This Seated Boxing Workout Will Improve Your Focus In 5 Minutes

·5 min read

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Struggling with a wandering mind and the urge to procrastinate? We all grapple with motivation from time to time, but a burst of exercise can get us back on track – especially if it’s something new and unexpected.

Like chair-based boxing, for example.

It improves coordination, focus and memory, according to Luiz Faye, the UK’s only adaptive boxing coach. Other benefits include improved muscle tone, core stability and mobility, not to mention the kick-ass confidence you feel afterwards.

Faye is the director and lead coach at Kronik Warrior UK, a non-profit organisation providing accessible fitness and wellbeing support.

She’s passionate about helping more people discover chair-based boxing and has provided HuffPost UK with a quick, five-minute workout that can be completed from a wheelchair, office chair, dining chair or sofa.

“Just make sure that you are safe and secure before you start!” says Faye. “Exercise should be fun and challenging, but most of all it should be safe. Be guided by your body. If you need to rest before the allotted time, please do so.”

But first: the warm up. Before you try the five-minute workout below, Faye recommends getting your body moving gently. Circle your arms for 30 seconds, rotate from your core several times, complete ‘marching arms’ for 30 seconds, then reach down to tap your wheels or heels (or get as close as you can), alternating left and right.

Have a quick rest to catch your breath, and get ready to start the workout.

“All of the exercise should be carried out mindfully,” says Faye. “Control your punches if you are shadow boxing (not hitting a surface such as a punch bag/pad.)”

1. 40 secs punching out in front, 20 secs rest

(Photo: Luize Faye)
(Photo: Luize Faye)
  • The aim here is in front of your face. Start with your hands by your face with your elbows tucked into your body. You will have your shoulders slightly raised and your chin tucked in as you ‘look over your eyebrows’.

  • The body drives the hand – if you are punching with your left hand, start by taking the opposite (right) shoulder back. This will allow your body to rotate and drive the hand forward.

  • Fully extend the arm with the weight of the shoulder behind the punch

  • Rotate the hand to land the shot with the palm facing down.

  • Recoil the hand quickly, returning it to your original guard position.

2. 40 secs elbow to opposite knee, 20 secs rest

(Photo: Luiz Faye)
(Photo: Luiz Faye)

This one is fairly self-explanatory. Dip your elbows to meet the opposite knee, switching from right to left and working the core muscles.

3. 40 secs head hooks, 20 secs rest

(Photo: Luiz Faye)
(Photo: Luiz Faye)
  • Hooks are aimed at the side of the face. Start with your hands by your face, with your elbows tucked into your body. You will have your shoulders slightly raised and your chin tucked in as you ‘look over your eyebrows’.

  • The body drives the hand – if you are punching with your left hand, start by taking the opposite (right) shoulder back. This will allow your body to rotate and drive the hand forward.

  • Keeping your arm in a 90º angle, move the hand in an up and over motion (like the motion of a garage door opening, allowing your elbow to follow your wrist.

  • Land the shot with the palm facing down and the knuckle part of the glove making contact with the side of the bag (or air). Your elbow and wrist should be level horizontally.

  • Recoil the hand quickly, returning it to your original guard position.

4. 40 secs crunches, 20 secs rest

(Photo: Luiz Faye)
(Photo: Luiz Faye)
  • Start with your hands by the side of your head, palms facing forwards.

  • Keeping your arms in position, move your torso forwards, bringing your head towards your knees.

  • Extend and repeat.


5. 40 secs uppercuts, 20 secs rest

(Photo: Luiz Faye)
(Photo: Luiz Faye)
  • Uppercuts are aimed at the chin. Start with your hands by your face, with your elbows tucked into your body. You will have your shoulders slightly raised and your chin tucked in as you ‘look over your eyebrows’. If you are punching with your left hand, you will dip this shoulder a few inches.

  • Remembering (from earlier punches) that the body drives the hand, now begin to take your right shoulder back. This will allow your body to rotate and drive the hand upwards. The palm of your hand should be facing yourself.

  • Land the shot with the knuckle part of the glove making contact with the bag. If using a straight bag, simply place the shot. If using an uppercut bag/wrecking ball, you can apply more power and drive the hand upwards.

  • Recoil the hand quickly, returning it to your original guard position.

Stretch off

Before returning to your day, Faye recommends completing these static stretches, holding each for 15-20 seconds.

  • Tilt your head to the right and take hold of your left wrist behind your back. You should feel this stretch down the left side of your neck. Repeat on the other side

  • Take your left arm across your chest, keeping your arm as straight as possible. Hold it in place with your right arm. You should feel this stretch across your left shoulder. Repeat on the other side.

  • Take your left arm over your head, placing your hand in between your shoulder blades and hold it in place by putting your right hand on your elbow. You should feel this stretch on your left triceps. Repeat on the other side.

  • Holding on to your right wheel/side of your chair and take your left arm over your head as you lean to the right. You should feel this stretch along the left side of your trunk. Repeat on the other side.

    Move celebrates exercise in all its forms, with accessible features encouraging you to add movement into your day – because it’s not just good for the body, but the mind, too. We get it: workouts can be a bit of a slog, but there are ways you can move more without dreading it. Whether you love hikes, bike rides, YouTube workouts or hula hoop routines, exercise should be something to enjoy.

(Photo: HuffPost UK / Rebecca Zisser)
(Photo: HuffPost UK / Rebecca Zisser)

This article originally appeared on HuffPost UK and has been updated.

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