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I'm super new to boxing (or any kind of martial per se), am taking two, one hour long, (English) boxing classes per week, supplemented by four hours of weight training per week.

I was wondering whether triceps extension with a low weight (say 12-15 kg, so roughly 25-35 pounds), using both hands together, but with high intensity (=speed, so let's say one complete extension takes 1.5 seconds, and doing like 30-40 in a row, in about 45-60 seconds) will improve my jab (I'm right handed) in boxing and also back fist (in other martial arts that I haven't practiced yet)? It just feels like the same movement as jab or back fist (but not spinning back fist), unless I take a step with my left leg to generate extra momentum? I guess my assumption here is that triceps (as opposed to biceps) is more engaged in jabs and back fists.

I could be wrong, and please correct me in this case :)

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    I think this is a great question. Sadly I can only +1 it once. Welcome to the site.
    – Huw Evans
    Jun 27, 2023 at 11:31
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    Remember to train the negative motion too, to improve your retraction speed, increase positive motion powee and potentially reduce injury risk. Hammer curls aren't bad. Also try cables to more accurately reproduce punching biomechanics and to encourage whole body/core activation. Jun 28, 2023 at 14:25

2 Answers 2

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According to sports medicine studies, you need to reach movement speeds of about 1 m/s in order to train explosiveness as particular strength component, compared to general strength improvement. Ideally, you need to reach these speeds with about 60% of your 1 rep max for good outcomes.

Thus, your proposed workout certainly helps in some way to improve aspects of strength, endurance, and speed but it is not optimal for explosiveness.

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Anything is better than bed rest. Your proposal might improve your muscle endurance for the specific tricep-extending movement, which is relevant to boxing training and competition. It's a fine exercise.

That said, two aspects of your proposal have some notable trade-offs. For one, doing so unusually many reps has diminishing returns for many purposes, including power production. Secondly, choosing an exercise designed to isolate one muscle is not common in sport training because compared to full-body or compound movements it doesn't effectively develop athletic coordination, power, or other attributes. Depending on the context of the rest of the workout it may or may not be a good choice for developing muscle.

We also know that trainees differ in which of their attributes need the most work, meaning an exercise might be a good idea for one person but not another. For instance it might be that your muscle endurance is good enough (given your other current physical attributes), so more work in that direction is largely wasted, whereas work on another attribute (e.g. cardio endurance, power, or lower body muscle) would give you better return on workout investment. On this front, it might help to invert the question: given goal G, constraints C1..N, and current physical condition across attributes A1..N, what should one do? This naturally leads to study of general training for sport. For instance, we have a pretty good idea of how different training should be to develop different attributes like power, but also speed, strength, muscle endurance, cardio endurance, and so on.

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