00:00, 01 апреля 2004, Популярные статьи

Punching With Power

Exercise List

Enamait Ross
Глава 6. Exercise List
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Exercise List

In this section, I will illustrate and describe each of the exercises used throughout this training program. You can view many of these exercises through the video clips that accompany this program.

Warm-up Exercises

Warm-Up Circuit



x 6 per side


Dumbbell Twist

x 8 per side


Ax Swing

x 8 per side


Lying Hip Swing

x 8 per side


Dirty Dog

x 12 per side

I recommend this warm-up circuit before each weight training session (Wednesday and Saturday). Perform each exercise consecutively without rest. You can repeat the circuit one or two times. The purpose of the warm-up is to break a sweat and prepare the muscles for more strenuous movements.

T-Pushup - With dumbbells in hand, perform a pushup. As you come up, twist and raise the dumbbell over your shoulder. Alternate between left and right arm. This exercise builds strength and coordination. Perform this exercise with light-to-moderate dumbbells.

Dumbbell Twist - Assume a stable position with the feet shoulder width apart. Hold the dumbbell at chest level with a slight bend in the arms. Twist the dumbbell from side-to-side, keeping the dumbbell in front of the chest throughout the movement. Initiate the movement from your hips and core.

Ax Swing - Swing a dumbbell across the body as if you were swinging an ax. This is an excellent movement for the shoulders, back, and hips. Perform the ax swing from right to left and left to right.

Lying Hip Swing - Lie with the legs straight and hands extended to your sides. Maintain straight legs and swing from left to right. You can increase the difficulty of this exercise by wearing ankle weights.

Bent Knee Hip Swing - This movement can substitute the traditional Lying Hip Swing. Lie with arms out to the side. Flex the legs at a 90-degree angle with a medicine ball between the knees. Lower the knees to the right side, and then to the left. The shoulders and back should remain grounded throughout the movement.

Lying Hip Swing (with medicine ball) - A much more difficult variation involves holding a medicine ball between the feet, while swinging extended legs from side-to-side. Swing from side-to-side without touching the feet to the ground. This version is designed for advanced athletes with tremendous hip and core strength.

Dirty Dog - Start on your hands and knees. Raise your leg to the side, keeping the knee bent at a 90-degree angle. This exercise is excellent for the hips. Work both sides evenly.

Strength Training

Power Clean - Begin with the feet approximately 16 inches apart. Grab the bar with an overhand grip, with the hands outside the feet. Your legs will be parallel, with the back straight. Begin by straightening the legs as the bar is lifted from the ground with straight arms. Extend the hips forward as the bar begins to rise. The arms will begin to bend as you pull the bar upward (all in one continuous motion). At this point you will be rising on the toes. As the bar reaches its highest point, you will bend the knees as you "catch" the bar on the upper chest and shoulders. Steps 1-3 should be one continuous movement.

You will then lower the bar to the floor. Each repetition should begin from a stationary position. Do not bounce the bar off the ground to continue with fast-paced repetitions. You will be lifting a heavy load during this movement. After completing one repetition, return the bar to the floor (stop), straighten the arms and continue.

Clean and Press - The Clean and Press starts as a Power Clean. You begin by cleaning the barbell to the upper chest (Step 3 above). From this position, you will inhale and press the barbell overhead. Lower the bar back to the chest, and then down to the floor (video available).

Dumbbell Power Clean (one arm) - You can also perform a Power Clean with a dumbbell. When performing dumbbell power cleans, I prefer to train with one dumbbell at a time (ex. left arm power clean, then right arm power clean). By focusing on one arm at a time, you are able to handle much more weight.

You will place a heavy dumbbell between the feet. Bend down until the legs are approximately parallel, the eyes will be looking forward. Drive with the hips as you raise the dumbbell to your shoulder. Alternate between left and right arm. For example, clean the dumbbell with the left arm (to the left shoulder), return the dumbbell to the floor, and clean the dumbbell with the right arm.

