Shadow boxing will work your muscles in combinations and angles that you aren't used to, which means you'll feel the results in a way that's completely different from anything you've done before.
For those of you who have never boxed before, the stance and movements may feel awkward at first. It's also a discipline which is much easier to teach in person, visually, than by writing. So let's start with a video.
Here is Australian boxing champion and personal trainer Paul Denholm "Denny the Trainer" giving an overview and some great examples:
Notice how smooth he is - every motion flows, from one to the next. Foot movements, changing angles, jabs, crosses, hooks, uppercuts, without ever being off-balance, bent over, or lunging forward. That's how we want to look.
And since we're doing this as part of our workout, and not as a way to prepare to get in the ring and hit somebody (or get hit by somebody), we're going to focus on some simple, basic punches and combination.
I recommend keeping it simple, and combining some basic punches into combinations. Try doing each of these a few times before moving onto the next one. Once you feel comfortable with all of them, you can start mixing them up randomly (or as your imaginary opponent gives you an opening!)
- jab - jab
- jab - cross
- jab - jab - cross
- jab - jab - jab
- jab - cross - hook
- jab - uppercut
- jab - jab - uppercut
- jab - cross - uppercut
- jab - cross - hook - uppercut
- any other combinations that flow through your body
- lots of leg movements - forward, backward, circling to the right, to the left
Here are a few well-written articles explaining the basic punches in more detail:
- How to Throw a Jab, by Johnny N at expertboxing.com - a simple, straight-forward guide.
- Punches in Boxing, by BoxingBeginners.com - the article gives some advice on how to throw various punches, as well as some basic strategy behind them. (The writer assumes we want to actually box...)
- How to Throw a Boxing Jab and Cross Combo, by ehow.com - a little light compared with the other two, but still a good guide for those who prefer written instructions.
- Youtube - do a youtube search for shadow boxing and you'll see dozens of videos.
Legal Disclaimer (don't blame me).
Warning - I am NOT a licensed physical trainer, therapist, nutritionist, doctor, or current or former boxer. I am a regular guy who just happens to love exercise and fitness.
Exercise can be dangerous if done incorrectly or in excess. I can't see you, and you can't see me, to know if you're doing an exercise incorrectly, which could lead to injury.
Please Please Please seek help / advice / counsel from a local professional before starting a new program, or before doing an exercise you're unfamiliar with. This information is intended as a guide to point you in the right direction. If you aren't familiar with the exercises described herein, I highly recommend seeking professional advice before trying them.