This post is all about using resistance bands for boxing to improve your speed, power and punching technique.
The beauty of resistance bands is that they can be easily adapted to sports-specific movements for increasing functional strength and power. Adding a resistance bands component to your boxing is a great way to diversify your training and maximize gains.
In this post I’ll introduce three kinds of resistance bands you can use for boxing and show you how to use them to add power to boxing-specific movement drills.
So let’s begin.
What are the best resistance bands for boxing?
The three types of boxing resistance bands I recommend are:
These three kinds of bands are the best for applying resistance to the specific movements you use in boxing. Read on to find out why and how to use bands in your training.
Why to use resistance bands for boxing?
You can read about the benefits of resistance band training in full here. But for boxing training, the key points are:
- Bands are not dependent on gravity (unlike free weights), so they can apply resistance on any plane. This makes them ideal for applying forward linear resistance to your arm movements for increasing punching power.
- The resistance level of elastics increases as the band is stretched. This corresponds to the strength curve of your muscles, which become stronger when your limbs are in a more extended position. Basically, you get the right resistance in the right place.
- When used for shadowboxing, bands do not add forward momentum like weights do – i.e. at the end of the movement they’re still pulling you back. So you’re not using antagonistic muscles to pull them back at the end, which can mess up your speed and technique.
- Bands just add a different dimension to your workout. They shouldn’t be used as a core training method (they shouldn’t replace heavy bag, pads or live sparring), but anything which diversifies your workout means your muscles have to keep guessing and you gain more.
How to use resistance bands for boxing training
#1 Use resistance tubes for shadowboxing
The handles on the resistance tubes make them easy to grip and they also come with a door anchor so you can fix them behind you at any height. But the problem with that is you can’t move around much, so to get the full benefits of shadowboxing I prefer to loop them around my back in this way:
#2 Build abs of steel with resistance bands
The importance of core strength for boxing cannot be overstated. My favorite bands for ab workouts are actually the mini resistance loops – there are a surprising number of exercises you can do with them, and I’ve written a full workout guide with 15 ab exercises which you should check out.
The 208cm loops are also great for core exercises. See this video for some workout ideas:
#3 Improve your leg strength
If you’re doing things right, you should be punching mainly with your legs and core. The arms are just an afterthought. So leg strength is vital.
See my full leg workout here. And here are 5 of my favorite leg exercises:
Single Leg Deadlift
#5 Do boxing movement drills with mini bands
Mini resistance bands can be looped around your legs to add resistance to your stepping movements in any direction. For sports like boxing or basketball where agile movement is so critical to high performance, this can be a game-changer.
Try placing the band just above your knees and wear it while shadowboxing, sparring or simply doing basic stepping movement drills. This will increase those fast-twitch muscle fibers in your legs which are so important for agile movement.
#6 Develop glute power
Your gluteus maximus (i.e. your butt muscle) is the biggest muscle in your body. It’s responsible for keeping you upright, pelvic support, forward propulsion and single-limb stance support. All things which are essential to a strong boxer.
Mini resistance bands are often called glute bands or booty bands, because they specialize in activating the glute and hip muscles. You can read my full glute training guide. And here are 5 key glute-building exercises:
If you find the mini resistance bands too weak, try using a fabric-covered resistance band. This is much stronger than the regular mini bands.
To see our full range of resistance bands for boxing and other workouts, click here. Also check out our guide to the best boxing gloves for beginners.