How To Do Boxer Twists | Proper Technique

How To Do Boxer Twists | Proper Technique

Boxer twists are a powerhouse move for your core muscles. Here’s how to correctly do a boxer twist and the benefits of adding this exercise to your training.

Published: June 15, 2022

Topics: Tips & Technique, Training

Author: PJ Shirdan

Boxer twists are among the most effective core workouts to strengthen your abdominals and obliques. The stability required to maintain proper form will also improve balance with consistent training. A solid core and unshakeable balance are two of the most important assets for a boxer in the ring.

Here’s the breakdown of how to properly perform the boxer twist and what muscles you are targeting.

Boxer Twists

  • Sit down on your mat with your legs out in front of you

  • Lean back slightly until your back is at a 45-degree angle from the floor

  • Raise your knees to tabletop position

  • Form a V shape between your torso and hamstrings

  • Bring your hands together in front of your chest

  • Rotate your torso from above the rib cage to the right

  • Twist as far as you can and lightly tap the floor with your fingertips

  • Rotate to the left as far as you can and tap the floor lightly

  • Alternate twisting your torso right to left

*Optional Modifications for Beginners:

  • Keep feet flat on the ground with knees bent

  • Raise legs but cross one leg over the other at the knee

Movement Key Points

  • Lift your knees to a tabletop position

Lift knees to tabletop position
  • Rotate your torso from side to side

Rotate your torso from side to side
  • Keep your core engaged

Keep Your Core Engaged
  • Keep your feet elevated

Keep Your Feet Elevated
  • Lean back comfortably

Lean back comfortably

Breathing Pattern

Breathe steadily to keep your movement controlled as you perform boxer twists. As you maintain a slow pace:

  • Exhale as you twist to one side

  • Inhale deeply each time before you alternate sides

*If you are doing timed sets, continue to breathe deeply and steadily even if you are not syncing each breath with a twist.

Muscles Used

Boxer twists are excellent for targeting the abdominals and the back, but you are also firing up your hamstrings as you hold your legs in the air.

  • Core: Abdominals, obliques, lower back

  • Legs: Hamstrings, hip flexors


For Reps:

  • 10-20 reps (1 twist each side = 1 rep)

For Sets:

  • 2-3 sets

For Time:

  • 30 seconds each set

  • 15-30 seconds rest in between

Boxer twists are challenging because they engage the entire core and require both strength and stability. It is key not to sacrifice good form for more repetitions, you can risk muscle strain, particularly in your back.

Beginners should start with 2-3 sets of 10-20 repetitions and modify as needed to maintain balance as you learn the technique. If you are more advanced with this movement and have consistently good form, you can do timed sets at increased speed.

Crushing Your Core Workout

Boxer twists are an intensely effective compound core exercise. This move will target your abdominals, obliques, and back while improving your balance. A strong midsection isn’t just about getting toned, solid boxer abs are a fighter’s armor when they take a hit to their core.

Remember, always #endwithabs!

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PJ Shirdan

PJ Shirdan is a FightCamp Founding Coach from the Philadelphia area. He found boxing as a way to heal and rebuild his life as he became a competitive fighter. PJ is a NASM, TRX, and USA Boxing Coach certified.

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