Boxers are commonly appreciated for their strong lean upper bodies and the kind of strength that they can exuberate on to their opponents. Many times while watching a serious boxing match you will get two see a boxer not only being able to take hits but also taking down an opponent who is a lot bigger than them without any trouble. While it is very amusing and we tend to appreciate the strength, little do we know the intensive training that goes behind that resistance and power.
There are a lot of key elements that go into making a professional boxer who is very competent in their game, form and fitness. The diet, the training and the workout that boxers have to do is very intensive and requires a lot of patience, passion and devotion to the game. While boxers the physique of professional boxers is very admirable it is also the need of the sport that they play.
Boxing is considered one of the most serious sports in the sports industry because it is a mentally and physically bearing sport that can lead to being fatally threatening to the players as well. Hence it needs to be played with a lot of precision and a lot of prior training. To be able to deliver proper punches and also defend and protect one self, boxers need to have a strong upper body. Of course, a strong core and sculpted legs are equally important to maintain the balance throughout the game; but since the major blows are directed towards the upper body of the player it is vital that players pay special attention to their back, arms and shoulders when training.
Having a strong upper body is not only important for boxers or is limited to boxing; because it can prove to be quite beneficial for people in general to do upper body strength training because of the numerous benefits they can get from it:
1. It Improves your posture
Many upper body weight training exercises force you to keep your back straight and steady, this will indirectly also help you to maintain a straight posture which itself has many benefits.
A straight posture will help inline all your organs which will improve your digestive and nervous system and this helps you to lead a healthier life.
2. Helps Protect the heart
A strong upper body acts like an armor that helps to protect your upper body organs because your resistance to injury goes up. One of the main organs that a strong upper body protects is the heart; your shoulder and chest muscles act like a barrier that can help protect your heart in case of a close impact that could otherwise prove t be lethal.
When you weight lift and build upper body muscle then you also put considerable pressure on your heart. The strength that you exuberate makes your heart rate goes up and this is an excellent and safe exercise for your heart muscles.
3. Causes a resistance to Injury
As mentioned before your shoulder, back, chest and arm muscles become stronger and bigger in mass when you weight train. This way whenever you indulge in combat sports or sports like boxing you are bound to get badly hit at one point or the other. Strong upper body muscles become resistant to energy because of all the muscle mass and because the constant and regular flow of blood makes the muscles elastic; hence whenever they come into close contact, your muscles are able to absorb the hit and bounce back.
4. Promotes and improves recovery to Injury
This elasticity in the muscles also quicken the recovery process in case of any tear or injury that you may suffer.
5. Increases Metabolism
Weight training also increases metabolism because when you train with weights the muscle mass increases and the fat decreases. The best part about muscle training is also that your metabolism remains active for a longer period of time as compared to doing regular exercises. Hence you will continue to lose weight even after your weight training for up to an hour!
6. Helps to Protect your bones
Strong muscles that are bound to absorb close and strong impacts basically help protect not only your muscles but also your bones; especially your neck, back and shoulder muscles.
Now that you know of the other benefits of having a strong upper body, we are sure that you are getting ready to head out the door and crush an upper body weight training workout! And don’t worry because we have researched and combined a set of exercises to make the perfect upper body training workout for you! The following workout will help you feel like a professional boxer because doing these exercises regularly are beneficial for any boxer who wants to pump up their boxing game. So, change into your boxing shorts and let’s begin the workout!
Disclaimer: this workout can be difficult to do but you need to remain motivated and power through the pain, because it will all be worth it in the end!
Start with a warm-up
Warm ups are extremely crucial to any workout because a warm up helps to rejuvenate, stretch and freshen up your muscles. A warm up gives your body a signal that it needs to be prepared for a hardcore workout as the heart beat slowly begins to rise. A warm up is also crucial especially before weight training because once your heartbeat and adrenaline is up you tend to perform better and also sweat more.
