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Boxing Fitness for CHAMPS

These exercise drills and combos provide an interesting way to challenge the students’ body-mind and motor skills. They can be done in any setting with or without any boxing equipment. This is a fun and vigorous class exercise appropriate for 5th graders (10 year olds) and up.

A NO CONTACT program.

The drills incorporate total cardiovascular conditioning, muscular strength intervals and movements that challenge skill training and motor coordination (hand/foot, hand/eye). The partner drills are a fun component of the program and provide a great co-ed mixer.

Total Time of Workout: 40–60 minutes.

Setting: Gymnasium, outdoor exercise area, boxing club/gym or fitness facility.

Equipment: Unique because you don’t need any. Jump ropes, small balls (baseballs, tennis balls, legal size paper).

Music: Any energetic current tunes that have an up-tempo rhythm 
Beat of 132–138. Kids love the hip-hop and disco remake tunes.
Since a lot of the movements involve hand/foot coordination, the musical beats are very helpful in keeping the tempo of the drills and punching combinations. Most of the combinations require stepping or shuffling in many directions. The simulated partner drills are a favorite among teens, and rotating partners makes it a fun way to meet others.

Beginning the Class:
Emphasize again to the class that this is a NO CONTACT program—especially in the partner drills. Everyone should space themselves out so that they have enough room to execute any punching movement.
Demonstrate the proper way to jump rope with both the hand/wrist motion and feet synchronized. Then, in time with the music, everyone simulates rope jumping. It is important that the hands are always turning the imaginary rope.

Double feet with 2 hops to the left, then back to start
Repeat in the opposite direction
Double feet with 3 hops (same as above)
Increase to double feet with 4 hops (each direction)
Single-leg hops (alternating each leg)  
Double-hand turns, then single hop (4–10 sets)
Double-hand turns then double-leg hops (4–10 sets)
Straddle jumps while turning the rope
Straddle jumps criss-crossing the legs while turning rope
* All of these jump rope drills can be done singularly or in any combination, including all of them, for the total warm-up. Spend 30 seconds to 1 minute for each drill segment, depending on the age group and ability level of the group.

Punching Drills
Once you’ve demonstrated the moves to show how each particular punch is thrown, the class is ready to do the punches on a dry run without music. Then when they are pretty confident that they can execute the punch, add the music (the punches should be much easier to do with a beat). Start each punch in a slow cadence, then gradually increase the tempo for a cardio workout challenge. The punches used are the jab, right cross, hook, and uppercut.

For a fun challenge, assign a number to each punch: e.g., jab (1), right cross (2), hook (3) and uppercut (4). Then try calling out just the numbers. This forces the students to remember and execute, which can be quite fun.

*A challenging coordination exercise is the Speed Drill.  The student is in a boxing stance (either foot forward) and executes the uppercut punches as fast as they can, alternating the punches right/left for 30 seconds; 45 seconds; 1 minute. 

* Another drill is called the Mountain Drill, which builds on the punches from a single punch (e.g., left jab) and continues to add punches until they reach a flurry of 10 punches. This drill is a good one for teaching speed and accuracy.

* Variation: Have students hold a small ball in their hands during all the drills. This will help the students to form a fist and keep their hands closed at all times. Really FUN!

Combination Drills
Now the class can put it all together in a series of predetermined punching sets. Example: (in a boxer stance w/left foot forward and the right foot back)
Left jab–right cross
Left jab–right cross–left hook
Left jab–right cross–left hook–right hook
Left jab–right cross–left hook–right hook–left uppercut
Left jab–right cross–left hook–right hook–left uppercut–right uppercut
Left jab–right cross–left hook–right hook–left/right uppercut–left hook
You can build on any combination depending on the ability level of the class.
For another challenge, change the boxer stance to right foot forward and the left foot back (southpaw stance in boxing terminology) and complete the above combo drills reversing the lefts and rights.

Partner Drills
Have the students partner up, face their opponent and execute the punches as dictated by you. including the combos. The students are now mirroring the punches with a real opponent in front of them—again, emphasize that there is NO CONTACT.
Suggested age for this drill is middle and high school students.

With a slower music tempo, lead the class in breathing and stretches of the shoulders and legs.
Suggested Music: Old School #2, Beyond Basic Training, Intervalocity #12


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