Working Your Back Muscles Outside the Gym: Know the Four Basic Punches

Punch combinations are a fun way to blow off steam but also work out the upper back muscles. Some muscles can be so hard to get at without machines or equipment so think about incorporating punches into your workouts and you’ll shadow box your way to a sexier, leaner looking back without purchasing expensive equipment or waiting for machines at the local gym.

proper athletic stanceGet Into Punching Position
Hands up. Feet staggered. Heel of one foot in line with the toe of the other. Feet wide spread, greater than hip width distance. Feeling natural. Strong athletic stance. Knees soft. Weight out of your heels. Solid as a rock. Channel your inner boxer. Strength training without equipment requires an extreme situation or extreme focus.


(1) Jab jabbing nun
Shifting your weight forward and toward your target, think about popping the offender in the nose with your lead fist. That fist then returns to where it was, just below the lead eye. And the other fist is also up and blocking the face, but lower between chin and high cheek.

cross jab punch(2) Cross
When the back hip whips forward on pivoting foot, the back shoulder comes around to land the “two” in the old adage “give ’em the old one-two”. The power and speed behind the cross punch lies in the power and strength of the hip turn.

cross and upper cut(3) Hook
The lead arm swings back and around, a circular motion drawn by the elbow. Think cock back and follow through that would pop a purse snatcher in the ear! 

(4) Upper Cut
Back hip whips forward again and tight core turns, too. The shoulder swings around and low to follow the dropping elbow that’s cocking into position for a pop back up. When it does, the fist lands under a chin or into a kidney.

Commit to the movements you’re making in any workout you do. Sync into the energy of the workout by tapping your imagination. Channel your inner boxer and relieve some stress!


Standing strong, in a position of balance and athleticism will work your legs. Shifting your weight and twisting your hips will really fatigue the muscles and challenge the core. Staying light on your feet will develop your lower leg muscle strength and stability. While your legs are working, your throwing punches. Combo moves like the moves your find in a boxing ring or cardio kickbox class elevate the  heart rate quickly because the heart has to work extra hard to move blood to the working arms and the working legs.

Reduce your resting heart rate, lower your blood pressure, and reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease with cardio. 20 Benefits of Cardiorespiratory Fitness.

Throw dips, kicks, slips, or foot fires between punch combinations to really kick things up a notch, whatever moves you can remember from your cardio kickboxing class. Exercises like squats, jacks, and jump rope intervals will really send the heart rate up, challenging your heart and lungs to keep up with your legs.

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  1. […] Kickstand Fitness Tip of the Day: Shadow box your way to a sexier, leaner looking back and shoulders.You don’t need bands or free weights. Doesn’t matter if you have hip or knee issues. No waiting for machines at the gym, no gym necessary. Go to this article for an in-depth how to. […]

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