Is Calisthenics Good For Boxing?

calisthenic workout before boxing

Getting stronger and faster in boxing will take more than just consistent sparring and heavy bag workouts. Incorporating other forms of workouts that are outside of boxing would be necessary if you’re looking to improve. Lets take a look at calisthenic and try to answer if calisthenics good for boxing?

Exercises that help build strength and range of motion are workouts that should be implemented to any boxers routine. Calisthenics would be a great choice as all the exercises are bodyweight oriented and requires the athlete to manage their bodies full range as well as develop a strong core.

By nature, calisthenics will improve flexibility, agility and being explosive. And if you’re boxing, all these are important in improving your skill level.

What is Calisthenics?

Calisthenics or “street workout” is types of exercises that uses only your own body weight as the main form of resistance. Some common types of equipment that you might use are pull up bars, dip bars or resistance bands.

Weights such as barbells and dumbbells are not considered calisthenics. However, they are sometimes times used as a form of creating extra resistance for an exercise.

For example, if a regular pull up is becoming less challenging. Calisthenic athletes often use a weighted vest, or a dip belt with dumbbells tied to it, in order to increase the resistance.

muscle training for boxing

Why Calisthenics Is Good For Boxing

Many exercises that boxer have in their regular training is already considered calisthenics. If you have been boxing for many years, either as an exercise or pro fighting, and are just starting on calisthenics. You might be surprised that what you are doing already falls into the same category.

Push ups, sit ups to jumping jacks and mountain climbers are likely already in your boxing workout routine. If they are, then great. You may even want to consider some progression work outs that would further build your strength, range of motion and flexibility.

What makes calisthenics such a complimentary style work out is that the exercises performed keeps your body in motion. You typically wouldn’t be working on one area of your body while another part is resting.

Calisthenics engages your full body potential with every workout. And with boxing the demands are the same.

Some Benefits of Calisthenics and How It Relates to Boxing

  1. Strength. What makes calisthenics strength training different from free weights is how you perform the exercise. Because you’re involving your whole body when strength training with calisthenics, you’re not only building muscles. There’s also a level of mobility that will test your body and build stabilizing muscles as well as improve your joints and flexibility.
  2. Core. A strong core in boxing, is just as important as a strong core in calisthenics. The idea of developing your core to improve overall remains true with the two. Calisthenics and boxing requires full body movements that is centred around your mid area. Building your core will help with your movement and ability to excel in the two disciplines.
  3. Explosiveness. Speed and power is what many boxers continue to improve on and strive for. As you get further with calisthenics, you will find that the workouts begin to transition or progress into improving your explosive energy. For example, push ups workouts turn into explosive push ups. Requiring you to perform a push up and at the same time pushing yourself off the ground. Having these types of workouts outside of boxing training will help teach your body to create the maximum amount of force in a shorter amount of time.
  4. Flexibility. Many calisthenic workouts are similar to how a gymnast would train. There is actually very few differences between the two. Gymnasts would likely train in a gym with foam mats where as calisthenic athletes are typically outdoors. Although gymnast and calisthenic athlete would probably be training for different goals. Some of the results remain the same with strength and flexibility being just some of the similar results.

How Often Should You Do Calisthenics For Boxing

Although a calisthenics can be done everyday as a daily workout. If you already have a boxing workout routine, its probably best to schedule out which you would be doing in order for you to not overload too much on one day. If you usually have long and extensive workouts for either, you would want your body to rest for a day or two.

Bottom line. You need to take a look at what you’re already doing and plan on doing. Boxing workouts can already be a lot to manage for one day.

If you already have set and scheduled boxing exercises that are pretty intensive on their own. You can fit in a full calisthenic workout on the off days. Or change your workouts weekly to give yourself some space to focus on what you’re specifically working on.

If you prefer to blend the two together, you might want to use one form of exercise as a warm up to the other. For example, using jump rope or shadow boxing as a warm up and then going into your bodyweight workout. Or doing some push ups and sit ups before diving into a full out boxing workout.

Doing both as a full body workout may be a bit much at one go. Remember, in order to be effective and reduce chances of injury, you would want to give your body some rest in between.

Is Calisthenics Better Than Weights For Boxing

If you’re looking to just build strength. There really isn’t much of a difference between the calisthenics and weights. Both will give help increase your strength.

If you’re looking for a complementary fitness style to boxing. A workout style that can improve strength AND speed. Among other things. Calisthenics would be a perfect fit to your boxing routine.

Looking at the two ways of exercise. With weights you’re often stationary when performing an exercise. For example with bicep curls or when at a press machine. Typically you would be sitting down or standing on the spot to use the equipment.

With Calisthenics, many exercises will have some range of motion or require you to really control the areas of your body that are not being worked on. Because it’s all about body weight as resistance you will never be completely stagnant.

For your workouts to be performed properly, a lot of the time you will be working on perfecting your form and by doing that you inadvertently create better body control and mobility.


Focusing on calisthenic workouts while boxing would work together seamlessly. In fact, you will likely benefit and increase your fitness when working on the two.

If you find yourself needing to improve coordination, flexibility, endurance, and balance. Calisthenics would be a fun workout and foundation to build your skill level in all those areas.

Keep in mind to not overload too much in one workout. Both workouts put together in one session could be too much for beginners. And to have a better chance at avoiding injury you may want to create a schedule with alternating workouts.

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