Boxing 🥊 is a very demanding sport. There are lots of aspects of fitness that go into conditioning for boxing – one crucial thing I want everyone to know however – is that chest-strength, does not equate to punching power!
Very little power if generated specifically from the chest. The whole body (or kinetic chain) needs to be worked.
In fact, the difference between ‘low level’ & ‘high level’ boxers in one study – was the generation of force from the legs when punching:
Training the chest in isolation from the rest of the body, will hinder, not help your boxing.
Some tips for training your chest whilst not interfering with boxing fitness include
- Replicate punches with a small amount of resistance so that it doesn’t interfere with technique and proper punching mechanics. e.g. punches with cables or bands with a low amount of resistance
- Train muscles for power & speed, not strength
- Heavy bench press has been shown in studies to reduce shoulder mobility – this is bad for boxing
- Do lots of shoulder and chest mobility work before & after doing weights
- Train movements not muscles!
- Modify some (not all) squat exercises so that you are in a boxing stance, rather than a standard square-on stance
Example Boxing Chest Workout
|Dumbbell Bench Press||2||8-12|
|Plyo Press Ups – Side to Side||2||10|
|Medicine Ball Throw into Press Up||2||10|
|Thrusters – (Squat into Press)||2||12|
|Pads or punch bag||3||3 minutes|
Warm up with 2 rounds of shadow boxing, 5 minutes of skipping and some shoulder mobility exercises.
Dumbbell Bench Press 2 sets of 8 Reps
Plyometric Press Ups ‘side to side’ medicine ball or BOSU – 2 sets of 10 Reps
Medicine Ball Throw into Press Up – 2 sets of 8 Reps
Band Punches 2 sets of 10 reps on each arm (total of 4 sets)
Thrusters – Squat & Press – 2 sets of 10 reps
Thrusters are a good ‘finisher’ that incorporate the entire body. These types of movements are important to include so that the chest doesn’t get ‘used to’ working in isolation from the legs and core.
Remember to work your back muscles equally with pulling exercises like one-arm-row, otherwise you will get a shoulder imbalance.
Also – remember to do lots of mobility work.
The World’s Greatest Stretch is an excellent all-round stretch that you can do everyday:
Finally – remember the SAID principle – Specific Adaptations to Imposed Demands.
If you want to get fit for boxing – you must box!
I would strongly recommend, adding in some mobility work and core work – to your chest workout.
My goals are to look good (vain I know), and to be able to fight a bit – I’m not going to compete in striking for the foreseeable future.
With this in mind, as a finisher exercise, add in some resistance band work including standing band “pulls” and medicine ball slams
You want your lower body and core to initiate a punch – not your chest and arms.
Remember the importance of a powerful core and legs for punching power