Fun bootcamp boxing ideas can be hard to come by, so today I'll be sharing ten kick-ass bootcamp boxing ideas that you can use to add more variety to your group training programme.
Everybody loves boxing, from the ultra-competitive 20 year old bodybuilder to the 50 year old office manager who has just started her fitness journey.
Not only is boxing a great calorie burner, but it is also fun, allows you to be creative, and helps you to teach your clients a new skill.
The extra level of learning required will challenge your clients mentally as well as physically, helping them to really engage with your sessions.
In this article, we will be looking at ten bootcamp boxing ideas for group fitness trainers. We'll look at boxing circuit ideas, boxing workouts, and drills for boxing bootcamp sessions that you can use immediately.
But before that, we’re going to talk about what it means to teach boxing as part of your bootcamp, because it’s not as simple as many fitness trainers assume.
Teaching Boxing Bootcamp Workouts as a Fitness Trainer
There is nothing worse than walking into a gym and seeing an instructor holding a set of pads incorrectly while their client throws inexpert boxing combinations wildly as fast as possible.
It’s dangerous, unprofessional, and is highly likely to lead to injury.
But for some reason, many instructors think of boxing as something that you can just make up as you go along. This is not the case. You can't just Google bootcamp boxing ideas, you've got to learn properly.
Think of boxing like you would Olympic lifting. If you're planning on using pad work, heavy bags, or sparring as part of your coaching then you'll need to take a boxing certification and get qualified.
Boxing Certification For Personal Trainers
Luckily, there are many excellent boxing courses out there. In the UK you have Boxercise which is taught by Andy Wake and is the most well-known boxing course in Europe. You'll learn lot's of unique bootcamp boxing ideas.
A new competitor is the Hatton Academy, set up by former boxing legend Ricky Hatton. It’s another excellent course for personal trainers.
Boxburn academy is another great option, one that is available to both UK and US fitness professionals.
Throwing a punch is a highly technical skill, and it needs to be taught correctly. That means that you need to know how to teach it properly before you start using boxing, and boxing combinations in your sessions.
The bootcamp boxing ideas in this article are all non-contact drills. This means that you do not need to be qualified to teach them and can safely add them into your sessions.
If you want to teach pad work or bag work, then get qualified and you can then teach your clients properly.w
Let's take a quick look at the 7 most popular boxing combos, that will give you more variety when planning your bootcamp boxing workouts.
7 Popular Boxing Combinations For Planning Fun Bootcamp Boxing Workouts
Boxing Circuit Ideas
As this is a non-contact boxing session, and you won’t have punch bags or pads available, basing your circuit entirely around punches is not a good idea because It would get stale pretty fast. There are only so many different punches you can add into the workout.
A good boxing circuit idea is to take exercises that are related to boxing and adding them in alongside shadow boxing drills.
Jump rope, core exercises (crunches, bicycles etc), and plyometric movements (throwing a medicine ball is great for building punching power) are all great circuit ideas.
Check out this circuit:
- Jump rope
- Shadow boxing (one-two combo)
- Medicine Ball slams
- Shadow boxing (uppercuts)
- Ab crunch into shadow boxing combination 1
- Burpee into shadow boxing combination 2
45 seconds per station, 15 seconds rest, then 3 minutes rest after finishing the circuit.
As you can see, this circuit is quite creative in its use of shadow boxing. Combining it with burpees and ab crunches. You could also perform squats into uppercuts or add shadow boxing to running or agility drills.
10 Bootcamp Boxing Ideas For Your Next Group Class
In this section, we are going to take a look at ten that you can incorporate into a boxing circuit. This will give you lot's of different boxing circuit ideas.
Boxing Drill #1 Core Boxing
This is a great boxing drill that will really challenge your members. Get them to lie down with their feet flat on the ground and knees bent. Then you want them to sit up upwards until their shoulders and head are completely off the ground.
So far, this is just a normal sit up. But instead of slowly returning to the starting position, the member stays in position and then starts punching the air in front of them, using a one-two combination.
Some members may need help with this. Getting another member to hold their feet down (while ensuring that they are out of punching range) will make it easier to sit up up and maintain that position).
After 10 punches (or 20-30 seconds), the member can slowly lower themselves back down. You can vary the exercise by getting them to throw hooks instead, which will work their obliques as well as the abs.
