Is Boxing With Wrist Weights Any Good?

Training with any sort of weight in or on your hands in boxing is clearly a controversial topic and for a reason – if used incorrectly, it can cause elbow hyperextension, build bad habits as it does affect punching form, and just be useless.

But it’s not as bad as some people like to put it, i mean, fighters like Gennady Golovkin and Floyd Mayweather have clearly done it in the past so it should work, although it does depends on what exactly you intend to do when having additional weight on your forearms.

Shadowboxing with wrist weights

Wrist weights are a great alternative to a dumbbell because they don’t preoccupy your hands by having something to constantly hold, neither fatigue the grip, which can make it more natural and easy to get the hang of.

Most of the time having 2 pound (900 gram) wrist weights on both arms when shadowboxing is more than enough for most boxers, but feel free to step down to 1 pound (450 gram) pair if you want to – you can also jump up to 3 pounds (1.35 kg) if that’s too easy, although be wary that it can be more dangerous.

This is a great pair to start with (Amazon link).

Hitting the heavy bag or anything else with weights on

Image by Aberro Creative via Flickr

Generally speaking, hitting an object with gloves, wraps and wrist weights on is usually not as good of an idea compared to shadowboxing. The reason why is because there is an actual impact happening, and as there’s even more weight added to the arms, it will make it harder to throw punches properly, and that increases the chance of injury.

Shadowboxing with wrist weights is a better idea because you just end up using as much weight as if you had gloves on in the first place, with a little extra most of the time, and even then, you don’t end up hitting anything.

If you really want to hit the heavy bag, double end bag, freestanding bad or any other thing with additional wrist weights, i wouldn’t suggest going any heavier than 1 pound (450 grams) on each arm, especially if you’re going to use 16 oz (450 gram) gloves.

As an alternative you can simply try getting heavier gloves – if you don’t have 16 oz (450 gram) ones to begin with, you should get them and if that’s too light, get the 18 oz (510 grams).

Benefits of training with wrist weights (especially shadowboxing)

Doing additional training with weights on will help you get better at parrying punches, because it increases shoulder endurance. Speed and power could also improve, but using extra weight in your arms help mostly develop shoulder endurance.

A great benefit of using wrist weights, or any type of weights when shadowboxing is they will help you keep your guard up. Your arms will start to droop more because of the extra load, so it will be more of a reminder to always them up.

Your coach might know the answer

Speak to your boxing instructor and ask his opinion on the topic. He should assess if it’s any worth for you to do it, based on your skill level, and might just end up suggesting you to stick to the basics.

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