Should You Shadow Box With Weights?

Should You Shadow Box With Weights?

If you’re new to boxing, you’ll no doubt have a boatload of questions. Beast Gear regularly answers them on the blog and today we’re taking a look at this bad boy: Should you shadow box with weights? 

Image: HowcastSportsFitness

It’s a common question, and while the simple answer is a big fat No, there’s a bit more to it than that. 

Let’s take a gander … 

Shadow Boxing With Weights Won’t Increase Hand Speed or Punching Power 

The main reason beginners ask this question is that they want to see if shadow boxing will increase their punching power and hand speed. The short answer to that is, No, it won’t. The reason is that it’s a conditioning exercise. 

As such, shadowboxing with weights will give you a boost in strength, especially in your shoulders. But if you’re already in good physical shape, it won’t really add much to your hand speed or punching power. 

Of course, if you’re not in good physical condition then shadow boxing with weightswill increase both your speed and power. But so will other workouts, such as push-ups, running and deadlifts. 

A Word on Punching Technique 

Arm punchers have a major disadvantage because arm punching is an inferior punching technique. Core punchers, on the other hand, have an advantage because core punching is a superior punching technique. 

With that in mind, core punchers won’t benefit much from shadow boxing with weights because most of their punching power already comes from their core and legs. Arms, meanwhile, are there to maximize endurance and speed. 

In short, building up your arms punching strength via shadow boxing is a bit of a waste of time when instead you should be improving your endurance and speed. 

The Main Reason You Shouldn’t Shadow Box With Weights 

So far, we’ve shown why shadow boxing with weights isn’treally necessary. But now let’s take a look at why youdefinitely shouldn’t try it. 

On the one hand, youcould shadow box with very light weights. This workout won’t improve much, but it also won’t cause you any harm.

On the other hand, if you shadow box with heavyweights, your muscles will be challenged but your technique, timing, and punching coordination will all be knocked out of synch. Is that what you want? 

I didn’t think so! 

See, while lots of folk these days are obsessed with weights, you don’t need to add weights to every little thing you do. Resistance training should be part of your repertoire, but you don’t need to add weights to shadow boxing. 

Think of it like this: Punching is tricky. It’s a movement composed of many smaller movements that work numerous muscles and parts of your body. To pull a killer punch off, you need to distribute your weight properly and perfect your timing. Your coordination has to be absolutely right. If you add weights, you will knock both your coordination and timing off-kilter and mess up your technique.


To sum up, there’s no real need to shadow box with weights. Not only is there no need, but there’s also a major risk that you’ll mess all your hard work so far up and scupper your chances of winning more fights. By all means, continue to lift weights, but keep them away from your shadow boxing exercises.

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