Posted on by David John

how do boxers build muscle

Boxers build muscle to have that strong dream-like physique that us poor souls could only dream of. But why just dream and not aim for it? With some effort and dedication along with some strength exercises for boxers, you can achieve that perfect look.

 

Boxing is a full contact combat sport. It requires a specific level of interest to be a dedicated boxer along with the right skill set, stamina, and endurance. Be it professional boxing, a hobby or simply a fun fitness routine, you need the right body as well as the mental conditioning for a safe, comfortable and enjoyable experience.

Why Boxers Build Muscles

Boxers build muscles to develop strength, stamina, endurance, and power, along with the perfect balance and coordination. Building muscles doesn’t always mean large bulky muscles or gaining maximum muscle mass. Instead, for boxing, you need strong, yet lean muscle mass with a perfectly ripped and toned body. This is because in boxing you need speed, coordination, and agility along with strength and explosive power.

BUILD MUSCLES THE RIGHT WAY!!

Boxing Vs Weight Lifting/Body Building

Weight lifting is the main training ground for bodybuilding however, it is definitely not a part of the training routines of most boxers. The reason? Boxing and bodybuilding are two completely different sports. Although the two sports share many attributes of elite athletics including strength, stamina, endurance, and coordination, the two sports vary in their performance goals and the way progress is measured.

It is true that you cannot isolate the combat and strength sport at all. The two share many of the training routines and actually benefit from adopting specific drills from the other. Yet, there are certain aspects like weight lifting for developing the muscle mass that set the bodybuilding and boxing apart.

Boxing is a competitive sport that is judged on skills level and performance. Body bodybuilding, on the other hand, is a cosmetic sport judged on the aesthetic and presentation level. This is one of the main reasons why gaining muscle mass is the main focus of bodybuilders. They use heavy weight lifting as a means to develop muscle mass. However, muscle mass can actually be a major concern for boxers. This is because it negatively affects the flexibility, movement, agility, and speed of a boxer. Boxers need lean muscles instead of the bulky mass for maximum explosive strength as well as quick, agile and balanced movement for both defenses as well as offense.

Another major factor to consider is cardiovascular conditioning and weight management. Boxing training is aimed at cardio conditioning to train the boxers to stand the heat of the intense physical activity in the competition. Moreover, boxers fight in certain weight classes for a fair competition. They often focus on cutting down the weight to enter a lower weight class. Bodybuilders, on the other hand, have no such concerns regarding physical activity and weight. In fact, they try to grow as much muscle mass as possible with definitely comes with weight gain they are not concerned with at all.

Why Weight Lifting Won’t Increase Punching Power

Weight lifting increases muscle strength and helps build muscles. However, it is not a very effective way for boxers to deliver strong punches. In fact, weight lifting negatively affects the punching power of athletes. The reason is that weight lifting is a pushing motion while punching is a snapping motion. It is more of an explosive movement to deliver power to another body. Powerful pinches need the muscles to be relaxed. Weight lifting makes the muscles slow and stiff thus reducing the punchi9ng power and strength.

Another misconception is that for powerful punches need strong, large muscle. The opposite is true. Powerful punches do not drive strength from large muscles. Large muscles will only slow down the punch and minimize their strength. Strong punches drive power from the ground up. A strong punch drives power from your legs to the core and transfers it to your shoulders and arms.

How Do Boxers Build Muscle without Lifting the Weight?

Now that it is established that boxers do not need heavy, bulky muscle mass, it is also quite clear that they do not include weight lifting as a regular part of their training. Now the question is how boxers build muscle without lifting the weight.

It is true that weight lifting is not a regular part of a boxer’s training routine. At the same time, it is also true that they do need to develop some muscle mass. They develop muscle mass and then the routine boxing training exercises help them define those muscles into the lean ripped body. While weight lifting is not good for boxers when they are training for competition, they do use short six to eight weeks weight lifting training routines in the offseason to gain some healthy muscle mass.

 

How to Gain Muscle While Boxing

strength exercises for boxers

Boxing needs explosive muscle strength and while weight lifting is not very effective in gaining strength and power, boxers do need to build muscle mass in the specific muscle groups in the body to work on strength. That is why weight training is recommended for boxers to build those muscles. Here is the right way to start weight training for boxers to build muscles.

  1. Train at the Right Time

Timing is crucial to weight training for boxers to build muscles. Weight lifting is not very conducive to explosive strength and power. Moreover, boxers muscle buildup is usually accompanied by weight gain. This is not very healthy for the overall performance in boxing. That is why boxers must start their weight training in the offseason, i.e. when they are not training for, neither planning to train for competition.

  1. Do Not Train Too Hard

Boxers build muscles while their regular training too. Heavy bag training and fitness exercises help with muscle development. Therefore, there is no need to go over the board or train too hard. Give your body a 48-hour recovery and rest time. Training on alternate days, three times a week is the ideal routine for weight lifting for boxers to build muscle.

  1. Work on the Right Muscle Groups

A balanced and focused training routine is always the key to great results. Boxing requires strength in the legs, core or chest, shoulders, and triceps. A boxer always drives strength from legs to the core and the way up. Therefore, remember to work for each muscle group appropriately keeping in mind the use and performance for your boxing training.

  1. Customize the Training to Fit Your Needs

When you are weight lifting to build muscles, it is crucial to do an appropriate number of repetitions of each exercise. Moreover, make adjustments to the weights as well as the whole training routine according to your specific needs. Some people may need to build muscle in the legs while others need to focus on their shoulder muscles or triceps. Therefore, do not just follow the routine blindly, instead consult your trainer and make adjustments to the routine as per your needs.

