Shadow Boxing with Weights: Pros & Cons

The act of punching into the air without an opponent is what shadow boxing is. Simply put, it got its name when you stand close to a wall and pretend to punch the shadow you project onto it. Now you may be curious, what is shadow boxing with weights?

Often shadow boxing is used as a warm-up method in the boxing world because this exercise increases your heart rate and helps your muscles prepare for training. You can also improve your punching techniques, mobility, and footwork. 

But there is also another form of practicing shadow boxing which is with weights. Shadow boxing with weights is also popular among boxers.

Are you intrigued to learn if shadow boxing with weights is your forte or not? Continue reading to learn more on this topic. 

What Is Shadow Boxing With Weights, And Is It Recommended?

Shadow boxing with weights is nothing but practicing this exercise with weights like dumbbells. Here, the dumbbells restrict boxers from moving too quickly or opening their hand during shadow boxing.

Now comes the question, how much weight should I use for shadow boxing?

I would recommend using 0.5 kg to 2 kg when shadow boxing. Avoid performing shadow boxing with heavier objects as they can influence your punching technique negatively. 

Can I Perform Shadow Boxing With Weights?

why do shadow boxing with weights

Well, there is no straightforward answer to this question. But I can say “Yes.” You can do shadow boxing with weights but under particular conditions only. 

Shadow boxing is not for everyone, and in fact, it is not preferred by everyone. You will learn the reason in some time. 

What Muscles Does Shadow Boxing With Dumbbells Work?

Practicing shadow boxing with dumbbells will work on shaping the muscles on the front head of your shoulder, your triceps, and your lats. In fact, the exercise starts at the feet, then goes through the hips and backs, and finally extends through your arms. 

So overall, your whole body will be subjected to change in a significant way when you practice shadow boxing with dumbbells properly. 

Benefits Of Shadow Boxing With Weights

benefits of shadow boxing with weights

There are numerous benefits of shadow boxing with weights. 

Some of them are, 

It increases your punching power. 

If you want to deliver strong punches, then you need to have high punching power. Practicing with dumbbells is a great way to achieve it. 

Increase punching speed

It is crucial to give a powerful hit quickly during matches. Remember, your endurance and strong punches will help you win a game more than intelligence and techniques. Shadow boxing with weights pushes you to increase the punching speed. 

Build muscles, tones your arms, and burn fat.

Yes, you get all three while you practice shadow boxing with weights. Shadow boxing with weights will help create lean muscle and, most importantly, a strong physique. Fat burns not only in your arms but also in your legs and belly. Also, to grow muscle mass, you need to tone your arms. Shadow boxing with weights acts as an effective technique for toning your arms.

Cardio exercise

Increased cardio is crucial for boxing. That said, shadowboxing with weights adds so much value to your training.   

The boxing training itself gives a full-body workout, but when you add light dumbbells to the exercise, it becomes more challenging to practice. At the same time, it helps increase your aerobic capacity.

Lose weight

Since Shadow boxing acts as a cardio workout, this full-body workout with weights burns more calories, and thus it helps you lose weight easily. Apart from working out, try sticking to a healthy diet. It helps lose weight over time steadily. 

Can I Shadowbox Using Resistance Bands Instead Of Weights?

Yes, you can shadow boxes using resistance bands instead of dumbbells as its offers the same benefits. The boxing-specific resistance bands consist of two handles, and the unit wraps around your back to use it as a base. 

However, different bands will have different strengths. So if you are a beginner or professional, choose the band based on your convenience.

Cons Of Shadow Boxing With Weights

Shadow boxing is not for you if you perform weighted shadow boxing aiming for strength or upper-body conditioning adaptations. 

Boxers must not solely depend on shadow boxing with weights to increase their punch power.


If you are serious about boxing, then enhancing your boxing skills is crucial. Though there are different ways to improve it, one of the best ways is incorporating weighted boxing. It helps maximize your potential with respect to speed and power. 

So I would like to conclude that shadow boxing with weights is an effective workout for beginners and pro-level boxers. But let me warn you that you can reap the benefits only when you do the weighted shadow boxing properly.