How to Strengthen Your Shoulders And Arms for Boxing

Arms are, of course, central to a boxer’s art. It’s not just their power that’s important, but their stamina. Endurance might take you farther in the ring than a single well-placed power punch; which is why it is crucial that you condition your arms for long bouts of fighting. Lacking energy might also mean that you don’t land your punches the way that you intend to, which can potentially be injurious. To avoid this, incorporate these arms workouts into your boxing training and make sure you’re in top form.

Weight Training

Adding weights to your routine will help build up your muscle, and they don’t even need to be particularly heavy. Starting out with smaller weights and higher reps is actually the tried and tested way to build endurance for your arms. Try compound exercises for a full body workout, as your core and legs always remain engaged during boxing and this is beneficial for overall performance. You can also stick to specific arm moves like the iconic Arnold press to focus your gains there.

Try these conditioning weight training exercises to build your arms and shoulders for boxing:


Shadowboxing is essentially boxing against and invisible opponent. In order to add resistance to this, one or two pound weights are recommended. You’ll be doing all your usual jabs and hooks, but adding weight means working your muscles alongside: it’s a way to seamlessly add in weight training while practicing and perfecting your boxing form. However, it is recommended not to go higher than a three pound weight as this can make you compromise your form and become prone to injury. Try this shadowboxing workout with small weights to up your endurance and work those shoulders; even two pound weights are going to start feeling like a ton.

Bodyweight Exercises

Don’t underestimate the value of bodyweight exercises: they’re the perfect go-to when you don’t have access to a gym or if you prefer working out from home. A combination of push and pull exercises such as push-ups and pull-ups work your core along with your arms and shoulders, strengthening your body overall. Compound moves which combine major muscle moves in a single exercise are the most efficient. For particular growth in your biceps or triceps, try isolated exercises. Combining bodyweight exercises with proper nutrition will definitely lead to major arm gains.

This video covers the importance of chin-ups for boxers, a great compound move to work your core along with your lats, shoulders and arms:

Heavy Bag Workouts

Adding heavy bag drills to your routine is a surefire way to build up those shoulders and arms. It increases stamina and endurance along with building strength so it’s a simple all-in-one solution. Heavy bag workouts, like shadowboxing, make you practice boxing moves while building strength so they’re good to stay on top of your game. They also provide the resistance you need to build muscle. Make sure you have the right heavy bag and bag gloves so that you’re training safely.

Here’s a few ideas for drills you can incorporate into your routine so you can level up: