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Best Exercises for a Boxer?

hi,im a boxer and i am interested in lifting weights to improve my preformance,. Does anyone have any suggestions?


Explosive concentric portions on bench press. All exercises fo that matter. Also consider doing both unfatigued and fatigued plyo training with medicine balls. Weights is top priority though…then med ball stuff.


yea,thats cool,but what kind of weight training exercises?

The ones that make you stronger…

Compound and explosive lifts. Read the stickies.

You’re welcome.

cool, thank you very much

Have you recently started ?
How serious are you with your training?
Do you plan to fight?
Also: How old are you? Big difference if you’re an ambitious 16 year old or an out of shape 35 year old weekend warrior.

First of all, your first priority is being able to make the most out of the training. If you go to the boxing gym four times a week for 2 to 2,5 half hours, you might need 1-2 months to adjust. Aside from a bit o’cardio, like swimming, running or ropeskipping, weight lifting will be more of a burden in that period.

If you just go once or twice for an hour of punishing the sandbags and a bit of sweating, you’re pretty much free to do what you want, as long as you take care of your shoulders.

Whatever your background, if you are really interested in learning the right technique from the start, you’re probably better off to ditch the heavy ass weight.
While most myths around being muscle-bound are retarded, there is something to it.
Everyone who ever taught boxing technique to various folks will know what I mean.
For that reason, bodyweight exercises are prefered by most coaches.
That doesn’t mean weights don’t have their advantage, quite the contrary. But I’d wait until you have a good basic understanding on straight and hooked punches and how to apply them along with solid footwork.
Depending on talent this might be the case in 3-6 months if you’re dilligent in your effort, but it might take as well much longer.

You could compare that to sprinting. Nobody will argue that a squat based strength program can have a significant effect on performance, but your technique has to be there first. Good sprinters usually do it in off season blocks and take their time to carefully condition their newly forged muscle.

So if your technique is good and your training efficiency is high, you can think about going beyond bodyweight, in my opinion.
Ross Enamait is your man here. There is much more then just bench pressing (in itself not a very good exercise for a boxer)

One more thing: If you’re skinny and want to get a bit bigger, things get a bit more complicated. Boxing won’t give you much in that department, as you probably know. In fact, chances are, you’ll get skinnier.

A lot of middle weights and below can get a bit frustrated when they see their chiseled but thin chest and they assume bodybuilding will somehow give them full pecs and more power. This is tricky. Perhaps your good friend at the gym is a heavyweight and after adding benchpressing and curling twice a week on top of training, he looks and punches stronger then ever. But everyone is different, and most guys underestimate how much more they should eat to be able to box and gain (luxury) muscle (apart from shoulder, arm and some back which are the tools of the trade).

So if your question means in reality “I wanted to get tough and learn how to box but now I look even skinnier” then you’ve come to the right place. Gaining weight can be done very efficiently using weights.
Just establish a technique-foundation as I wrote before and slowly add mass buidling compound exercises. Then cut the boxing back and shoot for your desired weight.
Decide upon a realistic goal.

If need be do two mass cycles instead of one. Take your time.
Totally forget about bulking. You need quality muscle.
Classic exercises like the squat and the deadlift are great, because they don’t interfere much with your training capacity and stack nicely with your usual boxing workout.

wow, thanks, but maybe u can help more though…,I KNOW HOW TO FIGHT…lol,i’ve been involved in combat sports since i was 6(20 now), however, i took a year and a half “break” do to pearsonl matters, but stayed very active in parkour, and my line of work keeps me strong(construction/demolition), and ive been lifting weights for the past 6 months or so, i just got back into a boxing gym, training 5 times a week, but no more lifting.

I agree that body weight exercises are best for boxers because they are proven, tried tested and true, but prehaps an “old fashion way of thinking”, i guess what im lookin for is other people who have been boxers with good fundementals that has also expieremented with weights who can tell me what they thought. Ross enamait’s the man too, i already got one of his books

I’m a heavy hitter for my size, and my main emphasis is on skill and speed, its just that i always enjoy being a little bit stronger then the rest.


Do half unilateral movements, and half bilateral.


Dude if you have a book by Ross, than thats probably all ya need. We (at least I) can’t help you without knowing more about you and your schedule. I’m also kind of unclear as to what your actual goal is. Is it to be am awsome fighter, be a stronger fighter (for your weight), move up a weight class, increase you power or your speed. Schwarzfahrer had good suggestions but it seems you have progressed beyond that point.

