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Try These 6 Punches for a Fat-Burning Boxing Workout

Throwing punches is a great way to shape your shoulders and build back strength, says Elanit Friedman, senior director of fitness for Beachbody. Bonus: Unlike most upper body exercises, boxing workouts require absolutely zero equipment.

A boxer for more than two decades, Friedman helped Super Trainer Joel Freeman create the 10 Rounds boxing workout program that builds your entire body — and the upper body is no exception.

“Each boxing workout, you’ll consistently throw combinations for three-minute rounds,” Friedman explains. “Each strike targets the chest, triceps, shoulders and serratus anterior, which spans under the upper arm and is often called the ‘boxer muscle.’ The longer you keep going, the more you develop upper-body endurance.”

Ever tried shadowboxing? Keep these notes in mind as you try the following exercises, straight from 10 Rounds:

Perform each punch on its own, or link them together into a boxing workout following the below combinations for max-effort, three-minute rounds.
For every exercise, the start position is the “guard” position: Stand with your non-dominant side facing your opponent, legs in a strong athletic stance with your feet about hip-width apart, knees slightly bent, and your elbows close to your waist with your hands “guarding” your face.
While you’re not necessarily hitting bags here, it’s good to get in the habit of holding your thumbs flat on top of and against your fingers (tucking them under your fingers is a good way to hurt them upon impact).

1. Jab

Start in a guard position
Quickly extend your front arm straight forward toward your opponent, with your knuckles up and thumbs down at full extension.
To help power the move, simultaneously lift and tap your front foot forward, forcefully exhaling through your mouth as you throw the jab.
Quickly bring your front arm and leg back to the guard position, and inhale.
Repeat, working to decrease the amount of time between jabs.

2. Cross

Start in a guard position.
Rotate through the back hip and pivot the back foot onto its toes toward your opponent.
As your body turns, quickly extend your rear arm straight forward toward your opponent, with your knuckles up and thumbs down at full extension.
To help power the move, forcefully exhale through your mouth.
Quickly bring your rear arm and leg back to the guard position, and inhale.
Repeat, working to decrease the amount of time between crosses.

3. Front Hook

Start in a guard position.
Quickly rotate through the front hip and pivot the front foot onto its toes toward your opponent. Keeping a bent elbow, simultaneously punch your front arm around you toward your opponent.
To help power the move, forcefully exhale through your mouth.
At full extension, your shoulder, arm, and fist should form a 90-degree angle, with your thumbs down and knuckles pointed toward your opponent. If you can see your knuckles, try reducing the bend in your elbow. Your arm should be parallel to the floor.
Quickly bring your front arm and leg back to the guard position, and inhale.
Repeat, working to decrease the amount of time between hooks.

4. Rear Hook

Start in a guard position.
Quickly rotate through the rear hip and pivot the rear foot onto its toes toward your opponent. Keeping a bent elbow, simultaneously punch your rear arm around you toward your opponent.
To help power the move, forcefully exhale through your mouth.
At full extension, your shoulder, arm, and fist should form a 90-degree angle, with your thumb down and knuckles pointed toward your opponent. If you can see your knuckles, try reducing the bend in your elbow. Your arm should be parallel to the floor.
Quickly bring your rear arm and leg back to the guard position, and inhale.
Repeat, working to decrease the amount of time between hooks.

5. Front Uppercut

Start in a guard position.
Drop the front hip and bend the front knee, bringing the front elbow toward that hip.
Explosively drive up through the front leg, pivoting the front leg onto its toes to rotate your body toward your opponent.
Simultaneously punch your arm up and out toward your opponent.
To help power the move, forcefully exhale through your mouth.
At full extension, your elbow should still be bent, with your knuckles pointed up and out toward your opponent, thumb facing you. If you can see your knuckles, try punching farther out away from you.
Quickly bring your front arm and leg back to the guard position, and inhale.
Repeat, working to decrease the amount of time between uppercuts.

6. Rear Uppercut

Start in a guard position.
Drop the rear hip and bend the rear knee, bringing the rear elbow toward that hip.
Explosively drive up through the rear leg, pivoting the rear leg onto its toes toward your opponent.
Simultaneously punch your rear arm up and out toward your opponent.
To help power the move, forcefully exhale through your mouth.
At full extension, your elbow should still be bent, with your knuckles pointed up and out toward your opponent, thumb facing you. If you can see your knuckles, try punching farther out away from you.
Quickly bring your rear arm and leg back to the guard position, and inhale.
Repeat, working to decrease the amount of time between uppercuts.

Best Combinations for a Boxing Workout

The order of the above strikes is not random. Each is assigned by its number, how boxers quickly call out and follow pre-set combinations, or continuous strikes, meant to build upper-body endurance and coordination.

Keep practicing — they will get easier!

1 = Jab

2 = Cross

3 = Front Hook

4 = Rear Hook

5 = Front Uppercut

6 = Rear Uppercut

Jab-Cross (1-2)

Jab with your front side, cross with your rear.

Jab-Cross-Front Hook (1-2-3)

Jab with your front side, cross with your rear, hook with your front.

Jab-Cross-Front Hook-Rear Hook (1-2–3-4)

Jab with your front side, cross with your rear, hook with your front, hook with your rear.

Jab-Cross-Front Uppercut-Cross (1-2-5-2)

Jab with your front side, cross with your rear, uppercut with your front, cross with your rear.

Jab-Cross-Front Hook-Rear Uppercut (1-2-3-6)

Jab with your front side, cross with your rear, hook with your front, uppercut with your rear.

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