Boxing: What Body Type Is Best?

Which body type & size is best for boxing

Boxing’s global popularity means the sport attracts lots of participants and is open to many different people, of all different shapes and sizes. But which body type is best for boxing?

There is no one perfect body type that is best for boxing because, in boxing, there are pros and cons to many different body types. Tall bodies have longer reach, short bodies can get inside and box close, and bulky bodies can generate a lot of power. But, your body type can also affect endurance.

I personally got a lot of weight loss and fitness benefits from boxing, so whether you’re getting into boxing to compete or just for fitness, in this article I have covered the pros and cons of each of the following body types:

  • Tall
  • Short
  • Bulky

Plus, how your body type can affect your fitness and conditioning in boxing.

“Discover how boxing can transform your fitness in my other article: Boxing Fitness: What To Expect (Complete Guide)” 

Tall Body For Boxing

Having a tall body type in boxing means, in general, you will have a larger reach advantage over your opponent. Meaning you can land your punches from a distance where they cannot hit you.

Mostly you will find that your straight punches (your jab and straight cross) are the ones that benefit the most from the extra reach. However, having a taller frame will also benefit your hooks and uppercuts. 

This can be an advantage because you can stay on the outside away from your opponent’s punches while still being able to land your own shots when sparring in training or competing in a fight. 

However, you may find that against a shorter opponent, they will be able to get in on the inside in close and land body shots on you easier. This means that with a taller body type, you will need to use your footwork to circle off and open up the distance between you and your opponent, back to where you have the advantage with your reach. 

This does not mean you can’t fight in close though, but it does mean you may find that when your opponent is in close, they are able to land their hook body shots below your guard or even knockout uppercuts. Meaning you may be better off going to a clinch when in close if you’re unable to step off and open the distance back up.

“In boxing, taller body types enjoy a larger reach advantage”

Short Body For Boxing

A shorter body type for boxing, in general, means you will have the advantage of being quick, nimble, and able to close the distance to get in close and land body shots and fight-stopping uppercuts on taller opponents.

You may also find as a shorter boxer that it’s easier to slip and roll under your opponent’s strikes. However, it can sometimes be more difficult for a shorter person to land their shots on a taller opponent’s head. 

Meaning your left to play to your advantage in closing the distance and getting in close to your opponent to land body shots and uppercuts.

As a shorter boxer, using your footwork to circle off will help you to avoid being caught against the ropes or in the corner where a taller opponent can tower above you and lean down on you with their bodyweight inside a clinch to wear you down.

“Shorter boxers can slip, roll, and land body shots in close much easier”

Bulky Body For Boxing

In boxing, if you have a bulky body type it will make an impact on your overall fitness levels which can also then also impact your cardio and therefore how long you can go at a high rate of energy output.

In general, bulky body types are either very muscular and therefore carrying extra weight, or are carrying extra body fat and maybe even overweight with excessive body fat. 

Either way, both of these body types as mentioned can affect your overall cardiovascular endurance meaning you may find you gas out quicker during your boxing.

However, this does not mean that bulky body types can’t have good cardio conditioning. There are many examples of famous fighters (usually in the heavyweight division) who also have good cardio endurance while carrying extra body weight.

For a great example of this, look at Tyson Fury’s journey from being heavily overweight, back into fighting fit even while still carrying extra body fat. But even with this extra weight, Fury is able to maintain his output during a fight because of his cardio endurance.

There are also benefits to having a larger bulkier body type in boxing too, mainly that you will be a heavier, more powerful puncher and an immovable force within the clinch or when you have your opponents in the corner or against the ropes.

“In boxing, bulky body types can pack a heavy punch & wear down their opponent in the clinch”

Your Body Type vs Conditioning In Boxing

Regardless of what your body type is, whether you’re tall, short, or bulky, your body type can affect your overall conditioning and cardio endurance.

Which is a very important aspect to the success of your performance in boxing. Having good conditioning and fitness is essential so you’re able to maintain your energy and output to keep going during your training. 

And if you’re preparing for a boxing fight, your conditioning is essential to avoid burning out and leaving yourself vulnerable against the ropes.

This means, regardless of your body type, you will need to focus a good proportion of your training on conditioning and cardio endurance, including, long and short-distance running, sprints, high-intensity interval training (HIIT), and bodyweight circuit training. 

If you’re only getting into boxing for fitness, fun, or self-defense though, then I wouldn’t worry about your cardio conditioning, and actually, boxing is a great way to get fit, especially for bulky body types to get into good shape, lose weight and to improve their overall cardio. 

To learn more about how boxing will get you in great shape, and what to expect in a boxing class when it comes to fitness, check out my other article for a complete boxing fitness guide.

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