Shoulder presses are an essential exercise for boxers.
Strong shoulders are essential for the success of a boxer in the ring. An effective shoulder workout for boxing will focus on developing fast-twitch muscle fibers for increased reflex response while maintaining flexibility and encouraging a wide range of motion for all rotational planes of the shoulder joints.
Reps and Sets
To develop the functional power and strength in the shoulders, structure the workout in a way that splits your routine into two categories each week. On your first shoulder day, focus on developing power by emphasizing quick bursts of activity, rather than taking a slow and methodical approach. Do this with straight sets of each exercise, with 12 to 15 repetitions in each set, while using a medium amount of weight. For the second shoulder day in the week, shift your focus to building strength. For each of the same exercises, go heavy with a half-pyramid set system, where you begin with a set of eight reps and then reduce the number of reps while increasing the poundage for each successive set. Stop after your fifth set.
Front and Side Raises
Raises to the front and to the sides develop strength and power that support arm rotation. For either type of raise, you can use dumbbells, kettlebells or free-weight plates. For balance and grip, kettlebells or dumbbells may be easiest to use. For the front raise, grip the weights in each hand, hold them at your sides and then raise them up in front of you. Keep your arms locked straight and raise the weights to chest level. Hold them there for a moment or two and then control the weights as you lower them down to your sides. Lateral raises involve similar form, but you raise the weights out to your sides instead of in front of you.
For the military press, use a weighted barbell. The exercise targets all the front and middle portions of the deltoid muscles, as well as the triceps and the clavicle portion of the pectorals. The classic form of the exercise requires you to perform it while standing. Stand with your feet planted slightly wider than your shoulders. Hold the barbell with an overhand grip and rest the bar at your waist, or on a military press cradle in front of you, hands in line with your shoulders. Bring the barbell up, bending at the elbows, and hold it just above the top of your chest in front of your neck. Press the barbell upward all the way above your head. Hold it there for a second and then lower it back to the point just above your chest.
The shoulder press is similar to the military press, except you use dumbbells or kettlebells, and you can perform the exercise while seated or standing. The shoulder press places the angle of motion slightly backward, as you raise and lower the weight directly over your deltoids. Grip each weight overhand and begin with each just over your shoulders. Press the weights upward all the way until your arms are locked straight over your head. Lower the weights back to starting position.