Tabata Style Boxing Workout #3: HIIT it!

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The way this workout is used requires some dedication and determination. It’s focus is the shoulders with some cardiovascular active rests. It won’t feel exactly like the other two workouts we’ve done this month because it’s boxing focused AND it has active recovery segments rather than 10 seconds of stopping and resting. Because it won’t take our heartrate to the max, the high intensity needs to come from a non-stop, all out punch behind every boxing move. To make sure this happens, do these things:

  • Squeeze your fist tightly. This will engage more arm muscle.
  • Contract your core muscles to initiate, control and guide your movement. Power in punching comes from the core. If this workout is done correctly, your shoulders won’t be the only thing burning. You should feel your abs and obliques!
  • Visualize your target and hit the target every punch. As you get tired, you’ll tend to shorten your reach and by doing so, you won’t be working the muscles as hard.
  • Bend your knees, be light on your feet and think about your punch being like the tongue of a frog; it goes out and quickly retracts and comes back. This thought will help you utilize your upper back muscles and not over fatigue your smaller muscles of your shoulder and forearm.

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Depending on how conditioned your shoulders are and dependent upon how long you’ve built your cardiovascular base, you might need to repeat the workout 1-8x. How do you know when you are done? You are no longer keeping good form, your arms feel like noodles and your shoulders are on fire!

Here is a brief explanation of each move (you can google the names of the punches to see them in action.)

  • Jab- Starting with your fists by your face, extend your arm straight out to your imaginary opponent’s nose, mouth or chin as a target. Your thumb should point down, your knuckles should hit your target and your elbow should face out not down. Extend it quickly and retract your fist back to your face.
  • Uppercut- Your target is underneath your opponent’s chin. To get underneath, you’ll have to bend your legs, drop the shoulder of the punching arm then drive through the legs up and under the target. When performing the uppercuts on the right and left alternating, you’ll feel a “rolling” through the rib cage as you rotate and drop your shoulders to get under the chin. Thumb will face you when you punch and elbow will be pointing down.
  • Hook- This is a small range of motion punch. The strength does not come from a big wind up, but from a strong rotating core. The elbow lifts up, your arm is held in a 90 degree angle and your knuckles hit the target of the jaw or the temple of the opponent. As you punch, rotate your body to follow through and release the heel of the punching side. Think power from floor to fist.
  • Cross Jab- If you start with your left foot forward and fists at the face, bring your right fist across your body from the back to the target. It’s similar to the jab except you are extending the “line of power”. Because you are bringing your fist from the back to the front, there is a longer line and more time for momentum and power. Use your body as you rotate to put more power in the punch. Release the heel of the punching arm as you bring it through. You’ll feel your abs on this one if you are doing it correctly.

Here’s our calendar to keep us on track on our “non-Tabata” days. Since this workout was not an interval workout for our heart, you can do whatever cardio you want the next day (moderate or interval), just rest your shoulders. Do a full body strength workout if you’d like on the following day because the next HIIT is back to a cardio focus (no strength). Tabata and HIIT workouts are not intended for beginners. If you are just beginning your exercise, I’d recommend going through these workouts at a moderate level and not try to complete them at maximum effort. Build your aerobic base and condition your muscles by “going through the motions” and then try this calendar with workouts again after 6-8 weeks with more intensity.

tabata training calendar post 3

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