Dumbbell Clean and Press (one arm) - I also recommend a Dumbbell Clean and Press. As with the Dumbbell Power Clean, we will be sticking with the one-arm variation. After cleaning the dumbbell to the shoulder, you will press it overhead. Alternate between left and right arm (video available).

Front Squat Push Press - This exercise integrates a Front Squat with a Push Press. You will begin by cleaning a barbell to your upper chest. The barbell will rest on the upper chest/front deltoids. Your grip on the bar should be slightly wider than shoulder width. The back will be slightly arched, the toes pointed slightly outward.

Squat until the knees are approximately (or just past) parallel to the floor. From this position, you will thrust upward with a front squat. Extend upward until the legs are straight, and continue by pressing the barbell overhead. This happens in one smooth motion. The upward portion of the movement is explosive and continuous.

This movement can also be performed with dumbbells. The dumbbells will rest on the shoulders as illustrated below. Squat down as you would with the barbell, exploding upward until the dumbbells are extended overhead (video available).

Push Press - This exercise begins by cleaning a barbell to your upper chest (exactly as the Front Squat Push Press began). The feet will remain parallel. Initiate this movement by squatting down slightly. From this position, thrust the legs straight, lifting the bar overhead. This exercise involves a continuous thrusting sequence (video available).

This movement can also be performed with a pair of heavy dumbbells.

Neider Press - Begin this movement with the feet shoulder width apart. The barbell will be held at the chest, with the knees slightly bent. The elbows will be by your sides. Explode the barbell outward. The bar should travel approximately 20-30 degrees above the shoulders. Focus on exploding outward with each repetition (video available).

This movement can also be performed with dumbbells. I prefer a barbell however, as it allows you to handle more weight.

Upright Neider Press - This exercise will simulate the motion involved in punching. You should use a standard 7-foot Olympic barbell. You will perform this exercise with both arms. When training the right arm, the left leg will be positioned in front. Your "stance" will resemble the stance used by a conventional boxer (left foot in front). When training the left arm, the right leg will be positioned in front. Your "stance" will resemble the stance used by a southpaw boxer (right foot in front).

Pivot the hips and turn on the ball of your back foot. Drive the barbell forward as if you were throwing a punch (video available).

The leg and hip action should be identical to the motion involved when punching.

As you can see in the previous illustrations, I have placed a weighted barrier (a sandbag) in front of the barbell to prevent it from sliding after each repetition. You can also place the barbell against the wall if you are using unfinished cement walls. The barbell will damage a finished wall.

Work one side at a time (ex. 8 reps for the right arm). After training one side, change foot positions. For example, if you started with the right arm, you will finish with the left arm. When training the left arm, your right foot will be placed in front (like a southpaw boxer). It will feel awkward to train the non-dominant side. Despite the awkward feeling, you will improve explosive power and coordination throughout both sides of the body.


• When adding weight to the barbell, stick with 25-pound plates or smaller. Do not use the larger 45-pound plates. The larger plates will restrict movement. Use smaller plates to promote a more fluid motion.

• If you are too tall for this movement (the barbell is 7-feet long), you can create a platform for the barbell. By elevating the barbell from the floor, you will be able to perform this movement without problems.

Dumbbell Hang Clean and Press - Grab two heavy dumbbells, and hold each by your sides. Sit the hips back to create a slight bend in the knees. From this position, the dumbbells will "hang" from the sides. Clean the dumbbells up to the shoulders. From this position, you will "catch" the dumbbells, before pressing each overhead. Return the dumbbells to the shoulders, and then to the "hang" position (video available).

Dumbbell Snatch - Begin by squatting down over a dumbbell with the feet shoulder width apart. Explode upward, keeping the dumbbell close to the body. The snatch involves one fluid motion that continues until the dumbbell is overhead. The dumbbell will remain close to the body as it travels upward. This movement is excellent for explosive hip action and the development of the posterior chain.

