Why Do Boxers Run With Weights? [Explained]

Have you ever wondered why boxers incorporate running with weights into their training routines? It may seem counterintuitive to add extra weight when running, but there’s a method to this madness.

In this article, we’ll delve into the reasons why boxers run with weights, exploring the benefits, techniques, and potential risks associated with this practice.

So, lace up your sneakers, put on your gloves, and let’s dive in!

Why Do People Run With Weights in Their Hands?

First things first.

Before we specifically address boxers, let’s first understand why some people choose to run with weights in their hands.

Running with handheld weights, such as dumbbells or weighted gloves, has gained popularity as a means to increase the intensity of cardiovascular workouts and strengthen the upper body simultaneously.

By carrying weights while running, individuals aim to challenge their muscles further, leading to increased calorie burn and potential improvements in endurance and strength.

However, it’s essential to exercise caution when using weights during running to avoid injury or strain on the joints.

Why Do Boxers Run With Weights in the Morning?

Now that we have a grasp on the concept of running with weights, let’s focus on why boxers, in particular, choose to incorporate this practice into their morning routines.

The early morning runs are a common training ritual among boxers, and running with weights adds an extra layer of difficulty and purpose.

One primary reason boxers run with weights in the morning is to enhance their overall strength and conditioning. By running with added weight, they increase the resistance and demand on their muscles, forcing them to adapt and become more resilient.

This intense workout aids in building stamina, cardiovascular endurance, and the mental fortitude required in the boxing ring.

Moreover, running with weights in the morning helps boxers kickstart their day with an energy boost.

It invigorates their bodies and minds, setting a positive tone for the rest of their training sessions and daily activities.

Why Do Boxers Run With Weights: User Opinions

Now let’s what people with experience in boxing advice on running with weights in boxing:

Suggests using a weighted vest instead of running with weights.
Mentions that shadowboxing with weights can achieve similar results and suggests that one week away from training won’t affect progress.
States that running with weights helps develop arm strength and the ability to keep arms up but doesn’t improve cardio for striking. Suggests alternative weight/cardio circuits.
Suggests swimming or using a rowing machine instead of impact exercises with added weight.
Encourages getting back into training, implying that running with weights may not be necessary.
Comments that striking and MMA are primarily aerobic-alactic and suggests shadowboxing with weights at an appropriate intensity.
Advises against running with two ten pound dumbbells and suggests using a weighted vest instead.
Supports the suggestion of using a weighted vest instead of running with dumbbells.
States that running with 10 lb dumbbells in each hand is not advisable and suggests using 2-3 pound hand weights for toning without bulking up.
Agrees with Rockin’ and suggests running with 2-5 lb weights.
Suggests using a 40-pound adjustable weighted vest instead of dumbbells for a leg workout and improved stamina.
Mentions that running with a weighted vest would provide a good leg workout and improve stamina.
Comments that running with a weighted vest would be good for endurance.

Is Shadowboxing with Weights Good?

Shadowboxing, a staple exercise in boxing training, involves throwing punches and practicing defensive movements without a physical opponent.

It’s an excellent way for boxers to refine their technique, footwork, and speed.

But what happens when weights are added to this equation?

Shadowboxing with weights can be beneficial if done correctly and in moderation. The added weight increases the resistance and intensifies the workout, providing an opportunity for boxers to develop more power and stability in their punches.

However, it’s crucial to strike a balance. Using excessively heavy weights or performing excessive repetitions can lead to fatigue and compromise form, potentially increasing the risk of injury.

As with any exercise, it’s important to listen to your body, start with lighter weights, and gradually increase the intensity as your strength and technique improve.

Does Punching with Weights Increase Speed?

Speed is an essential component of a boxer’s arsenal. The ability to deliver quick and precise punches can often be the difference between victory and defeat in the ring.

So, does punching with weights contribute to an increase in speed?

Punching with weights can indeed help improve speed, but it requires a strategic approach. Boxers can incorporate weighted gloves or wrist weights during their punching drills to increase resistance.