  1. Watch Your Calorie Intake

Weight lifting is to develop muscle mass. You cannot develop muscle mass without proper nutrition. Therefore, increase your calorie intake when you start weight training. Normally a healthy increase in calorie intake is around 250 to 500 calories a day. Don’t rely on the junk or occasional snacking. Instead, take three large meals a day with three snacks in between the meals every day.

  1. Always Watch Your Weight Too

As the boxers build muscle with weight lifting, they also start putting on weight. A healthy weight is good but boxers fight in certain weight classes that is why it is extremely crucial for them to watch how much weight they are putting on while weight training. Always keep in mind your weight class and gain only as much weight as your boxing training can handle. You will probably need to lose some of the weight for your boxing training. Therefore, put on only as much as you can later shed without losing muscle mass. A better option is to consider your weight class and limit your weight training accordingly.

 

What Muscles does Boxing Work

Starpro how do boxers build muscle without lifting weights

Boxing is an intense full contact sport. It works almost every muscle group in your body including your heart and the lungs. It works your cardiovascular system to maintain a good fast and healthy flow of oxygen in the body to support the intense and explosive muscle movement. In boxing, every defensive as well as offensive move including the punches, drive power and strength from your legs to the core, to shoulders and all the way to the arms and the fist. Each body part plays a role in delivering that perfect bone churning punch.

  • Calf Muscles – The Lower Legs

Calves are the first muscles to initiate a boxing move or a punch. Calves span from the back of the ankles to the knees, these powerful muscles help you develop the true boxing stance. Pressing your toes into the ground, raising your heels up moving forward or sideways or even just leaning, strong calves are the key to perfect movement. They help you work the power of your punches from the ground up. It is the first step to a good punch.

  • Legs – The Quadriceps and Hamstrings

The strength from the calf muscles is transferred to the upper legs or the quadriceps and hamstrings in your thighs. These strong muscles produce some serious power while moving the body in the direction of the punch. Moreover, these strong muscles help you stand, sit, squat, bob, duck and weave for defense while punching.

  • Hips – The Glutes

He largest hip muscles are the glutes. Glutes are also the largest muscles in the body. They are the reason you can twist and turn. They deliver the power from your legs to your core all the way up to the arms while adding the power and the torque in the direction of the punch for a strong delivery.

  • Core – Abdomen, Waist and Lower back

The core is the large group of muscles including the abdominal waist and lower back muscles. It includes the abs too. A strong core is essential for effective defense as well as for throwing strong punches. In order to throw a good punch, you need to rotate your spine. There is a certain degree of rotation, torque and flexion needed for a strong punch, which all comes from a strong core. Taking punches to the midsection is one way to strengthen the core. There are specific core strengthening exercises and workouts in a boxers regular training routine.

  • The Abs

The abs are the diagonal muscles on the side of your torso. These muscles are specifically for body rotation. The rotational movement for a punch starts from the glutes, up to the core and finally the abs. All these strong muscles add to the overall strength and effectiveness of a punch. At the same time, they make the defense easier by making squatting, ducking, forward, backward and sideways motion fast and accurate.

  • Shoulders – The Pectoralis and the Deltoids

These shoulder muscles work the most in boxing. After all, all the strength from your legs, to the core and abs is transferred via your shoulders to the arms. In addition to this, boxing requires you to hold your arms up the whole time be it for punching or defense.

The pectorals or pecs for short are the chest muscles spanning your ribs, sternum, and clavicle to the upper arms. Deltoid, on the other hand, are the shoulder muscles. While pectorals deliver the strength for the punches while helping you keep the elbows elevated, deltoids work to keep your arms up and support the forward, backward and upward motion. It is the deltoids that do the heaviest work of keeping your arms up and moving. That is why deltoids feel the most fatigued in training as well as fights. It is, therefore, crucial to develop strong pectorals and deltoids for the best defense as well as effective offensive moves.

  • Arms – The Biceps and the Triceps

Biceps and triceps are the two major arm muscles. Biceps form the top side of the arm while triceps sit on the bottom of the upper arm. The muscle that extends your elbow to throw a punch is the triceps. Triceps transfer the momentum generated by the rest of your body to through your pectorals and deltoid to the arms and the fist. The snapping extension of elbow to deliver a strong punch relies on the triceps. Biceps, on the other hand, work more actively in the defensive stance. An effective way to strengthen the biceps and the triceps is to hit a heavy target like a punching bag rather than the shadow boxing. 

 

How do Boxers Build Muscle

Boxers build muscles naturally with their training. Muscle building is not a goal in a boxer’s training but the training does help develop good strong muscles for the best performance. When you start boxing training, body conditioning is the basic goal. You develop all the skills and technique with practice, while boxers build muscles during their training, which helps their performance. Yet, boxing is one of the most effective ways to get in shape and achieve a perfectly ripped and toned physique. It is a great workout routine to get strong lean muscles while conditioning your body for better balance, strength, stamina, and coordination.

 

Punching Bag Workouts to Build Muscles

Starpro what muscles does boxing work

While boxing is a great way to develop a ripped, toned body, some boxing routines are more effective at gaining the perfect physique while others work on the skill level and the technique. Shadow boxing, for example, is a great way to warm up and condition the body. However, punching bag training works better to develop the physique along with strength, stamina, and endurance. Mitts workout on the other hand help improve balance, coordination, speed, and accuracy along with the technique. And yet, sparring is the only way to experience the actual fights and train right for the competitions. However, if you are just doing it for fun, you can skip out on sparring if you want. Since, we are mainly focusing on how boxers build muscles, here are some punching bag workouts to help you get in shape and develop a strong, lean, toned and ripped physique.

The key here is to incorporate cardiovascular exercises with strength building workout routines. This not only offers a good cardio workout but also conditions the body for overall better performance. Read on for some simple heavy bag workout tips for boxers to build strong muscles.