Upon completing the snatch, you can lower it to the shoulder, and then to the ground. Use your opposite hand for assistance if the dumbbell is too heavy to lower with one hand. You can lower the dumbbell to the ground after each repetition, or you can lower just short of the ground to maintain a faster pace throughout the movement (video available).

Twisting Snatch - The Twisting Snatch is a variation of the traditional Dumbbell Snatch. You will begin with the dumbbell positioned in front of the left foot (when training the right arm). The right leg will be bent and turned towards the dumbbell. Grab the dumbbell with the right hand. Snatch the dumbbell upward, as your body pivots to the right side. Your head will make a 180-degree turn throughout the movement (you begin facing your left, and end facing the right). Pivot both feet as you rotate from left to right. Work both sides evenly.

This movement is more challenging than the traditional snatch. You will not be able to handle as much weight. This exercise will develop tremendous strength throughout the hips (video available).

The Twisting Snatch is illustrated on Page 52.

Twisting Snatch

Dumbbell Swing - Begin by squatting down over a dumbbell with the feet shoulder width apart. The thighs will be approximately parallel to the floor. The eyes will look straight ahead. From this position, you will stand up while swinging the weight upward and out, until overhead. You will swing the weight by driving the hips forward.

Once the dumbbell is overhead, you have two options. You can follow the exact path down, returning the dumbbell between the legs, or you can lower the dumbbell to your shoulder first, before lowering it back to the ground. The latter variation can be useful when training with a heavy dumbbell (video available).

Double Dumbbell Swing - This variation involves two dumbbells. You will swing two dumbbells at once. For this movement, you should assume a slightly wider than shoulder width stance. You will need the wider stance to accommodate two dumbbells.

Swing both dumbbells overhead with the exact motion used during the one-arm swing. When swinging two dumbbells, use a combined weight that is more than the weight used during one-arm dumbbell swings. For example, if you swing 60 pounds with one hand, you should use 35 or 40-pound (or heavier) dumbbells during the double swing, bringing the combined total to 70 or more pounds. The added weight will dramatically strengthen the hips (video available).

Side View (End)

Lunge Twist - The Lunge Twist can be performed with a variety of weighted objects (medicine ball, sandbag, barbell plate). Hold the weight at chest level. Lunge forward, and twist towards your lead leg, bringing the weight to your side. This exercise is excellent for the core. Work both sides evenly (video available).

Step-ups - Hold dumbbells by your side. Step one foot onto a bench or secure platform. This foot will remain on top of the bench as you step up with the opposite leg. In the illustration below, my left foot begins on top of the bench. I then step up with my right leg. Next, I lower my right leg back to the floor and continue working this side. The left leg does not come off of the bench until my right side is finished with the set (ex. 8 reps). I then switch legs, placing my right foot on top of the bench, while exercising the left leg.

This movement develops tremendous strength throughout the hips.

Core Movements

Deadlift Twist - This exercise should be performed with a heavy dumbbell. This movement is tremendous for the core musculature.

Begin with the feet shoulder width apart. Squat down with the back flat and grab the dumbbell. Stand up while twisting to your opposing side. You will carry the dumbbell throughout an arc until it reaches your opposite side (ex. right to left side). Lower the weight to the floor outside of your foot. Now grasp the dumbbell with your other hand and repeat the motion back to the other side.

Continue in this back and forth fashion (video available).

Illustration provided on page 55.

Russian Twist - Twist from side to side with the arms extended. Add resistance by holding a weight or medicine ball. Maintain a semi-crunch position to keep tension on the abs. Keep your eyes focused on the weight. You can increase the intensity of the Russian Twist by performing the movement from an incline (highly recommended).

Russian Twist from slant board:

Russian Twist from Swiss ball:

Weighted Sit-up (incline or flat) - Secure your feet under the brace of an incline sit-up board. Lie in the supine position while holding a weight against the chest or behind the head. Perform full range sit-ups, all the way up, and all the way down. If you place the weight behind your head, remember to pull with the abdominal muscles, not with your hands. I prefer to keep the weight behind my head as it adds to the difficulty of the movement.

