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The boxing blitz: three minutes

Shadow boxing is not only an extremely effective way of working out, it also makes you look a bit like Rocky. Jab, cross and block in this three-minute workout, the whole time pretending you are knocking seven bells out of Ivan Drago right there on Clapham Common. The real aim here is to let the hands fly in a smooth, fluid and technical manner over the whole duration of the three minutes, explains Barrett. Raising your heart rate along the way, this is a great cardiovascular workout which also activates the muscles of the arms, shoulders and core.

“Even when not punching, be sure to keep your arms up towards your face to act as a guard the whole time to allow for maximum exertion of the upper body and arms by the end,” adds Barrett.

How to do it: Start by figuring out your guard position: both hands up, your right hand sitting just under your eye line, just off your cheek. Then your left hand slightly in front of the face, again just under your eye line. Tuck your elbows in, left foot in front of right foot, trying to be slightly side on and therefore making yourself a smaller target. From there, throw the left hand out followed by the right, rotating through the shoulders when you do so. Repeat for three minutes, trying to make the punches flow smoothly from one to the other.

The crawl outs: one minute

No, this has nothing to do with getting home on a Friday night. This is a speedy and functional movement pattern that rolls from A to B to C. This movement is designed to use the entire body, but focuses specifically on the arms, shoulders and chest.

“It’s good for building endurance through the upper body,” says Brown. Hitting a great volume of muscle and joints in an effective and smooth process allows for maximum resistance and cardiac output in a small amount of time.

How to do it: Start in a standing start position. Walk out on your hands to a plank position. Walk back up to standing. Squat down and crawl out backwards into a crab position. Crawl back in and up to start position. Repeat until time elapses.

Note: Only your hands and feet should touch the floor during the one minute.

Image credit: Thinkstock


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