  • Things You Need

It is always better to play safe than sorry. That is one of the reasons why getting the best training equipment and protective gear is crucial in boxing. You can train strength exercises for boxers with a punching bag at home or at the gym. The benefit of training at the gym is that your instructor will be there to guide you through the process. All you need is to get your hands on some really heavy punching bag for home, a pair of boxing gloves and hand wraps to get started.

  • Start With A Set Of Simple Combinations

Whenever you are starting out any training routine always remember to start off slow with a proper warm up. In case of punching bag training, do some routine warm up like skipping, push-ups, jumping jacks etc, then do some shadow boxing for at least 5 minutes. Then move on to the punching bag. Even on the bag, start off slow with light hitting at a light speed. Try some simple combinations. Jabs, hooks, cross, uppercuts. Move around the bag and get your heart rate up slowly.

  • Include Fast Hitting Combos

Speed up the combinations. Adding a variety of punches at a fast pace in an ideal way to condition the body and build muscles. Create a drill of different combinations and start off at a low intensity as well as speed. Then Increase your speed with the same drill. The fast pace with a variety of punches will work for different muscle groups at the same time. The speed will also help establish accuracy in your hits. Add intensity once you are comfortable with fast speed. The high speed and intensity combination is what really works up the muscles and helps develop strong, lean muscle mass.

Remember to always start the drill slowly, add as much footwork as you can and increase your speed as well as the intensity in each round. Do three to four rounds of such drills. The fast hitting improves speed, timing, accuracy as well as the stamina.

  • Try Punching Intervals Tabata Style

Tabata is an interval training that alternate high speed 20 seconds drill with 10 seconds of rest. Usually, there are 8 sets of these short 20 second drills. Tabata training drills require you to throw as many punches as you can in a small 20 second intervals. Then you take 10 seconds of rest and start the next set of punches. The focus in Tabata training is to develop speed and cardiovascular endurance along with physical stamina. You will feel the burn in the upper body muscles with this training so it is a great way to condition the muscles and develop speed and endurance.

  • Use Power Punching for Conditioning

For power punching, develop a set of some basic moves and start off with a warm-up session. Add some more strikes and start with power punching. i.e. hit the bag as heavy as you can and complete each set of moves. Focus on power as well as accuracy to develop the technique. Throw the punches in sets at full intensity. Move along with the bag, move around the bag while ducking and bobbing as you will in the actual fight to add in good cardio, add footwork too. Hit the upper part of the bag for practicing head shots. Move the middle part to practice the body shots. Just remember to maintain a high intensity hitting the bag as heavily as you can while focusing on accuracy. End the workout with some power combinations at full intensity.

This kind of drill conditions the body and improve technique while helping you develop some good strong muscle mass.

  • Try Knock Out Drills

A four-part knock drill is a great way to work the punching bag. Start with a warm-up drill adding footwork and dodging around the bag as much as you can. In the second set focus less on dodging and more on hitting the bag right. Follow right after with a third set where you increase the intensity of your punches even more. in the final set thro only the full intensity knock out punches with full focus. Engage your full body to put in as much power in each strike as possible.

 

Does Boxing Make Your Arms Bigger?

Yes and no. Boxing conditions the body and tones the muscles. It develops strong lean ripped muscles rather than the bulky muscle mass. Whether boxing makes your arms bigger or not really depends on your own physique. If you are already lean and thin, boxing will definitely make your arms look bigger by developing lean strong muscles especially the triceps, the pectorals and the deltoids along with the rest of your body. However, if you are already bulky and have a lot of body fat, boxing will most likely make your muscles ripped and lean while getting rid of all the excess fat.

These punching bag routines will help build strong muscles. However, boxing is much more than just muscles and the punching bag training is only a part of the boxing training. Boxing conditions you mentally as well as physically for better balance, strength, stamina, and coordination.

 

Strength Exercises for Boxing

Starpro what muscles does boxing work

Boxers will probably always be number one when you look for the most fit athletes and athletes who are in the best of shapes. They hardly ever look bulky. Yet, they have strong lean ripped muscles with each line and slant looking so prominent and rigid on their bodies. Moreover, along with a lean athletic look, they are well conditioned, strong and always full of fire. It wouldn’t be wrong to say they are among the most passionate people on the planet. They have well-balanced bodies with insane levels of endurance and stamina. If you want to be a boxer or even look like one, here are some of the best exercises to start with. These exercises are simple yet they are almost always a significant part of any professional boxer’s training routine. These exercises not only help achieve a strong lean body but they also help achieve the same level of physical and mental conditioning along with the endurance, stamina, and coordination.

  1. Jump Rope

Jump rope is a simple tool yet a classic in boxing training. This simple exercise helps achieve a perfect balance. It improves coordination, agility, and endurance. Moreover, there is no better exercise that can improve footwork as jumping rope can. It is simple, lightweight and so conveniently portable that you can carry the rope around and jump literally anywhere you want. Skip the rope at the gym, at your home, in your backyard or in the park there are no restrictions. Get creative and design a workout with as many variations as you can. Even 10 minutes dedicated each day go a really long way. Here are some variations for you to try.

  • Single Jumps
  • Double Jumps
  • One step skipping
  • High Knees
  • Figure eights

You can search online for specific workouts and do interval training as well.

  1. Jumping Jacks

Jumping jacks are yet another simple fitness exercise that works great to build muscles for boxers. It is more of a warm-up exercise to get the body moving for the actual muscle building exercises.

All you have to do is start from a straight standing position with feet together and hands on the sides. Jump and land back into a position with legs spread wide and hand touching over your head then jump again and land into a standing position as you started. Repeat.

  1. Sit-ups

Sit-ups are often considered to be a pretty tough exercise. Yet, they are almost always a part of any fitness routine. They are an ideal way to develop core strength. You lay flat on the floor with arms in front of you i.e. off the floor. And try to get off the floor in a sitting position without using your arms for leverage. This exercise builds the abdominal and chest muscles like no other. Try different variations for the best results.

