Dips For Boxing: Do They Increase Punching Power?

November 20, 2021

The calisthenic routines of many boxers would be enough to place the average Joe in the hospital with rhabdomyolysis. Dips are often part of these boxing training routines so they must be great for boxing.

Dips, just like push-ups, are a staple for boxing training as they develop the chest, triceps, and shoulders. However, dips will not improve the power of your punch.

But how can an exercise like the dip be used so often by boxers but not improve punching power?

Do Dips Increase Punching Power?

Do Dips Increase Punching Power

Dips do not increase punching power. The shoulders, chest, and arms play a very small role when it comes to hard punches. In fact, only 24% of the contribution to punching is accounted for by the upper body [1].

The rest is made up of the legs and the trunk. The contribution from the legs when punching is what differentiates different levels of boxers with more experienced boxers and knock-out artists using the legs the most [2].

So, if you’re wondering how to punch harder, dips are not your answer. Further, while the elbow extends during a punch, it is not a deliberate elbow extension. If you were focusing on elbow extension when punching, it would turn into some sort of hammer fist.

This is another reason why strengthening the elbow extensors (aka the triceps) with dips will not lead to increases in punching power.

Will Dips Make You Punch Slower?

Dips won’t directly make you punch slower. If you are boxing regularly and performing other forms of speed and power training, then performing a few sets of dips a couple of times a week won’t negatively impact your speed.

If you are performing an enormous volume of dips a day and week, then yes, dips may slow down your punches. The fatigue accumulated through the chest, shoulders, and triceps will reduce your ability to throw punches quickly.

Did Mike Tyson Do Dips?

According to many sources, dips and other calisthenic exercises were a staple in Mike Tyson’s training routine. Some reports have Tyson performing up to 500 dips a workout which is insane. Tyson is an athletic boxing freak.

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It doesn’t matter what he would have done for training outside of boxing. He was so genetically gifted in physicality and had such great boxing skills that he was unstoppable regardless of whether he did dips or not.

Are Dips Good For Boxing?

Dips are good for overall upper body strength but are not going to help a boxer punch harder. They can make great alternatives to the push-up to avoid overuse injuries while developing the muscles of the upper body.

References

1. Ebben, W. P., & Blackard, D. O. (1997). Developing a strength-power program for amateur boxing. Strength & Conditioning Journal19(1), 42-51.

2. Filimonov VI, K.K., Husyanov ZM, & Nazarov SS., Means of increasing strength of the punch. NSCA Journal, 1985. 7: p. 65-66.

About the author 

James de Lacey

I am a professional strength & conditioning coach that works with professional and international level teams and athletes. I am a published scientific researcher and have completed my Masters in Sport & Exercise Science. I've combined my knowledge of research and experience to bring you the most practical bites to be applied to your combat training.


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