Sparring, Shadowboxing

Sparring, Shadowboxing Fitness Training

Sparring, Shadowboxing Description

Sparring/shadowboxing is an excellent method of conditioning for boxing and martial arts. It works the cardiorespiratory system as well as most major muscle groups. Sparring is a fairly dangerous activity which is recommended only for conditioned athletes with proper equipment and training.

Sparring, Shadowboxing Warnings

  • People experiencing chronic shoulder, elbow, lower back, pelvic/hip, wrist, knee or ankle pain should receive medical clearance before engaging in sparring or shadowboxing.

Sparring, Shadowboxing Risks

  • Cuts and bruises from inadvertent or deliberate contact
  • Fractures of wrists, ribs or facial bones (especially jaw and nose)
  • Tendinitis or bursitis of shoulders, wrists or elbows
  • Neck or head injury such as concussion

Sparring, Shadowboxing Sport-specific applications

  • Boxing (amateur, national, international, Olympic or professional levels)
  • Martial arts competition

Sparring, Shadowboxing Equipment required

  • Blank wall and light to show shadow
  • Comfortable, unrestrictive clothing
  • Footwear (optional)
  • Hand weights (optional) to build strength and endurance Sparring:
  • Boxing gloves or hand gloves such as those worn in karate
  • Footwear: footpads for martial arts sparring, special shoes for boxing
  • Headgear: to protect the face and head
  • Mouthpiece
  • Cup and supporter (males only) to provide protection
  • Clothing: comfortable, unrestrictive; usually shorts and tank top

Sparring, Shadowboxing Applicable substitutions

  • Boxing competition
  • Martial arts competition
  • Rope jumping
  • Gymnastics
  • Aerobic dance with hand weights
  • Circuit-training calisthenics

Sparring, Shadowboxing Reference sources, organizations and publications

  • United States Amateur Boxing, Inc. (USA Boxing): 1750 East Boulder St., Colorado Springs, CO 80909, (719) 578­4506
  • U.S. Olympic Committee: 1750 East Boulder St., Colorado Springs, CO 80909, (719) 632­5551
  • Community Boys Clubs
  • YMCA, YMHA or local parks and recreation departments



Fitness Benefits

  • Cardiorespiratory 4
  • Flexibility 1
  • Muscular Strength 3
  • Muscular Endurance 4
  • Body Fat Recution 2

Fitness Requirements

  • Cardiorespiratory 2
  • Flexibility 2
  • Muscular Strength 2
  • Muscular Endurance 3
  • Coordination/Skill 4

Muscle groups used

Primary muscles: calves, quadriceps, hamstrings, hip adductors, hip abductors (gluteal muscles, tensor fasciae latae), obliques, abdominals, shoulders and triceps Assistance muscles: chest, trapezius, lower back (erector spinae) and forearms

Energy expenditure

Approximately 0.062 Calories per minute per pound of body weight

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