That’s because everything activates when you’re throwing a punch, including your legs, glutes, core, arms, and shoulders. Plus, you’re always moving when you’re in the ring, whether you’re punching on beat to the music, bobbing and weaving, or repping out some squats.
And...it can get pretty exhausting.
It’s easy to feel wiped after your boxing workout, especially when you’re just getting started! So how can you build up your boxing strength and endurance so you can keep up with your trainer in the ring?
Here are some of our favorite exercises for staying in tip-top boxing shape. Press play on a Liteboxer workout to try these out with one of our trainers or give them a go as part of your own training. In no time, you’ll start feeling stronger and more confident in the ring!
Arms, shoulders, and back
It’s all about speed, power, and precision in boxing and you won’t get far without these major muscles. Your arms and especially your shoulders bring the power and explosion and your back helps you stabilize as you punch.
Here are some exercises to focus on that all-important upper body strength:
Plank is one of the best full-body exercises you can do! And it’s especially a great exercise for working your boxer arms and core. In this exercise, you’re going to rotate between a high plank and plank taps. Focus on your balance and stabilization as you transition from one hand to the other tapping your opposite shoulder. If you can’t hold a straight-backed plank, protect your form by dropping your knees down to the ground.
Lat pulldown with resistance band
Come down onto your knees on your mat. Fold your resistance band in half (you can also use weights or a towel!) and grab the band so your arms are a little wider than your hips. Keeping your arms bent at a 45-degree angle focus on driving that resistance band in and out as you engage your back lat muscles.
Tricep extension push-up
Get into a pushup position with your hands extended out slightly farther than usual. Slowly lower your forearms down to the ground rotating between a high plank and low plank position. This exercise really works your triceps, which are the muscles responsible for the power behind your full extension in a punch. It’s a tough one, so move slow and take breaks when you need them!
Bicep curls and tricep extensions
Grab your resistance band or dumbbells for these two exercises! Start with bicep curls with your elbows tucked into your side as you drive your palms up, engaging the bicep muscles. Then, using the same weight or resistance, bend forward slightly as you extend your arms back. Pause during your extension to engage those triceps before you lower.
Glutes and abs
Your glutes and abs are major muscles needed for a strong fighter foundation. They are stabilizer muscles, meaning they give you a sturdy base to keep you balanced as you deliver explosive movement in your boxer form. They also generate movement in the body, especially your abs which help you twist and turn in your offensive and defensive moves.
Here’s how you can build up core and glute strength:
From a standing position, bring your hands behind your head. Drive your hips back as you lower your chest. Then engage your glutes as you thrust your hips forward to return to a standing position. This is a great warmup exercise for both your glutes and core!
Lay down flat on your back with your head, shoulders, and tailbone on the mat and your feet flat on the ground. With your arms extended, you should be able to tickle the back of your heels with your fingers. Raise your palms up and lift your shoulders off the ground as you swivel side to side tapping your fingers to your heels. Focus on keeping your back glued to the ground and you’ll notice even more engagement in your core.
Instead of a normal crunch add in some extra core work by bringing your hands behind your head and twisting to drive your elbow towards your knee. Lay back down then rotate in the same direction as before only lift your leg this time and drive your elbow up towards your toes. Then repeat this crunch series on the other side.
In a tabletop position drive your heel up towards the sky with your leg at a 90-degree angle as you keep your core and glutes engaged. For an extra challenge, add in pulses at the top. Your glutes will be burning by the end!
On your back with heels on the ground, extend your arms long over the top of your shoulders and then drive your hands overhead for a full sit-up. Work to keep those heels on the floor as you rise into a sitting position and then gradually lower back down to the floor. Notice how the exercise feels when you take it slow versus going fast. One builds more explosive power while the other focuses on strength.
Stay in that same position for glute bridges! Only press your palms into the ground as you drive into your heels to raise your hips off the floor. Engage your core and your glutes to take the pressure off your lower back. A lot of our trainers use this exercise because it targets so many major muscle groups in your lower body!
Plank with oblique twists
Add an extra challenge to your plank position! In plank, drive your knee up to meet your elbow and then back again to the floor. Do the same on the opposite leg and repeat. This challenges your full body, especially those oblique core muscles responsible for boxing twists and turns in the ring.
Roll to your left or right hip with your elbow underneath your shoulder and knees slightly bent at 90 degrees. Raise your hips off the floor and lift one leg up and down in a clamshell motion engaging your core and glute muscles. Once you finish one side, switch to the other.
Your legs generate the movement and power behind every punch and keep you light on your feet so you’re ready to move in an instant. Getting your legs in shape for the fight can make it easier to move with speed and deliver strong punch after punch.
Here are some great cardio and strength exercises to work that lower body:
Anthony loves a good lateral lunge. But he’s not the only trainer who does, and for good reason! This is a great exercise for building stabilization, strength, and mobility in the lower body. From a squat position step one foot out to the side with your weight in your heel and squat down into that extended leg. Then lift back up to center and switch sides. Keep that knee in line with your heel the entire time.
From a standing position, bring one leg behind the opposite leg as if to give a little curtsy. Only instead, you’re going to engage your standing glute and drop low into a squat. Return that back leg to a standing position and repeat on the opposite side. Make sure you are driving those hips back while keeping your knee in line with your ankle. Engage your core the whole time!
Squat to reverse lunge
With your feet hip-width distance apart, toes pointing slightly out, drop your hips back into a squat. Watch those knees to make sure they stay above your heels the entire time. Rise up and then bring one leg behind you and drop your knee into a reverse lunge. Head back into a squat then do a reverse lunge on the opposite leg. This is a great dynamic movement that’ll really burn out your legs!
Get ready for some cardio strength work! From a standing position jump into a squat and lower your hips as you tap the ground with your hand. Jump back to standing and repeat with the opposite hand touching down. Make sure to keep your chest lifted and your abs tight. For low-impact, modify this exercise into an air squat instead.
This exercise trains your balance, stabilization, and leg strength as you hop back and forth like a skater. Instead of focusing on rapid-fire movement, work on pausing and sinking into your standing leg until you find balance, almost like you’re doing a one-leg squat. Then, once you’ve found stabilization move to the opposite leg. Once you’ve established a rhythm you can work on picking up your pace. Use your arms to help guide you from side to side and keep your core engaged the whole time.
Total Body Conditioning with Liteboxer
The best way to get in great boxing shape is to spend more time boxing. But sometimes you need that dedicated time to really build up the strength and endurance you need to finish the fight.
Our aim is to not only get you in great fighting shape but to help you tackle your biggest goals. And with over 100+ classes in the Liteboxer app, including our Total Body Conditioning workouts, there’s always something new to keep you motivated.
So what are you waiting for? Hit play on your Liteboxer workout and we’ll see you in the ring!