Kings Gym Boxing Blog

Welcome to our blog

What is Shadow Boxing? Why You Should Do It

Boxers train so that they can have the best possible chance of winning in the ring. In fact, it is the one-on-one aspect of boxing, as well as the need to develop speed, power and strength in their training which brings up the question: Why is sparring without an opponent---otherwise known of as shadow boxing—so important to a boxer's training?

Shadow boxing is, after all, free of any form of resistance exercise or other means of improving power and strength, so why not use sparring in the ring or bag workouts when working through combos, developing footwork, and developing hand speed? After all, doing so would seemingly be the best way to kill two birds with one stone and develop combos AND power AND strength all at once.

However, it may not be so simple since, shadow boxing adds elements to training that punching an opponent or a heavy bag cannot. These elements will not only help in making your punches and defensive moves far more effective, but in preparing you mentally to become a better, more confident fighter. 

What is Shadow Boxing?

Shadow boxing is best described as "boxing without an opponent," and can be used for anything from a pre-fight warmup, to a regular training aid to improve form, footwork and technique. While true shadows can be used to watch for form mistakes and to verify hand and foot speed, it is more commonly performed in front of a mirror, coach, or camera for these same reasons.

Perhaps even more importantly, shadow boxing can be used to help you improve your confidence as a fighter through visualization, and by perfecting your use of combos, footwork, and hand speed in a fluid and effective manner. By gaining confidence and a positive image of yourself against an opponent, you can better position yourself to "win before stepping into the ring," which is arguably be the most powerful advantage you can have as a fighter.

However, this does not mean that shadow boxing is only for those intending to step into the ring against a foe, since it can also help to improve the aerobic capacity, fitness, and speed of those looking for the kind of ultimate workout which boxing training provides. 

Moving Around

Boxing is a sport which requires a strong, balanced base from which you can move both offensively and defensively. In fact, good fighters need to be able to move into and away from an opponent to throw punches and to avoid punches being thrown, and they need to do it with lightning speed, pinpoint accuracy, and without hesitation.

This requires all potential offensive and defensive moves, techniques, and combos to be fully developed to the point they are an automatic and ingrained reaction to the situation, which the free-form nature of shadow boxing is ideal in developing.

And, as you become more confident in having all your "tools" readily at hand in the ring, you can be more confident in knowing you can both duck and evade your opponent's punches, as well as place a punch of your own the instant you see an opening.

In short, shadow boxing can help you to better "float like a butterfly" before you "sting like a bee."

It's About Finding your Calm

It is said that those who don't include enough time shadow boxing in their training show it in a few ways:

First, it gets you comfortable moving around fluidly and used to the natural rhythms and motions of throwing punches, ducking, and evading being hit. This helps you make the connection between having a powerful punch and having a powerful and EFFECTIVE punch.

Next, it allows you to develop the kind of positive visualization that can help you remain relaxed and ready for your opponent's next move in the ring, rather than being apprehensive and purely reactionary. This helps you develop a calm energy which allows you to be a more effective and efficient fighter. In fact, it is this relaxed sense of calm which you see not just in boxing, but in a good cricket swing, football catch, or most any well executed athletic move.

However, if you lack ample time shadow boxing in your training, your lack of these qualities will show dramatically!

The Physical Benefits of Shadow Boxing

While shadow boxing offers excellent mental benefits to helping you become a better fighter, there are some important physical ones as well.

For instance, fighters who spend all their time working out on the heavy bag to develop striking power often have underdeveloped back muscles. This causes them to tire easily and lose the effectiveness of their punches in the ring when they can't return to striking position quickly enough. This is because hitting the heavy bag offers a "bounce-back" to your punch so that less back muscle is necessary when pulling back punches.

