Bench pressing is probably one of the first exercises that many people try at the beginning of their weight training. But, how does it going to affect your performance in the boxing ring? Are there any benefits of doing bench press for boxing? Let see:
So, Do Boxers Bench Press?
Boxers do bench presses because it allows them to work on their upper body muscles while developing their overall core strength. It also helps boxers to correct their muscular imbalance and increases their functional strength in terms of punching velocity.
In this article, I’ll dig a little more into the core benefits of bench pressing and explain to you exactly whether or not you should include it in your routine:
7 Key Benefits of Doing Bench Press for Boxers
Although many boxers seem to have their own different opinions about bench pressing but here’re some of the most common and helpful benefits that make exercise an excellent choice for boxers:
1. Corrects Muscular Imbalance
Many boxers prefer to include the bench press in their training routine because it is a kind of purpose-driven strength movement exercise that allows them to build more strength, stability, endurance, and balance which is very essential during the fight.
Muscular imbalance is highly prevalent and becoming more and more common among martial artists where some of their muscles remain short and/or overactive and others go into a relatively underactive state of movements.
It not only affects your neuromuscular control but also causes a lack of mobility during the boxing match. That’s why the bench press is a great core strengthening exercise that allows you to get rid of such muscular imbalances over a period of time.
2. Easy to Target Specific Muscle Groups
This is another major reason why I started bench pressing. Depending on the position in which you want to perform a bench press, you can activate different muscle groups and target them for strengthening.
A study performed on a group of athletes shows that: Performing bench presses in an inclined position increases the involvement of your biceps by almost 57% whereas by narrowing your grip, it can a reduced by almost 25 to 30%.
The triceps is one of the muscle groups that is going to activate regardless of your bench press position. You can also try different distances between grips and try out various angles to exactly target the muscle group you want.
3. Strong and Healthy Bones
Just like many other compound movement exercises (where more than one muscle group is involved), a bench press allows you to support your bones while working on your overall body strength.
There are many studies already done in this field that prove the effectiveness of this exercise in the improvement of bone health.
The bench press is considered a larger exercise that pressurizes and adds resistance to your body structure. In such cases, similar to your muscle tissues, your skeleton system also works towards adaption and starts refining itself to bear the force.
Engaging yourself in resistance training and compound movements through bench presses helps you to go deeper than your muscles and literally work on your bone density.
4. Increases Punching Velocity
The bench press is highly focused on the improvement of upper body strength which is related to the maximum punching velocity of the rear hand. It makes your joints more stable and allows you for more athletically specific movements during your match.
Many studies are already proven that the bench press doesn’t increase your punching power significantly because power is majorly produced through your hips.
BUT: Bench pressing does help if you’re trying to do something like pass blocking or pushing your opponent boxer away during the fight.
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5. Significantly Increases Muscle Mass
The bench press is proven to be effective on upper-body strength. In each repetition you performed, this exercise not only encourages the growth in your muscles but also emphasizes the volume at 60 to 80% of the strength.
With the higher number of repetitions and subsequent increment in the load, the bench press helps you to gain lean muscle mass while working on multiple muscle groups and joints at the same time.
Talking about the activation area, this exercise primarily works on the pectoralis major along with your shoulder muscles, biceps, and triceps.
Among so many variations of this exercise, the traditional barbell bench press is a better option for boxers that allows for better muscle activation and strengthening.
6. Help Developing Your Core Strength
Personally, I think, the traditional bench press is one of the highly effective functional workouts that mimic real-world movements and allow you to build your core strength which is very helpful in successful boxing matches.
More than 85% of gym trainers recommend bench pressing because it is an awesome and perfect compound exercise that allows you to work simultaneously on your muscles as well as strength.
This means you can actually spend less time in the gym and direct your energy towards productive boxing training without sacrificing muscle strength and power.
That’s the reason why so many professional boxers are wildly taking advantage of it to increase their overall athletic performance inside the ring and there is no reason why you want to skip it.
7. Suitable for Any Fitness Level
No matter if you’re a beginner, intermediate, or seasoned pro boxer, the bench press is one of those few exercises that you can never grow out of. It is very basic and easy to perform while being very effective in terms of building upper body strength.
Bench pressing is one of the most flexible exercises in the gym. It is highly customizable in terms of setup and is naturally responsive to various strength development. You can choose different weights, a number of reps, or more sets in so many combinations.
Most peoples like to use barbells and weight plates which makes it very easy for you to utilize progressive increments in weight load and grow continuously for decades.
To get the most out of this exercise, a proper technique of bench press is also quite important because it directly affects the form of a punch in your rear arm. Does that mean, the bench press can also have drawbacks?
Does Bench Press Increase Punching Power?
The bench press does increase your punching power by improving the velocity of punch delivery. It helps you to build strong muscles, develop core strength, and ultimately maximize the impact and overall punching power.
Is Bench Press Bad For Boxers?
Even though the bench press is usually considered one of the very core yet basic exercises, but it also has some downsides if not performed correctly:
1. Potential Risk of Shoulder Injury
If you’re thinking about getting started with bench pressing more frequently, it is going to exert a lot of pressure on your shoulders, upper body muscles, and joints.
If you failed to perform the bench press correctly or just want to push yourself a little extra for a few more reps, you’re doing nothing but making yourself prone to injuries and affecting your shoulders’ joints negatively.
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That’s why It’s not recommended to do bench presses more than 2 times a week because It is relatively difficult for your body to recover from the added stress of the bench press through frequency and/or volume.
2. Dependency on a Partner
If you’re a beginner player just getting started with such compound movement upper-body exercise or a little experienced boxer who wants to test for strength with real heavy loads, you’ve no option but to have a spotter standing beside you.
Without a spotting partner, it’s almost difficult to get the most out of bench pressing. A spotter guides you when needed and provides physical support during your last reps when you’re about to reach muscle failure.
Along with that, the bench press also neglects smaller muscles and can get pretty busy during peak gym times. But that definitely doesn’t take away the amazing benefits of this exercise.
How to Bench Press Properly (Quick Guide for Boxers!)
- Lie flat on the bench and place your hands on the bar with the appropriate width.
- Place your feets flat on the ground but a little more towards your butt.
- Arch your back and try to keep it tight and protected.
- Focus on the grip and unrack the barbell while taking a deep breath.
- Bring the bar slowly down to your chest.
- Push the bar up when you breathe out and focus on the ceiling rather than a point at the bar.
Check out this helpful video guide:
But, you need to understand:
No doubt, the bench press is one of the great options for building your strength but you can not excel in boxing just with your strength and power. that’s why It’s important to use bench pressing with other exercises that help you to boost your overall performance.
Best Complementary Exercises To Try with Bench Press
When we talk about punching performance in boxing, it is mainly dependent on the acceleration and velocity of your hand movements. Here’re a few exercises that you can incorporate into your workout routine for better results:
You can get started with basic exercises like pushups, situps, etc, and further grow more into punching your abs, putting your hands in rice, or even wrists weights are also considered good options for better performance.
The bench press is one of the basic yet very effective exercises that focuses on multiple muscle groups simultaneously and helps boxers to increase their punch velocity and overall core strength. It significantly increases muscle mass and also makes your bones stronger.
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