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Shoulder Workouts for Boxers

author image Cindy Banyai
Cindy Banyai began writing in 2005 and is published in the academic journals "Rural Society" and "Asia Pacific World." Banyai received her doctorate from Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University, is an American Fitness Training Association certified personal trainer, Zumba instructor, yoga practitioner and former professional boxer.
Shoulder Workouts for Boxers
Shoulder workouts can improve punching power. Photo Credit XiXinXing/iStock/Getty Images

Boxers train hard and end up with defined, muscular physiques achieved through a focus on cardio and the core. Though boxing workouts typically involve many parts of the body, giving special attention to the shoulders strengthens punches and defensive protection. You can bring power to your punches with certain shoulder exercises for boxers.

Dumbbell Punches

Using weights to practice punches helps add power and stability through working out the shoulder and other muscles. Hold 10-pound weights in each hand. You can use more or less weight, depending on your strength. Do sets of 10 to 15 uppercuts and 10 to 15 straight punches on each arm. Aim for three sets of each punch. Bring the weights back to a defensive position near your cheeks to reap power and defensive benefits.

Shoulder Press

Weight training is important to ensure the overall strength and fitness of boxers. The overhead shoulder press, or military press, enhances punching power because the region worked predominates all punches. Start with dumbbells at shoulder level with the arms bent at the elbows. Push dumbbells up until they are straight overhead, then return to shoulder level. Use dumbbells heavy enough to do the exercise without losing proper form. Do three sets of 10 reps.

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Lateral Raises

Lateral raises isolate the lateral, or middle, part of the shoulder. Lats help raise the arms overhead and to the sides. Strengthen these muscles by using light dumbbells, no more than 5 pounds. Raise arms parallel to the ground with a smooth, controlled motion, going no higher than shoulder height. Add depth to this workout by alternating palms down, thumbs down or thumbs up to reach different parts of the muscle. Do three sets of 10. For lateral raises you can also use heavier weight; and also lateral raises with elbows bent and lateral raises with a cable as opposed to a free weight.

Bag Work

The speed bag is a staple of any boxing workout and repeated rounds on the speed bag work the shoulders intensely in addition to improving hand-eye coordination. Repeated "patty-cake" drills -- light but fast and repeated 1 to 2 or uppercuts -- on the heavy bag or with a partner for multiple rounds can also be an intense burnout workout for the shoulders.

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