Wrist Weights For Boxing
Strength. Endurance. Explosive Power. Boxing is one of the most physically demanding sports on the planet! To achieve greatness in the ring, boxers need to train daily to attain peak fitness and stamina.
An effective strength and conditioning routine is vital not only to build the muscles needed to throw powerful punches, but to build a strong core to withstand blows from your opponent. If you’re looking to get the most out of your workouts, you should consider adding wrist weights to your training routine.
Wrist weights are small, weighted straps that are worn around your wrists during exercise. By adding extra resistance to movements, they make it more difficult for your muscles to perform the exercises.
This helps to build strength, endurance, power and speed, which makes it a popular addition to a boxers training routine.
So, let’s take a closer look at how wrist weights can improve your training, as well as a few exercises to get you started. Then we need to assess how to choose the right wrist weights to suit your strength and goals, and what precautions to take when using them.
Benefits for Boxing Training
The advantages to using wrist weights during boxing training are numerous. Below are just some of the most important benefits:
As you would expect, increased strength, particularly in the arms and shoulders, is one of the major benefits of adding wrist weights to your boxing training.
By adding extra resistance to your arms’ movements, it becomes harder for your muscles to perform the exercises. This leads to more microtears in each rep, creating greater muscle hypertrophy, which is the key to increased muscle growth and improved strength.
It’s important to remember that to build strength with wrist weights, you must use a weight that provides additional resistance but does not stop you from performing the exercise with correct form and technique.
Incorrect form and technique can result in injury or poor results. Your muscles should be fully fatigued as you complete your last rep in each set. When this is no longer the case, it’s time to increase the weight or number of reps depending on your goals.
Another key benefit to using wrist weights is improved endurance. If you’re currently training as a boxer, or even if you’ve watched fights on TV, you’ll understand how vital stamina and endurance are in the sport.
As a boxer tires, not only do they become less dangerous, they are at risk of getting seriously hurt.
Endurance should be a focus of much of your training sessions, and using wrist weights can help by adding weight to your movements, so when you spar without the additional resistance, your body should feel lighter than air and you can “float like a butterfly”…
…“And sting like a bee!”, using the enhanced speed you’ve also achieved by training with wrist weights. Because your muscles have to work harder to move the added weight, your overall speed and agility will increase, meaning not only are your punches faster and harder to dodge, but you’re also harder to hit.
Wrist weights can also greatly improve your overall punching technique by forcing you to keep your wrists straight and aligned with your forearm. This ensures when you throw a punch, all that power generated from your feet – that bolt of energy your trainer likes to talk about – flows like a bullet through your body and down your arm, and lands like a sledgehammer on its intended target.
This may surprise you, but wrist weights can even be beneficial for your hand-eye coordination. By learning to coordinate your movements with added resistance you can improve your overall control. When the resistance is taken away, the movements naturally become easier, resulting in improved hand-eye coordination.
A lesser known fact about weight training is that it can improve your bone density. This is obviously vital in any sport, particularly combat sports. By improving bone density in your arms and shoulders, wrist weights reduce the risk of injury.
So now we’ve established that wrist weights for boxing training can be an effective way to build strength, speed, endurance, and technique, while also reducing the risk of injury.
Let’s take a look at some different exercises where added resistance on the wrists can be beneficial, as well as some when wrist weights would not be effective or useful.
Remember to always use the correct amount of resistance, and only increase the weights when you can comfortably complete the exercise.