  1. Squats

Squats are for lower body strength. After all, a strong lower body and legs are as important in boxing as a strong upper body. It tones the hip and thigh muscles. From a standing position with feet hip-width apart bend down at the hips into a sitting position. Engage the abs and pull your shoulders back. Get down to the level that your thighs are parallel to the floor. Raise your arms parallel to the floor too as you get in the sitting position. Keep your weight on your heels. Stand back up slowly. Repeat.

Squats help strengthen the glutes and the legs. They help with moving around, bobbing and weaving for all the defensive positions in boxing. Add weights or barbells for variations.

  1. Pushups

Pushups are a perfect exercise to develop strong biceps, triceps, shoulder and chest muscles. All you need to do some pushups is yourself. You practice balancing your own weight using the strength from your arms shoulders and legs. For this very reason, pushups are a great way to improve your overall balance and strength.

Start in a pushup position with toes and palms on the floor, shoulders directly above your palms and your body weight balanced on your palms, shoulders, and toes. Tighten up your abs, glutes, and thighs, now slowly lower yourself down to the point where your chest is almost touching the floor. Raise back up to the starting position. Repeat.

Beginners can start with their knees on the floor for better balance.

  1. Pull-ups/Chin Ups

Chin ups or pull-ups are the same exercises. The only difference is that for chin-ups keep your arms facing you while for pull-ups keep your arms facing away from you. This is an awesome exercise when for boxers to build muscles, especially the arms, chest, shoulders and back muscles. They develop core strength like no other exercise. Want the perfect biceps and triceps? Do pushups and pull ups and you will definitely get there!

Start from a simple hanging position with hands shoulder width apart, palms facing you for chin-ups, facing away from you for pull-ups. Now keeping your chest forward and up, shoulders back, tighten your glutes and pull lower legs up to cross your feet. Next, pull yourself up using the strength from the core, shoulder, and arms to bring your chin up to the level of the hanging rod. Lower yourself down and repeat.

  1. Burpees

Burpees develop the strength and endurance plus they help you develop agility and quickness for the ring. It is a combination of different exercises including squats, pushups and jumping jacks you can say for simplification.

Start in a squatting position with your palms on the floor. Now kick your knees backward to get into a push-up position and get down to the floor as you do in a push-up. Next, return your feet back into the squat position as fast as you can and then jump up high in the air to land back on the floor with arms above your head.

It is a perfect way to develop balance and coordination.

  1. Shoulder Presses

Strong shoulders muscles are a must for boxers. This is because all the strength they drive from the body is transferred to the hand via the shoulders. They take the pressure of the hits most. Shoulder presses condition the shoulder muscles for strength and endurance.

Stand straight holding weights, dumbbells, a barbell or a sandbag at your waist. Raise it up to your shoulders, keeping your shoulders pulled back and your abs tight. Straighten your arms at a moderate pace then lower back down to your shoulder. Repeat.

  1. Walking Lunges

A good punch starts all the way down from your legs. You drive power from the ground up. Always. That is why strong legs and glutes are crucial. Develop strong, calves, thighs and glute along with core muscles with walking lunges.

Start with a lunge position with knees almost touching the floor. Alternate the legs, bringing one in front of the other keeping the lunge position without pausing. Continue like this moving forward. You can hold weights or something heavy in your hands to make it more challenging.

  1. Knees to Elbows

Knees to elbows is a great workout to develop core strength along with strong glutes and thighs.

All you need is a pull-up bar. Get in the hanging position as you do for pull-ups. Bring your knees up to your chest or even better, try touching your elbows with your knees. Lower back down. Repeat. This will also develop endurance in your arms and shoulder muscles.

  1. Shadow Boxing

Shadow boxing is the best way to practice the moves, the punches and the footwork for boxing. Though not a muscle building workout, it helps develop endurance and stamina in your muscles and works as an excellent warmup for the muscle building exercises and the heavy duty work.

  1. Heavy Bag workout

Heavy bag workout is an essential part of boxing training. It is a great way to build muscles for boxers. Read the punching bag routine above for developing strong muscles along with stamina and endurance with heavy bag training. You can practice your punches, technique and work up your skill level. Moreover, it is the best way to improve your footwork and defensive movements.

  1. Mitts Training for the Ripped Body

Focus mitts training is another fun and interesting way for boxers to build muscles while improving their overall skill level and technique. Focus pad workouts like the cover and counter drills, combo call outs and target training are quite effective in improving the boxing technique as well as building strong muscles along with overall physical and mental conditioning. All you need is a good trainer a pair of boxing gloves and focus mitts.

 

Does Boxing Build Biceps?

It is quite a common question that a lot of amateur athletes and those seeking to build muscles and get fit, seek. The answer is simple. Boxing is not an aesthetic or cosmetic sport. It is rather an explosive sport. Therefore, the focus is not to develop large bulky muscles. Instead, it is to develop a strong, lean ripped physique that performs great in a fight. Boxing does condition the body and helps develop strong lean biceps as boxing training definitely tones the body. However, if you want to build large bulky muscle mass, boxing is not the sport for you. Try weight lifting and body building instead.

 

Does Sparring Build Muscle

Sparring is probably not a very effective way for boxers to build muscles. This is because they are not performing at their full potential when sparring. However, there is nothing better than sparring when it comes to having a real fight experience. It prepares you for the unprecedented situations you are likely to face in actual competitions. Sparring is, in a way, the real world application of your skill. It conditions you mentally to defend yourself and prepares you for actual fight situations and competitions.

Boxers do build muscles. However, they focus more on improving skill level and technique whiling working on developing cardiovascular strength, physical endurance, and overall stamina. Their focus is never developing large bulky muscle mass instead they develop strong lean muscles while working on their skills.