Circuit number 1:
We would suggest wearing your boxing gloves for this round so you really get comfortable and determine your form while performing this circuit.
1. Straight punches
For this you will stand straight, relax your arms and shoulders and begin punching into the air (or a punching bag) for 3 sets, 30 times each; try to complete each set in 20 seconds and take a break of 10 seconds between each set.
2. Upward punches:
By applying the same rules as the straight punches just change the directions of your punches and direct them upwards above your head as high as possible. Again do 3 sets of 30 times, trying to complete it in 20 seconds and take a break of 10 seconds between each set.
3. Back flys
For this round take of your gloves and hold dumbbells weighing 3 kgs each and incline your back forwards; now while holding your dumbbells begin by first bringing the dumbbells in front of your chest and then take them back behind your back as far as you can; all the while your back should remain steady. Do these for 3 sets, 30 times each; try to complete each set in 20 seconds and take a break of 10 seconds between each set
Circuit number 2:
For this circuit you don’t really need to wear gloves but yes dumbbells will be necessary, of any weight that you’re comfortable but do not go down more than 2 kgs each even as a beginner.
1. Front raises
For this exercise start by standing straight, arms and shoulders relaxed and carrying your dumbbells. Now you will begin by raising your arms so that they are adjacent to your chest, holding for a second and then bringing them down again. Repeat this for 3 sets, 30 times each; try to complete each set in 20 seconds and take a break of 10 seconds between each set
2. Side raises
Side raises are similar to front raises, except that now you will be raising your arms from the sides rather than from your front. Your arms should not go higher than your shoulder blades. Do these for 3 sets, 30 times each; try to complete each set in 20 seconds and take a break of 10 seconds between each set
3. Forward arm circles
For forward arm circles all you need to do is stand straight, relax your shoulders and arms and then raise your arms in front of you, adjacent to your chest and begin by making circular motions with your entire arm. Do these for 3 sets, 30 times each; try to complete each set in 20 seconds and take a break of 10 seconds between each set
4. Side arm circles
Again, side arm circles are exactly like front arm circles, except that now you’re making the circles while extending your arms from your sides, your arms should not go higher than your shoulder blades. Do these again for 3 sets, 30 times each; try to complete each set in 20 seconds and take a break of 10 seconds between each set
Circuit number 3:
This circuit is now going to be the last and final and for this all you require is yoga matt. This circuit is going to be focusing mainly on your core strength and your upper body muscles the most
1. Push ups
For this first exercise you’re going to lie on your stomach, face down and place both your hands directly on your shoulder blades securing a strong hold to the ground. Now you’re going to push yourself up as far up as you can and when you come back down again make sure your face touches the ground. And then you repeat this for 3 sets, 30 times each; try to complete each set in 20 seconds and take a break of 10 seconds between each set.
2. Slow and Steady explosive push ups
These pushups are a little more challenging and will require considerable effort from you. Again going down in plank position you’re going to try and bring yourself up as far as you can, however as you’re coming up try to push yourself up so that your hands leave the ground as you catch your entire weight again steadily on your hands when you come down.
This exercise is excellent because it tests your core strength and upper body strength to the fullest. You also don’t need to do these very quickly and you should take your time while doing these.
Do these for 3 sets, 30 times each; tand take a break of 10 seconds between each set.
3. Pulsing push ups
Pulsing pushups are a little faster paced and need to be done as quickly as possible. So, by applying the same rules as regular pushups you go down in a plank position and begin doing pushups; however, you don’t need to go as far up as possible, only that your elbows should be as close to your body when coming up as you possibly can squeeze them. Do these for 3 sets, 30 times each; try to complete each set in 20 seconds and take a break of 10 seconds between each set
4. Maintain a Plank Position
Lastly you need to maintain a plank position for a minimum 1 minute without losing your posture.
This one last position will really test your patience as your entire body, tired of the upper body workout you have just done, will begin to shake. However, this is an excellent way of ending an upper body workout session.
Maintain a Plank Position