If you already have on of Ross’s books - start using it. Apart from that - power cleans, posterior chain exercises ( deadlifts squats, lunges), explosive movements i.e weighted jump lunges, box jumps etc. Scale it to fit your current work load. If your doing to much than cut back.

For boxing your # 1 goal should be to improve punching technique then the power should soon follow. If you after specific excercises heres a few of wat ive found to help pack a solid hit.

Explosive bench
Good mornings or Deadlifts
Weighted chins
Full contact twist
Shadow boxing 1kg DB’s
Leg work or hill sprints

OK then, I’ll shoot straight.
At this point in my life, to increase overall performance and punching power, I believe these exercises will serve a boxer well:

Overall aspect:

either dl or squat (whichever feels better for you), but not both.
one movement for the upper trapecius, (again whatever seems right for you, ie makes your mind-muscle connection work good in the targeted area, produces the least strain in the joints, produces gains)
Two pulling movements, one pushing movement, strict form is important here.

Punching power aspect:

one twisting motion (eg russian twist)
one hard abdominal exercise
one hipflexing motion (use bands or a cable tower)
unilateral DBBenchpresses, depending on your height and favorite angles, either flat or incline, focusing on acceleration and the lower part
the exact protocol with reps, sets, how the exercises are performed and coupled together etc is highly important and should be the job of your coach. Medcine ball slams or explosive plyometrics will complement this. As will some other auxiliary stuff like, stretching if you’re too stiff, sprints or perhaps tire flipping if you lack explosivness etc.

Your usual pushups, situps etc are of course on top of that.


I don’t like these. Apart from giving shoulder pain, expect no carryover.

thank you Schwarzfahrer,thats pretty much what ive been doing, however, ive been warned about slow lifts as it slows you down in the long run, wich is why i made the post to begin with.

but you have helped me with what i wanted, now if i may give you some advice…i know you said that you dont liek to shadowbox with weights, but if you do, then you shouldnt because it will caryover into bad form…

but if it works for you and you still have good form then yes it can be benificial.most sports specific movement when practiced with add weight will hurt form, i will try and post a link later that explains this…

I agree with Schwarz and am not a fan of shadowboxing with weighted hands. Yes, what you touched on is correct, however I do not believe that if you have solid form you should incorporate these either.

The mechanics of your punching is altered once weight is increased, regardless of whether your form is correct in the first place or not.

Secondly, if by slow weight training, you mean high weight, low rep, then no, it will not slow you down. You must balance strength training with speed training in order to create more power as a hitter. (technique aside)

There are a lot of great articles covering this exact topic all over the article database. Search up. One article specifically talks about motor neuron training and how they fire in regards to producing more power.

The only punch that could benefit from shadowboxing with weight is the uppercut. Any other movement will have the weight going in the opposite direction you want it to.

and even then it’s not going to do shit but teach you to throw punches with your arms. proper upper cut is more like squatting or jumping with a slight body twist.

Doing that shit with weight is only going to teach you shitty technique. Dropping your hand to your hip to create power rather than using leg drive.

ALL of that shit should be leg powered until you release it from covering your jaw, so only a like, 3-4inches of release is arm powered.

But boxing with weights won’t teach you to use your legs, it destroys your technique really, and puts even MORE stress on your joints, like you need THAT shit.

If you want to increase your punching power outside of improving your technique, get stronger legs with higher rate of force development. In the weight room that means increasing your squat, deadlift, and vertical jump.

Imo, exercises that demonstrate POTENTIAL punching power (will always still need good technique) the most are 1 arm oly lifts. Basically, you want to express strength from the legs kinetic linking up to through the rest of your body to be expressed out through your fist, explosively. Which basically describes perfectly the 1 arm snatch & 1 arm jerk. This is also the same 'rooting" and grounding to the tan tien you learnin tai chi pushhands and various other concepts in more traditional martial arts.

Another tool to utilize would be the sledgehammer strike on a tire. You use the same formula of strength from the ground up to the rest of the body in addition to this, the rebound creates a plyometric effect that you have to recoil through your body…which kinda sounds like hitting the heavy bag to me (eexcept that one helps your technique the other doesn’t).

Keep in mind this is all conjecture really and there’s 1000 different ways to develop power but the formula is always the same. GET STRONGER. and because martial arts are so technique intensive (like fucking ballet) you get stronger and sharpen your technique.