5 Resistance Band Drills for Boxing and MMA

5 Resistance Band Drills for Boxing and MMA

Resistance bands are tough, durable rubber bands that can enhance your monotonous workout routine. The best part about resistance bands is their portability. You can carry them wherever you want, during your travels or during a pandemic when all gyms are closed.

These adaptable bands work your muscles the same way weights do, with far lesser risks for injury. Fighters can give their shoulders a break with weighted shadow boxing and use resistance bands to increase their mobility, agility, speed, and recovery.

A lot of modern-day coaches encourage their fighters to use resistance bands because they improve your range of motion, build lean muscle, and save you from rotator cuff injuries.

Today we are going to look at 5 drills that every fighter should include in their regimen. Read the blog below or watch the video version here


1-    Shadow Boxing

Band: Nista X-Light

The easiest and most effective workout for building up your speed is resistance band shadowboxing. Say goodbye to weighted punching because with the Nista X Light you can take your punching to a whole another level.

The targeted muscle groups are going to be your arms and shoulders. The resistance band will provide enough resistance to condition your arms and shoulders. Contrary to weights, resistance bands do not put extra pressure on your rotator cuffs, so it is easy for you to throw a combination of punches without damaging your shoulder.


1-     Grab your resistance band and put it behind your back. Then bring it forward from behind your arms.

2-     Put your thumbs in the end of the loops and stretch the band so you have a solid grip

3-     Take your boxing stance and start punching

4-     Set up your timer for 45 seconds

5-     Punch straight for 45 seconds

6-     Take rest for another 45 seconds

7-     Do 3 sets of these

8-     Take a break for 2 minutes before moving on to the next drill.


If the resistance band lowers your arm during your punches and pulls your arm down. You can bring the band from behind your back in front of your arms, but instead of a conventional grip. Go around the biceps, then inside your forearms and lock the band in your wrist. This variation will add more resistance, more grip and more stability to your punches.


2-    Stance

Band: Nista Light

One of the building blocks of a well-rounded fighter is his movement. To sting like a bee, a fighter must be able to float like a butterfly. So, the question is, how does one enable themselves to move around seamlessly? The answer lies in footwork.

One of the most overlooked aspects of a fighter’s regimen is footwork. You may be doing everything correctly and listening to your coach, but if you just add a small resistance band while you practice footwork; it can elevate your game manifold. Not only does it increase your speed but strengthening the muscles that support your movement can enhance your technique as well.


1-     Wrap the resistance band around your legs just above your knees. If the band is too long for you, then give it a knot in the middle and wrap both loops around your legs. 

2-     Keep your feet on a shoulder-width

3-     Get in your boxing stance

4-     Start shadowboxing at a light pace

5-     Make sure you punch in all directions

6-     Box for 45 seconds

7-     Take a 45-second break

8-     Do 3 sets in total

9-     Take a break for 2 minutes before moving on to the next drill.


To make the exercise a bit more technical, what you can do is to lower the band till your ankles. Then practice your footwork from this position. This variation will target the muscles in the lower part of your leg and help in improving your balance


3-    Punch Enhancement Drill

Band: Nista X-Light

Next up on our list is the Punch Enhancement Drill. It is mainly used to increase a fighter’s explosive power with more focus on the quality rather than the quantity. For this drill, the target muscle groups are the arms and the shoulders.

If your band is in a loop, you can cut it or make a loop around the bar. Now wrap your resistance band around a pole. Then grab the band and make sure you have the band wrapped tightly around your hands.


1-     Before you start the drill make sure you are properly warmed up to avoid hyperextension in the elbow.

2-     Get a firm grip on each end of your Nista X Light band.

3-     Step 4 feet apart from the pole to add tension into the band.

4-     Throw a combination of straight punches as fast as you can for 10 seconds.

5-     Rest for 20 seconds.

6-     Repeat the same process for 5 sets.

7-     Give yourself a 3 minute break before moving on to the next drill


To add variations in this drill. You can practice not only your straight punches but practice throwing single punches in this drill. Similarly, you can throw hooks to rectify errors in your angles and add explosive power to your punches.


4-    Pulling Rotation

Band: Nista X-Light

The fourth drill on our list is for the development of your obliques, rotational power, and your core. The drill will require the Nista X-Light and a pole. The focus of this drill is to train your hooks and the movement of your body. It is a well-established fact that the rotation of your arm alone is not enough to generate power that will knock your opponent out. One must be able to use the mechanics of his body to produce the maximum amount of power.

In order to do that, rotation and the proper use of stance is necessary. Add a little resistance to it and you are already ahead of your opponents. This drill will not only help you with your punches but enable you to add strength to your grappling technique as well.


1-     Attach your band to a ring post or a pole

2-     Grab the band in your right hand a make a tight grip

3-     Get in your boxing stance

4-     Throw a left hook as you pull the band with your right hand

5-     Make sure you add enough power to target your arms and your core

6-     Throw 10 punches on each side

7-     Take rest for 30 seconds

8-     Repeat for 3 sets

9-     Take a break for 2 minutes before moving on to the next drill.


To add variations to this drill. You can throw jabs from for a set of 10 punches from each side. Similarly, you can use uppercuts to train your arm for maximum explosive power.


5-    Outward Resistance

Band: Nista X-Light

The last drill on our list is the Outward Resistance drill. This drill targets your core and your rotational ability. This is an alternative method to not only work your core but practice your punches too. This is an amazing drill to add something new into your routine.


1-     Attach your Nista X-Light on a pole

2-     Make sure its height is below your waistline

3-     Grab the band in your right hand

4-     Dip down in a position to uppercut

5-     Throw an uppercut and rotate your core along with it

6-     Throw 20 punches

7-     Now grab the band from your left hand and throw 20 punches

8-     Do 3 sets of 20 punches

9-     Take a 45-second rest in between the sets

10-  You are done with all of your drills, take rest and rehydrate.


Similar to each drill on this list. Replace the uppercut with a straight right. Then shift to your other arm and throw a straight left for a total of 20 punches. If you want to add more variations to the drill, you can repeat the drill with hooks as well.


Bonus Exercise: Oblique Crunch

Band: Nista Light

A simple and easy way to simultaneously train your defense against body punches and work your obliques is the Oblique Crunch. This exercise is not just for athletes but for anyone who wants to add something new to their core training.

Adding the Oblique Crunch into your routine for only 30 days will tone your abs like nothing else. Take it from us and try this unique exercise for the most ripped-looking core that is not only good for the optics but can sustain punishment too.


 1-  Attach the Nista Light to a bar that is at least a foot above your height.   

2-   Then put your left arm through. 

3-   Get in your stance. 

4-   Simulate being punched in your core.

5-   Drop down and crunch your obliques. 

6-   Make sure your guard stays up while you dropdown.

7-   You can block and execute a punch for a variation.

8-   Repeat the motion for 3 minutes for a set of 3 rounds.



We hope that you enjoyed reading this blog. This is the first of a new series that will educate you on using resistance bands for your martial arts training. Be sure to leave any comments if you have any questions for us.

Until the next one,

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