Weighted Sit-up (flat):

Notice how the dumbbell is held behind my head. The dumbbell simply rests behind the head. I do not pull forward with my hands. Let your abdominal muscles perform the work required to complete the full sit-up.

You can add to the intensity by twisting the elbow to knee. For example, twist left elbow to right knee for the first repetition, and then right elbow to left knee for the second repetition.

V-ups (medicine ball variation) - Start from a lying position with the arms extended behind the head. Contract the core, as you thrust the legs and arms together. Your body will come together like the letter "V". Do not allow your feet to touch the ground between repetitions to maintain tension on the abs.

You can hold a weight or medicine ball to increase difficulty.

Knee Hugs - Start from a lying position with a medicine ball or barbell plate (optional) in hands. Thrust your upper and lower body together until you "hug" your knees. Do not allow your feet to touch the ground between repetitions to maintain tension on the abs. You can also perform this movement without weighted resistance.

Superman - Begin lying face down, with arms and legs fully extended. Lift your arms and legs from the ground so you resemble Superman flying through the air. You can increase the difficulty of this movement by holding a weight while performing this movement.

Plank - The Plank is a tremendous exercise to develop the abdominal wall. Start in a pushup position, and then drop your elbows to the ground. Only your forearms and toes should touch the ground. Keep the back straight and hold.

Seated Twist - Start with a medicine ball or weight behind your back. Rotate to your right, pick up the ball. Then rotate left until you place the ball behind your back. The ball will make a circle around your body. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions, and then reverse the direction of the exercise (ex. 12 to the right, and 12 to the left).

Side Bend - Side Bends are excellent for strengthening the outer oblique areas. Grab a heavy dumbbell in one hand. Bend slowly from side to side without bending forward or backward. You can rest the non-dumbbell hand by your side, or behind your head. If placed behind your head, do NOT pull with this hand. The arm should simply rest behind the head. Use the abdominal muscles to initiate this movement.

Full Contact Twist (Barbell Twist) - Load a barbell on one side, placing the empty end in a corner. In the illustration below, I have placed the barbell's end against a sandbag to prevent it from sliding (and to avoid damaging the wall).

Grab the bar from its end. With straight arms, and a slight bend in the knees, rotate to one side. Pivot on the balls of the feet as you turn. Keep the midsection tensed, using the torso and hips to initiate the movement. Twist left, return to the starting position, and then twist right. Work both sides evenly (video available).

Full Contact Twist Variation:

There are several variations to the Full Contact Twist. Below I have illustrated one variation. You will begin with the barbell held just off of the ground. The legs will be bent, the back straight, as you look forward. From this position, pivot the hips and turn on the balls of your feet, as you reach the upright position. Upon reaching the finish position, return the barbell to the start position in a controlled fashion and continue. You will work one side at a time (ex. 6 from left to right, then 6 from right to left) (video available).

Turkish Get-Up -This exercise is excellent for the core. Lie on your back with a dumbbell extended overhead. Maintain a straight arm throughout the movement. Stand up without bending the arm. You can turn to the side to get up on one knee, and then proceed to stand. Train one arm at a time (ex. 5 right, then 5 left). You can use a barbell or sandbag for added difficulty.

Explosive Movements

Plyometric Pushup - Perform a traditional pushup and explode the upper body into the air. Add a handclap while in the air to increase the difficultly.

When performing these pushups, minimize ground time. You should explode off the ground as fast as possible. Focus on maximum intensity.


Certain workouts in this program call for advanced plyometric pushup variations. You can perform any of the following variations.

Pushup Depth Jump - Begin in a pushup position with a platform positioned beside each shoulder. The platform should be approximately 6 inches high. Start with your hands on the ground. Thrust yourself into the air, landing on the raised platform (cement blocks in the picture). Immediately, spring back into the air, landing with your hands on the floor. Continue at a fast pace, minimizing ground contact.

