Does Boxing Build Muscle? (Must-Read for Beginners)

Boxing is essentially a type of resistant training. I spoke with a physiotherapist to find out how boxers get their body so ripped and how they able to target specific muscle groups.

Here I’ve put this guide together to explain you exactly how our body react to intense boxing workout and how you can get the best value out of it: So,

Does Boxing Build Muscle?

Boxing does build muscle as long as you’re constantly challenging yourself. Boxing training is a full-body workout that stimulates multiple muscle groups and create environment for effective muscle gain while allowing you to train for agility, endurance, speed, and power.

Further in this guide, I’ll explain what muscles does actually get triggered and things you must know before getting started. Keep reading…

How Do Boxers Build Muscles Without Lifting Weights?

Boxers build their muscle mass by performing lots of target free-body exercises combined with calisthenic and HIIT training in their routine. Such training allows boxers to build endurance while stimulating various muscle groups without lifting any weights.

Let’s dig more into this:

1. Free-Body Exercises

No doubt, lifting weight is a great way to target a small group of muscles and build muscle mass in a target area. But this kind of bulking is not at all beneficial for boxers.

That’s why almost all boxers engage themselves in free-body exercises including push-ups, and pull-ups to target those respective muscle groups at the same time.

It basically triggers your muscles in more of a more distributed way and provides you more control over your muscles while avoiding the targeted bulking.

Related: 9 Key Benefits of doing push-ups for a Boxer

2. HIIT Training

HIIT stands for High-Intensity Interval Training, considered as one of the effective ways to train your body. The main idea is to make each set of exercises as difficult as possible in order to reach the maximum heart rate for a shorter period of time.

Although, HIIT training does involve lifting weights and some other gym equipment but it’s completely different from the traditional way of training.

3. Extra Attention toward Abs

If you ever watch boxing matches or even any of rocky’s movies, you’ll instantly notice their cuts and well-crafted abs.

A lot of professional boxers include a session of endless situps as a part of their boxing training in order to develop their core area. Having a nice six-pack abs not only gives you confidence but also allows you to withstand a wild punch to your stomach.

Related: Why Do Boxers Punch their Abs? (3 Things you Should Know!)

4. Calisthenic

Calisthenic is another amazing form of exercise where boxers try to target multiple muscle groups simultaneously with minimum use of gym equipment.

boxer shadowboxing

It mostly starts with jumping and some other rhythmic body movements with the intention to develop core strength, build muscles, and improve your overall body composition.

What Muscles are Built by Boxing?

Boxing training involves a lot of bodyweight movement that can help increase strength in your upper body and core muscles. It also triggers multiple muscles in your legs, thighs, and hips to get an overall well-developed body combination.

1. Arms

Boxing is an amazing full-body workout that allows you to build your arms and muscles. Your forearm muscles, biceps, and triceps are going to get stronger even if you do not put effort into anything extra but boxing training.


You need to remember, arm muscles are not going to help you generate power, but they are essential because each and every offensive move you want to try is related to your arms and shoulders.

These muscles drive each of your punches and properly connect them with your opponent. That’s why most professional boxers prefer to have strong, faster yet slim arms rather than bulky arm muscle groups.

Related: Can you Punch Arms in Boxing? 3 Important Rules!

2. Core Muscles

This is another very powerful and important set of muscle groups where boxers focus required to focus. They run from your back, abs, hips, and shoulders muscles while holding your whole body together.

They are also a part of your back muscles as well as your abs. All the power that you generate through your legs and hips gets combined and transferred to your arms with the mercy of these core muscles.

3. Legs and Hips

Many beginners think that boxing is all about your two hands and legs don’t have much significance to the sport. But it’s one of the key muscle groups which required proper training to deliver your best performance in the ring.

The quadriceps and hamstrings are two muscles present in your thighs and are responsible for pushing you off the ground and generating the required amount of momentum and power throughout your body.

Hips are another important muscle group that can offer you a massive amount of power if you know how to pivot your body properly and get the best out of these muscles.

Related: Importance of Running for a Boxer (5+ Key Benefits)

4. Shoulders

Along with the strength and motor skills, the game of boxing also asks you for your endurance. After an amazing session of boxing training, do you feel a burn around your shoulders?

This happens because of your core muscles. I already mentioned how the core group of muscles helps your body to transfer all the power. But It gets filtered through your shoulder girdle before going into the arms.

Shoulder muscles also help boxers to keep their hands up in front of their face because it not only allows them to defend their face but also to throw a punch when the opportunity arises. That’s why trainers always put their attention towards this area.

5. Calves

Calf muscles are those muscles that are present at the back of your leg between the ankle and knee. These muscles enable you for the free movement of your heels. (Try It 🙂 )

In boxing, the calves’ muscles play a vital role in your footwork. It allows you to initiate the attack, lean forward, and throw the punch in the right direction.

6. Small Muscle Groups

There are lots of other muscle groups where boxers geared their workout focus. Whether it is your neck area or your fist muscles, everything matters in the ring.

Many fighters strengthen their neck muscles in order to avoid sudden knockdown due to a solid punch at a vulnerable position.

Also, the small muscles that make up your fist: A tightly hold fist not only makes your hit much more solid but also reduces the chances of getting injured because your bones don’t have enough room to get dislocated.

How Fast Does Boxing get you in Shape?

On average, boxers take at least 5 weeks to see the results and get into shape provided you attend a boxing gym 3 times a week and deliver your complete efforts into the training routine.

Does Boxing Burn Fat or Build Muscles?

As a whole, boxing training is considered an ultimate workout for a whole body that not only helps you to lose weight pretty quickly but also stimulate all your muscle groups and develops your core strength for better endurance.

My Final Thoughts

Boxing training is one of the most enjoyable way to build up your legs, arms, shoulders, and core muscles while loosing a body fat pretty quickly.

It also strengthen your cardiovascular system, helps you to gain lean muscle mass and also helps you with speed, agility, hand-eye coorditional and your motor skills. I think, boxing is definitely one of the best way to get into the shape in a most fun way possible.

Happy Boxing! 🙂

Priya Dorge | Cargofighter

Priya Dorge

Priya Dorge is a passionate boxer and author, dedicated to sharing her expertise in the world of combat sports. With her deep knowledge and experience in empowering individuals in their journey has garnered a loyal following, making her a trusted resource in the martial arts community.