Training your wrists is probably one of the most overlooked exercises when boxing, it’s not often known how much your wrists being strong and flexible is important to your boxing technique.
If your wrist moves whilst you’re hitting the bag, you’re probably going to need to strengthen your wrists.
Strengthening your wrists can prevent injury and help you achieve a more powerful punch, there’s many benefits to including wrist exercises into your training routine and in this article we’ll explain why and give you some exercises to try out to strengthen your wrists.
Why Is Wrist Strength Important For Boxing?
Strengthening your wrists is super important because it can lessen the chance of an injury occurring, you can achieve a more powerful punch when your wrists have been conditioned to handle the impact and there’s been a link between wrist girth and boxing rankings.
If your wrist moves or slides when you hit the bag, the stress that’s being placed on your wrist is more likely to make an injury happen as it will be in a compromised position.
If your wrist extends or flexes beyond its limit, the tendons and ligaments will stretch to a point that exceeds its stretch tolerance.
Once this happens you will lose a lot of the momentum you use from your legs to transfer the punch to your target, to transfer the most momentum you can your hands, legs, arm, wrist and trunk must become stiff at impact.
This will affect how hard you can punch, and a strong wrist will allow momentum to be effectively transferred through the arm to the hand.
Why Do Boxers Tape Their Wrist?
Taping your wrists will protect the fingers, hand, wrist, knuckles and thumb from an injury.
It will secure the hand making it harder for it to move in any direction and will thus allow momentum to flow more easily through the wrist to translate into a harder punch.
It also creates a firmer pad beneath the glove to additionally protect the hand and will soften vibrations caused by strikes on the knuckles.
What Exercises Strengthen Your Wrists?
Boxers will each use different exercises for their wrists, but these exercises are essential for any boxer as it will increase their overall strength.
Many variations of wrist exercise include things like: wrist curls, chin ups and knuckle push-ups.
Flexibility And Extension Exercises
These types of exercises are aimed at strengthening the tendons to improve elasticity.
To start off you should lay your arm on a table whilst positioning your palm upright, just off the edge of the table.
Then use your other arm to gently bend the wrist down until you feel a good stretch and you should hold this for around 5-10 seconds and then release your wrist and return your arm to a normal position.
After this, move your arm back to the original position and this time bend it upwards and again hold it for around 5-10 seconds, and do this around 20 times and then switch hands and repeat this exercise.
Strength And Resistance Exercises
Weights are a great addition to use with your exercises, if you have kettlebells try using them with this exercise.
Kettlebell Pronation/ Supination
This exercise is great for boxing specifically, it strengthens your wrist through pronation (which happens when you throw a punch) whilst also supinating and balancing your wrist strength.
Doing this exercise will increase your wrist mass a lot and will give you much more strength in your wrist, here’s a quick guide to help you do it:
- Lie the kettlebell down and make sure that the handle is facing towards you.
- Rest your forearm on a soft surface and grab the handle.
- Then slowly rotate your hand each way whilst keeping your forearm lying on the soft surface.
- Do this for around 4 sets of 10-20 reps.
To do this exercise you’ll need a light weight to start off with, you can add more weight as your wrist becomes stronger.
- Lay your arm on a table and position your hand just off the edge with your palm upright.
- Holding a light weight, curl your wrist upwards and slowly lower it back to the starting position
- Repeat this around 10 times for each wrist.
- Use a soft surface to cushion your knuckles
- Start in a push-up position with your legs stretched out and balancing on your toes
- Make a loose fist with both of your hands and use your knuckles to support you, like your hands would in a normal push-up.
- Do around 10-20 of these, or however many you can do.
You’ll need a chin-up bar for this exercise.
- Start by grabbing the chin-up bar with your palms facing you
- Pull your body weight up as far as you can
- Lower yourself down until your arms are fully extended
- Do this around 10-20 times
- Stand or sit with your elbows bent at a 90 degree angle in front of you and make sure your palms are facing inward
- Hold either light weights or resistance bands
- Rotate your wrists outward and inward and repeat this 10 times for each wrist.
You’ll need something with a weighted end, such as a sledge hammer or a golf club.
- Hold the hammer in one hand (like Thor), the further away from the weighted end you are will make the exercise harder
- Make sure you have a slight bend in your elbow and point the hammer forward
- Bring the hammer back towards yourself using your wrist
- Repeat this for around 4 sets of 5-10 reps.
And be careful you don’t injure yourself when bringing the hammer back towards yourself!
Having strong wrists is an essential part of being a good boxer, you’ll need this strength to ensure your punches are as powerful as they can be.
These exercises will help you in strengthening your wrists, and will give you a better boxing technique.
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