Weighted Vest - You can add to the intensity of the plyometric pushup by wearing a weighted vest while performing the exercise. Do not exceed 10% of your bodyweight when training with these plyometric pushups. I typically use 10 pounds. More is not better when training for explosive speed. These movements must be fast, minimizing ground contact.

Elevated Feet - You can elevate your feet to increase range of motion. In the illustration below, I have elevated my feet, while wearing a weighted vest. This is an excellent (advanced) variation to the plyometric pushup.

Power Over - Power Overs are another variation to consider when performing plyometric pushups. This movement is similar to the traditional plyometric pushup in terms of difficulty. Use a basketball or medicine ball for this exercise. Begin with one hand on the ball, one hand on the floor. Thrust your torso up as if you were performing a pushup. Your torso will be propelled into the air. The hand that started on the ball will head to the floor, while the hand from the floor is thrust upward to the ball.

There will be a split second where the hand that started on the ball is airborne heading down, while the hand from the floor is heading up towards the top of the ball. As soon as your hand reaches the floor, quickly drop down into a pushup position. Immediately explode back up, once again lifting the hands from the floor. Your hands will thrust side to side, from the floor to the ball.

Medicine Ball Training

The following exercises are performed with a medicine ball. I recommend a medicine ball that weighs 10-15 pounds for these exercises. Your focus must be maximal speed throughout the movement. Do not assume that a heavier medicine ball is better. Do not allow your ego to dictate the weight of the medicine ball. If you use too heavy a ball, you will sacrifice speed, which is the true objective of this form of training.

You can perform these exercises with a partner, or alone by throwing the ball against a solid surface such as a cement wall. You will see in the training videos that I throw the medicine ball against a wall. I use a non-bouncing rubber medicine ball. I am able to throw the ball with maximum force without it bouncing out of control.

Chest Pass - Begin with the medicine ball held by your chest. Extend both arms and forcefully propel the ball forward (video available).

Shot Put Throw - Begin with the right foot in back and the ball behind your face. Twist the hips and thrust the ball forward. Pivot off your back foot as if you were punching. Perform this exercise for both hands. You will find that your weak hand may feel uncoordinated at first. For example, if you are right handed, it may feel awkward to perform this exercise with your left arm delivering the throw. This exercise closely mimics the act punching. Be sure to explode with great force to achieve maximum results (video available).

Shot Put Throw (continued)

Overhand Throw - Begin with the medicine ball held behind the head with arms bent. Throw the ball forward as if you were throwing a soccer ball into play (video available).

Slam - Start with ball held overhead. Slam the ball to the ground as hard as possible. If you use a bouncing medicine ball, be careful to avoid rebounding the ball back at your face. Tilt your head out of the way if the ball bounces up (video available).

Side Throw - Begin with ball behind you and to the side, from a sideways stance. Forcefully rotate the hips as you throw the ball across the body (video available).

Twist Throw - Begin facing a wall (as opposed to the sideways stance used for the Side Throw). Rotate to one side, as you pivot on the balls of the feet. Explode back to the center as you propel the ball against the wall. Catch the ball and repeat to the opposite side. Continue back and forth with a brisk pace, focusing on maximal intensity with each throw. This exercise will develop the rotational strength required for power punching (video available).

Mini-Ball Drills

The following exercises are performed with a "mini-medicine ball" (also known as a fitness ball). These balls are small enough to grasp with one hand, commonly weighing 5 or 6 pounds. These weighted balls are inexpensive and effective. You can purchase a 5-pound ball for less than $10. When selecting a ball, choose one that is small enough to grasp with one hand. There are video clips available where I demonstrate these drills with a 5-pound ball.

Mini-Ball Punching- Assume your boxing stance with ball in hand. You will be required to train both sides (left and right arm). You will assume the southpaw stance when training the left arm (right foot in front), and the conventional stance when training the right arm (left foot in front as illustrated on page 68). Pivot on the ball of your back foot, as your arm fires the ball forward with the motion of a punch. Turn the shoulder and release the ball with maximal intensity.