If you have taken the boxing courses mentioned earlier, then you can teach your members how to hold boxing pads.
Then you can upgrade this exercise by getting one member to hold pads, while the other sits up and then throws one-two combinations into the pads.
This takes a lot of trust, and needs to be properly taught though, so only do it if you have been trained in pad work (and trained in how to teach pad work).
Boxing Drill #2 Shadow Boxing
Shadow boxing drills are some of my favourite bootcamp boxing ideas because they require no special bootcamp equipment.
Shadow boxing is a great circuit drill, and what’s great is how much variety it offers. Get your clients to stand in a boxer’s stance. For right-handed members, they should have their left foot forward and their right foot back.
Their right foot should be pointing at a 45 degree angle away from their body. They should put their hands into fists with thumbs wrapped around the bottom of the fist (rather than inside). Fists should be in line with their jaws with elbows tucked in.
This is the starting position for shadow boxing.
If you are trained in how to coach boxing, this is where you would dedicate several lessons to teaching your members how to correctly throw punches. But for those of you who are not trained, just get your members to throw a one-two combination.
Push the weaker arm forward first, rotating the torso backwards as you do so, then bring the arm back as you rotate the torso forwards, raising your back heel in the air and pushing your stronger arm forwards.
That is the most commonly taught combination in boxing and is pretty easy for your members to learn. You can get them to throw that combination. Or mix it up a little. Go one-one-two (for example).
Uppercuts are similar, except that instead of having your fists neutral (facing each other) you have your fists raised in front of your face, so that your palms face inwards.
Then you bend down slightly, bring one arm down and then punch upwards. Repeating the movement with the dominant hand.
Body and head hooks are a little harder to teach, so avoid these until you’re qualified to teach them properly.
It goes without saying, but once you are qualified to teach pad work you can really upgrade shadow boxing into something special.
You can read, the ultimate guide to boxing stances by clicking here.
Boxing Drill #3 Jump Rope (Skipping)
There’s not much to say about this exercise, it’s skipping/jumping rope. A bootcamp staple! Click the link for 8 fantastic skipping variations.
But jumping rope is an integral part of boxing training, and one that your members will associate with it. Adding in jump rope to your bootcamps is a smart idea.
One benefit of skipping is how easy it is to increase the difficulty depending on how proficient the member is. You can also teach people how to skip better. Learning a new skill is always popular with members as it engages them mentally as well as physically.
Boxing Drill #4 Medicine Ball Slams
Medicine balls, particularly the leather ones, have been used in boxing for a lot longer than many people assume. They are great for building power in the upper body, and there are many medicine ball moves that recreate punches.
The medicine ball may not recreate a punching movement, but it is excellent for building the shoulder and upper back muscles which are crucial for throwing powerful punches.
Medicine ball slams are also great for bootcamps. They are enjoyable, take up less space than you’d think, and will burn a lot of calories. You definitely should consider adding them to your bootcamp equipment list.
Stand upright holding a medicine ball above your head in both hands. Bend your arms so that the ball travels behind your head (like a throw-in in football), bend your knees and as you do so bring your arms forward and throw the medicine ball onto the floor in front of you. Pick the ball back up and repeat the movement.
Boxing Drill #5 Burpee with Shadow Boxing
What’s great about burpees is how easily they can be edited to suit your needs. You can do burpees with jumps or without. Burpees can be done with push ups added, with star jumps, with planks, or in this case with shadow boxing.
The idea is to perform a burpee as normal, but after landing from the jump you go into a boxing combination (one-two, one-two, uppercut, uppercut for example). The movement would look like this:
- Start in push up position
- Jump feet forward so that they are underneath your shoulders
- Jump up in the air with arms raised above head
- Land then throw your combinations (one-two, one-two, uppercut, uppercut)
- Get back into push up position
If your members know how to perform proper boxing foot work, then you could also add that in. It could possibly replace the jump.
As the boxing combinations can be changed you could have two different stations for burpees and shadow boxing in your bootcamp circuit without getting repetitive.
Boxing Drill #6 Ski Squat with Uppercuts
This is a great twist on a bootcamp classic. The ski squat is an amazing isometric exercise that will test the muscular endurance of your bootcamp members as they try to hold it as long as possible. But there are two problems with it:
- It can last too long if you have some very fit members
- It can be pretty boring to perform
Adding in some uppercuts can help turn this into a full body exercise, it also makes the exercise harder as you are no longer able to brace your arms against the wall. Instead, your arms are throwing uppercuts. You could also do a one-two combination with jabs and straights if you prefer.