 

how do boxers build muscle

Boxers build muscle to have that strong dream-like physique that us poor souls could only dream of. But why just dream and not aim for it? With some effort and dedication along with some strength exercises for boxers, you can achieve that perfect look.

 

Boxing is a full contact combat sport. It requires a specific level of interest to be a dedicated boxer along with the right skill set, stamina, and endurance. Be it professional boxing, a hobby or simply a fun fitness routine, you need the right body as well as the mental conditioning for a safe, comfortable and enjoyable experience.

Why Boxers Build Muscles

Boxers build muscles to develop strength, stamina, endurance, and power, along with the perfect balance and coordination. Building muscles doesn’t always mean large bulky muscles or gaining maximum muscle mass. Instead, for boxing, you need strong, yet lean muscle mass with a perfectly ripped and toned body. This is because in boxing you need speed, coordination, and agility along with strength and explosive power.

BUILD MUSCLES THE RIGHT WAY!!

Boxing Vs Weight Lifting/Body Building

Weight lifting is the main training ground for bodybuilding however, it is definitely not a part of the training routines of most boxers. The reason? Boxing and bodybuilding are two completely different sports. Although the two sports share many attributes of elite athletics including strength, stamina, endurance, and coordination, the two sports vary in their performance goals and the way progress is measured.

It is true that you cannot isolate the combat and strength sport at all. The two share many of the training routines and actually benefit from adopting specific drills from the other. Yet, there are certain aspects like weight lifting for developing the muscle mass that set the bodybuilding and boxing apart.

Boxing is a competitive sport that is judged on skills level and performance. Body bodybuilding, on the other hand, is a cosmetic sport judged on the aesthetic and presentation level. This is one of the main reasons why gaining muscle mass is the main focus of bodybuilders. They use heavy weight lifting as a means to develop muscle mass. However, muscle mass can actually be a major concern for boxers. This is because it negatively affects the flexibility, movement, agility, and speed of a boxer. Boxers need lean muscles instead of the bulky mass for maximum explosive strength as well as quick, agile and balanced movement for both defenses as well as offense.

Another major factor to consider is cardiovascular conditioning and weight management. Boxing training is aimed at cardio conditioning to train the boxers to stand the heat of the intense physical activity in the competition. Moreover, boxers fight in certain weight classes for a fair competition. They often focus on cutting down the weight to enter a lower weight class. Bodybuilders, on the other hand, have no such concerns regarding physical activity and weight. In fact, they try to grow as much muscle mass as possible with definitely comes with weight gain they are not concerned with at all.

Why Weight Lifting Won’t Increase Punching Power

Weight lifting increases muscle strength and helps build muscles. However, it is not a very effective way for boxers to deliver strong punches. In fact, weight lifting negatively affects the punching power of athletes. The reason is that weight lifting is a pushing motion while punching is a snapping motion. It is more of an explosive movement to deliver power to another body. Powerful pinches need the muscles to be relaxed. Weight lifting makes the muscles slow and stiff thus reducing the punchi9ng power and strength.

Another misconception is that for powerful punches need strong, large muscle. The opposite is true. Powerful punches do not drive strength from large muscles. Large muscles will only slow down the punch and minimize their strength. Strong punches drive power from the ground up. A strong punch drives power from your legs to the core and transfers it to your shoulders and arms.

How Do Boxers Build Muscle without Lifting the Weight?

Now that it is established that boxers do not need heavy, bulky muscle mass, it is also quite clear that they do not include weight lifting as a regular part of their training. Now the question is how boxers build muscle without lifting the weight.

It is true that weight lifting is not a regular part of a boxer’s training routine. At the same time, it is also true that they do need to develop some muscle mass. They develop muscle mass and then the routine boxing training exercises help them define those muscles into the lean ripped body. While weight lifting is not good for boxers when they are training for competition, they do use short six to eight weeks weight lifting training routines in the offseason to gain some healthy muscle mass.

 

How to Gain Muscle While Boxing

strength exercises for boxers

Boxing needs explosive muscle strength and while weight lifting is not very effective in gaining strength and power, boxers do need to build muscle mass in the specific muscle groups in the body to work on strength. That is why weight training is recommended for boxers to build those muscles. Here is the right way to start weight training for boxers to build muscles.

  1. Train at the Right Time

Timing is crucial to weight training for boxers to build muscles. Weight lifting is not very conducive to explosive strength and power. Moreover, boxers muscle buildup is usually accompanied by weight gain. This is not very healthy for the overall performance in boxing. That is why boxers must start their weight training in the offseason, i.e. when they are not training for, neither planning to train for competition.

  1. Do Not Train Too Hard

Boxers build muscles while their regular training too. Heavy bag training and fitness exercises help with muscle development. Therefore, there is no need to go over the board or train too hard. Give your body a 48-hour recovery and rest time. Training on alternate days, three times a week is the ideal routine for weight lifting for boxers to build muscle.

  1. Work on the Right Muscle Groups

A balanced and focused training routine is always the key to great results. Boxing requires strength in the legs, core or chest, shoulders, and triceps. A boxer always drives strength from legs to the core and the way up. Therefore, remember to work for each muscle group appropriately keeping in mind the use and performance for your boxing training.

  1. Customize the Training to Fit Your Needs

When you are weight lifting to build muscles, it is crucial to do an appropriate number of repetitions of each exercise. Moreover, make adjustments to the weights as well as the whole training routine according to your specific needs. Some people may need to build muscle in the legs while others need to focus on their shoulder muscles or triceps. Therefore, do not just follow the routine blindly, instead consult your trainer and make adjustments to the routine as per your needs.

  1. Watch Your Calorie Intake

Weight lifting is to develop muscle mass. You cannot develop muscle mass without proper nutrition. Therefore, increase your calorie intake when you start weight training. Normally a healthy increase in calorie intake is around 250 to 500 calories a day. Don’t rely on the junk or occasional snacking. Instead, take three large meals a day with three snacks in between the meals every day.