By doing so, they engage their muscles more intensely, building strength and power.

However, it’s important to note that speed in boxing is not solely dependent on muscle strength but also relies on coordination, technique, and agility.

Therefore, while punching with weights can be a valuable training tool, boxers must also focus on refining their technique and maintaining proper form to maximize their speed and efficiency.

Does Punching with Weights Build Muscle?

Building muscle is another aspect that many boxers aim to achieve through their training regimens.

While boxing primarily focuses on developing functional strength and explosive power, the question of whether punching with weights contributes to muscle growth arises.

Punching with weights can certainly help strengthen and tone the muscles involved in boxing movements. The added resistance stimulates muscle fibers, promoting growth and development.

However, it’s important to remember that boxing is a sport that emphasizes lean muscle mass and agility, rather than excessive bulk.

To build muscle effectively, boxers often incorporate a combination of weightlifting exercises, bodyweight movements, and targeted strength training routines into their overall training plan.

This comprehensive approach ensures a well-rounded development of muscular strength, endurance, and power, tailored specifically to the demands of the sport.

Types of Weights Used for Running

There are several types of weights that boxers use when running. Each type has its own pros and cons depending on the specific training needs of the boxer.

Ankle Weights

Ankle weights are a popular form of resistance used by many boxers. They are worn around the ankles and come in different weights ranging from one to ten pounds each.

One benefit of ankle weights is that they provide resistance while maintaining the natural stride pattern, which means that they preserve your running form while still increasing leg strength and endurance.

However, wearing ankle weights can also increase the risk of injury if worn excessively or with improper form.

Weighted Vests

Weighted vests are another popular option for boxers engaging in weighted running exercises. The vests come in different sizes and can be loaded with varying amounts of weight depending on the desired level of resistance.

Using weighted vests helps increase overall body strength and power while improving cardiovascular fitness, but it can also put additional strain on joints, especially if used excessively or with poor form.

Hand Weights

Boxers also use hand weights during their runs to help build upper body strength as well as leg strength. Hand weights range from one to five pounds each and can be held during a run to add extra resistance to upper body movements such as arm swings, shoulder rotations, and punches.

However, using hand weights incorrectly can lead to muscle fatigue or injury from overuse.

Choosing between ankle weights, weighted vests, or handweights ultimately depends on an individual’s training goals and physical capability.

It is essential to consult with a trainer before incorporating any type of additional weight into your training routine.

Additional Information: Benefits of Running with Weights

To provide you with a comprehensive overview, let’s summarize some of the key benefits of running with weights:

  1. Increased Calorie Burn: Running with weights adds resistance and elevates the intensity of your workout, resulting in higher calorie expenditure and potential weight loss.
  2. Enhanced Upper Body Strength: The added weight during running engages your arms, shoulders, and upper back, providing a simultaneous cardiovascular and upper body strength training session.
  3. Improved Bone Density: Running with weights stimulates bone health, as the added load increases the impact on your bones, potentially reducing the risk of osteoporosis.
  4. Mental Toughness: Running with weights challenges your mental resilience, helping you develop determination, discipline, and the ability to push through physical and mental barriers.


Why do boxers lift weights?

Boxers lift weights to improve their overall strength, explosive power, and endurance. Weightlifting exercises complement their boxing training, enhancing muscular development and functional strength.


Running with weights has become a popular training method among boxers, serving various purposes such as strengthening muscles, improving endurance, and building mental toughness.

However, it’s essential to approach this practice with caution, ensuring that the weights used are appropriate and the technique is sound. Remember, a well-rounded training regimen, including a combination of running, shadowboxing, and other strength-building exercises, will contribute to a boxer’s overall performance in the ring.

So, if you’re considering incorporating running with weights into your training routine, consult with a professional trainer to design a program tailored to your individual needs and goals. Now, get out there, put on your running shoes, and start punching through your limits!

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