SHADOW BOXING is a crucial exercise in the sweet science. When utilised correctly it can progress learning, be a defining factor in understanding and executing tactics, determining shot selection, perfecting head movement as well as improving ring craft and footwork.

The great thing about shadow boxing is that it does not matter what level you are as a fighter. Used by beginners through to world champions. Shadow boxing when done correctly is a workout in itself, much like any form of exercise the duration and intensity can be changed to suit the purpose and desired result. For example, it can be put to good effect as a warm up, keep it low intensity to warm the muscles and mobilise the joints, try 2, 3 minute rounds as a warm up and the same as a cool down.

You can also do speed shadow or high intensity 1 or 2 minutes at high pace with a minute rest, so that you maintain form, this should only be done after a good warm up.

It’s skill that all boxers should practice. As the fighter becomes more experienced then so to will the shadow boxing.


When first starting it is worthwhile shadow boxing in front of a mirror, this allows the boxer to see openings and correct mistakes as well as see first hand their speed, technique and balance.

As you progress, start to try and visualise an opponent in front of you. Really see the opponent and then look for openings or movements that you can react to, almost like imaginary fighting, the more vivid the imagery, the closer your workout becomes to the fight. Do not underestimate the importance of visualising an adversary. Train hard, fight hard!

Take your shadow boxing to the ring…

Incorporating footwork, manoeuvring off the ropes and out of corners for defensive work and evading a come-forward aggressive fighter. Then do the opposite of closing the ring and trapping the opponent on the ropes or in the corners for offensive work.

Make use of shoulder height ropes set up from corner to corner of the ring to practice head movement and slipping as you shadow box. Throw a combination and then roll or slip, so that you are not a stationary target, even when attacking.

Incorporate shadow boxing into your workouts, but know that properly executed shadow boxing can be a workout in its own right. Often on occasions you will find yourself without a gym or equipment, as long as you have a watch or clock and some space you can get a full body workout through shadow boxing. Try 15 sets of minute on, minute off for a HIIT session or 30mins continuous for a more stamina building session and of course the classic 12 3’s with minute rest between rounds.

Good luck getting the better of your shadow!

Former world title challenger Frank Buglioni will be boxing on the March 26 bill at Wembley Arena feature Nick Blackwell vs Chris Eubank Jnr