Does shadow boxing with weights good for developing speed and power?

When I started beating my first heavy bag and getting familiar with this type of workout a little bit, I began thinking about increasing my punching power and hand speed.

I used to lift weights, and I thought if I did shadow boxing with weights, my strikes would be more powerful and quicker. It is evident, isn’t it? The dumbbells will strengthen my arms, shoulders all the other muscles that are engaged. As a result, the punches will be stronger and swifter.

man punching with dumbbells

So, I started with 5 pounds of dumbbells. Then I increased used 10-pound ones. I made 2-3 rounds of shadowboxing with hand weights for a few months. And I decreased the heavy bag workouts just to 1-2 rounds.

And, I developed, but not the way I wanted. I mean, I felt my muscles were stronger, but my punching power just did not get better. I was a bit let down because of this, and I did not understand the reasons.

Finally, I took the time to dig myself into the topic of weighted shadow boxing, and to my surprise, I had to realize that using heavy weights is absolutely not recommended by experts to increase speed and power. (I wish I had taken the time to learn.)

Light hand weights 0.5-1 pound are OK to use, but not as a shortcut or a substitute for real practice. It is even OK if you do not use them all.

I recently bumped into an excellent video in which JT Van V is talking about why hands weights are not as beneficial as they seem to be and how to use them to get benefits. Watch it below, and you will understand whys.

He also shows shadow boxing with dumbbells and wrist weights the right way. The boxing workout includes:

  • Straight punches (jab, cross), extending out, are the first exercise.
  • After that, uppercuts, like a shoe shine.
  • Then overhead punches.
  • Afterward, focus on rotating your body to perform hook punches to imporve boxing movements.
  • Finally, some short lateral pulses.

Note: You can also do easy combinations such as 1-1, 1-2, or 1-3 to challenge yourself.

Let’s recap the main points for boxing with weights

  • Use only light weights. (light dumbbells or ankle weights) (0.5-1 pound). Even a tiny amount of weight resistance increases punching power, so you don’t need to lift 5-10-pound dumbbells.
  • You may feel you can punch faster, but that does not mean your hands are quicker in reality.
  • Training with hand weight is not a substitute. You should do the typical workouts first, such as heavy and speed bag training, sparring, etc. to improve your punching speed.
  • It may help to get used to the weight of the gloves, though.
  • Don’t forget too much resistance will result in an improper boxing technique. And if that bad form is done for a long time, it turns into a bad habit.
  • Whenever you are shadowboxing with a weight in your hand, you should never fully extend your arms and maintain a fluid motion throughout.

More useful tips from the web


Does punching with weights build muscle?

As you add weights to your regular punching routine, you’ll increase resistance and challenge your arms, shoulders, chest, back, and core. Muscles will become leaner and stronger as a result. Weighted punches are particularly beneficial for improving arm endurance and conditioning.

Is it a good idea to practice punching with weights?

In summary, although boxing with weights does help build muscles that contribute to punching speed, this is not the full picture. By punching with weights, you engage only a tiny fraction of the factors that create fast punches, and by doing so, you are more likely to gain injuries.

To sum up

Boxers can increase their hand speed and power by punching with hand weights. The shadow boxing workout is also beneficial for non-boxers to stay fit and tone their upper body. Our bodies benefit from the increased resistance by improving their power, speed, and fat loss, developing their aerobic endurance as well as adding muscle.

About us

There is no better fitness system than boxing. Your muscles grow, your endurance improves, your heart gets stronger and you're more energetic. Since boxing uses practically your entire body, you'll burn tons of calories. Because I love boxing so much, I started this blog to help others get started.

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