As a boxer, I know how hard it can be to cram everything you need into a workout schedule. We are all balancing work, family, and personal lives, and our time is valuable. Fitting in a workout can often feel like an added burden, but we all know the importance of exercise for both our physical and mental health. It’s important that we find ways to maximize the time we can spend working out--and have fun doing it!
Plus, you don’t need to go to a gym to exercise. These days, working out at home is even more accessible and possible with training programs like FightCamp. Make your workout fit your lifestyle!
Below, I’ve listed my tips for making sure that, with the right planning, even if you only have 30 minutes at home, you can still get in an effective and rewarding workout.
You always have time to warm-up
This is probably my most important tip: never skip the warm-up. Not only does stretching and warming up help prevent injury, but it also starts your body in motion and allows you to ease into the more intense exercise later in your workout.
Here’s an example of a 5 minute warm-up routine I use before my workouts:
30 jumping jacks
Good mornings (barbell exercise)
1 minute of light work on the bag: focus on boxing technique, not power or speed
1 minute boxer rhythm: bounce in your boxing stance, let your shoulders loosen up
In addition to the movements above, I also incorporate some stretching exercises as well before I really get into the bulk of my workout.
Focus on quality over quantity
Remember that exercises are designed the way they are for a reason. It is always more effective to do 10 good, complete push-ups than 30 where you barely bend your elbows before coming back up. When it comes to form, especially with intensive exercises like push-ups or weight training drills, always prioritize doing the motion correctly over the number of reps. Not only will this help you in the long run, but you’ll be able to reap the benefits and likely use more of your muscles in the process.
Work “like” muscle groups together
If you don’t have a set plan in place, it can be hard to figure out which muscle groups to focus on a given day for home workouts. Certain muscle groups require their own day, but a lot of muscles can be worked out simultaneously, which is great for saving time without sacrificing quality.
Below, I’ve listed how I split up muscle groups when planning my home workouts, as well as given a rough time estimate to complete one rotation through the exercises. Everyone will be able to do different numbers of reps of each exercise, but as long as you are keeping your effort high, you’ll still get the full benefit. You can start with a set of 10 reps for each exercise and see how that feels. If it’s too much, do fewer and work your way up. If it’s easy, then you can increase. Remember, everyone is on a different fitness journey so your time might be slightly faster or slower than mine, and that's okay!
Group 1: Arms, chest, back
You can work out your arms, chest, and back all on the same day using certain exercises, such as push-ups and their variations, pull-ups, shoulder presses, and of course, heavy bag work. By grouping these muscles together, you can save time without losing results. If at some point you do feel like you’re lagging behind in one of these areas, you can simply adjust your workout on these days to include one or two more exercises that target that area more than the others.
Here is an example arm, chest, and back workout I like to use.
Exercise 1: 2 sets of diamond push-ups
Exercise 2: 1 round of power punch outs
Exercise 3: 1 set of pull-ups
Exercise 4: 2 sets of Spartan push-ups
Time: about 20 minutes
Group 2: Upper and lower legs
Ah the dreaded leg day. The trick here is to alternate your exercise pattern. First, choose an exercise that mainly targets the upper legs, like squats, leg presses, high knees, etc. and then move on to one that targets the lower legs, such as toe raises, jump rope, etc. This way each muscle group gets a little rest in between each exercise.
Here is an example of one of my workouts for legs. (Personally, I don’t use weights due to a chronic knee injury):
Exercise 1: 1 set of jumping squats
Exercise 2: 2 sets of speed jump rope
Exercise 3: 2 sets of alternating lunges
Exercise 4: 2 sets of side to sides
Time: about 25 minutes
Group 3: Core and stabilizing muscles
Your core needs a lot of attention all its own, and it’s a notoriously hard muscle group to focus on. Many exercises that work your core also work a lot of the small muscles responsible for balance. For example, Russian twists (or Boxer’s twist) work your core muscles, but also work the small muscles that support your hips and shoulders that ultimately help regulate upper body balance.
Here is an example of what a day focused on core training could look like:
Exercise 1: 2 sets of V-ups
Exercise 2: 1-2 minute plank
Exercise 3: 2 sets of Boxer’s twist
Exercise 4: 2 sets of oblique crunches
Time: about 15-20 minutes
Do roadwork at the end, not the beginning
This is something my coach taught me that has been a godsend. Even if you have the temptation to run while you’re fresh, before your workout, sometimes it’s best to use that energy for the high-intensity exercises, such as heavy bag work, drills, and strength training. Then you can focus on roadwork afterward. This depends on your own workout goals, but I prefer running after my boxing training. It helps me cool down and allows me to zone out or plan the rest of my day.
I hope these tips have helped you plan your home workouts better and remember: even if all you have is a heavy bag and some floor space, you can still get an amazing workout in with bodyweight exercises and heavy bag training. And if you’re like me and do your best work with partners, then there’s no better partner to push you and get you past the limit than FightCamp!
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