There is also your aerobic development, as well as slow-twitch muscle fibres which will give you longevity and endurance over your opponent in the ring. By getting used to moving around like a fighter and utilizing all these muscles in unison, you are not only developing endurance, you are doing so in a functional manner. By this, we mean rather than strengthening a muscle to act on its own, you are training all muscles together in a functional manner. This will make them stronger as a unit while reducing your risk for injury and honing your form. 


Who would think that bouncing around and acting as though you are fighting could make you a better fighter, although it can.

Whether you are training for your first bout, or just enjoying the benefits of the best workout there is—AKA fitness boxing—you need to use shadow boxing in your workouts.

Not only will doing so help you to move more quickly and effectively in the ring, it will help you do so in the kind of focused, relaxed, and confident manner that is dangerous to your opponent. 

Continue reading
  426 Hits
426 Hits

Am I Too Old to Start Boxing?

When he was 45-years old, George Foreman became the oldest heavyweight champion in history and did so by knocking out 27-year old Michael Moorer. Even more impressive was the fact that he did this after coming out of a 17-year long retirement, and then went on to fight professionally for another 3-years until he retired once again in 1997.

Think about that: Competing at the highest level of a "young person's sport" well into middle age and beating an opponent who wasn't even a teenager at the time of his first retirement. Could it be that "Big George" is the second coming of Superman? After all, at 48 years of age, most of us would think twice about pickup games in the backyard with our nephews, much less fighting in a heavyweight boxing ring!

Or, could it be that the intense workouts he performed while training for his fights kept him fit and youthful in a way few other workouts could?

Aha, perhaps we're onto something here!

Read on to find out how you can not only enjoy boxing despite your accumulation of birthdays, but how it can help to keep you young—and, tremendously fit.

A Young Person's Sport? Hardly!

No, you won't find many boxing gyms in senior homes, nor will you find many boxing newbies over the age of 30. However, this does not mean that just because you are pushing middle age you are destined to a life at the bingo table.

In fact, as the grey begins to show, there is no better time to get away from the sort of low-impact, steady-state exercise we are often told is best for us at our age.

Why is this, you ask?

Simple. As we age, we begin to lose muscle mass which is not being utilized. We can increase muscle mass lost but it takes hard work, planning and dedication.

And, merely running or using a treadmill does little to counter this. In fact, doing so will likely just put you in the kind of rut that has you wondering if perhaps you are too old to see any fitness gains.

However, the kind of HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) and strength training used to box will do more to counter the effects of age-related muscle loss than steady-state endurance exercise can. This is because intense interval training not only strengthens your fast-twitch power muscles, it is one of the best forms of exercise to increase your body's Human Growth Hormone (HGH) production.

And, as we all know, HGH is the stuff which keeps us young!

Plus, using high intensity weight training, sparring, and interval training will have your metabolism screaming along like a youngster's—something which doesn't stop when your workout ends. In fact, most boxing workouts will have you burning extra calories for hours after completion—even when you have your feet up relaxing!

And more importantly, you will be retaining muscle mass, rather than losing it.

Can I Still Become a Champion?

Of course, the REAL benefit of boxing is…the FUN!

However, you may be worried that you, being a few years older, may never have a shot at becoming a club champion.

But, there is hope--let's go back to George Foreman for a moment, shall we?

Remember that he not only came out of retirement and became a champion again as he was pushing age 50, he did it against a foe who was but a schoolboy when he retired the first time.

However, this doesn't mean that you can (or should) just go up to the youngest, fittest individual in your gym, challenge them to a fight, and win. In fact, doing so would probably be the fastest way to the canvas short of just laying down on it for a nap!

But, by competing within your age range and against opponents at your ability and fitness level, you can experience just how intensely fun and competitive the fight game can be.

Plus, you never know—you may have some of what George Foreman has and be able to move up to more challenging and—dare we say it? --younger opponents!

That said, you need to start somewhere, which, for the sake of your safety and continued enjoyment of the sport, needs to be against opponents you are well matched against. When you keep it fun from the start, you have a much better chance of continuing to enjoy it as you become a more skilled fighter. 

