Get fit with boxing drills

Barrie Miller demonstrates a torso twist with a medicine ball at Women's Fitness Co. in Medford.

Boxing training can be extremely high-intensity, increasing the heart rate and keeping the metabolism humming long after your workout ends.

Even if you never have taken a boxing class, you can incorporate boxing moves into a regular exercise routine and reap the benefits. Below are six fitness drills used in boxing training that don't require knowing how to throw a jab or a right cross. Do them as a single workout, and repeat them more than once as you get more fit.

You will need a timer. Depending on your level of fitness, set the device for up to two-minute workout intervals with a 30-second rest. Be sure to drink water during rest periods.


Skip rope

Builds cardiovascular strength, coordination, timing and rhythm while working nearly every muscle in the body.

Keep the upper body relaxed while jumping a quarter-inch off the ground. Maintain a slight bend in the knees. Let your wrists do the work. Keep forearms horizontal to the floor and elbows close to your sides. If you trip up, get right back in your rhythm.


Torso twist with medicine ball

Strengthens core muscles. Depending on your fitness level, use a 5- to 15-pound medicine ball.

1. Hold a medicine ball with both hands directly in front of you.

2. Stand with your back against the wall, legs slightly bent.

3. Twist at the waist to the left, tapping ball on the wall, then twist to the right. As you twist to the left, allow the right foot to pivot and vice versa.


Knees up

Increases cardiovascular endurance, strengthens lower abdominal muscles and improves coordination.

1. Standing on the floor, bring one knee, then the other, up to your waist, attempting to reach chest-height. Meanwhile, move steadily forward around the floor in a circle, forward and backward or simply in place, depending on the space.

2. For added difficulty, 30 seconds before resting, "punch up" with the hands, throwing punches directly above your head and bringing knees up at a much faster pace until timer goes off for your rest period.


Jump squats

Strengthens quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, calves, abs and back.

1. Start in a standing position with feet shoulder-width apart, then drop into a squat position and immediately push back up into a jump. Try to jump at least 1 foot off the ground.

2. As you return to the ground, immediately drop back into a squat position, making sure your knees don't extend past your toes, then repeat the sequence. You may swing your arms for momentum. If you get too tired before the two-minute timer goes off, continue with regular squats until the rest period.


Mini pushups

Strengthen triceps, deltoids and back.

1. Lie facedown on the floor, placing hands palm-down right next to the shoulders. Keep elbows in and arms touching the sides of your body.

2. Push your entire body up, then lower. Rise just 6 inches off the ground.

3. Raise your entire body all at once, without arching the back. It is important to keep arms in tight and close to the body.

4. You can do these on your knees to start, and work up to pushups on your toes.


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