The Summer Olympics Series: Boxing


It’s the final countdoowwwn!  

The Tokyo Olympics come to a close this week— and, sadly, so does this Olympic series. From climbing to tennis to swimming, I spent the last four weeks reminding myself why I love to move my body.

I started playing sports at the age of three and am a former Division I athlete, but during quarantine especially— I found myself losing interest in everyday workouts. Disinterest turned to lack of motivation, and I reached a point where I was mid-squat and asking myself why it mattered. I hung up the barbell and walked out. 

Working out without a goal is tough (if not, impossible). Whether your goal is to run a marathon, lose weight, or improve your mental health—we all (should) have one. This series taught me that my goal for exercise is to hone a craft.

Basically…I re-realized my love for sports.

In honor of this realization, I am closing out this series by partaking in a variation of my original sport. I started mixed martial arts as a toddler and practiced it for 16+ years. In the spirit of this passion and the original Ancient Olympics—I tried boxing. 

The Workout

While Olympic bouts last three rounds—outside of the Olympic ring, boxing matches can last up to twelve rounds, showcasing an intense display of strength and cardio. It’s crucial for boxers to punch hard and heavy, but also train to last. 

Here is the boxing workout I did, that you can do from home!

Warm up.

To ramp up my heart rate and train my footwork, I completed by favorite jump rope circuit 2xs (check out the vid here):

  • Jumping jacks – 2 minutes
  • Alternating lunges – 20 reps
  • High knees – 1 minute
  • Butt kick – 1 minute
  • Single leg jumping 3x – 2 minutes

Core, activated. 

A strong core supports both stamina and explosive power. If you want proof—try high-fiving a friend without engaging your core. You’ll rely almost entirely on your arm muscles to make contact. Now, engage your core. You’ll notice you’re able to wind up and jerk forward with more momentum, increasing your strength output.

The same mechanics apply toward boxing. To activate my core in full-body motions, I pulled out my core sliders and followed this workout featuring Jenna Willis.

Get Your Gloves On

Now that we’re ready to sting like a bee and float like a butterfly—it’s time to strap on our gloves. You can either punch a bag or shadowbox, and personally—I like to use resistance bands to hone that explosive punching power. 

I completed this circuit three times:

  • Jab, cross, hook – 2 minutes
  • Straight punches (as many reps as possible) – 45 seconds
  • Rest, if needed
  • Jab, cross, hook, cross – 2 minutes
  • Straight punches (as many reps as possible) – 45 seconds

Cool Down

By now, if you’re like me— you’ll have sweat dripping from every crevice of your body (bonus points if you had your waist trimmer on). Take 5 minutes to stretch, cool down, and drink your electrolyte Post-Sweat solution. 

Overall Ratings

My ratings are definitely biased—as this workout was both nostalgic and ingrained into my muscle memory. Nevertheless, you’d be remiss to never try a boxing workout!

Difficulty to learn: 3/10

Intensity: 9/10

Fun: 7/10

Would I recommend to a friend: Invite them into the ring with you…and see if you’re up for all twelve rounds!

I hope this series inspires you to get fit, find your niche, and celebrate the spirit of competition. Faster, Higher, Stronger – Together. 


This article was written by Melissa Pelowski.