Examples of Exercises:
Wrist curls: Hold a weight in your hand, palm facing up. Slowly bend your wrist upwards towards your forearm, then lower it back down. Repeat for a set number of repetitions and then switch to the other hand. You should feel this in your wrists and inner forearms
Reverse wrist curls: Hold a weight in your hand, palm facing down. Slowly lift your wrist up towards your forearm as if you’re revving a motorcycle, then lower it back down. Repeat for a set number of repetitions and then switch to the other hand. You should feel this in your wrists and tops of your forearms
Farmer’s walks: Hold a weight in each hand and walk around. This may sound like a gentle exercise, but it will not only strengthen your wrist and forearm muscles, but also your grip strength and overall body stability, which is crucial in boxing
Hammer curls: Hold a weight in each hand with your palms facing each other. Slowly lift the weights up towards your shoulders, then lower them back down to your sides, trying to keep the muscles in your biceps and triceps engaged, and not letting the weights simply hang. Repeat for a set number of repetitions, keeping your back straight. You should feel this mainly in your upper arms
Overhead press: Hold a weight in each hand at shoulder height with your palms facing forward. Slowly lift the weights up above your head, then lower them back down. If you have a weights bench you can isolate your shoulder muscles by setting the bench to 90 degrees, if not make sure your back stays straight. Repeat for a set number of repetitions. You should feel this all the way across the top of your shoulders and upper back, and in your triceps
Because wrist weights work by adding resistance to your arms’ movements, they are not effective or beneficial in exercises where your hands are planted and your body is moving. For example doing regular push-ups or tricep dips with wrist weights will not increase the resistance or challenge your wrist and forearm muscles any more, or less, than normal.
Although we’ve taken a quick look at a few basic exercises to get you started with your wrist weight program, it’s also advisable to speak to your coach or a professional trainer, who might be able to demonstrate further how to incorporate wrist weights into your training regimen safely and effectively.
Proper technique and form are the most effective ways to get the most out of your workout, and, to prevent injury, always avoid overloading your muscles and joints.
How to Choose the Ones?
Now that we’ve examined the benefits of wrist weights, and identified a few key exercises to utilize them effectively, it’s time to take a look at the different options available and discuss which type is right for you.
First, let’s explore some key factors to consider when choosing the right wrist weights for boxing.
In terms of weight, the variety of options is almost as endless as the amount of weight classes recognised in boxing these days. Some wrist weights are as light as 1-2 pounds, while others can weigh up to 10 pounds or more. The weight you choose should depend on your fitness level, training goals, and personal preference.
For boxers who are just starting out with wrist weights, it’s generally recommended to start with a lighter weight and gradually work your way up. Remember it’s better to be on the safe side when trying any new exercise or equipment. This will help you avoid overloading your muscles and joints and reduce the risk of injury. Always listen to your body.
Wrist weights can be made from a variety of materials, including neoprene, nylon, and metal. Choose neoprene for a more comfortable and durable option. The soft, flexible material easily conforms to your wrists. While nylon wrist weights can be a great option if you’re looking for something lightweight and easy to clean.
Unsurprisingly, metal wrist weights are usually the most heavy-duty option, but they can also be the most uncomfortable, particularly when worn for an extended amount of time. Bear in mind that while they may last longer than the less durable, more comfortable options, they also cause more wear and tear on your gloves and boxing gear, so they may not actually be the most cost effective overall, especially if you can get the same weight in a softer material.
Comfort and fit
As well as choosing something comfortable, it’s also important to consider how well it fits on your wrist. The weights should be snug but if they are too tight it will limit your circulation and affect your workout. They should be designed to stay in place during intense physical activity without affecting your blood flow.
If your routine is going to plan, you’ll want to make sure your wrist weights have adjustable straps or closures that allow you to customize the fit as your wrists and forearms become jacked.
If you’ve got sensitive skin, or you sweat a lot during your workout, you may also want to look for wrist weights with additional padding or cushioning to help prevent irritation and chafing.
You can’t put a price on the feeling of a great workout, but it’s also important to consider your budget. Wrist weights can range in price from just a few dollars to over $100, depending on the weight, material, and brand.
Gym memberships, training fees, supplements, and equipment all add up. So while it can be tempting to go for the most expensive option, it’s not always necessary. Consider speaking to your coach or trainer to help you to find the right wrist weights for you.
So what have we learnt so far? We’ve discussed how wrist weights can be a valuable addition to your boxing training routine, by helping you to build strength, endurance, coordination and speed.
We’ve looked at a few introductory exercises to get you started. We’ve considered the factors involved in selecting the right products, and we can safely say that wrist weights can help take your training to the next level.
