Boxing is a sport that requires an immense amount of physical and mental strength.
Boxers have to train their bodies to be strong, quick, and agile. Many boxers follow a strict training regimen that includes various types of exercises such as weight lifting, cardio, and resistance training.
One exercise that is often debated among the boxing community is the bench press. Some people believe that boxers should do bench press, while others believe that it can be harmful to their performance. In this article, we will explore the pros and cons of bench press for boxers.
What Is The Bench Press?
First, let's talk about what the bench press is and what it does for the body. The bench press is a weight lifting exercise that targets the chest, triceps, and shoulders.
It involves lying on a bench, gripping a barbell, and pushing the weight away from the chest.
The bench press is a popular exercise for bodybuilders, powerlifters, and gym enthusiasts because it helps build upper body strength, increases muscle mass, and improves overall fitness.
Pros Of The Bench Press For Boxers
Now, let's look at the pros of bench press for boxers. One of the main benefits of bench press is that it strengthens the chest and shoulders.
This can be useful for boxers because they use these muscles in their punches. A strong chest and shoulders can help a boxer generate more power in their punches, which can lead to knockouts. Additionally, bench press can improve a boxer's overall upper body strength, which can be beneficial for defense and grappling.
Another advantage of bench press is that it can help boxers maintain muscle mass. During training, boxers often engage in cardio and endurance exercises that can cause them to lose muscle.
By incorporating bench press into their training regimen, boxers can maintain their muscle mass and avoid muscle atrophy. This can be especially important for boxers who need to stay within a certain weight class.
Bench press can also improve a boxer's posture and alignment. Boxers need to have good posture to maintain their balance and stability in the ring.
Weak chest and shoulder muscles can lead to poor posture, which can affect a boxer's performance. By strengthening these muscles through bench press, boxers can improve their posture and alignment, which can lead to better performance in the ring.
Cons Of The Bench Press For Boxers
However, there are also some cons to bench press for boxers. One of the main concerns is that it can cause shoulder injuries.
The bench press can put a lot of stress on the shoulders, and if not done correctly, it can lead to shoulder impingement or rotator cuff injuries. These types of injuries can be debilitating for boxers, as they can limit their mobility and range of motion.
Another concern is that bench press can lead to muscle imbalances. The bench press primarily targets the chest and shoulders, but it does not engage the back muscles as much.
This can lead to muscle imbalances, where the chest and shoulders become overdeveloped while the back muscles become weak. Muscle imbalances can affect a boxer's posture and alignment, which can lead to poor performance and increased risk of injury.
Is The Bench Press Worth It For Boxers?
To develop deeper into the topic of whether boxers should do bench press, it's important to consider the specific needs and goals of boxers in their training regimen.
The benefits of bench press for boxers, as mentioned earlier, include the improvement of upper body strength, maintenance of muscle mass, and improvement of posture and alignment.
However, the drawbacks, such as shoulder injuries, muscle imbalances, and possibly not being the most effective exercise, need to be taken into consideration as well.
Shoulder Injuries With The Bench Press
Regarding shoulder injuries, it's essential to emphasize the importance of proper form when performing bench press. Boxers should ensure that their shoulders are stable and retracted during the exercise, as allowing the shoulders to roll forward can lead to impingement or rotator cuff injuries.
Furthermore, it's recommended that boxers engage in exercises that strengthen the rotator cuff muscles, such as external rotations or face pulls, to support the shoulders and reduce the risk of injury.
Another concern regarding bench press is the possibility of muscle imbalances. As mentioned earlier, bench press primarily targets the chest and shoulders, neglecting the back muscles.
This can lead to an overdeveloped chest and shoulders, which can cause the shoulders to roll forward, affecting posture and increasing the risk of injury. To prevent this, boxers should incorporate exercises that target the back muscles, such as rows or pull-ups, into their training regimen.
Advice For Boxers Training
While bench press can be a useful exercise for building upper body strength, it's important to consider whether it's the most effective exercise for boxers.
While a strong chest and shoulders are necessary for punches, boxers also require rotational power, footwork, and agility. Exercises that focus on these aspects, such as medicine ball throws and ladder drills, can be more beneficial for boxers than bench press alone.
Moreover, boxers should consider the weight they are lifting during bench press. Heavy lifting can be detrimental to their performance, as it can lead to muscle fatigue, decreased mobility, and increased risk of injury.
Boxers should focus on lifting weights that challenge them without compromising their form and technique. It's essential to prioritize form and technique over weight to prevent injury and maximize the benefits of bench press.
The 12th Round
In summary, whether boxers should do bench press depends on their individual needs and goals. Bench press can be useful for improving upper body strength, maintaining muscle mass, and improving posture and alignment.
However, it can also lead to shoulder injuries, muscle imbalances, and may not be the most effective exercise for boxers.
It's crucial for boxers to prioritize proper form and technique during bench press and incorporate exercises that target other aspects of their performance, such as rotational power, footwork, and agility. Ultimately, boxers should work with a qualified trainer or coach to design a training regimen that best suits their individual needs and goals.