  1. Always Watch Your Weight Too

As the boxers build muscle with weight lifting, they also start putting on weight. A healthy weight is good but boxers fight in certain weight classes that is why it is extremely crucial for them to watch how much weight they are putting on while weight training. Always keep in mind your weight class and gain only as much weight as your boxing training can handle. You will probably need to lose some of the weight for your boxing training. Therefore, put on only as much as you can later shed without losing muscle mass. A better option is to consider your weight class and limit your weight training accordingly.

 

What Muscles does Boxing Work

Starpro how do boxers build muscle without lifting weights

Boxing is an intense full contact sport. It works almost every muscle group in your body including your heart and the lungs. It works your cardiovascular system to maintain a good fast and healthy flow of oxygen in the body to support the intense and explosive muscle movement. In boxing, every defensive as well as offensive move including the punches, drive power and strength from your legs to the core, to shoulders and all the way to the arms and the fist. Each body part plays a role in delivering that perfect bone churning punch.

  • Calf Muscles – The Lower Legs

Calves are the first muscles to initiate a boxing move or a punch. Calves span from the back of the ankles to the knees, these powerful muscles help you develop the true boxing stance. Pressing your toes into the ground, raising your heels up moving forward or sideways or even just leaning, strong calves are the key to perfect movement. They help you work the power of your punches from the ground up. It is the first step to a good punch.

  • Legs – The Quadriceps and Hamstrings

The strength from the calf muscles is transferred to the upper legs or the quadriceps and hamstrings in your thighs. These strong muscles produce some serious power while moving the body in the direction of the punch. Moreover, these strong muscles help you stand, sit, squat, bob, duck and weave for defense while punching.

  • Hips – The Glutes

He largest hip muscles are the glutes. Glutes are also the largest muscles in the body. They are the reason you can twist and turn. They deliver the power from your legs to your core all the way up to the arms while adding the power and the torque in the direction of the punch for a strong delivery.

  • Core – Abdomen, Waist and Lower back

The core is the large group of muscles including the abdominal waist and lower back muscles. It includes the abs too. A strong core is essential for effective defense as well as for throwing strong punches. In order to throw a good punch, you need to rotate your spine. There is a certain degree of rotation, torque and flexion needed for a strong punch, which all comes from a strong core. Taking punches to the midsection is one way to strengthen the core. There are specific core strengthening exercises and workouts in a boxers regular training routine.

  • The Abs

The abs are the diagonal muscles on the side of your torso. These muscles are specifically for body rotation. The rotational movement for a punch starts from the glutes, up to the core and finally the abs. All these strong muscles add to the overall strength and effectiveness of a punch. At the same time, they make the defense easier by making squatting, ducking, forward, backward and sideways motion fast and accurate.

  • Shoulders – The Pectoralis and the Deltoids

These shoulder muscles work the most in boxing. After all, all the strength from your legs, to the core and abs is transferred via your shoulders to the arms. In addition to this, boxing requires you to hold your arms up the whole time be it for punching or defense.

The pectorals or pecs for short are the chest muscles spanning your ribs, sternum, and clavicle to the upper arms. Deltoid, on the other hand, are the shoulder muscles. While pectorals deliver the strength for the punches while helping you keep the elbows elevated, deltoids work to keep your arms up and support the forward, backward and upward motion. It is the deltoids that do the heaviest work of keeping your arms up and moving. That is why deltoids feel the most fatigued in training as well as fights. It is, therefore, crucial to develop strong pectorals and deltoids for the best defense as well as effective offensive moves.

  • Arms – The Biceps and the Triceps

Biceps and triceps are the two major arm muscles. Biceps form the top side of the arm while triceps sit on the bottom of the upper arm. The muscle that extends your elbow to throw a punch is the triceps. Triceps transfer the momentum generated by the rest of your body to through your pectorals and deltoid to the arms and the fist. The snapping extension of elbow to deliver a strong punch relies on the triceps. Biceps, on the other hand, work more actively in the defensive stance. An effective way to strengthen the biceps and the triceps is to hit a heavy target like a punching bag rather than the shadow boxing. 

 

How do Boxers Build Muscle

Boxers build muscles naturally with their training. Muscle building is not a goal in a boxer’s training but the training does help develop good strong muscles for the best performance. When you start boxing training, body conditioning is the basic goal. You develop all the skills and technique with practice, while boxers build muscles during their training, which helps their performance. Yet, boxing is one of the most effective ways to get in shape and achieve a perfectly ripped and toned physique. It is a great workout routine to get strong lean muscles while conditioning your body for better balance, strength, stamina, and coordination.

 

Punching Bag Workouts to Build Muscles

Starpro what muscles does boxing work

While boxing is a great way to develop a ripped, toned body, some boxing routines are more effective at gaining the perfect physique while others work on the skill level and the technique. Shadow boxing, for example, is a great way to warm up and condition the body. However, punching bag training works better to develop the physique along with strength, stamina, and endurance. Mitts workout on the other hand help improve balance, coordination, speed, and accuracy along with the technique. And yet, sparring is the only way to experience the actual fights and train right for the competitions. However, if you are just doing it for fun, you can skip out on sparring if you want. Since, we are mainly focusing on how boxers build muscles, here are some punching bag workouts to help you get in shape and develop a strong, lean, toned and ripped physique.

The key here is to incorporate cardiovascular exercises with strength building workout routines. This not only offers a good cardio workout but also conditions the body for overall better performance. Read on for some simple heavy bag workout tips for boxers to build strong muscles.

