Does Boxing Help Biceps?
While throwing punches in the ring is certainly an exercise that benefits the biceps, a boxing match itself is too random to count toward building biceps strength and definition. However, training for boxing involves many activities and exercises that can help build strength in the upper body, shoulders and biceps. Boxers use strategies that burn fat and build power and endurance.
The boxer uses the speed bag to develop crisp punching habits, hand speed, quickness and endurance. Punching the speed bag regularly helps build strength and definition in the biceps. Most boxers use the speed bag to develop a sharp left jab and a speedy right hand. To work the biceps, throw those punches for 3 minutes at a time -- this mimics the time in a boxing round -- and then take a 1-minute break. Repeat the drill. Do this twice every session when you are in the boxing gym.
The heavy bag helps a boxer develop punching power. This is a function of physical strength, but muscular power is not enough to give a fighter a hard punch. If that was the case, weightlifters and bodybuilders would also be boxers. The heavy bag teaches the boxer to throw punches by getting his body weight and momentum behind the blow. Your arms have to throw punches like pistons -- and that will help develop your biceps. Hit the heavy bag for three 3-minute rounds, taking a 1-minute break between rounds. Repeat the drill.
Boxers have been jumping rope to develop speed, quickness and timing in the ring since the early part of the 20th century. Rope jumping is also a great fat-cutting exercise and boxers take advantage of this aspect as well. When fighters cut fat, it makes the muscles stand out, including those in the biceps. The process of turning the rope builds up the wrists, lower arms and biceps. Jump rope for at least 10 minutes per training session in the gym.
Shadowboxing and Sparring
All boxers have to get in the ring against a live opponent to see where they stand before a boxing match. Prior to sparring, you shadowbox in the ring or in front of a mirror. Shadowboxing promotes proper technique while punching. When you are practicing throwing punches against air or in front of a mirror, you are working out your core muscles, upper body and biceps. Sparring against a live opponent usually consists of 3 to 5 rounds of boxing. This also helps develop powerful biceps.
Steve Silverman is an award-winning writer, covering sports since 1980. Silverman authored The Minnesota Vikings: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly and Who's Better, Who's Best in Football -- The Top 60 Players of All-Time, among others, and placed in the Pro Football Writers of America awards three times. Silverman holds a Master of Science in journalism from the Medill School of Journalism.