So, Just Anyone Can be a Boxer Then?

Finally, let's get one thing straight: Just because boxing has no official age limit, it does NOT mean that it is a good idea for just anyone to just jump in and begin wailing away at a high intensity.

For one thing, if you are coming off a sedentary lifestyle and looking to return to shape, you need to do it slowly, and preferably with an experienced professional trainer to guide you.

Likewise, you need to consult your physician first before engaging in any high-intensity sport. Even if you feel as though you are in shape, such factors as heredity and natural declines due to aging must be considered, and your doctor can best verify whether you are up for boxing.

A good trainer can also be well worth the investment, since they will understand your strengths, weaknesses, skills and ability levels. From this they can not only help you improve in areas which will help you stay injury-free, but that will help you become a better fighter as well.


Sure, George Foreman may be an exceptional individual, although he is still made of the same flesh and blood as the rest of us.

And what does this tell you?

Only that age is a number, and that despite your age, there is no reason you can't enjoy a "young person's sport."

However, ensuring that you are staying within your abilities and that you have no dangerous medical conditions before starting is crucial, even if you are made of the same material as Big George! 

Continue reading
  419 Hits
419 Hits

The Fear of Getting Hit in Boxing

While you don't have to take part in fighting or live sparring to enjoy staying in shape with fitness boxing, doing so may be way more fun than you realize. It is, after all, the sport of pugilism, so why not give some ring time a try?

However, part of facing a live opponent is getting hit, and nobody boxes without taking some punches. Naturally, you're probably worried about this, which makes sense--getting hit isn't exactly a smooch on the cheek from your favourite aunt!

But, your fear can be overcome so that you can comfortably get into the ring and find out just how enjoyable and competitive the sport of boxing can be.

And no, it isn't about being any tougher than anyone else—just better trained. 

Why We're Afraid to Get Hit

With getting hit, there are a couple of factors which make it seem unpleasant. First, there is the obvious, which is that getting hit can hurt, period.

Second, we don't always see a punch coming which creates a fear of the unknown.

Together, these two factors can add up to excessive flinching and more evasive action than punching. Not only can this put you into more—not less—danger of injury, it removes the balance of a fight.

And, almost as badly, it ruins the fun!

Overcoming Our Fear

So, you're ready to hop into the ring against an opponent. That's fantastic, you're going to enjoy it! It's fun, it's competitive, and it's about the best workout there is.

However, you may first need to prepare yourself against the fear of getting hit.

First, before preparing to take a punch, you need to have the basics of giving a punch mastered. You also need to have an understanding of the footwork, defensive moves, and rules of boxing. Your trainer can help you with this, since part of being a good trainer involves understanding when it is safe for a pupil to move on to the next level.

Once you are at this stage, you can begin preparing for taking one in the kisser—which, by the way, isn't nearly as bad as it sounds.

The first rule to remember is: Don't jump into the ring with anyone bigger or more experienced than you are, since nothing will turn you off to the sport more quickly than being pummelled in a one-sided fight.

Again, this is something your trainer will help with, and even your boxing opponent will want. Most of us desire a good, fair fight or sparring session, and nobody benefits from one participant unfairly beating the snot out of the other, including the one with the unfair advantage. Stay within your weight class and skill level, and you will be fine. 

Next, there are drills which you can do which will help you become accustomed to taking a punch which, despite the initial shock, doesn't hurt as much as you may think. In fact, once you are in the ring and taking part in full contact sparring and fighting, it will just be part of what you are doing--much like how you don't think about the pain of being hit when playing football or other contact sports.

