We have all seen the muscles boxers build and sustain, right? How many times have you dreamt of achieving that build? How many times have you wished you looked like that or had that core strength? What if I could tell you that you can achieve all of that with just a little effort and commitment, some core strength regimen, and maybe some great workout routines.
Boxing is essentially a full-combat sport. It demands a particular level of interest and passion to be an invested boxer but with that interest, it also requires the right skill set, a high level of endurance, and fantastic stamina.
We are here to cater to all your boxing needs, be it professional or a hobby, or even as a fitness routine.
Without a doubt, boxers have the fittest and strong ripped bodies without being bulky and uncomfortably prominent.
They are strong, always passionate, and lean looking athletes and they channel that passion into their sports.
If you want to be a boxer or simply just look like one, we have compiled a regimen of exercises you can begin with.
Their exercises are entirely simple but are always important in a boxer’s training regimen.
They will undoubtedly help in achieving endurance, stamina, and perfect coordination.
12 Exercises Boxers Use To Build Muscles (No Weights Required)
Jumping ropes is one of the classic measures in a boxing fitness regimen.
It only helps achieve perfect balance but also consistently improves on your stamina, coordination, and endurance.
It builds on your footwork and is as lightweight as they come. It is also one of those exercises that you can do anywhere being as portable as ever.
You can skip rope at home, in your backyard or the gym, or even a park, there is nothing holding you back.
Some of the variations of jump rope you can try include:
a. Figure Eights
b. Single Jumps
c. Double Jumps
d. High Knees
e. One Step Skipping
One Arm Pushups
Pushups helps you balance your weight from your legs, shoulders, and arms. They also add to building strength.
It starts with you in a pushup position with toes and palms on the floor stretched straight, shoulders directly parallel above your palms and your body weight on your palms, toes, and shoulders.
Tighten in your thighs, glutes, and abs. Lower your body down to the point when your chest almost touches the floor. Using the strength in your arms and shoulders, raise yourself back up to the original position.
Repeat. If you are a beginner, you can start with your knees on the floor and build from there. Move to the one arm pushup as you build strength.
One Leg Squats (A Must)
Much like sit-ups, squats are also on the tougher side of the exercise spectrum. They are essential for building lower body strength.
The exercise tones the thigh muscles as well as strengthening the hip muscles.
You can start by standing in an upright position with your feet apart by a hip-width.
Bend down into a sitting position at the hips. Pull your abs in and pull your shoulders back.
You must get down as far as your thighs are directly parallel to the floor.
While bending down into a sitting position, raise your arms parallel to the floor as well. Keep your weight entirely on your heels and slowly stand back up. And repeat.
The exercise goes by both names; chin-ups and pull-ups.
The key difference is only the direction of your arms. In chin-ups, your arms face towards you while pull-ups have your arms facing away from you.
The exercise is used to particularly build arm, shoulder, chest, and back muscles.
For the perfect biceps and triceps, a combination of pull-ups and pushups will surely do the trick.
The exercise begins with a hanging position with your arms shoulder apart and palms facing towards/away from you depending on which variation you are doing.
Tightening your glutes and keeping your shoulders back, your chest up, pull your lower legs up and cross your feet.
Pull yourself up to bring your chip above the level of the hanging rod.
This requires your core strength and strength from your arms and shoulders.
Lower yourself down once done. Repeat.
Burpees (Burns Calories quickly)
Burpees are included in the regimen for endurance building as well as the agility you need for boxing.
It is a combination exercise that utilizes the premise of squats, jumping jacks and pushups.
The exercise begins with a squatting position with palms on the floor.
Kick your feet backward to a push-up position and get down to the floor.
After that, you return your feet back into a squat as fast as you can and promptly jump high in the air only to land back with your arms raised above your head.
Repeat from the original squat once again.
This bar is already weighted, so you don’t need anything else for lunges.
It is a simple known fact that you drive your power from the base up which is primarily why having leg strength and strong glutes is very important.
Walking lunges help in building that core strength in your legs and glutes.
You can start with a simple lunge position with the knee almost to the floor.
Bring one in front of the other while keeping the lunge position without stopping. Continue and move forward. Repeat.
These weighted gloves help tone your arms more than the regular ones. And training with them gives an extra boost to muscle growth and helps build bigger arms.
Shadowboxing is one of the best methods to train for boxing, to improve the overall moves, footwork, and punches for the sport.
It is not a muscle-building exercise but it does help cultivate stamina and endurance and also works as an amazing warmup exercise.
A lot of amateur athletes and individuals looking to build muscles or just get fit to ask this question.
The answer could not be simpler.
Boxing is not a for-fun sports, it is not cosmetic or aesthetic.
It is truly combat and explosive. It does not focus on developing and building larger and bulkier physiques, it is about sustaining core strength and building a lean physique that would be agile and highly enduring.
Boxing, as a sport, conditions the body into being stronger and more toned but it does not essentially mean building bigger biceps.
If you are looking to build biceps, we would suggest bodybuilding or weight lifting exercises instead.
