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Strength training forms a valuable part of a boxers training programme. It can help to improve movement, punch force, speed, and reduce injury chances.

In this article, we will introduce the different methods we use at Boxing Science, and the reasons behind why we use them.

In our “science behind the punch” article, we explained the science and the physical qualities required to deliver forceful punches. 

The best way to improve punch force is to improve your punching technique.

However, how easy is it to improve technique once it’s ingrained after years of training?

Answer: It’s pretty hard!

But we can use strength and conditioning to improve physical performance in an easy and effective way to develop punch effectiveness.

What’s the focus of strength training?

From our own research, we think that a few things contribute to punching force. These include:

Lower and upper body maximum strength 

Ability to rapidly produce force

Function of the core muscles.

It’s not a case of ‘moving light weights quick’ nor ‘grinding heavy reps’. It takes various training types programmed and delivered in a deliberate and systematic manner.

You can’t just jump into developing sportspecific strength. It must be carefully considered with respect to several inputs.

At Boxing Science, we use diverse training methods to get athletes stronger, more explosive, moving better and punching harder.

Training Types At Boxing Science

Upper and Lower-Body Compound Lifts

These are our gold standard lifts that target a range of adaptations by manipulating the volumes and intensities. We use exercises such as squats, deadlifts, pressing and pulling exercises to increase the rate of force development. 

We manipulate the loads to use these exercises across all training phases in the programme. 

Olympic Lifting

If the technique is up to standard, Olympic lifting is a great tool to improve explosive strength and speed. However, mobility issues can make these dangerous, limit load and make it technically demanding. 

If appropriate, these exercises are great to implement during strength-speed and speed phases

Dynamic Mobility and Movement Drills

Before heavy lifting can be performed, athletes need to develop good mobility and perform the required movement patterns correctly. This can be developed during initial stages of the S&C programme, and included in warm-ups to continue development in movement competency. 

Velocity Based Training 

Velocity based training is where you record the speed of a compound or Olympic lift, give feedback and specific targets based on the load lifted. This ensures maximal effort at lower %1RM, and can boost strength-speed qualities. 

VBT should be used with experienced lifters, and prioritised during strength-speed and speed phases. 

Sprint Training

Sprint training is a great way to improve speed and the rate of force development. We perform running mechanics in the warm-up, and perform maximal sprint training on the Woodway Curve. 

Accomodating Resistance Training

This is where we add bands or chains to a compound lift to increase the load/tension of a lift towards the end of the movement. 

This encourages acceleration through the movement, and can improve the function of the length-tension relationship. This can help an athlete produce force at longer range – transferring to a harder punch. 

Loaded Jumps

We use light loads to overload a jumping action. This small external load can help increase our force-development during fast actions, making it really transferrable to boxing performance. 

These exercises can be performed as an extended warm-up – lower sets, reps and load. However, all these can be increased when used as a key exercise during strength-speed and speed phases. 

Loaded and Bodyweight Core Training 

In our research, we have found that core strength and muscular size has the biggest transfer to a forceful punch. This is due to its role in rotational movement, and the tension it creates for the ‘snap’ of a punch.


We use a variety of strength training methods at Boxing Science to develop our athletes physical performance, using different tools at different times to develop various qualities. A boxer should be exposed to different parts of the Force-Velocity curve to become a fast, strong and explosive athlete.

Want to learn more about strength training for boxing? Our brand new Boxing Science membership features access an exercise library consisting of video and written tutorials for over 70 different strength, mobility and plyometric training exercises. Click here to learn more about becoming a Boxing Science member.