  • Things You Need

It is always better to play safe than sorry. That is one of the reasons why getting the best training equipment and protective gear is crucial in boxing. You can train strength exercises for boxers with a punching bag at home or at the gym. The benefit of training at the gym is that your instructor will be there to guide you through the process. All you need is to get your hands on some really heavy punching bag for home, a pair of boxing gloves and hand wraps to get started.

  • Start With A Set Of Simple Combinations

Whenever you are starting out any training routine always remember to start off slow with a proper warm up. In case of punching bag training, do some routine warm up like skipping, push-ups, jumping jacks etc, then do some shadow boxing for at least 5 minutes. Then move on to the punching bag. Even on the bag, start off slow with light hitting at a light speed. Try some simple combinations. Jabs, hooks, cross, uppercuts. Move around the bag and get your heart rate up slowly.

  • Include Fast Hitting Combos

Speed up the combinations. Adding a variety of punches at a fast pace in an ideal way to condition the body and build muscles. Create a drill of different combinations and start off at a low intensity as well as speed. Then Increase your speed with the same drill. The fast pace with a variety of punches will work for different muscle groups at the same time. The speed will also help establish accuracy in your hits. Add intensity once you are comfortable with fast speed. The high speed and intensity combination is what really works up the muscles and helps develop strong, lean muscle mass.

Remember to always start the drill slowly, add as much footwork as you can and increase your speed as well as the intensity in each round. Do three to four rounds of such drills. The fast hitting improves speed, timing, accuracy as well as the stamina.

  • Try Punching Intervals Tabata Style

Tabata is an interval training that alternate high speed 20 seconds drill with 10 seconds of rest. Usually, there are 8 sets of these short 20 second drills. Tabata training drills require you to throw as many punches as you can in a small 20 second intervals. Then you take 10 seconds of rest and start the next set of punches. The focus in Tabata training is to develop speed and cardiovascular endurance along with physical stamina. You will feel the burn in the upper body muscles with this training so it is a great way to condition the muscles and develop speed and endurance.

  • Use Power Punching for Conditioning

For power punching, develop a set of some basic moves and start off with a warm-up session. Add some more strikes and start with power punching. i.e. hit the bag as heavy as you can and complete each set of moves. Focus on power as well as accuracy to develop the technique. Throw the punches in sets at full intensity. Move along with the bag, move around the bag while ducking and bobbing as you will in the actual fight to add in good cardio, add footwork too. Hit the upper part of the bag for practicing head shots. Move the middle part to practice the body shots. Just remember to maintain a high intensity hitting the bag as heavily as you can while focusing on accuracy. End the workout with some power combinations at full intensity.

This kind of drill conditions the body and improve technique while helping you develop some good strong muscle mass.

  • Try Knock Out Drills

A four-part knock drill is a great way to work the punching bag. Start with a warm-up drill adding footwork and dodging around the bag as much as you can. In the second set focus less on dodging and more on hitting the bag right. Follow right after with a third set where you increase the intensity of your punches even more. in the final set thro only the full intensity knock out punches with full focus. Engage your full body to put in as much power in each strike as possible.

 

Does Boxing Make Your Arms Bigger?

Yes and no. Boxing conditions the body and tones the muscles. It develops strong lean ripped muscles rather than the bulky muscle mass. Whether boxing makes your arms bigger or not really depends on your own physique. If you are already lean and thin, boxing will definitely make your arms look bigger by developing lean strong muscles especially the triceps, the pectorals and the deltoids along with the rest of your body. However, if you are already bulky and have a lot of body fat, boxing will most likely make your muscles ripped and lean while getting rid of all the excess fat.

These punching bag routines will help build strong muscles. However, boxing is much more than just muscles and the punching bag training is only a part of the boxing training. Boxing conditions you mentally as well as physically for better balance, strength, stamina, and coordination.

 

Strength Exercises for Boxing

Starpro what muscles does boxing work

Boxers will probably always be number one when you look for the most fit athletes and athletes who are in the best of shapes. They hardly ever look bulky. Yet, they have strong lean ripped muscles with each line and slant looking so prominent and rigid on their bodies. Moreover, along with a lean athletic look, they are well conditioned, strong and always full of fire. It wouldn’t be wrong to say they are among the most passionate people on the planet. They have well-balanced bodies with insane levels of endurance and stamina. If you want to be a boxer or even look like one, here are some of the best exercises to start with. These exercises are simple yet they are almost always a significant part of any professional boxer’s training routine. These exercises not only help achieve a strong lean body but they also help achieve the same level of physical and mental conditioning along with the endurance, stamina, and coordination.

  1. Jump Rope

Jump rope is a simple tool yet a classic in boxing training. This simple exercise helps achieve a perfect balance. It improves coordination, agility, and endurance. Moreover, there is no better exercise that can improve footwork as jumping rope can. It is simple, lightweight and so conveniently portable that you can carry the rope around and jump literally anywhere you want. Skip the rope at the gym, at your home, in your backyard or in the park there are no restrictions. Get creative and design a workout with as many variations as you can. Even 10 minutes dedicated each day go a really long way. Here are some variations for you to try.

  • Single Jumps
  • Double Jumps
  • One step skipping
  • High Knees
  • Figure eights

You can search online for specific workouts and do interval training as well.

  1. Jumping Jacks

Jumping jacks are yet another simple fitness exercise that works great to build muscles for boxers. It is more of a warm-up exercise to get the body moving for the actual muscle building exercises.

All you have to do is start from a straight standing position with feet together and hands on the sides. Jump and land back into a position with legs spread wide and hand touching over your head then jump again and land into a standing position as you started. Repeat.

  1. Sit-ups

Sit-ups are often considered to be a pretty tough exercise. Yet, they are almost always a part of any fitness routine. They are an ideal way to develop core strength. You lay flat on the floor with arms in front of you i.e. off the floor. And try to get off the floor in a sitting position without using your arms for leverage. This exercise builds the abdominal and chest muscles like no other. Try different variations for the best results.