Boxers do build muscles at the end of the day but their focus is more hinged on improving their technique, their strength, their skill level, and more on cardiovascular strength, stamina, and endurance. They do not focus on looking bulky or bigger or gaining muscle mass but instead on improving their overall performance as a boxer in terms of skill, punches, footwork, etc.
Do look out for complex dumbbell workout also.
One of the simplest exercises you will ever come across.
It helps you build muscles and stamina. It is normally considered a warm-up exercise due to its simplicity and endurance building.
If you do not know it already, all you have to do is stand upright with your feet adjoined and your hands on either side.
Jump high landing with your hands touching above your head and your feet wide apart. Jump back into standing upright like when you started.
After the easier and simpler exercises come to the sit-ups. Sit-ups are generally considered to be on the tougher side of the spectrum and even then you will find them in almost every fitness routine.
They are perfect for building core strength. You start by laying flat on the floor with your arms in front of you and off the floor.
Your objective is to get off the floor into a sitting position without the use of your arms.
This is one of those classic exercises penned down for building abdomen and chest muscles.
Difference between the Boxing and the Weight Lifting
Now that we are on the topic of boxing and weight lifting, let’s establish some key distinctions. Weight lifting is the essential training ground for bodybuilding but it is definitely not a part of training regimens of most training or professional boxers out there.
And the key reason is that they are both very different sports.
The two sports share many characteristics in common including coordination, stamina, strength, and endurance but they are very different in terms of performance measures and objectives.
They also share many training regimens and benefit from each other’s routines and drills.
However, there are some very distinctive key differences between the two sports including the muscle mass building aspect of it all.
Boxing is a competitive combat sport that is primarily judged on the basis of skill level, performance attributes, and overall abilities. Weight-lifting/bodybuilding, however, is more of an aesthetic sport judged on presentation and aesthetic.
This primarily means that gaining muscles and being bulkier in mass is the key focus of bodybuilders which they acquire through heavy weight lifting.
However, gaining muscle mass can actually be a downside for boxers as it can negatively influence the agility, speed, flexibility, and movement of the boxers.
Boxers require more lean muscles and physique instead of bulky builds for maximum strength, agility, speed, balance, and endurance for both offenses as well as defensive techniques.
They also need maximum cardiovascular strength and endurance while weight management and conditioning.
The cardio conditioning is essentially one of the main focuses of a boxing training regimen in order to build endurance for intensity in physical activity in the ring.
The weight management part of the boxing sport comes forward during fair competition when boxers fight in certain weight classes.
A lot of boxers focus on losing weight to be eligible to fight in the lower weight classes.
Bodybuilders do quite the opposite of that as they have no such concern.
They try to gain as much muscle mass as possible which comes with weight gain but they are not concerned about it as such.
Why Punching Power does not increase with Weight Lifting?
Weight lifting is very crucial to building muscle mass and even muscle strength. But it is not considered a very positive way for boxers to hit stronger punches.
It influences the punching power negatively. That is primarily because punching is a snapping motion with more explosive movements to deliver power to another body.
Weight lifting is more of a pushing motion which prevents the muscles from being relaxed while punching needs the muscles to be relaxed.
Weight lifting also makes the muscles categorically slow in reaction and adds stiffness that reduces the strength of a punch.
Powerful punches do not hinder on large, bulkier muscles.
The misconception that you need to be bigger and bulkier to land strong punches is opposed by the truth that a strong punch essentially drives strength and power from your legs up to the core and channels it to your arms and shoulders.
All you need is a great punching bag. The best punching bag in our opinion is the Ringside 50 lb Adult Boxing Heavy Punching Bag Kit.
You build and sustain your strength from the base up.
Large muscles will only slow you down and reduce the impact of your hit.
How to Gain Muscles while Boxing?
As we established, boxing requires a lot of explosive strength and while it is all about core strength and endurance, boxers need to build muscles to a certain degree for their muscles to work in particular strength groups.
Weight training is also recommended for boxers for this purpose and we have compiled the best way for a weight training regimen to build those lean muscles you need.
Make your timing right:
Timing is an important part of the training regimen for boxers.
Weight training is not very inclusive of explosive strength and core power. Muscle buildup is normally tailed by weight gain which is primarily unhealthy for the performance of a boxer in the ring.
It is recommended for boxers to conduct their weight training during their offseason when they are not primarily planning to train for a step in the ring.
Do not push yourself too hard:
There is no need to overwork yourself.
Boxers usually develop muscles with their routine regimen as well.
Heavy bag training is one of the key components of muscle development which highlights that there is no need to cross the line with training.
There is no need to be hard on yourself during training and go overboard with your regimen. Giving yourself rest days is important.
Having three times a week routine is ideal for building muscles for boxers as it gives ample time to alternate between training and rest.
Work on the right muscle groups:
It is always important to know which muscle groups need to work on your training regimen. It is important to understand what strength and muscles you need to build.
For instance, boxing requires strength in your chest, legs, core, triceps, and shoulders and it is always important to build strength there.
Build muscles from the bottom up which demands that you understand your requirements and work on the right ones. Keep your skill level and performance in mind.