Here are some drills which will help you jump fearlessly into the ring:

  • Flow Boxing, AKA Slow Boxing—The main advantage of this drill is to get you to see punches, rather than being shocked by them. Flow boxing entails getting into the ring with an opponent, and doing very slow, deliberate, and low-impact sparring. The object isn't to land as many punches on your opponent as possible or to take all the punches yourself. Rather, it is to trade slow, ineffective punches on equal terms while practicing correct footwork and defensive measures—just not defence at all cost. Doing this drill will help you be able to relax when being punched, rather than flinching against it—which is what gets you hurt!
  • Play "Flinch"—Okay, so this may not be the same as what you played with your schoolmates where you receive a sock in the arm if you flinch, though it is similar in concept. For this drill, you need two people to stand facing each other, with one of them throwing a series of punches within inches of the other's face without making contact. The puncher should start slowly, and then gradually amp it up until full punching speed is achieved, and the object is for the receiver to learn not to flinch.
  • Throw Balls at Each Other—Starting with perhaps a beach ball and working up to a volleyball or light medicine ball, have one participant stand with arms to sides while the other pops them in the face with the ball. This teaches you to stay calm, not flinch, and get used to being tapped in the face by a gloved fist—which, by the way, won't be too different from being popped with a light medicine ball or volleyball.

Remember too that you'll have headgear and mouth guard on!


Yes, there are other means to getting you used to being hit, although these simple drills should fit the bill nicely. The main thing is, you need to learn to relax, stay calm, and not allow the shock of a tap to the face make you apprehensive, or to flinch.

By learning to take a punch, you will not only be safer and less prone to injury, but you will have more fun and be more competitive as well.

Think of it in terms of a eucalyptus tree vs a willow tree during a windstorm. The eucalyptus which stands firm and braces against the wind is far more likely to be blown over than the willow tree which stays relaxed and "goes with the flow" of the wind. The same can be said of taking a punch, which hurts more and can cause more damage when you brace against it (remember Mohammed Ali using his "Rope-a-dope" method to absorb George Foreman's punches in the "Rumble in the Jungle?").

However, by learning to overcome your fear of being hit, you can take those punches like they're a smooch on the cheek! 

Continue reading
  461 Hits
461 Hits

Fitness Boxing Exercises (That You Can Do Anywhere) to Improve Your Boxing Skills

So, having tried fitness boxing, you're now hooked—and good for you! It is, after all, one of the fastest-growing workouts there are.

And no wonder, what with the intense, fat-burning exercises and routines designed to build strength and endurance like you never thought you had.

Plus, there is the fun, social atmosphere of fitness boxing, just to make it that much better!

In fact, you love it so much that you probably think about it even while you're not in the gym.

After all, wasn't that you sneaking in a little shadow-boxing session at the office the other day when you THOUGHT no one was looking?

Heh heh, nothing wrong with that!

Here are 6 workouts you can do in the comfort of your own home, while you're on vacation, or even when you THINK no one is watching at the office.

6 Fitness Boxing Exercises You can do Anywhere

1.  Jumping Rope

You want to know the true beauty of this exercise? You don't even need a rope!   Sure, there is nothing wrong with keeping a jump rope on hand for a quick aerobic burst to your day, although you can get the same benefit from jumping in place while miming the circular motion of swinging the rope with your hands—is that beautifully simple, or what?   But, isn't there some way to intensify things?   Yup, there sure is!  

In fact, try grabbing a couple of tins of soup and hold them while miming the rope swing. This will act in the same manner as using a weighted jump rope and will give you some additional fat-burning resistance, along with helping build muscle strength in your shoulders, arms, and wrists.

​2.  Plank your core

One of the most simple, effective and low impact exercises you can do is the plank—although notice no mention of planks being low-intensity?

That is because when performed correctly, planking can bring on the burn like no other exercise--and do so quickly.  
Plus, it is one of the best exercises there are for building a solid core.
And—unlike sit-ups or crunches—planks have minimal risk of back injury.

Even better, they can be done anywhere there is room to be prone on your hands and toes, such as in your work cubicle where you think no one can see you!  And, by doing a basic plank for 30 seconds or longer each day, you can develop a rock-solid core, which is the kind of platform you need for optimum athletic strength, balance, and posture.

