The void with weights in combat sports

empty with weightsThe void with weights in combat sports!

Does shadow boxing, the so-called void with weights help you to have faster or stronger punches?

This is a question that many beginners ask and especially if you have never done this exercise otherwise you would have felt on yourself the feeling you feel using weights and after using them and you do empty without weights in shadow boxing.

Will shadow boxing with 1 kg, 1.5 kg light weights increase the speed of the hand and the strength of the blows?

Not really, even here it depends on your technique and also on your personal strength that you have.

Weights must be used correctly and within the training protocol and you must know that it does not give everyone the same result.

Weights can be a good way to obtain a good athletic preparation but it must be calibrated on the specificity of the athlete and to be integrated intothe training periodically more oriented to the sensation you perceive than to a real training that you can do with many other tools and methods.

Today, thanks to boxing trackers, you have great possibilities to measure whether your training from an athletic point of view is giving the correct results.

These tools are like a coach and allow you to measure the increase in performance in terms of stroke volumes, speed and power. empty with weights

At best, shadow boxing with weights is just a conditioning exercise.

It can strengthen your shoulders and give you that extra strength but just a little more power and speed.

But to what extent will it really improve your power and speed? … this depends on many factors not only on your shoulders.

Example, is your physical conditioning poor? then doing exercises with weights can help you as all athletic training exercises such as running, doing push-ups or just punching in the void with weights can strengthen you and make you stronger and faster.

But what effect can vacuum have with weights if your physical conditioning is already strong?

If you are already strong I do not think that throwing your fists with weights will improve you, indeed if you do not do it well you risk creating inflammation or injury.

empty with shadow boxing weightsThe spread on the use of weights is historical

Consider that today there are many possibilities to do a certain exercise but once the weights and doing the vacuum with the weights represented a simple and economical choice.

In addition, if you did not have weights you could also use objects such as a full iron tube cut to size, a stone, etc. while today you have the possibility of equipment in addition to weights.

  • Still want to add resistance in some way?
  • Do you still think that you absolutely need to do this type of exercise to get stronger/faster?


I’ll list some of them.

empty with weights

Alternative ways to add resistance to your attack movements.

These are some methods to train your shots with tools other than focus mitt, fast pear and sack:

Shadow boxing with weights from 0.5 to 1.5 kg like the pros.

It is the theme of the post the empty cones weights, I myself have used them and use them from 1.5 kg more for habit than for benefit and lately I prefer elastic bands or other types of exercises but I want you to understand well that you have to do it with slow movements or very small circular movements as if you are pulling uprights.

  • Do not pull blows at maximum speed.
  • Not hyper extend the arm but limit the stroke.

This is an exercise that is not very useful for timing but only for fatigue and if you do it hurt it can potentially inflame your wrist, elbows and shoulders.

I repeat that it can have benefits but it depends on your physical condition, it must be calibrated on you.


Hitting with rubber bands

Basically choose a rubber band with a certain resistance, do not overdoit , let it pass behind the science and impugni and lash your blows by stretching the elastic that offers you a resistance but also a great speed of return of the hand that attacks in the guard position.

Here for me this is the real usefulness of the exercise because I think it is a very limited exercise because it does not make you extend your blows well bringing only half the movement of a fist.

The important phase

The other half of the movement, which is fun the most complicated, is precisely to portray the fist correctly both as a position on guard and as a trajectory of recall.

In this case the elastic makes you understand the retraction speed of the blow that is helped but has the defect that does not make you work the muscles that have that function and on the correct trajectories.

So if your problem is that you are poor as speed to call your hands on guard after blows because they do not have enough retraction muscles this exercise is not very useful.

Pulling the blows with the elastic bands then make it a little more difficult to pull the shots but then make it much easier to retract the hand.

Here too there are problems with timing and coordination and consider that most of your fists are not pulled perfectly straight because of the elastic band.


Hit the bag with heavy gloves of 16 Oz or higher

This is great but you have to look for a high volume of work.

If you normally hit the bag with 16-ounce gloves (throwing for example 100 punches per round) and only move with 18-ounce gloves and throw the same amount of punches, that’s fine.

But if you put on 20-ounce gloves and throw half of the punches per round then you’re making a mistake and losing focus.

The idea of adding weight is to make things more difficult will not make you become a better fighter, maybe only with a little more muscles that do not often translate into a better fighter, much better work on attributes.


Hinged barbell

This exercise consists of using a barbell with a single weight on one side and hinged on the opposite side or tucked into a special joint fixed to the floor, or a classic barbell used on an edge of a wall to keep it pointed.

The choice of weight is personal.

Many pros of boxing and MMA use this type of tool. I find it useful for the type of movement driven and isolated but that makes you work on key shots like Jab and Cross but using your body movement, so a more correct job for shots.


Barbell punching

This exercise consists of taking a unloading barbell or with a two-handed lightweight and bringing it to the height of your shoulders and throwing punches.

I think it’s a good exercise for your shoulders and balancing your body.

Do it!


Throw punching under water

Surely you struggle but I think this is more of a gimmick than something useful because apart from that they look at you like crazy but also not having proper support, correct push, etc. you struggle sure, at that point swims that your shoulders work and you breath.



Ask yourself this question first: what technique and power do you have?

If you are a fighter with a poor shot technique and a little weak muscle then it makes sense that increasing arm/shoulder strength can increase the power of your shots and work a little slow to improve balance, leg thrust, rotations, etc.

But if you’re a core-puncher with powerful, coordinated, precise, explosive hitting technique, and you have relaxed fists and arms, in this case increasing arm/shoulder strength wouldn’t do as well for the power of your shots.

You know how to use your body well and you know that most of your power of blows still comes from your legs and core!

If nothing else, the arms are only for speed and endurance.

