Boxing, like other martial arts, involves all muscle groups in one way or another. Compared to other types of martial arts in boxing. the load is distributed differently. In other martial arts, fighters distribute the energy between their arms and legs. They use not only punches but also kicks. However, in boxing, the hands play an important role where shoulders get a very high load.
In general, shoulders play an important role in boxing. Besides, strong shoulders in a fight are necessary for a boxer to win the fight. Strong shoulders will help the fighter to perform strong and fast punches. Also, strong shoulders will tire out much slower. They will help not to give up and keep your hands up in a fight and thus reduce the risk of missing
When it comes to getting stronger shoulders, some fighters start lifting weights as much as possible. Others at the time prefer not to pay attention to it at all. They say that the shoulders are already involved during sparring or technique improvement.
Why Strong Shoulders Are So Important
The truth, as always, lies in the middle. A boxer needs to train properly. That means not getting too pumped up, not losing the ability to throw fast punches, and losing the power of the punch. But it is still worth paying attention to the weight work.
The shoulders allow the boxer to keep his hands where they need to be and keep them up during a fight. Besides, it is well known that even this seemingly simple function requires some muscles strength. Without a strong shoulder, a punch cannot be properly executed.
The shoulder is a very important part of the arm. It helps to set the impulse of the arm, which affects the strength and velocity of the punch. It is easy to be sure about all this if you try to box with overworked shoulders. A tired shoulder will not allow you to perform even a simple jab.
It will not allow you to work fully with your front hand. After all, the boxer should always execute check punches to control the opponent on the needed distance. The back shoulder should be relaxed and lowered (like in classic boxing).
This allows you to deliver more powerful punches with your strong hand. And here can be a problem, because the muscle has to be strong to get involved in the punch as much as possible. Otherwise, the boxer punches less effectively, looks stiffer, and gets tired faster.
It is important to find yourself self-good exercise that will help to develop shoulders strength.
Barbell Press Behind The Head
One of the few exercises from the world of bodybuilding. It can also be useful for boxing training. This exercise is a barbell press from behind the head in a sitting position. It can be done with a barbell as well as in a Smith machine. The work is not on the large weight but the number of repetitions.
Here I would like to pay attention to the injury risk when performing this exercise with big weights. The main thing to watch out for is an injury of the shoulder joint. The second one is the damage to the thoracic vertebrae. If you have problems with these two areas, you should avoid doing this exercise.
It will take you longer to recover from the injury than this exercise will be useful. My advice is to work with light weights. That way you can work out your shoulders and don’t have to worry about getting injured. Here I would recommend doing more than 15 reps. Something like 20/25 reps until your shoulder starts to burn.
Throwing The Barbell In Front Of You
This exercise develops the plyometric skill of the muscles, pretty much loading the shoulders. Some boxers make a mistake by doing this exercise with a small number of reps. This can only lead to technique mistakes. Also doing 10-15 reps will bring no effect on the shoulders.
You need to throw the barbell at least 30 times per set. The speed of execution is very important here. The starting point is the bar in the chest area, the endpoint is the phase of straightening the arms in front of you. You also have to learn to do it as fast as possible.
That means throwing the barbell and pulling it back quickly. This exercise will help improve the speed of the punch. By the way, this exercise will be a great part of a superset if you do it right after the weight exercise.
Barbell Overhead Press
Do not mix with barbell press behind the head. Here you do from front of your head in lifting it over the head. Again, the weight cannot and should not be heavy. Do not do only 10 reps in a set, do more. Don’t forget that this is an element of special training where the number of reps is always much higher than in bodybuilding.
It’s because here you are working on strength and endurance, and not on muscle pumping. A little about the technique of the exercise. The starting position is in the bend, the barbell is on the floor. Then there is a kind of athletic weightlifting movement where you lift the barbell over the chest and then press it overhead.
In a quick movement, the barbell is lifted and placed above the head on the straightened arms. Pay attention during the exercise to the back correct position. While lifting the barbell from the lower point, help a little bit with your legs to reduce the pressure from the lower back.
The exercise is performed in a tempo that excludes pauses in any of the execution phases. This is a great exercise for improving the functionality and perfectly trains the back, leg, and entire shoulder belt.
Upright Barbell Row
Another exercise from the world of bodybuilding. It is not recommended by experts to grab the barbell too closely when pumping up the muscles. But there are other purposes of this exercise to strengthen and not pump. Perform this exercise normally with light weights till your shoulder start burning.
And again we see a well-known bodybuilding exercise. Try to do it with the right technique and without cheating. It means to work without jerking with legs. It is also possible to vary your training by alternating big weights (10-15 reps) and small weights (more than 20 reps).
Remember that the main goal of this exercise is to feel your shoulders burning.
Weight Plate Around The World
A very good exercise that doesn’t allow your shoulders to relax. Each phase of the exercise involves shoulder work. You just have to twist the weight plate around your head as if drawing circles above your head. You can also do a circle by lowering the weight plate to the level of the waist.
Thus, almost all the muscles of the body will be involved in the exercise. But the main focus here in any case is on the shoulder muscles. Do not overload yourself with big weights and not tire yourself out by doing it for too long with light weights.
Because of that, you can combine this exercise with a barbell press behind the head or after lateral raises.
Heavy Bag Workout
This exercise helps to improve your shoulder endurance. It will help you to hit for a longer time and not get tired. The task is very simple. You stand at a heavy bag not too close but not too far away as in normal bag working. After that, you start for a few minutes to throw a little pushing punch on the bag.
Do it until you feel that your shoulders are burning. Besides, you can do the same thing while sitting on a bench. This method will help get your shoulders involved as much as possible. To perform this method, you need to sit on a bench at a distance of almost a straight arm to the heavy bag.
In addition, you need to lean on the back of the bench to exclude back work and isolate shoulder work. Then you start doing straight punches on the bag in a sitting position for several rounds. This exercise will maximize your shoulder work.
It is recommended that your partner hold the bag, as it will move after the punch and cause issues for this exercise. This way the punches will not be as hard and the shoulder will not get the required effect.
Shadow Fight With Dumbbells
Shadow fighting with dumbbells is not the kind of shadow fighting that focuses on improving technique or improving footwork and so on. We’re talking about shoulder training, and that’s the main thing for us here. Take small dumbbells. You can try to start between 2 and 4 lbs.
Stand in a fighting stance and work with your front arm for a three-minute round executing some punches. But also you don’t have to throw punches all the time during the round. Also, you can do feints with your arm. It is only one rule here: do not put your working arm down.
Doing it right you will feel the effect of this exercise when your arm starts to be tired and shoulder burning. Similarly, you can work in the left-hand stand to work out your second hand. Also, you can stand frontally and perform left or right punches with dumbbells in the air without any breaks for one round.
This can also include uppercuts and hooks to alternate the punches. Training with lighter dumbbells will allow you to develop the skill of rapid muscle contraction to a greater extent. Heavier weights will make you keep your arm in more static tension.
That’s why it’s highly recommended to mix up your workout weights. And don’t forget that in this exercise you are working on shoulder strength, not punching technique.
That’s it. I hope that you took some worthwhile exercises to strengthen your shoulders, and the article was useful as well. Good luck in boxing.