With the ever increasing use of weights training and strength and conditioning in boxers' training camps, we ask whether the Smith machine is of good use.
The answer, simply, is yes, it is good for boxers to use a smith machine bench press. Boxing requires the athlete to have strong shoulders and arms - for obvious reasons. But, focusing solely on these parts of the body when training will not enable an individual to guarantee to deliver a powerful punch. Mike Tyson will affirm that the strength in his punches come from his legs and hips, so a full-body workout has to be done so that power punches will be delivered with much ease and strength.
The legs and upper body should also be trained just as well, so that the best power punch can be achieved. The strength training regimen of a boxer must include exercises that engage the big muscle groups of the body, such as the abdominals, thighs, and glutes. Do not forget to include the shoulders and chests. One of the best ways to strengthen your chest muscles, i.e. your minor and major pectoralis would be to engage with the smith machine bench press.
This piece of equipment looks a lot like a barbell but with the difference of having an attachment that serves as a supporting frame. This machine has been designed to give people more support while performing barbell exercises. However, the smith machine only allows an up and down movement. This equipment will not give you the chance to sway back or forward from the alignment of its frame. But, this supporting frame makes barbell workouts a lot easier for many. The smith machine is also capable of giving an individual a full-body workout, even though it only allows a limited range of movement. It also allows an easier routine than performing free weight barbell exercises.
The smith machine bench press is a type of exercise that targets the chest muscles. It imitates the barbell exercise, but provides greater stability due to its supporting frame. This exercise can be programmed in low repetitions to improve strength. If one aims to develop strength and muscle endurance, he can opt for higher reps. The smith machine bench press is often performed in 8-12 reps per set if an individual aims for a kind of workout that focuses on developing the muscles in the upper body.
See to it that you engage in exercises that allow your body to work several groups of muscles at one time. These should be the kind of exercises that will imitate what your body exactly needs during boxing. However, strength coach Lee Thomas suggests that your focus should not be about aiming to look like a bodybuilder nor about developing enormous muscle mass. Opt for the ones that are enough to make your workout truly challenging, instead of trying super heavyweights. Choose weights that enable you to perform 6-10 repetitions of a specific set.
Allow your body to lay flat on the bench, as you grip the bar with your arms 6-8 inches apart. See to it that your arms are completely lengthened out at the front. Then, start lowering the bar down to your chest. Pause for a few seconds once the bar is only an inch away from your chest. Now, slowly lift the bar back to its start position.
Do not forget to always keep your elbows tucked while doing your close grip bench press exercise. Never start lifting unless your wrists feel comfortable in a fixed position. Inhale when you are trying to lower the bar and then exhale as you press the bar upward from your chest. Avoid the mistake of performing a grip that’s too close or too wide. Be careful as well not to bend your wrists too far back. Another thing to avoid is to overextend your arms while at the top of the movement.
Your chest muscles are part of your upper body core. These muscles play a crucial role in allowing your lats, shoulders, and arms to produce one combined force. These muscles are also responsible for generating the most punching power. Therefore, these muscles must also be trained well.
The bench press can indeed make your muscles stronger. However, this strength alone would not be enough to give you a powerful punch. Keep in mind that you also need to possess the ability to make use of this strength you have in an explosive manner. Therefore, in addition to doing bench presses, you should also incorporate other types of exercises such as plyo push-ups, striking bags, and med ball throws. Always include in your workout regimen the practice of lifting weights while your elbows remain tucked in. This way, you will be able to practice the act of blocking, which is a very important skill for boxers.
Using the smith machine when performing a bench press also helps in seriously working out your shoulders and triceps. You can also use different variations and techniques so that you will be able to exercise your legs, back and core for improved stability, which are all important for developing your ability to throw explosive punches.
Many people argue that doing bench presses using a smith machine may not be too beneficial at all. However, you should not forget that your chest muscles also play a part each time you move your arms. So, when you're throwing powerful punches, blocking an opponent's punch or striking you would not be able to move your arms well if your pecs are not strong enough to aid in such action.
Remember that you cannot work your minor and major pectoralis muscles all by themselves. All your muscles should be able to work together, especially during boxing fights. The best thing about using a smith machine is the fact that you lower your risk of experiencing accidental misuse. Those who use it will have lots of opportunities to engage in isolation exercises should they need to focus only on target muscles such as their triceps, pecs, and anterior deltoid.