Today we’re gonna discuss about a common term not only used in Boxing, but also in Kickboxing, MMA & Muay Thai. You’ll be hearing this in almost all fight gyms, all around the world, SHADOW BOXING.
For those training at KOS, you’ll know that I’ll never pass off a training without Shadow Boxing.
But then, WHY ? Why So Much of Importance to Shadow Boxing ? Why do something alone when there are so many modern equipment/coaches and other drills ?
I’ve noticed some boxers rolling their eyes when they are told to do Shadow Boxing, I do not blame you guys, but I strongly believe this post will enlighten you on the Power of Shadow Boxing!
1) Perfect Warm-Up/Cool-Down
Shadow Boxing is a perfect Warm-up not only for the body but also for the mind. It allows you to freely apply whatever you have learnt previously, forces you to move around and also throwing punches which makes it very related to the sport when compared to having runs as a form of warm up.
I also do add shadow boxing as a form of cooling down. This time being more relaxed on the muscles and the mind. Rather than doing it fast with hard punches, you can do it as a form of refreshment. Practicing on what you did throughout that training session and doing it in a slower pace to check on a particular twist for example.
2) Improves Flow
One common issue many beginners face, let it be bag drills or sparring, stopping with one or two punches. In simple terms, there are no follow ups. Reason being, there is no muscle memory of connecting a flow of punches together. That’s simply gained through shadow boxing, since there are no obstacles on the way of your punch, you can add in a few more punches to make it flow smoothly.
3) Creates Visualization
Similar to chess, in boxing, you improve when you visualize ahead. Visualizing ahead allows you to plan on what you should and what you shouldn’t be doing. Shadow boxing forces you to think of possible scenarios, which leads to correct follow-ups.
You can also try to adapt to new fighting styles with your Shadow Boxing Drills. For an instance, you know that your opponent is a southpaw, therefore, there will be few adaptations to take note such as where you move, what punches to throw and even the entire game plan. Add those changes and practice it during your Shadow Boxing.
4) Enhance Movements
Everyone learns on how to throw a Jab, but only when you keep practicing you tighten up your flaws and it becomes smoother & stronger. Shadow boxing enhances your movement in overall. Let it be head movement, your punches and even your footwork. While you are shadow boxing, you’ll know which works for you and which doesn’t. Focus on what works for you and make that your strength. In short, Shadow Boxing is a great technique developer!
5) Lifetime Exercise
Over time, there might be some factors which might ‘force’ you to restrain from punching the bag, due to the impact from the bag. You might not be able to participate in sparring when age is a factor. But Shadow Boxing can be done throughout a lifetime. There are no impacts or possible injuries from Shadow Boxing when you do it right. It can be used as a good aerobic exercise too.
It’s a ritual at King of Strength Boxing Gym that everyone has to do Shadow Boxing at some point of the training. It is in our training plan. In fact all our competitive boxers do Shadow Boxing before their fights, it has always been a great technique and start for them. Those boxers have seen the place, the atmosphere, the ring, their opponent, therefore having to shadow box before their fight allows their mind to see how they would be performing closest to reality. This gives the boxer a form of confidence before even the fight commences.
See you soon at training guys! (Of course I want to see you doing your Shadow Boxing!)