Martial-arts-style manoeuvres and a boxing inspired workout are much more than self-defence – they’re proven kilojoule killers that burn an average of 2100 of those buggers an hour.
They also target and tone your arms, shoulders, abs, thighs and butt for a workout that boosts your metabolism, improves your balance and chisels a strong, stunning physique. And then there are the side benefits: launching fierce uppercuts, jabs and kicks to a punching bag proves a much more satisfying stress reliever than jogging steadily on a treadmill.
Get the kick-ass body benefits – and the mental mojo boost – with this exclusive boxing-inspired workout from trainer and gym owner Traver Boehm.
The Boxing Inspired Workout
By combining these moves into a fast-paced circuit, you’ll up the intensity and fend off boredom.
Here’s how it works: starting with the first exercise, perform as many reps as you can in 60 seconds. (Keep track of how many you do.) Rest for 30 seconds, then move to the next exercise. Continue until you’ve completed all eight moves. Rest for a minute, then repeat the entire circuit.
Your goal: beat – or at least match – your rep counts from round one.
Stand with your feet in a left-foot lead stance (left foot on the front left corner of an imaginary square, right foot on the back right corner), knees slightly bent, fists in front of your chin, palms facing in (A). Quickly raise your right knee towards your chest (B), drive it back down and, without changing your left-foot lead stance, do the same with your left leg.
Power Move: Imagine that some idiot spilt his drink on you at the bar and you’d love to serve him a swift (and painful) punishment. Channel that energy during this move.
Squat Thrust With Knee Thrust
Stand with your feet hip-width apart, arms at your sides (A). Bend your knees, lower your hands to the floor and jump both feet back so you’re in a push-up position (B). Keep your back straight and core braced. Jump your feet back up to your hands, quickly stand up, then bend your right knee and pull it up towards your chest (C). Return to start, then repeat with the left leg.
Hold the ends of a skipping rope, feet hip-width apart, knees slightly bent. Push off the floor with the balls of your feet and point your toes downward, while making small circles with your wrists. Land softly on your toes, immediately pushing off again. Focus on jumping over the rope as quickly as possible.
Power Move: To make it harder, add a double under, in which you pass the rope under your feet twice in a single jump. But don’t just jump higher; keep your hands by your waist and quickly rotate your wrists to create the right rope speed.
Sit-Up With Punch
Lie on your back, knees bent, feet flat on the floor (A). Brace your abs, sit up and punch across your body six times with one arm (B). Return to start; repeat on opposite side.
Power Move: Increase the work for your upper body and core by adding weighted gloves, or position a punching bag between your legs to punch at the top of each sit-up.
Start in a push-up position (A). As you lower your chest to the floor, turn your right knee outward and bring it towards your elbow (B). Slowly return to start and repeat with the left leg.
Power Move: Your goal is to move slowly and remain controlled through each rep, so if regular push-ups are too tough, try doing them on your knees instead.
Stand with your feet in a right-foot lead stance, fists at chin height. Raise your right knee towards your chest (A), then kick straight out as if you’re slamming a door closed with your heel (B). Quickly bring your leg back, placing it staggered behind your left. Repeat with your left leg and continue alternating.
Power Move: Slow it down! Your underused hip flexor muscles will have to work that much harder to control the movement.
Stand in a left-foot lead stance, fists up (A). Raise your right knee towards your chest (B), rotate your hips and left foot and kick your right leg to the side, pushing through the heel, while punching with your right arm (C). Quickly bring your right leg down, placing it staggered in front of your left. Repeat, alternating sides.
Power Move: Get an even bigger booty boost by contracting your glutes during the move.
Stand with your feet in a left-foot lead stance, fists up, palms facing each other (A). Rotate your hips to the left and extend your right arm, twisting your forearm so your fingernails face the ground and your arm is in line with your shoulder (B). Return to start; repeat on opposite side.
Power Move: Pace your breathing with your punches and exhale with each punch, even if it makes your breathing quick and shallow.