Mini-Ball Punching (continued)

This movement is very similar to the previously described Shot Put Throw, except there is no assistance from the non-working hand. The mini-ball must be small enough to hold with one hand. This will allow you to closely simulate the motion of an actual punch. This exercise is an excellent example of sport-specific movement. By using the smaller medicine ball, you can perfectly mimic the motion of punching. You will perform this exercise at top speed, without deceleration. This movement is one of the best for improving explosive speed when punching (video available).

In Step 3, the non-bouncing ball falls to the ground, rather than bouncing out of control. Pick it up (or catch it) and continue.

Mini-Ball Jab - You can also use the mini-ball to improve your jab. Fire the ball forward as if you were throwing the jab. Work the left and right side. This movement will develop the speed required for a whip-like jab (video available).

Lateral Jump - Jump back and forth over an object (such as a sandbag or medicine ball). Minimize contact with the ground. Focus on quick, powerful bursts into the air. Upon landing, immediately explode back into the air, in the opposite direction. Continue at a brisk pace, maximizing height with each jump.

Lateral Jumps will be used in conjunction with certain strength training exercises throughout the program.

Knee Tucks - Begin in a semi-squat position with your knees slightly bent. Jump as high as you can, bringing your knees to your chest at the top of the jump. Minimize contact with the ground.

Knee Tucks can be used in place of Lateral Jumps.

Punch Out Drills

Weeks 1-3 include a series of "punch out " drills. Your goal is to throw as many punches as possible during a timed interval (20 or 30 seconds). These drills will be performed with 1-3 pound hand weights. You can use light dumbbells or hand weights that fit around the hand (video available).

A similar drill has been used at US Olympic training camps. One drill was described as follows:

"The boxer attempts to throw as many punches as possible during a 30 second time period holding a light pair of dumbbells. The athlete will rest for 60 seconds and then repeat the process for three sets. As the conditioning level of the boxer improves the number of sets and/or the length of the sets can be increased."

These drills will condition the boxer to throw top speed punches for brief intervals. This style of training will increase the athlete's work capacity. These work capacity drills will prepare you for Weeks 4-6.

Uppercut Drills

Using 3-5 pounds, you will throw rapid-fire uppercuts with the left and right hand. You can perform this drill with the feet parallel. You can handle slightly more weight for this "punching" drill. Most athletes can use 5 pounds without problems (video available).

Hand Speed Drills

Weeks 4-6 will consist of several brief hand speed drills utilizing the following combinations:

  • Jab - Cross - Jab - Cross (1-2-1-2)
  • Cross - Hook - Cross - Hook (2-3-2-3)
  • Uppercut - Hook - Uppercut - Hook (4-3-4-3)

Conventional Fighter (left foot in front, jabs with left hand)

  • Jab = 1
  • Straight Right Hand (Cross) = 2
  • Left Hook = 3
  • Right Uppercut = 4

Southpaw Fighter (right foot in front, jabs with right hand)

  • Jab = 1
  • Straight Left Hand (Cross) = 2
  • Right Hook = 3
  • Left Uppercut = 4

During Week 4, you will throw 4-punch combinations (ex. 1-2-1-2). During Week 5, you will throw 6-punch combinations (ex. 1-2-1-2-1-2). During Week 6, you will throw 8-punch combinations (ex. 1-2-1-2-1-2-1-2).

Each combination must be thrown at top speed. You will throw one combination, and then take a few seconds to regroup, prior to continuing. It is imperative that you rest between combinations. During Weeks 4-6, you must throw each combination at top speed. These drills are designed to increase hand speed, not improve endurance. To improve speed, you must be completely rested between combinations (video available).

Track and Field coaches commonly use a 1:4 work-to-rest ratio when training for speed. These extended rest periods are imperative to prevent lactate build-up, which will hamper explosiveness.

Consider that a 4-punch combination can be thrown in less than 1-second. Based on this knowledge, your rest period should be approximately 4-5 seconds between combinations. Certain athletes may require more rest.