Do you really want to build “attack force” with your arms when you should make him develop speed and endurance? what’s the point, you’re a fighter build and you do the best job to express the shots.

empty with weights


Shadow boxing with LIGHT weights vs HEAVY weights?

If you do shadow boxing with weights so light up to a maximum of 1.5 kg that you absolutely do not stress your arms or shoulders, then this exercise probably won’t do much for you.

As you are beginning to understand it is a training method to be integrated in certain moments and stages of athletic preparation.

But if you’re empty with weights that are heavy enough to physically challenge your muscles, you don’t understand the sense because you’re destroying your coordination, timing and punching technique.

What’s the point, do you want to be a fighter or a fitness model?

Shadow boxing is to work on coordination, speed and endurance … NOT STRENGTH!

shadow boxing

Do you still want to do weight training with stroke movements somehow?

It’s fine when you train, but do it smartly, do it in a separate exercise! Or do just one round to feel the sensation but not several rounds of shadowboxing that you can use to do a much more useful job.

Let your shadow boxing workout be the“training only”exercise where you use nothing but your “naked” body (don’t weigh yourself down).

It’s you with your mind.

By doing this this way, your practice can be pushed with shots at maximum speed.

This allows you to get used to giving shots at top speed and maybe you can push your maximum shot speed even further to be even faster.

Also at higher speeds you get used to and force yourself to stay coordinated, stable, balanced and even think faster while punching at high speed which makes you more responsive.

That’s what I assure you, I don’t regret the pesetti your shoulders will burn anyway.


Shadow boxing with weights is not useful for coordinating and synchronizing your shots.

Today there is a great pervasiveness of the fitness world in the context of combat where it seems that athletic training is obsessed that more weights better athletic preparation, they want to add weights to everything.

Fortunately there is also a current of serious and attentive trainers who observe the human movement in its discipline by understanding its athletic expression and its intrinsic characteristics of the discipline, going to work and enhance through exercises and tools that work on that type of physicality and characteristic.

Features that change according to the type of fighter, whether it is a boxer, a Thai boxer, a wrestler, an MMA athlete, etc.

The old school

Old-school athletes have not relied so much on weights but have used many functional exercises but attention is not against resistance training or contrary to weight training.

They are simply against the default mentality that adding weights to exercises is the only way to increase their functional capacity.

Hitting is a complex movement, it is not as simple as lying on a bench and pushing a bar upright (although this must still be done correctly and has its technical difficulties) but a fist movement is a chain of many movements throughout the body.

There’s a special weight distribution of all parts of your body as you move with footwork because you’re not stationary, and then a special moment when everyone coordinates together to provide maximum power to hit a moving target, from your toes to the end of your fist.

The void with weights in combat sports Fighting Tips - Street Fight Mentality & Fight Sport

Use weights in moderation

I really believe that adding weights will definitely have an impact on time, balance and coordination of shots and that’s why I say use them in moderation, this I mean, do a few rounds but in moderation and thinking about the work you’re doing, a thought that has to be totally different than when you do shadow boxing “naked.

Then try to think about it, the weight almost takes more to make you work hard to keep your guard up throughout the round because it does not offer real resistance in the direction of your shots.

Weights don’t even add resistance in the right carrier to “resist” properly for your shot movement!

All your attack and arm guard movements are horizontal (parallel along the ground) … but the weight only adds resistance that goes down to gravity in a vertical direction towards the ground.

It tends to bring down the shots and you make your shoulders work but for this I say to do exercise separately and not use too many rounds of shadowboxing with weights, maximum a couple of rounds and make slow just to do that work of resistance and fatigue while maintaining the correct trajectories.

Really the trajectories are important, try to run with a ballast and see how you run strange, because your body to adapt and support the weight must widen the center of gravity, distribute itself differently and your body will use strange and unrealistic angles.

Do you need this?

I’m sure it can make your “race more challenging” but will it really make you better as a fighter?

This is not always the case and do not confuse fitness with combat but to use it to your advantage by studying how your muscles are used and recalled.

Use weights in the right way and at certain stages of your athletic preparation.

The void with weights in combat sports Fighting Tips - Street Fight Mentality & Fight SportConclusions

I think that hitting exercises and resistance training must be completely separate exercises.

There is no point in bringing them together in an ineffective bad exercise. Let me explain

Do you want to strengthen your arms?

Do it with dumbbells, push-ups, cables, elastic bands, kettlebells, TRX and any other exercise that challenges your muscles.

Do you want to work on your fighter technique and coordination/timing?

Do this with exercises that use realistic movements.

I understand the logic of trying to make things more difficult and more challenging for yourself, but I don’t think you should make it more challenging by setting conflicting goals.

Try to do separate resistance exercises with more resistance, speed or repetitions … and then do separate drilling exercises with more speed, angles, and movements.

Let one set of exercises focus on conditioning, while another focuses on coordination/timing.

New technologies

Today you also have trackers that allow you to see if there is an improvement in every training session and if the path you are going is right, it is an important help, measurable, a job that a coach does but that you can do alone with these new tools even if it does not have to be an obsession, have fun and stay focused on the fight that is winning on an opponent beyond measure.

To do this of course there is also the athletic preparation that is fundamental but also technique, strategy, precision, timing, etc., works on the attributes of the fight.

Stay Tuned!

Street Fight Mentality & Fight Sport


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Written by Andrea

Instructor and enthusiast of Self Defence and Fight Sport.

# Boxing / Muay Thai / Brazilian Jiu Jitsu / Grappling / CSW / MMA / Method & Training.
# Self Defence / FMA / Dirty Boxing / Silat / Jeet Kune Do & Kali / Fencing Knife / Stick Fighting / Weapons / Firearms / Strategy.

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