Now you can have the tight abs, shapely arms and a well-toned physique of a boxer without the risk of losing your front teeth or suffering from any long-term head injuries. How? By using the same intense strength and cardiovascular training circuit that boxers use. Complete this circuit three to five times, twice a week, to increase your fitness and improve your physique.
Start your circuit with three minutes of jumping rope. If haven't jumped rope since you were hanging out with your friends on the elementary school playground, just do the best you can with single jumps. If you are a rope-jumping ninja, use different foot positions and double-jumps to add variety and intensity. At the end of the three-minute period, you want to be out of breath and sweating.
Rest one minute and then start shadow boxing for three minutes. You do not need boxing gloves or any other equipment. You only need your imagination. Pretend you are punching the guy who cut you off on the freeway today or that co-worker who steals everyone's lunch from the refrigerator. Whoever you pick, your objective is to throw as many punches and combinations as you can during this three-minute round. A good basic combination is two jabs with your right hand to your opponent's head followed by a left hook to the body and a second left hook to the head. Repeat the combination starting with your left hand and alternate for the rest of the round.
Rest one minute and complete as many pushups as you can for three minutes. Keep your hands under your shoulders and your elbows tucked in close to your ribs throughout the movement. If you cannot complete a standard pushup, put your knees on the floor to reduce the weight you have to push. Another option is to do wall pushups. Stand with about 3 feet away from a wall and lean in so your hands are touching the wall, slightly wider than shoulder-width. The farther your feet are from the wall, the harder the pushups will be.
Rest one minute and start your three-minute core work with one minute in the plank position. Being by getting in the push-up position then lower your forearms so they are resting flat on the floor with your elbows pointed toward your feet. Keep your back straight and concentrate on using your abs to keep a rigid upper body. After the plank, roll over to your back and complete as many crunches as you can in one minute. Return to the plank position and stay there until the three-minute round has concluded.
Jack Kaltmann is a Las Vegas-based writer with more than 25 years of professional experience in corporate communications. He is a published author of several books and feature articles for national publications such as "American Artist" and "Inside Kung-Fu." Kaltmann holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Miami University and is a retired nationally certified personal trainer.