I remember hitting the gym several years back and the regular routine got boring real fast. I was suggested by my trainer to pick up a martial art to keep the training interesting.
Boxing was one of the options they provided and I couldn’t help but wonder exactly what muscles do Boxing target? Boxing primarily targets your deltoids which are the big muscles spanning across your shoulder, it also involves the arms, back, and legs. You will also feel the muscles across the pecs and at the front of your chest develop. Across the top of your back, the muscles that cover your scapula or shoulder blades are also targeted.
If you are in a position where you are considering boxing, in this article I shall share information about boxing with you. We shall discuss various topics and I will answer questions about the same. This includes whether boxing gives you big arms and muscles, what muscles are used for punching, and if having big muscles mean you punch hard, and also why boxers have such a ripped frame.
Does boxing give you big arms?
No, boxing does not give you big arms. Many amateurs with an interest in boxing believe that it helps you develop big arms, but it is a misconception. If you want big arms you need to do a lot more than boxing, like weight training, following a good protein-rich diet.
But in boxing, the professional athletes don’t prefer big arms as they limit their movement speed, that is why the professional boxers don’t have big arms like the bodybuilders. But don’t judge a book by its cover, the force that they produce from their arms is a lot, and it can damage someone very easily. Read on as we explain this in detail, clearing your doubts about the same.
Does boxing give you muscles?
Boxing does help you develop muscles over the long run. To build muscles you need other things like weight training, and a protein-rich diet, with good knowledge about how the human body behaves after weight training.
Boxers need muscle to develop stamina, endurance, power, and most importantly strength. It is this muscle that helps them achieve better coordination and balance. The muscles they seek to develop are primarily lean muscle mass for speed, agility, and coordination.
Normally, building more muscle mass means lifting heavy and gaining more weight. It is very common for professional athletes and sportspersons to have lean, toned, and muscular bodies. This is the result of hours of exercise and hard work that they put in on the field and in the GYM.
— Also read: TOP 5 Boxing IN-RING Ethics & Etiquettes
Although boxing is a physical activity, the big difference is the weight limitation that boxers face. Boxers usually prefer to stay within a certain weight range to compete in certain weight categories. As a result, they have to be careful to stay within the limits. Even heavyweight boxers have to strike a fine balance between building muscle and maintaining their body weight. Many of you may wonder why this is the case.
Muscles carry a lot of blood, which requires a good supply of oxygen. Increased muscles could mean a lot of extra weight in the ring. This could result in slower movements as well as higher chances of fatigue setting in early.
Does this mean you should start lifting heavy to add more power to your punches? No, lifting heavy will not add power to your punches. It is very important to build your muscle mass, but the muscle mass built by lifting heavy will have an adverse effect on the boxer’s punching power. The effort it takes to coordinate your muscles while punching will reduce the impact of your punches.
What muscles are used for punching?
The main source of power for a punch is generated from the long and powerful muscles of the legs, which amplifies as it surges through the glutes. The final contributing muscles while delivering the blow are the abs and the upper body muscles.
A boxer generally draws his power from the ground up. This is similar to the cracking of a whip, where one small movement results in a powerful impact. The power radiates through the body and grows stronger, ending with the contact of your fist. This results in a powerful impact.
Your calves span from your ankle to the back of your knees. They start a punch by initiating a step in the direction of the punch or leaning into it. The serious power is produced by the quadriceps and hamstrings, the main muscles in your thigh. It is these muscles that help you stand up higher or sit down into a punch, commonly known as bobbing in boxing.
The glutes are the biggest muscles in the body. They add the power behind your punch as they help you twist your body. After your legs, your glutes takeover to turn your torso in the direction of your punch providing the required rotational movement. The stability added to the twist is provided by your core muscles and lower back. A tighter core ensures maximum power is transferred from your leg to the upper body.
The power developed from the lower body gets filtered through the shoulder joint. This task is taken up by the deltoids, the big muscles that cover most of your shoulder. Then come the biceps and triceps which work when you extend your elbow. These are the main muscles worked when you land a punch. The biceps are the muscles used during an upper-cut or hook, while the triceps are used for a straight punch that could break a nose if done right.
Does having big muscles mean you punch harder?
It is wrong to assume that simply having bigger muscles means you will land harder punches. It requires other important factors such as a good technique, the right shifting of weight and movement, and also good coordination to produce what we refer to as a hard punch.
Just because one trains their muscles and becomes built does not necessarily mean that he or she is going to land a hard punch. The muscles built for boxing must be lean muscles. They are mostly built with body weight and low-weight training of high repetition.
Big muscles can be gained by lifting really heavy. The big muscles gained in this manner are not ideal for boxing as it may not suit the technique of a boxer.
Whatever your reason to pick up boxing maybe, your punching power is key. It is true that a punch must be well-timed, coordinated, and that you are light-footed. The sport also requires you to have good judgment of your opponent’s strikes. If you can’t punch hard enough, you just aren’t good enough as a boxer, even if you get the other things right.
As a boxer it is important to work on each of these aspects:
- Muscles to generate force: To attain more muscle one should undergo certain types of resistance training. This includes weights, using resistance bands, pushing against masses like a heavy bag, or even against a partner. Underwater training is also a really good resistance training option.
- Knuckle strengthening: To strengthen your knuckles, you are required to increase your bone density. However, this isn’t as easy as it sounds. This will take years of training that includes weighted punches, knuckle push-ups and even staying still in the knuckle push-up position.
- The other aspects that I spoke about include good timing, techniques, movement, and coordination. It is best to take help from a professional coach or a former boxer with a lot more experience in the sport.
Why are boxers so ripped?
Professional boxers such as Floyd Mayweather are usually ripped. This is due to a mix of high-intensity boxing and strength training workouts. You need muscles to get ripped.
These muscles can only be attained through strength training exercises that strengthen different muscles while making sure one does not gain too much weight. This is because of the adverse effect that weight can have on the fluidity of your movement as well as your stamina.
Boxing works like high-intensity cardio that helps one burn fat. This reveals the lean muscles underneath. Those who are ripped go through a very specific fitness regime to attain that chiseled look. What exactly does this regime consist of?
The boxing circuit training exercises help you attain a ripped structure, consisting of low weight, body weight, and compound exercises. Exercises in this form of circuit training include jumping rope, weighted punches, burpees, pull-ups, push-ups, kettlebell swings, and tire flips.
Each set lasts at least for a minute and a half or more and comprises at least five of the above-mentioned exercises. After each set, a 30 seconds break is recommended, before repeating these sets at least thrice.
The main target one should have while training in this manner is to complete as many repetitions in the given time frame. The best circuit training regime for you will definitely be suggested by a good trainer depending on your body type and requirements.