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3 Squat Variations for Boxers

Updated: Oct 7, 2023

Being a successful boxer has many components to it: accurate technique, good conditioning and explosive power. One of the keys to building the quickness and explosiveness required of a boxer is to properly train the lower body. There are endless exercises that target your lower body and give you a good burn in your glutes, quads and hamstrings. However, one of the most tried and true exercises that is highly effective is the squat. The gluteus maximus is the largest muscle in the human body and is responsible for driving power and stabilizing a solid boxing stance. In order to uniquely target every muscle in the lower body and provide enough variation to avoid getting bored, there are several effective and fun variations to the traditional squat to help you strengthen your legs and glutes.

The jump squat is a boxer’s favorite because it builds explosiveness and strength in the same movement. Standing with your feet around hip distance, squat down while keeping your weight in your heels and your knees behind your toes. As you begin to come up, build explosive power and jump into the air, focusing on your calves pushing off the floor at the very end of the movement. Creating a soft landing is very important in order to prevent ankle or knee injuries and allows you to focus more on contracting your core. Any movement involving plyometrics is important for a boxer, as it will directly relate to their ability to respond to their opponent with a powerful offensive movement.

Another dynamic squat variation that is effective in targeting the inner thighs and quads are squat jacks. Beginning with your feet close together, jump your feet further apart and simultaneously go down into a squat. As you reach your lowest point in the squat, reach one hand down to the ground and keep the other hand in front of your face. Jump back up, bringing your feet back in a close stance. Continue this movement, alternating which hand reaches down for the floor. While this squat movement is highly effective, it also helps build muscle memory for boxers to keep their hands protecting their face.

Dumbbell thrusters are another unique compound movement that help boxers target both their lower body, as well as their trapezoids and triceps. Holding dumbbells at your shoulder level, perform a squat. As you stand up, drive through your heels and press the dumbbells straight overhead. Focus on squeezing your glutes at the very top and reaching a full upper body extension. Upper body strength is extremely important for boxers, so they can produce powerful punches and keep their hands in front of their face throughout the entire fight. Dumbbell thrusters are highly effective for boxers and build strength in both the upper and lower body.

All three of these squat variations are often featured during a Mayweather Boxing + Fitness class. Can’t make it into a class one day but still want to get a burn? Try these exercises at home with dumbbells or any other at home weight that you can find. Perform these squats individually with other exercises, or together in a circuit for a serious lower body burn.

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