By adding any of the many variations--such as side plank, one hand/one leg plank, or even adding a bench or exercise ball for inverted planks--you can achieve a full-core workout which can't be matched.
And, you can do it anywhere!

​3.  Shadow Box

Want to polish your punching form and keep it sharp for the gym? Shadow boxing will not only do that, but with proper intensity, can also burn as much as 400 calories per hour.  Not bad for a little dancing around and jabbing which can be done anywhere, is it?

Plus, there is no limit to how you can structure your shadow boxing rounds. Work on pure function, form and footwork? No problem—call your combos and go through them as many times as you need to get them perfect.

Or, just have fun with it!   Use your imagination to fight a fierce foe who only you can see. Add calorie-burning squats as you duck and uppercut using your quads and glutes, while remembering to tighten your core with each punch you absorb from your "opponent."

Want to REALLY toughen it up?  
Try some wrist and ankle weights, which are a convenient way to add calorie-burning resistance to your session. Just remember not to use the heaviest ones you can. Rather, use ones which still allow you to maintain correct form, so that you don't end up altering your mechanics or resorting to bad habits. 

​4.  Sprawl

AKA "boxer's burpees," sprawl is a move used in the ring to avoid being taken down by an opponent. It involves dropping to the mat in a wide-legged plank position, before pushing back up into a fighter's stance and ready to go again, and then repeated.

Either do sets of these as part of a HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) workout or mix them in with your shadow boxing sessions for some added intensity, core strength, and aerobic punch.

​5.  Mountain Climber

One more move to add to your home workout is the mountain climber, which begins from a plank position, but has you moving your legs like a sprinter trying to get out of imaginary starting blocks.
And, as with planks, there are many variations which you can do to create a full-core workout, such as army mountain climbers (AKA crawling), cross-body mountain climbers, or slow-motion mountain climbers.

You can do these on their own or mix them into your shadow boxing sessions for an intense aerobic and full body workout.

​6. Plyo push-ups

Sure, you can do regular push-ups for a convenient and effective upper body and core-strength workout.  Or, you can take it up a notch with plyo push-ups, which are like regular push-ups, just with a "wheelie" at the top.

Basically, you perform a regular push-up, except you explode hard on the way back up to the point that your hands come off the floor. Think of it as though you are trying to throw yourself from a prone position to an upright standing position using only your arms.

And, you can combine these with mountain climbers, sprawls and shadow boxing, for strength, endurance and conditioning like you used to think you needed the gym for. 

Stay Fit and Improve Your Boxing Skills

Polish your form, burn fat, and build your endurance.Come into our class with fitness and confidence to take it to the next level.

It just so happens that nobody is watching right now, so duck down into your cubicle for a quick round of planks and mountain climbers, and perhaps even some shadow boxing, just to make sure the juices are flowing.

In fact, so what if anyone is watching? Just do it!

Continue reading
  443 Hits
443 Hits

Things You Should Know Before You Take Your First Boxing Class

 So, you have concluded that the benefits fitness boxing workouts are just too good to pass up.

And, that means it is time to sign up for your first class!

But what should you know before taking the plunge? Do you need to start at a certain fitness level, is there any special equipment you need to invest in, and which gym should you join?

And, will fitness boxing turn you into the next Mike Tyson, or just a phenomenally fit person?

Ah yes, so many questions to answer—here is what you need to know before you sign up for your first fitness boxing class!

What to Wear

So, let's start with what to wear to the boxing gym. No, it isn't a fashion show, and more than anything, you just need something which is comfortable, and moves well with you. Clothing should be loose fitting, or flexible enough not to be constricting, since you will be doing a LOT of moving around.

Shorts are preferred over leggings or sweats, although either will work just fine—just remember, you're going to be warm from all the exertion, so dress accordingly!

