How To Strengthen Your Wrists For Boxing

If you want to train like a boxer, prepare to do more than just hit the bag (How To Train Like Boxer - Beginner’s Guide).

Having flexible, strong wrists will decrease the risk of injury in boxing. Boxing beginners should avoid hitting the bag with their full power until they have bolstered their wrist strength. It is important to also use both wraps and gloves to stabilize wrists.

You can increase the power of your punches as your wrists become more conditioned to handle the impact.

How Do You Strengthen Weak Wrists?

Your wrists are very intricate joints. To strengthen your wrists, you need a multi-faceted approach to target both the muscles and tendons. Wrist strengthening is accomplished with a combination of strength and resistance training, as well as flexibility exercises.

Most of the most effective wrist strengthening exercises are familiar moves that are just slightly modified to target the wrists. Moves such as push-ups, side planks, and even burpees will build strength in the wrists just by being performed on the knuckles.
FightCamp Trainer Flo Master's Wrist Strengthening Workout Video

How Do Boxers Strengthen Their Wrists?

Even seasoned fighters can risk injury. Boxers of all experience levels use a variety of targeted wrist exercises to avoid any mishaps. Basic knuckle push-ups, for example, safely mimic the impact of hitting a punching bag while strengthening the wrists.

Over time, boxers will develop stronger fast-twitch muscle fibers throughout their wrists and arms that help stabilize the joints. This also increases their speed and punching power.

What Exercises Strengthen Your Wrists?

Boxers use many different training methods to achieve their personal best and strengthening the wrists is an extremely important element (How Boxers Train For a Fight). Many of the most effective methods of wrist strengthening will also build overall strength as an added bonus.

Common wrist strengthening exercises include: wrist curls, wrist rotations, knuckle push-ups, and chin ups.

Flexion and Extension Exercises

This is a wrist-focused approach to improve elasticity by stretching the tendons.

  • Lay your arm on a table while positioning your palm upright just off the edge
  • Use your other hand to gently bend your wrist down until you feel a good stretch
  • Hold for 5-10 seconds
  • Release and return your wrist to a straight position
  • Bend your wrist up this time and hold for another 5-10 seconds
  • Repeat 20 times
  • Switch hands and repeat the exercise

Strength and Resistance Exercises

Using weights (dumbbells or your body weight) and resistance will help build strength. Try these four (4) strength training exercises in addition to stretching to increase wrist strength:

1. Wrist Curls

  • Lay your arm on a table while positioning your palm upright just off the edge
  • Hold a very light weight (1 or 2 lbs. to start)
  • Curl your wrist upwards and lower it back to starting position
  • Repeat 10 times for each wrist

2. Knuckle Push-ups

  • Use a mat or towel to cushion your knuckles
  • Assume a push-up position with your legs outstretched balanced on your toes (or rest on your knees for a modified push-up)
  • Make a loose fist with both of your hands, supporting your upper body on your knuckles instead of your palms
  • Complete 10-20 push-ups

3. Wrist Rotations

  • Stand or sit with your arms bent at the elbow 90-degrees in front of your body
  • Start with your palms facing inward
  • Hold light weights or a resistance band with both hands
  • Slowly rotate your wrists outward and inward for 10 repetitions

4. Chin-ups

  • Using a chin-up bar, grab the bar with your palms facing towards you
  • Using only your full arm strength, pull your body weight as far up as you can
  • Slowly release down until your arms are fully extended
  • Repeat 10-20 times

How Do I Strengthen My Hands For Punching?

While wrist exercises will help to strengthen your hands, grip exercises are also a great way to target the muscles and tendons from your wrists to the tips of your fingers.

Try these two (2) moves to increase hand and grip strength:

1. Squeeze Ball Exercises

You can strengthen your grip easily using a tennis ball or similar size ball. Simply practice gripping it, squeezing tight, and releasing the ball for 20 repetitions with each hand.

2. Kettlebell Exercises

Kettlebells are a great tool for enhancing grip, working the forearms, wrists, and hands. Use light-weight kettlebells instead of dumbbells to work on your wrist curls or wrist rotations for an added challenge.

Does Boxing Make Your Wrists Stronger?

Yes! Boxing will make your wrists stronger, but only if done safely. As a boxer, you should incorporate additional wrist strengthening exercises in your routine to increase stability and power.

Wrist strengthening for boxing is important to prevent injury, improve accuracy, and increase power. Adding a few simple exercises to your boxing workout will increase wrist strength and flexibility, helping you take your whole boxing routine to the next level!

Related Articles

How To Condition Your Hands For Boxing: Boxer's Hand Exercises
How To Protect Your Hands While Boxing: Boxer's Hand Care
Best Punching (Heavy) Bag Boxing Gloves
How To Use Boxing Hand Wraps: For Beginners
9 BEST Upper Body Mobility Stretches For Peak Performance
Why You Should Start Training With a Punching Bag
30-Minute At-Home Boxing Workout For Beginners

The Author: Tommy Duquette is the Co-Founder and Head of Content at FightCamp. He is a former US Boxing Team member with 136 fights under his belt and qualified for the 2012 Olympic trials as the #2 seed. He has 18 years of experience training clients in boxing and fitness. Tommy is also USA Boxing Coach certified.