Weight Lifting for Boxers

Weight lifting for boxers is a specific activity. Any boxer knows that endurance is key to fighting and incredible cardio is invaluable. But, this will only get you so far. The reality is, you are fighting and every punch needs to have some serious power behind it. Many might believe that weight lifting for boxers is just working the shoulders, but this is not the case. Fighting requires strong muscles all over the body. From the upper body, to the core and the lower body, every part must be toned and ready to move in an instant, with great force.

Upper Body

Upper Body strength is the most obvious. You need to keep your arms up for multiple rounds, and that’s not even considering throwing punches. Your most important muscle group here is going to be your shoulders. That is where the majority of your strength comes from when you throw a punch. Try taking dumbbells of a heavier weight, and doing 8-12 reps of lifting them over your head and connecting them.

A second shoulder exercise is to take those dumbbells, hold them by your sides, and then raise your arms to the sides as high as you can. Once again. do 8-12 reps of these.

A third exercise is to take those same dumbbells and hold them next to each other in front of you. Lift them against each other up to your chin and do 8-12 reps. By doing 2-3 sets of each of these three exercises, you will strongly work different parts of your shoulder muscles.

When throwing your punches, much of the force also comes from your pectoral muscles. For this reason, make sure to use the bench press or do push ups. This will also help strengthen your biceps, triceps, and the trapezius muscle at the top of your back.


In boxing, your core is going to be taking a lot of hits. You need strong abdominals to take the impact and protect your organs. The strength of a boxer’s hit to your stomach area can cause serious internal bleeding. Not only do you have to have enough muscle to protect yourself, but also you have to be able to keep your abdominals flexed for multiple rounds. Try doing lots of crunches that work the upper portion of your abdominals. Do flutter kicks, where you lay flat on your back with your legs straight, head up, and alternate kicking your legs. This will strengthen your lower abdominals.

Don’t forget your oblique muscles. Much of the hits to your core you will be taking will not come directly, but rather from the side. This is the area you will be hit the most and thus needs to be the strongest. When doing crunches with your hands behind your head, alternate touching one elbow to your opposite knee and so forth so you feel it on your sides.

Lower Body

Lower Body muscles are often forgotten with boxing, but your force comes from the ground and goes through your thighs when you push up, and then through your twisting core, and out your arms. Strong thighs and hamstrings are extremely important. Whether with free-weights or with a bar, do multiple squats, 8-12 reps, 2-3 sets. This will strengthen your calves, hamstrings, thighs and gluteus.


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