In fact, speaking of being warm—you will be sweating, so a hat or headband is always a good measure against sweat in your eye.

And, you should lean towards athletic fabrics designed to wick away moisture. Remember that while comfortable, a material such as cotton will retain about 7% of its weight in moisture, as opposed to a mere .04% for polyester blends which are designed to remove moisture from your skin, so perhaps just this once, skipping the natural fibre may be a good thing.

One other thing to remember is, once you are suited up and are ready to go with your boxing gloves on, adjusting your clothing may be nearly impossible. You are, after all, wearing the dexterous equivalent of oven mitts, so be sure that what you put on won't need buttons adjusted, waste bands hiked-up, or laces laced.

Most of the time, the same clothing you would wear for a regular gym workout, or even your running clothes, will work fine—although remember that you will be indoors and working hard, so it is better not to overdress. Even if you are a bit chilly at first, don't worry about it. Better a bit cold to start, then to be miserably hot during your workout!

Court shoes, basketball sneakers, or other athletic shoes which allow good lateral movement are preferable. However, avoid wearing sandals or running shoes, which work fine for moving in a straight line, though not so great moving side-to-side.

Remember—you are just getting started. No need to go all-in on special clothing just yet—just find out what works best and is most comfortable for you, and you can add more specialized clothing down the road as you get more and more addicted to your workouts!

Special Equipment You'll Need

Now, guess what special equipment you need to invest in before your first class?

How about none!

In fact, any reputable boxing gym which caters to newbies will have loaner equipment to get started—although remember, you likely aren't the first wearer, so be prepared for a bit of fragrance (eau de locker room?) wafting from some of the older loaner equipment.

No, this isn't anything to worry about, since a good gym will keep things sanitary, although it will likely encourage you to invest in your own gear once you are up and running, and have determined fitness boxing to be your workout of choice.

However, one thing it is good to bring with you is your own water bottle (you must draw the line somewhere on loaner equipment!), since you need to stay hydrated, and the exertion will have you sweating.

And, be sure your water bottle is a squeeze bottle, or has a bite valve, since unscrewing a bottle cap can be impossible—or at least, very frustrating--while wearing boxing gloves.  A filtered water fountain is also available on-premises.  

Finally, be sure to arrive at least 20-minutes early to your first class to get to know your instructor and have them answer any questions you may have, as well as to familiarize yourself with the equipment you will be using.

How About the Workout? 

Now we get to the good part—the workout! No, you won't need to be in any prerequisite shape just to keep up, since good instructors and trainers understand that not everyone is capable of the same level of output.

But, do remember that your entire body is about to be worked as hard or harder than it ever has been, and that this isn't going to be just "one" workout; but rather, multiple training routines for various functions.

Oh that, and you're probably going to make a few friends along the way, since fitness boxing tends to be a rather social activity!

However, you will likely begin with warmups, such as jumping rope, stretching or some easy running on the treadmill, before moving on to punching, strength training and cardio.

Since the sport of boxing requires a strong combination of cardiovascular fitness and pure strength, expect your workouts to include High Intensity Strength Training (HIIT), which entails a period of intense effort, followed by a longer period of active recovery, and then repeated.

And of course, the results will be fat-burn like you never dreamed possible, a solid, firm core, and discovering muscles you didn't even know you had.

In fact, you're about to get into the best shape of your life—and, you'll look and feel like it!

Plus, your eye-hand coordination will develop with punching work--although please don't think black eyes or fat lips will be part of it.

Not unless you want to step into the ring, anyway.

However, even if you do have ambitions of becoming an actual fighter, first thing is first, and you need to learn technique and control—not to mention building the endurance to last in the ring.

But, since you are likely just looking to become fit, lean and healthy, rather than to beat anyone up, you are in the right place, since few other workouts hold a candle to what fitness boxing can do for you.

Enjoy your workout!

Continue reading
  438 Hits
438 Hits