Fitness, Fitness

How to train for boxing solo

Understanding the fundamentals of boxing is essential to improving your technique and achieving your fitness goals.

ICYMI Boxing is pretty amazing for your fitness.

 Pop on some gloves because there are huge fitness benefits from this workout says Pattison.

“Boxing improves your cardiovascular endurance, reflexes and hand-eye coordination and agility.”

That’s cool, but how does the old one, two punch get your blood pumping?

“Cardiovascular endurance improves because we’re predominantly using our upper body, and with proper technique it’s a full body utilisation of our speed and our power,” explains Pattison. 

If you want to get bang for your boxing buck, Pattison clarifies that the speed of your movement effects the intensity of the exercise and in turn, the energy required.

“Because punching is something you do at 100 percent effort repetitively, and the intensity of the exercise really cranks the heart rate up, boxing can almost be classed as High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT),” explains Pattison.

And you don’t have to have a partner to get your technique tight.

If you want to get fab form, Pattison recommends throwing some shadow boxing in the mix.

“Shadow boxing is great for warming up and technique refinement. I’d recommend doing it in front of a mirror so you can check your form and replicate the movements, and even certain combinations, you use in pad work or with a bag.”

He adds that shadow boxing needn’t be a go hard or go home situation. He reckons it can be dialled down to around 50 to 60 percent to learn the movements and sequences and to make sure your hands and feet are in the right spot at the right time.

Beyond getting your form on point, shadow boxing has some ace fitness benefits too. Pattison explains that utilising a mirror helps with muscle memory and sequence of movement.

“Many people assume boxing is just all arms and hands, but really it’s about weight transfer from front foot to back foot, engaging and utilising your core for your rotation and pivot as well as muscle memory of where your hands should be at point of impact.” 

It all comes down to knowing the fundamentals.

Whether you’ve got a boxing buddy or analysing your form in the mirror, Pattison says understanding the fundamentals is essential to improving your technique and achieving your fitness goals.

Ideally, if your partner can give you tips and feedback that’s great and the same applies if you know what to look for in the mirror.

He adds that self-analysis is great, and suggests filming yourself on your phone so you can review your form if you’re training solo.

“I’ve set up a camera or a phone and done a three minute round on the bag, stepped back, had a look and picked up where I can improve my technique.”

And remember, if you and your boxing partner aren't in the same location, you can always share your video recording with your buddy for feedback. 


The personal trainer advises that when you can train together, you can also incorporate this into sparring work with your partner so you can both pick things apart.  

And the most common thing you’ll notice when you play the footage? “Most people drop their hands far too low but you’ll be able to pick this up if you record it or have a partner who knows what to look for,” says Pattison.


If you are hankering to smash out a boxing workout solo, it can definitely be done. Pattison recommends skipping, shadow boxing and setting up a punching bag at home or using the Box Master at the gym.

“Put yourself on a little timer of one, two or three minutes of interval training. if you did this for thirty minutes, with around two minutes on and one minute rest, you’d basically get 10 rounds in and definitely give your raspatory and cardiovascular system a good solid workout,” the personal trainer recommends.


If you are training for boxing solo, here’s what to look for:

So, you’ve got your gloves on, set yourself up in front of the mirror and got your phone ready to record - but do you really know what you’re looking for? Pattison outlines the common mistakes to look for that can help you get your form on point.


“Stance is the biggest one, usually people will have their feet in the wrong spot and again, people seem to correlate arms and hands with boxing when really, your feet, torso and core are probably the most important - that’s where all your speed and power comes from,” says Pattison.


The boxing boss reckons a lot of people just want to forego technique and just punch it out. Unfortunately, that means they’re unlikely to get the benefits of the workout and reach their fitness goals.


“A lot of people tend to punch too hard when you actually develop your power through velocity, so it’s more about the speed of hitting the pad or bag which actually is the power,” Pattison advises.


The personal trainer recommends being a little loosey goosey because if you’re tense your muscles will be too tight and contracted, so your arm won’t be moving very fast at all.


“Generally, if you try and hit hard you won’t hit hard,” he says. “If you try and hit fast that’s when you feel it, much like a tennis serve or a golf swing, so the more relaxed you are the faster the movement comes naturally,” Pattison explains.


Chris Pattison is an Aquanation personal trainer and has a Cert III and IV in Fitness, Level 1 and 2 Padwork for boxing and a Beck Health Certificate of Nutrition and Diet. Learn more.