Your go-to boxing workout

To build strong, toned arms you can show off, just grab a boxing bag and follow our workout.
Published 17 September, 2018

Channel your inner Anthony Joshua or Nicola Adams to get a truly awesome workout. All you need to get started are a bag, gloves, and wraps. "If you aren't ready to use the bag, try shadowboxing first—doing the same moves without hitting the bag—until you feel ready for the real thing," says Michael Tosto, owner of TITLE Boxing Club in New York City, who designed the workout shown here.

Your go-to boxing workout

Practice these moves a few times, then try the combinations listed below to get your heart and muscles working hard. These are 3-minute rounds, just like the pros do. Try for 4 rounds with a 1-minute rest in between each. Build up to 8 rounds for a total of 30 minutes (with a 2-minute warm-up with any of the aerobic moves listed in the “Make It Harder” section).

Starting Position

Relax your knees (keep them bouncy) and distribute your weight evenly. Keep your feet shoulder-width apart with your lead hand in front. (Boxing uses the terms “lead” and “rear.” If you’re right-handed, your lead hand is your left.) Make sure your front heel and back toe are in line. Bend your elbows, and keep your hands up near your chin with palms facing your ears and chin slightly down.


Start position. With your left hand in a fist, knuckles facing up, quickly extend your left arm, rotating your knuckles down before you make contact with the bag. (Always keep your wrists straight when you punch.) Return to start.


Start position. Using your right hand, rotate your torso counterclockwise, pivoting your right foot as your hips turn. Use your core to power your right fist across, landing with knuckles on top. Don’t lean forward. Return to start.

Lead Hook

Start position. Rotate torso slightly to the left, with your left arm locked, elbow out. Use your core to rotate your hips back to start. Punch the side of the bag with your palm facing you. Return to start.

Rear Hook

Start position. Since your back leg is already coiled, release the power from it and your core. With your right elbow out, punch the side of the bag with your palm facing you. Return to start.

Lead Uppercut

Start position. Use the same rotation as with the lead hook. Drop the lead elbow slightly, lower your fist, and swing upward, landing with your palm facing you.

Rear Uppercut

Start position. Use the same body rotation and core power as with the rear hook. Drop the rear elbow slightly, lower your fist, and swing upward, landing with your palm facing you.

Put it together

Warm up for 2 minutes (see the activities listed in “Make It Harder”). Then do each sequence of moves as many times as possible for 30 seconds, with no breaks. Then rest for 1 minute. Repeat 7 times (or build up to it).

  • Jab, Cross, Lead Hook, Rear Hook, Lead Uppercut, Rear Uppercut
  • Jab, Cross, 2 Jabs, Cross, 3 Jabs, Cross
  • Jab, Cross, Jab, Cross, Lead Hook, Rear Hook
  • Jab, Cross, Lead Uppercut, Rear Uppercut, Lead Hook, Right Hook
  • Lead Uppercut, Rear Uppercut, Jab, Cross
  • Alternate all Hooks as fast as you can.

Make it harder

Ready to step it up a gear? Instead of a minute of rest, perform jumping jacks, squats, high knee jogs, or jump rope.