Tailor your training regimen according to your needs:
Much like understanding what muscles need work, it is also crucial to understand what exercise needs how many repetitions depending on your requirements and needs. When weight lifting, it is important to keep this in mind.
Keep adjusting your regimen to your needs and make changes to your weights as well while training to cater to your daily realities and needs.
Consult your trainer or fitness expert and follow a more customized regimen instead of blindly following a training routine that might not do you good or add to your progress. Some people need leg workouts, some people need to focus on their biceps and shoulder muscles. Keep your needs in mind and tailor your routine accordingly.
Watch your calorie intake:
This entire discourse is about developing muscle mass. And it is very much known that you cannot develop muscle mass without a proper diet.
This means that you increase your calorie intake when you begin training for weight building. But that calorie intake needs to be a healthy increase somewhere between 250 to 500 calories a day.
This does not mean junk food or snacks. It means, taking three proper meals a day with three snacks in between throughout the day. No extra junk.
Watch your weight:
Boxers are required to gain weight to a certain level which is healthy for them and their skill.
This means that during weight training, it is important for them to watch their weight and keep it in check. Weight lifting and muscle mass building puts on a lot of weight and that needs to be kept in check for certain weight classes.
You will probably need to lose weight for your boxing training. Always keep your weight class in mind when weight training and only gain as much weight as is required.
Because o the fact that you might need to lose weight for your boxing training, it is advised that you only gain as much that you can later lose without losing muscle mass.
An even better suggestion is watching your weight class from the start and weight train accordingly.
How do Boxers Gain Muscles?
In all honesty, boxers build muscles during their training very naturally but this muscle building is not a core goal of a boxer’s training regimen even if the training does help to build strong muscles and strength for better performance in the ring.
When boxing training begins, the main goal is to condition the body.
It is to develop all necessary skills and techniques with time and practice while still gaining the necessary muscles for peak performance.
Boxing is one of the best and most efficient ways to achieve peak fitness and get into shape particularly if you want a more ripped and toned body.
It offers great workout routines to make sure your muscles are stronger, leaner and your body is better conditioning for even better stamina, coordination, balance, endurance, and strength.
Building Muscles through Punching Bag Workouts
We have thus far established that boxing is a great way to sustain a toned body, a ripped figure while also working on muscle mass where some exercise routines are for one purpose and some for the other.
Shadowboxing, as aforementioned, is one of the most effective ways to warm up, the same as jumping jacks. But both do two very different things.
Punching bag training, on the other hand, works the best when developing a leaner physique and building on stamina and strength.
If you are just doing it for the fun of it all, you may want to skip out on the sparring part of the regimen.
Since our entire focus is on building and sustaining muscles for boxers, here are some punching bags we have identified that might help you to attain that dream shape and figure you are after while also cultivating your strength and stamina.
The key to all muscle building is to understand your needs and requirements.
The first thing you need to do is to incorporate strength-building exercises with cardiovascular routines and build your own tailored routine.
It will help you build your cardio strength while also giving you better conditioning for your body. Read on to find out more about the regimens.
Essentials you will need:
Who has not heard the “better safe than sorry” mantra? It is always better to be cautious than to repent later.
That is one of the most important reasons why having reliable training equipment and protective gear is important particularly in a sport as explosive as boxing.
You can build your routine for training at home with a punching bag but it is always better to have a trainer at the gym or instructor that can guide you better throughout the entire process and prevent accidents.
At home, all you need to do is get yourself a good heavy punching bag, a pair of good boxing gloves and hand wraps to get started.
It is never a good idea to jump into something without being cautious and it is always a good idea to start slow and warm up to something.
When it comes to punching bag training, the same rule applies.
Start by doing some routine warmup exercises like jump ropes or jumping jacks and practice shadow boxing for at least 5 to 10 minutes before moving to the actual punching bag. Start off slow with the light hitting as well with slow movements and do not over-exert yourself.
Try some very simple combinations. For instance, simple crosses, hooks, jabs, and uppercuts.
Do not jump into raising your heart rates. Ease into the process.
Including intense combinations:
Once you have warmed up and have been training to build your stamina, incorporate more variations of the techniques. Add variations of punching techniques that are more fast paces and will help to condition your body and muscles in a better way.
Create your own custom routine of different combinations that work in tandem with the kind of muscle group you are training for and the weight class you aspire to be included in. Incorporate speed exercises that help you cultivate your speed and accuracy of techniques. Make your regimen more intense as you go forward.
The speed and intensity combination will work wonders when it comes to developing strong and leaner muscles as well as physique.
Do remember to start slow and warm up even in the hard-hitting routines with a focus on footwork and speed.
Do at least three to four rounds of these routines to improve upon your stamina, endurance, accuracy, and speed.
Tabata is a widely practiced interval training method that alternates intense high speed twenty seconds with ten seconds rest intervals.
Normally, there are eight sets of such short drills. It requires the boxer to throw punches as many as he possibly can within 20 seconds and then rest for 10 seconds before punching again.
It is primarily focused on developing speed and physical endurance while also working on cardio strength.
A good way to recognize that you are doing it right is by the burn in your upper body.