To strengthen my arms, I’ve tried boxing, lifting weights, doing a zillion push-ups, and knocking out weight machines like my life depends on it. But nothing has ever burned my arm muscles as much as punching with a resistance band.
I was simply instructed to pick up a resistance band with handles during one full-body strength-training sesh and jab and cross (AKA punch with the left, followed by right hands) for 30 seconds to a minute at a time. The result? I was out of breath, and my arms were on fire. I knew resistance bands could upgrade pretty much every move, but wow—with punching, they can really enhance your workout.
“For me personally, I spend about 6 minutes shadowboxing with resistance bands before strapping on my gloves,” says Joe Ferraro, a founding trainer of Rumble Boxing. “It’s a good way for me to get loose without the impact of the punching bag.”
If you’re a boxing devotee, resistance bands can help you greatly improve your punch power, speed, and stamina, according to Ferraro. But if you’re simply looking to get a kickass arm workout in, resistance band training is a quick-fire way to do it. “The primary target areas when boxing with resistance bands are your shoulders, biceps, triceps, and core,” says Ferraro. Yep, it gets your abs in, too, which adds to how burn-worthy the move is. “The arms and shoulders are under constant pressure from recoil of the band. Your core is consistently engaged by the twisting motion when throwing the punches. So resistance training is great for toning and helping to create lean muscle mass in these areas.
All you need is your fists and a resistance band—you can use one with or without handles, but Ferraro recommends handles since he prefers wrapping the band around a pole. “I have my clients grab the bands and walk out in their boxer stance until they feel the ‘pull-back,'” he says. “From here, we shadow box our jabs and crosses at different levels and intensities for 1 minute at a time for 3 rounds.” Trust me—it’s an absolute burner.
Ready to punch? Keep scrolling for the high-intensity resistance band arm workout.
Repeat the following for 3 sets:
1. 10 seconds of non-stop jab-crosses at 50 percent intensity
2. 10 seconds of non-stop jab-crosses at 70 percent intensity
3. 10 seconds of non-stop jab-crosses at 100 percent intensity
5. 10 seconds of “sky-punch” jab-crosses at 50 percent intensity
6. 10 seconds of “sky-punch” jab-crosses at 70 percent intensity
7. 10 seconds of “sky-punch” jab-crosses at 100 percent intensity
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