mbg moves: A Beginner-Friendly Boxing Workout You Can Do At Home

Fitness Instructor By Mindy Lai
Fitness Instructor
Mindy Lai is a rare combination of dancer and boxer. She earned her dance degree from The Ailey School and Fordham University, has performed on Broadway, and works as a boxing instructor at bande.
boxing workout

Welcome to mbg moves! We've been working out at home more than ever lately—and we know our readers are, too. To help keep your fitness routine feeling fresh, we're releasing a new at-home workout every Monday to start your week off strong. Each month will feature routines from a different incredible trainer we adore. Now, let's get moving with our spotlight trainer: Mindy Lai.

If you've never stepped foot in a boxing gym, the idea of throwing punches may feel a bit intimidating. But I'm here to tell you that boxing is a fantastic total-body workout for all levels—beginners included.

That's why I created this 15-minute boxing routine that you can do at home, no boxing bags or gloves needed. During the workout, I'll teach you how to get into the proper boxer's stance, and take you through some foundational punches and combinations. And it's not all punches—get ready to move through some conditioning exercises, too.

Each circuit in this workout is three minutes long, which is how long a fighter has each round in a ring. So I expect you to keep your body moving and heart pumping the entire time before moving to the next circuit.

Ready to give it a go? All you need is your body and an open space in your home to throw some jabs.

Your 4-week challenge: Every Monday for the rest of this month, I'll be sharing a boxing-inspired workout to get your heart pumping and muscles firing. I challenge you to make it a goal to try something new, get back into a boxing routine, or take your stamina to the next level—aim to do my workouts two to three times a week to really feel the burn.

Summary
  • Time: 15 minutes
  • Equipment: None (optional: light weights, yoga mat)
  • Instructions: Move from one exercise to the next, following the movement prompts for each one. After you've completed one circuit, move on to the next.
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Warmup

1. Jumping Jacks

jumping jacks

Image by mbg creative

  1. Start in a standing position with your hands and feet at your sides.
  2. Jump your feet out to the sides while simultaneously sweeping your hands overhead.
  3. Reverse the movement.
  4. Continue for 30 seconds.

2. High Plank

high plank

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  1. Place your hands on the ground, stacking shoulders over wrists.
  2. Extend your legs outward, engage your core, and lift your body up into a high plank position.
  3. Hold for 30 seconds.

3. World's Greatest Stretch

worlds greatest stretch

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  1. From a high plank position, step your right foot to the side of your left hand.
  2. Press your left hand into the ground and bring your right hand overhead. Twist your body to the right side, and bring your gaze to the lifted fingertips.
  3. Reverse the movement, and repeat on the opposite side.
  4. Continue for 30 seconds.

Round 1

1. 1-1-2 (Jab-Jab-Cross)

punching combo 1

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  1. Find your boxer's stance: Start in a standing position. Pretend your body is in a square box, and step your right foot back. Twist your hips to face the front right corner of the room. Bring your hands into fists, bring them in front of your face, and tuck elbows into your sides.
  2. For this combo, extend your left arm out straight in front of you. Twist your fist as you come forward, ending with the bottom of your fist parallel to the ground. Reverse and return to your boxer's stance. This is referred to as "1" or a "jab."
  3. For the second part of the combo, keep your left fist by your face, pivot at your hips, twist that back foot, and extend your right arm in front of you. Reverse the movement and return to your boxer's stance. This is referred to as "2" or a "cross."
  4. For the complete combo, do one jab (1), come back to start. Then another jab (1), followed by a cross (2).
  5. Repeat this combo, snapping your punches in and out as quickly as you can, for 1 minute.

2. Front Lunge

front lunges

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  1. Start in a standing position, with your elbows bent and hands behind your head.
  2. Lift one leg and take a big step forward, then bend your knees and lower until your bottom knee is hovering over the ground.
  3. Reverse the movement and return to start.
  4. Repeat on the opposite side.
  5. Continue for 30 seconds. Then repeat your 1-1-2 punching combo for 30 seconds.

3. High Knees

High Knees

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  1. Start in a standing position.
  2. As quickly as you can, lift one knee to hip height, then the other.
  3. Drive your arms back and forth to support the movement. It should feel like you're running in place.
  4. Continue for 1 minute.

Round 2

1. 1-9-1-2 (head-body-jab-cross)

jab-duck-jab-cross

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  1. For this combo, start with a straightforward jab (1).
  2. Next, dip your body down, move your head to the side, and throw a jab to your opponent's imaginary torso (this is a 9).
  3. From there, add on another jab (1) and cross (2). The complete sequence is 1-9-1-2.
  4. Optional: At the end of this sequence, add a single power jab with all your might!
  5. Continue for 1 minute.

2. Squats

squats

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  1. Start in a standing position, with your feet hip-distance apart.
  2. Hinge at your hips, bend your knees, and drop your body down until your thighs are parallel to the ground.
  3. Engage your glutes to rise back up to start.
  4. Continue for 30 seconds. Then complete 30 seconds of the 1-9-1-2 combo.

3. Skaters

skaters

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  1. Start in a standing position. Bring your feet hips-width distance apart and parallel.
  2. Push into your left foot, driving deeply into all four corners. Gently, leap to one side, and land softly on your right foot. Bring your left hand down to touch the ground.
  3. Reverse the movement, and repeat on the opposite side.
  4. Move back and forth as quickly as you can for 1 minute.

Round 3

1. 1-2-3-6 (jab-cross-hook-uppercut)

jab-cross-hook-uppercut

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  1. For this combination, start with a jab-cross (1-2).
  2. Then, add on a left hook (3): Keeping your left arm at a 90-degree angle, bring it out to the side of your body, then quickly punch it to the center of your field of vision.
  3. Next, add on a right uppercut (6): Starting in your boxer's stance, bring your right arm down and then quickly punch it up to the center, like you're showing off your biceps.
  4. The complete combo is 1-2-3-6.
  5. Continue for 1 minute.

2. Pushup

pushup

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  1. Start in a high plank position, with your shoulders stacked over your wrists.
  2. Keep your arms tucked to your sides, bend your elbows, and lower down until your body is hovering over the ground.
  3. Engage your core, press through your hands, and come back to a high plank position.
  4. Continue for 30 seconds. Then, repeat your 1-2-3-6 boxing combination for 30 seconds.

3. Squat To Toe Touch

squat to toe touch

Image by mbg creative

  1. Start in a standing position, with your feet hips-distance apart and hands behind your head.
  2. Hinge at your hips, bend your knees, and drop your body down until your thighs are parallel with the ground.
  3. As you come back up to start, kick your left foot into the air, and touch your toes with your left hand. Lower back down and repeat on the right side.
  4. Continue for 1 minute.

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