You can see me demonstrate these punching drills through the video clips that accompany this training program. You will notice that I throw a combination and then regroup, taking a few seconds to rest between combos. This brief rest period is crucial when training for speed. Keep the punch count minimal, the intensity maximal, and the rest periods adequate.

Supplementary Exercises

Note - The following movements are not included in this six-week program. These movements can serve as possible supplements or additions. The first two exercises involve a homemade tornado ball (a medicine ball attached to a ropelike extension). In the video clips, you will see how I perform these movements by securing a medicine ball inside a basketball net, which has been tied off with a leather shoelace. The net is then secured to an attachment. In the illustrations below, I have used a pant leg from a pair of sweat pants.

Wall Rotations - Begin by standing approximately one foot away from a brick or cement wall. Your back will face the wall with a slight bend in the knees. Begin to swing the ball back and forth, smashing it against the wall on each side. Perform this exercise in an explosive manner. This exercise will develop tremendous rotational power (video available).

You can use this exercise to substitute the Side Throw or Side Twist Throw.

Overhand Smash - Stand with legs slightly wider than shoulder width. Begin with ball hanging behind head. Smash the ball forward to the ground in front of you. This movement can substitute the Medicine Ball Slam or Overhand Throw (video available).

Dumbbell Shot Put - This movement is sure to attract the attention of onlookers. With that said, this is an effective exercise for explosive punching power. As with the medicine ball, there is no deceleration with this movement. You will shot put the dumbbell as far as possible. I recommend using a dumbbell that weighs between 10 and 25 pounds, depending on your size and strength. Work both arms. Your non-dominant arm will feel awkward at first, but these movements will develop coordination (video available).

You can use this exercise to substitute certain medicine ball exercises (ex. Shot Put Throw, Chest Pass, Overhand Throw). A sample workout that combines the sledgehammer and Dumbbell Shot Put is listed below.

Sledgehammer Swinging - The sledgehammer is an excellent supplement to a boxer's training routine. Common sledgehammer sizes include 10, 12, and 16 pounds. You can purchase a sledgehammer at any hardware store for approximately $2 per pound. You can swing the sledge against a large rubber tire. In most instances, you can find a used tire for free at a tire shop.

Sample Outdoor Session:

  • 3 x 6 Dumbbell Shot Put (each set includes 6 throws per arm)
  • 6 x 10 Sledgehammer Swings (10 from right to left, 10 from left to right)
  • 3 x 10 Plyometric Pushups

This workout can substitute a plyometric training session. I highly recommend a regular dose of the Dumbbell Shot Put and sledgehammer.

Sledgehammer continued...

To swing the hammer, one hand will remain stationary at the bottom of the handle. In Step 1, this is my left hand. The sledge starts on my right side, and travels across my body. My right hand slides down the sledge, away from the stationary hand as it is loaded behind my right shoulder. The hand then slides back towards the stationary hand during the downward motion. As you can see in Step 3, both hands are touching, at the end of the handle (video available).

When you position yourself behind the tire, you should assume a staggered stance, with one foot slightly in front of the other. In the illustration, you can see my left foot is closest to the tire (while swinging from the right side). This stance allows me to generate more hip action on the downward portion of the swing. My hips pivot forcefully as the sledgehammer descends. You can generate even more power by pivoting on the balls of the feet. With this style of swinging, you will be able to handle a heavy sledgehammer.

Begin by swinging from the right side for 10 reps, then swing from your left side for 10 reps. When swinging from left to right, your right foot will be closest to the tire. Continue to alternate sides every 10 swings (10 right, 10 left, etc.).

It will feel natural to start the sledgehammer from your dominant side. For example, I am right handed, so it is natural for me to swing from right to left. It may feel awkward to swing the sledgehammer from your weak side. One of the benefits of sledgehammer training is its ability to even out your left and right sides. You will become more coordinated with your non-dominant hand.