If this exercise is being performed outdoors without access to a wall, then instead of a ski squat, just perform a regular squat and hold the position while throwing punches.
Boxing Drill #7 Bob & Weave
Full disclosure, this drill usually requires a large rope and will be impractical for many bootcamps. But if you have somewhere to tie a rope across (between two lampposts?) this drill is a lot of fun to perform.
Check out an example of the bob and weave drill here.
Let’s assume that you have the ability to tie a large rope between two poles. Set the rope up. The lower the rope is, the harder it is to perform. You don’t want the rope to be higher than shoulder height. Ideally, it should be just below chest height.
Get into the boxer’s stance, with your weaker foot out in front of you, and your dominant foot behind you with foot flared out at a 45 degree angle. Hold your fists up with elbows close to your sides.
Stand with the rope to one side of your head. Now you want to duck under the rope and move parallel so that the rope is now on the other side of the rope. You should have travelled forward as you ducked under the rope.
Repeat the process, again ducking under the rope but this time from the other side, then repeating it again until you have travelled the length of the rope. As you can see, the lower the rope the harder it gets as you have to duck lower.
You can increase difficulty by lowering the rope or increasing the speed at which people travel under the rope.
What’s great about this exercise is that it works for all levels. Pro boxers can perform it perfectly, while complete amateurs who don’t even know how to put gloves on can still perform this movement and have fun.
You can travel forwards and backwards, and if you have another rope that criss-crosses the original (only really possible if you have a full boxing ring) then you can also do lateral movements.
This exercise can be done without a rope, but your members would need to use their imagination. Without the rope it is a lot easier to cheat, and it’s definitely less fun. But still, a good drill if you are running out of ideas.
Boxing Drill #8 Medicine Ball Punch
No, this drill does not involve punching a medicine ball. Rather, it is throwing a medicine ball using a similar action to a punch.
This exercise can be performed against a solid wall if you are indoors, or it can be performed with a partner. It can also be performed without a wall or a partner. You would just throw the medicine ball as far as you can and then go and pick it up again.
Check out this YouTube video to see a perfect example of how to perform the medicine ball punch.
What’s great about this movement is that it really helps reinforce correct punching technique, it improves your explosive power, burns calories, and is a fun movement to perform. A great addition to any bootcamp session.
Boxing Drill #9 Shadow Boxing with Bobbing & Weaving
This drill is just a combination of shadow boxing and the bob and weave drill that we talked about earlier. The bob and weave part can be performed without the rope, and the shadow boxing can be as technical as you need it to be.
This is an amazing way to get your members to really feel like boxers, without having to spend hours coaching them on correct punching technique etc.
How the routine goes is completely up to you, it can be any number of combinations. Here’s an example of how it could look:
- Bob & weave 10 seconds
- Throw one-two combination
- Bob & weave 10 seconds
- Throw four uppercuts
- Bob & weave 10 seconds
- Throw one-two combination followed by two uppercuts
Alternatively, you can tell your members to create their own routines and give them 30-60 seconds to perform it. This can work well if your members are experienced, but complete beginners may struggle with this. Follow your gut instinct here.
Boxing Drill #10 Speed Punches
Whereas shadow boxing is all about positioning and throwing clear and crisp punches, speed punching is about standing in a boxer’s stance and throwing one-two combinations as fast as possible for a pre-determined amount of time (30 seconds works well).
If your members know how to correctly throw punches, then get them to at least keep some technique. If the members are completely untrained, then just get them throwing punches as fast as possible and keep them out of trouble!
Final Thought On 10 Bootcamp Boxing Ideas For Group Trainers
We’ve given you ten excellent bootcamp boxing ideas for you to add into your boxing bootcamps. All of them are safe to implement and require no qualifications on your part.
If you would like to upgrade your sessions and bring in pad work or bag work, then we absolutely recommend checking out the boxing courses we mentioned earlier.
Boxing is a skill and takes good coaching and practice to perform safely. The courses are easy to follow and will make you a much better trainer in the long term.
Boxing is an amazing addition to any bootcamp, particularly when implemented correctly. I hope you have found these bootcamp boxing ideas useful.
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