Why Training Like A Boxer Gets You In Amazing Shape

Jen Crompton

There are countless athletes, Olympians, celebrities, and weekend warriors who added boxing into their workout repertoire – and that’s not by chance or because it’s a trendy workout. Instead, it’s because boxing gets your body in amazing shape.

And here’s why…Boxing workouts use your entire body.

Does Boxing Build Muscle?

Absolutely! While most see boxing primarily as an upper body strength workout, there is no doubt that boxing is much more, and the benefits go far beyond building strong arms.

Using proper boxing techniques when engaging in a boxing fitness workout requires muscles throughout your entire body. You must rely on your core strength, leg strength, balance, and endurance. From throwing a cross and ensuring a proper hip turn, to slipping using your core and ducking using your legs, you have to use both large and small muscle groups all over the body.

Do Boxers Workout Their Legs?

Boxers have to use their legs to propel their punches. Boxing and boxing workouts require strong quads and calves. Ultimately, your power comes from the ground and the only body parts touching the ground should be your feet. Your legs are connected to your feet and much of the energy thrown in a punch has to come from the legs through a pivot or rotation.

When you’re in a boxer’s bounce, you are light on your feet and have to keep your weight on the balls of your feet. You use your calf muscles to move your body, make quick pivots to change angles, and use your leg power to maintain balance. Without strong legs, your boxing technique will have less force and your punch power will not reach its full potential.

Can Boxing Workouts Strengthen Your Core?

Ultimately, your core is the set of back, hip, and abdominal muscles that hold your body together and serve as the central point that allows your muscles to work together. That’s why it’s referred to as your “core.” While your arms and legs have their own power, your core is where that power is combined and pushed through in a strike or a powerful movement. Strengthening your core muscles helps with stability, balance, and control. Boxing drills that include defensive moves such as blocks, rolls, and slips all work your core as you move your entire body to simulate avoiding punches.

When you train like a boxer, you focus on strengthening your core even when you are working off-the-bag. Exercises such as bicycle crunches, planks (and plank variations), and sit-up twist variations are all foundational movements in a boxer’s training regimen.

Do Boxers Have Strong Shoulders?

While a boxer’s arm is the delivery of the power, usually a boxer’s shoulders will fatigue before their actual arm gets tired of punching. Since the shoulder muscles are a smaller muscle group and more challenging to strengthen, boxing workouts often include shoulder strengthening exercises that do not bulk the shoulder, but instead create lean, defined muscles. This muscle strength contributes to overall endurance and will allow your punches to maintain proper technique over time even as you gain strength.

Does Boxing Build Endurance?

Even though you don’t often see boxers running around the ring as if they’re training for a marathon, boxers must maintain a high level of cardiovascular fitness and be able to withstand 4-12 rounds in “fight mode”. These rounds require you to use power and bursts of energy for striking, as well as movement, to take hits and avoid being hit.

In a boxing fitness workout, you have to keep your energy and movement throughout entire rounds. These rounds can last two to three minutes with brief rest periods. You will quickly build your cardio strength and endurance. Eventually, you will work your way up to enduring 10-12 three-minute rounds which will help you get into better shape. As your endurance improves, you will be able to work harder within the rounds and maintain your technique without premature muscle fatigue. Overall, this will elevate the level of your workout and continue pushing you to get stronger and increase punching accuracy.

Is Boxing Good For Cross Training?

Because of the all-encompassing workout boxing provides, most athletes who train like boxers use the workout as cross training to help them prepare for their primary sport. Almost all competitive athletes can benefit from improved leg, core, and arm strength, as well as more controlled movements, better reaction time, and learning to channel the body’s power into a strong burst or movement.

Although you may never get into a ring or have any desire to hit someone or be hit, using boxing drills and training techniques in your workouts can get your body into amazing shape. It allows you to strengthen and define some of the smaller muscle groups that work to transfer your power throughout your body and fuel your performance to help you reach your optimal training level.

Related Articles:

The COMPLETE Beginner’s Guide to Training Like a Boxer 🥊
Five (5) At-Home Boxing Workouts for Beginners (Videos)
What Equipment Do You Need to Start Boxing?

About the Author:

Jen Crompton

Jen Crompton is a co-owner and fitness instructor at FUEL Cycle Fitness, an indoor cycling + boxing fitness studio located in the Philly suburbs. An entrepreneur with a deep-rooted love of fitness and health, Jen combined her passions and talents alongside her husband to open their fitness studio in 2016 and begin building their FUELFit brand. Jen is also a lululemon ambassador, digital marketer, writer, and mom to a 3-year old son.