Would boxing as a work out be a bad choice for a pitcher? I am a left handed pitcher with an on and off shoulder injury and I wasn’t sure if boxing with a trainer during off season would help build up my shoulder

What does “on and off” shoulder injury mean?

I know what you mean with a “on again - off again” shoulder irritation. It’s common, more than one thinks in the professional leagues.

Boxing in itself is a very demanding test of physical and mental metal. The workouts are, and can be, grueling. This is especially true with endurance and stamina.

Training with a qualified trainer in that sport would be like night and day, compared to, training with a pitching coach/physical conditioning coach and so on. Two entirely different approaches to two entirely different objectives to shoot for.

If you enjoy the pugilist life style and the commands and demands of heavy physical contact and all that that entails, go for it. On the other hand, working with a boxing trainer won’t do much for your pitching game and your shoulder situation. I’ve had pitchers who have entertained boxing during the winter months because of past persuasions - golden gloves, neighborhood clubs, and the like when they were younger. Some of those guys stayed in awesome shape, others came back like they played kick-the-can all winter … they were the can!

To be more direct to your question - just be careful of heavy loads and stress demands on that shoulder problem. In fact, a better diagnostic of why you have a recurring shoulder problem would be a good start to monitoring it and dealing with it in a special way, instead of testing the waters with a self-designed program of your own.

There is some benefit to learning to fire the back hip working a heavy bag.
The motion of course is different in the arm/upper body, but, the movement (the rotational element of throwing a punch) is initiated with back hip.
The only thing I would add if you are going to do this is to make sure your hands and wrists are wrapped well with hand wraps…dont need to roll or strain your wrist. Also, make sure you are throwing technically sound punches, not flailing out with your arm or throwing wide punches.

For some fun winter conditioning, sure. As a rehab program for a cranky shoulder? Maybe not. Have a plan and be careful with it.

Throwing punches may be good rotational training and help learn the kinetic chain as well, but so is medball throwing, tornado ball, tight rotations, etc. It’s not a magic fix or workout just because Dylan Bundy does it. If you try it and like it and you are able to stay healthy, then by all means do it. Just have a plan before diving into something because you hear so and so pro pitcher does it.

How does this fit into your overall training program? How does it interact with your strength training? Your throwing? How will you periodize/progress the boxing or punching bag workout?

Maybe you know that you’re lifting 4 days per week, throwing 6 days. You normally condition 4 of the 6 throwing days, so you decide to replace 2 of those days with a 15 minute boxing circuit. Maybe you also do arm care work 5 days per week so you cut that down to 3 to account for the added volume you’re adding in here…see what I mean? there are a lot of things to consider if we’re trying to take a holistic approach to your performance, training and health.


I have found heavy bag work a good way to get someone to feel initiating with the back hip. I think it comes easier to some than a med ball because they are not concerned with moving an implement. They are focuses just on feeling their body move. Some guys pick up the med ball stuff with no issue. For others I have found the heavy bag helps.
I think of the heavy bag as “lead in” work to med ball stuff. There is a good component of building some explosive speed as well.