How To Strengthen Your Wrists For Boxing

Having strong wrists is essential in boxing, whether you’re throwing punches at an opponent or working on a heavy bag. Your wrists carry a heavy load whenever you punch something hard, which is why boxers wrap their wrist before they train or fight.

Boxing training on its own will help strengthen your wrists, but most boxers perform additional exercises to help strengthen their hands to prevent issues like sprains when they train. Having stronger wrists also allows you to throw more powerful punches, increasing your odds of scoring knockouts in the ring.


6 Ways Boxers Strengthen Their Wrists

The best approach to strengthening your wrists involves targeting the tendons and muscles in the area from multiple angles. Your wrist strengthening routine as a boxer should include some strength and resistance training exercises, as well as some flexibility training movements.

Most of the exercises used to strengthen your wrists involve familiar movements like push-ups that are modified to make your wrists carry a larger load.

Some of the most effective ways to strengthen your wrists for boxing include:


1) Knuckle Push-Ups

This variation has been used by combat sport athletes to strengthen their wrists for centuries and it also helps to train proper knuckle alignment for boxing. You also get one of the best bodyweight exercises for your upper body, targeting muscles like your chest, triceps, forearms, and shoulders.

Here’s what the exercise looks like:

  • Place some sort of cushion on the floor to reduce the pressure on your knuckles if you’re new to the exercise. You can skip this part if you’re feeling hardcore.
  • Now, get into the regular high plank starting position for push-ups, but instead of keeping your palms flat on the ground, ball your hands into fists and use your knuckles as your base.
  • Perform your reps as you would normally do when performing push-ups. Aim for three sets of 10 to 20 reps.


2) Wrist Curls

Also called the wrist flexion exercise, wrist curls target muscles around your forearms and wrists, like the wrist flexor and extensor muscles. Use light weights when starting the exercise and build your way up from there. The exercise can be performed with a barbell or dumbbell.

Here’s how you perform wrist curls:

  • While holding on to your weights, place your arms flat on a table or similar structure with your palms facing up and hanging off the edge.
  • Bring the weights toward you by curling your wrists upward toward you.
  • Uncurl your wrists to return to the starting position to complete a rep. Try to get three sets of ten reps.


3) Chin-Ups

Chin-ups are typically thought of as an excellent way to strengthen and build muscles in your upper back and biceps, but they also give your wrists a good workout. Use good form for all your reps to ensure your wrists are being forced to carry a heavy load.

Here’s what the exercise looks like:

  • Start by grabbing a pull-up/chin-up bar with your palms facing you. Your hands should be shoulder-width apart from each other.
  • Hang off the bar and pull your body toward the bar using mostly your arms. Keep your wrists straight as you move toward the bar.
  • Slowly return to the starting position without allowing your feet to touch the ground. Aim for three sets of five to ten reps or as many as you can do.


4) Wrists Rotations

Wrist rotations are a simple exercise that improves the flexibility and strength of the muscles around your wrists.

Here’s how to execute the exercise:

  • Holding on to the end of the weight, place your arms flat on a table or similar structure and hang off the edge.
  • Slowly rotate your wrists side to side to perform the exercise. Each side rotation counts as a rep. 


5) Rice Bucket

Here’s one of the most popular unconventional exercises used to strengthen your wrists. It’s also quite simple, but you’ll need to get a few bags of rice or some similar substitute.

Here’s how to perform the exercise:

  • You’ll need to gather a bucket that’s deep enough to cover your hands and wrists when filled up with rice or any other grainy material you have around.
  • Place the bucket on a table or similar structure so you can touch it with your abdomen while standing in front of it.
  • Push your arms into the rice with your elbows extended and your forearms facing up.
  • Grab as much rice as you can with each hand as you make a fist and rotate your fists so your forearms are now facing you. Return to the starting position to complete a rep. Aim for three sets of as many as you can do.


6) Farmers Walk

The farmer’s walk is a popular exercise that helps to improve functional strength all over your body including your wrists. You can perform the exercise with kettlebells, plates, or dumbbells. There are also structures sold that are made specifically for the exercise.

Focus on performing the exercise with heavy weights to strengthen your wrists and improve your grip strength.

Here’s how the exercise is performed:

  • Grab a weight in each hand and stand up straight.
  • Keep your arms fully extended at the side of your body as you start walking forward. Resist the urge to shrug when walking.
  • Go as far as you can before your body forces you to drop the weights. Repeat for three sets.


Stretching Your Wrists

Stretching helps to improve flexibility around your wrists, allowing you to punch harder without putting too much pressure on your wrists. You can also use these exercises to warm up the joints on your wrists before performing wrist exercises.

The wrist flexion and extension stretch is a simple way to stretch out your wrist and forearms.

Here’s what it looks like:

  • Extend an arm while keeping your palm facing the ceiling
  • Use your other arm to gently push the fingers of your extended arm downward. Hold the position for 20 to 30 seconds
  • Rotate your extended arm so your palm is not facing downward. Use your other hand to push the fingers of the extended arm upward. Hold for 20 to 30 seconds
  • Repeat with your other arm


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