  1. Squats

Squats are for lower body strength. After all, a strong lower body and legs are as important in boxing as a strong upper body. It tones the hip and thigh muscles. From a standing position with feet hip-width apart bend down at the hips into a sitting position. Engage the abs and pull your shoulders back. Get down to the level that your thighs are parallel to the floor. Raise your arms parallel to the floor too as you get in the sitting position. Keep your weight on your heels. Stand back up slowly. Repeat.

Squats help strengthen the glutes and the legs. They help with moving around, bobbing and weaving for all the defensive positions in boxing. Add weights or barbells for variations.

  1. Pushups

Pushups are a perfect exercise to develop strong biceps, triceps, shoulder and chest muscles. All you need to do some pushups is yourself. You practice balancing your own weight using the strength from your arms shoulders and legs. For this very reason, pushups are a great way to improve your overall balance and strength.

Start in a pushup position with toes and palms on the floor, shoulders directly above your palms and your body weight balanced on your palms, shoulders, and toes. Tighten up your abs, glutes, and thighs, now slowly lower yourself down to the point where your chest is almost touching the floor. Raise back up to the starting position. Repeat.

Beginners can start with their knees on the floor for better balance.

  1. Pull-ups/Chin Ups

Chin ups or pull-ups are the same exercises. The only difference is that for chin-ups keep your arms facing you while for pull-ups keep your arms facing away from you. This is an awesome exercise when for boxers to build muscles, especially the arms, chest, shoulders and back muscles. They develop core strength like no other exercise. Want the perfect biceps and triceps? Do pushups and pull ups and you will definitely get there!

Start from a simple hanging position with hands shoulder width apart, palms facing you for chin-ups, facing away from you for pull-ups. Now keeping your chest forward and up, shoulders back, tighten your glutes and pull lower legs up to cross your feet. Next, pull yourself up using the strength from the core, shoulder, and arms to bring your chin up to the level of the hanging rod. Lower yourself down and repeat.

  1. Burpees

Burpees develop the strength and endurance plus they help you develop agility and quickness for the ring. It is a combination of different exercises including squats, pushups and jumping jacks you can say for simplification.

Start in a squatting position with your palms on the floor. Now kick your knees backward to get into a push-up position and get down to the floor as you do in a push-up. Next, return your feet back into the squat position as fast as you can and then jump up high in the air to land back on the floor with arms above your head.

It is a perfect way to develop balance and coordination.

  1. Shoulder Presses

Strong shoulders muscles are a must for boxers. This is because all the strength they drive from the body is transferred to the hand via the shoulders. They take the pressure of the hits most. Shoulder presses condition the shoulder muscles for strength and endurance.

Stand straight holding weights, dumbbells, a barbell or a sandbag at your waist. Raise it up to your shoulders, keeping your shoulders pulled back and your abs tight. Straighten your arms at a moderate pace then lower back down to your shoulder. Repeat.

  1. Walking Lunges

A good punch starts all the way down from your legs. You drive power from the ground up. Always. That is why strong legs and glutes are crucial. Develop strong, calves, thighs and glute along with core muscles with walking lunges.

Start with a lunge position with knees almost touching the floor. Alternate the legs, bringing one in front of the other keeping the lunge position without pausing. Continue like this moving forward. You can hold weights or something heavy in your hands to make it more challenging.

  1. Knees to Elbows

Knees to elbows is a great workout to develop core strength along with strong glutes and thighs.

All you need is a pull-up bar. Get in the hanging position as you do for pull-ups. Bring your knees up to your chest or even better, try touching your elbows with your knees. Lower back down. Repeat. This will also develop endurance in your arms and shoulder muscles.

  1. Shadow Boxing

Shadow boxing is the best way to practice the moves, the punches and the footwork for boxing. Though not a muscle building workout, it helps develop endurance and stamina in your muscles and works as an excellent warmup for the muscle building exercises and the heavy duty work.

  1. Heavy Bag workout

Heavy bag workout is an essential part of boxing training. It is a great way to build muscles for boxers. Read the punching bag routine above for developing strong muscles along with stamina and endurance with heavy bag training. You can practice your punches, technique and work up your skill level. Moreover, it is the best way to improve your footwork and defensive movements.

  1. Mitts Training for the Ripped Body

Focus mitts training is another fun and interesting way for boxers to build muscles while improving their overall skill level and technique. Focus pad workouts like the cover and counter drills, combo call outs and target training are quite effective in improving the boxing technique as well as building strong muscles along with overall physical and mental conditioning. All you need is a good trainer a pair of boxing gloves and focus mitts.

 

Does Boxing Build Biceps?

It is quite a common question that a lot of amateur athletes and those seeking to build muscles and get fit, seek. The answer is simple. Boxing is not an aesthetic or cosmetic sport. It is rather an explosive sport. Therefore, the focus is not to develop large bulky muscles. Instead, it is to develop a strong, lean ripped physique that performs great in a fight. Boxing does condition the body and helps develop strong lean biceps as boxing training definitely tones the body. However, if you want to build large bulky muscle mass, boxing is not the sport for you. Try weight lifting and body building instead.

 

Does Sparring Build Muscle

Sparring is probably not a very effective way for boxers to build muscles. This is because they are not performing at their full potential when sparring. However, there is nothing better than sparring when it comes to having a real fight experience. It prepares you for the unprecedented situations you are likely to face in actual competitions. Sparring is, in a way, the real world application of your skill. It conditions you mentally to defend yourself and prepares you for actual fight situations and competitions.

Boxers do build muscles. However, they focus more on improving skill level and technique whiling working on developing cardiovascular strength, physical endurance, and overall stamina. Their focus is never developing large bulky muscle mass instead they develop strong lean muscles while working on their skills.