by your sides.
12. Boxing burst (1.5 minutes)
- Come into boxer stance.
- Alternate jab, cross, front hook, back hook for 45 seconds.
- Alternate jab, cross, right upper cut, left upper cut for 45 seconds.
13. Plank (30 seconds)
- Come into a plank position on your wrists or forearms.
Repeat moves 8-13