But what precautions do we need to consider when using this equipment?
While wrist weights can be a valuable addition to your workout routine, it’s still important to take precautions when performing exercises, especially where weightlifting is involved, to avoid injury and maximize the benefits of your training.
Using wrist weights is no different; and while these precautions are very similar to weightlifting in general, no guide would be complete without a quick run through of the key precautions to keep in mind when using wrist weights for boxing training.
One of the most important precautions to keep in mind when using wrist weights for boxing is to avoid overuse. It’s always easy to get carried away in any kind of self improvement, particularly as you start to notice the results of all that hard work.
But overusing wrist weights can lead to muscle strain, joint pain, and other injuries which can slow down or even halt your progress.
Balance is the key. Avoid overuse by gradually increasing the weight of your wrist weights over time and not using them every day.
You wouldn’t train the same muscle groups every day at the gym, and your wrists are no different. It’s important to give your muscles time to rest and recover between workouts.
If you experience pain or discomfort during or after your training, you most likely are not performing the exercise correctly.
Working through any pain other than “the burn” can seriously damage your muscles and joints and leave you unable to train for an extended period of time. Remember to always listen to your body!
Start with lighter weights
As well as using them everyday, using wrist weights that are too heavy for you is another way that you risk injuring yourself. Luckily for you, it’s the same solution: start with lighter weights and gradually work your way up.
Again, this will help you avoid overloading your muscles and joints and keep your workouts safe.
But what is ‘the right weight’? Remember to consider your fitness level and training goals, and don’t forget you can always put your weights up for your next workout, but strain your back, or tear your rotator cuff and that next workout might not be for months!
If you’re a beginner, why not start with 1-2 pounds and assess how your body feels over the next couple of days. As you become more experienced and your strength improves, you can gradually increase the weight of your wrist weights.
Proper technique and form
As we’ve mentioned, it’s the proper use of technique and form which is vital to avoid injury. If your weights are too high, or your muscles are overworked, you will not be able to perform the exercise properly.
When using wrist weights, it’s important to keep your wrists straight and aligned with your forearms to avoid putting undue stress on your joints.
Remember, this is building the muscles connecting your wrists to your hands and helping those haymakers to become jawbreakers!
It’s also important to use proper technique when punching with wrist weights. Make sure to keep your elbows tucked in and your shoulders relaxed to avoid straining your shoulder muscles. If you’ve ever caught a bag or pad even slightly wrong you’ll know how painful that can be, now imagine adding a few extra pounds of force to that impact.
Potential injury risks
Boxing is obviously a dangerous sport so it’s important to keep the potential injury risks in mind when training with wrist weights. These include muscle strain, joint pain, and even fractures or dislocations.
By using wrist weights properly, and gradually increasing the weight over time, you are avoiding overuse, and use of weights that are too heavy, while maintaining proper form and technique; all of which should help reduce the risk of injury.
Listen to your body and take breaks when you need to. Never work through pain or discomfort. If something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t, so don’t be afraid to ask someone in the gym if you’re unsure.
To conclude: wrist weights can be an effective addition to your boxing training by increasing muscle strength, endurance, speed, coordination, and overall intensity of workouts; this should help you become a formidable opponent in the ring.
We’ve examined how each of these benefits is achieved as well as a couple of more surprising ones.
While we’ve looked at a few introductory exercises, we’ve also highlighted the importance of asking for further assistance from your coach, or a professional, to ensure proper technique and form, and to help you monitor your progress to make sure that you are achieving your goals.
We’ve discussed the factors to consider when deciding which wrist weights are right for you. After considering your budget, and desired weight and material, don’t forget, if possible, to consult with your coach or trainer to help you select the right wrist weights for you.
Finally it’s important to use wrist weights with caution! Overuse, improper technique, and using weights that are too heavy can all lead to injury and none of these things are going to give you better results.
We can minimize injuries while maximizing results by starting with lighter weights and focusing on proper technique and form, to build our strength gradually, increasing the weight as our muscles grow.
Remember to listen to your body and never work through pain or discomfort.