Coaches and fighters often make the mistake thinking punching with semi heavy dumbbells will improve conditioning and punching power. By semi heavy I mean dumbbells heavy enough to punch with but causes break down of good technique.
Don’t get me wrong, punching with resistance is true but, to really transfer to better boxing performance the resistance must maintain and groove proper punching technique, it must not break form down.
This is why naive coaches who watch the Rocky movies and see Sly Stallone punching with heavy dumbbells ironically get the wrong impression of training for a more powerful punch. Allow me to clarify. If you want a more powerful punch, first get strong then fast. The prerequisites for power are strength, and speed. So stop punching with dumbbells heavy enough to groove crappy form. Put them down and instead go lift some heavy weights.
Shadow boxing with dumbbells can improve conditioning and improve boxing performance, as long as they’re light enough to groove proper punching technique. How heavy of dumbbell to use depends on the current strength level of the fighter. Often 2-4 lb. dumbbells can be used to condition for a fight and maintain good form.
The message here is no what you are doing and why. Ringside makes a training glove called the super bag glove. These gloves come with weights you can put in the sleeves of the gloves for increased resistance and conditioning. Just be sure that the weight doesn’t cause sloppy form. As the fighters conditioning improves, more weight can be added in the sleeve of the glove. Please keep small weight progressions in mind when increasing the resistance.
I know this may seem like common sense to the experienced coach or fighter reading this, but you would be surprised what you see fighters doing with weights! Don’t do anything crazy with them like Rocky was when he was throwing sloppy uppercuts with 50lb. dumbbells. I don’t need to repeat myself we now know why we don’t want to do that.
It’s better to punch with much less resistance than with too much. Keep in mind that it takes more than 5000 repetitions to correct a poor motor engram. (Stored movement pattern, skill).
Are you going forwards in your training or backwards? If your fighter is shadow boxing with dumbbells, depending on how much weight he is using and how his form looks, It’ll be quick to tell.
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by Rob Pilger