Punches are the fastest way to get to your opponent, and in a real-life application, they are usually the most effective. Moreover, a great Boxing skill is critical for any athlete that wants to be successful in Mixed Martial Arts (MMA), or any combat sports in general. 

There are two effective ways to increase your punching power. The first, is by improving your technique and refining the motion of throwing a punch. If you can’t throw a punch correctly, it doesn’t matter (to an extent) how big you are, you won’t be able to effectively transfer that strength to your punches. In addition, in an application (in the ring or self defense) a sloppy or poorly thrown punch will be telegraphed and your opponent can easily avoid it.  

Secondly, there are specific training techniques to develop fast explosive and powerful punches. Those techniques are not your typical body building techniques as they will make you bulky and slow you down. They are based on training the muscles that are used when throwing a punch as well as increasing your overall explosiveness. Additionally, they can be described under the umbrella name: plyometric workouts, where the focus is on increasing the fast twitch muscles’ ability to contract as fast as possible. 

I have incorporated many of these techniques in my Program FSK-12, a 12-Kickboxing Based Training Program that will get you in the best shape of your life. On this article, I will be sharing a couple of great tips from this program

 

Common Mistakes that Hinder Punch/Boxing Development

Before we get into how to throw a punch and training methods, I want to go over a few things that may have hindered your development.

 

1. Training with an Ego.

 

training with ego

 

When you start to train, you are excited and therefore you want to hit the bag or the pads as hard as you can, forcing every ounce of effort into your punch. The problem is, when you do this, you are not throwing the punch properly, in fact you are probably throwing the punch with the worst technique ever. As you do this motion repeatedly, your body starts to learn through muscular memory. Remember, your body doesn’t interpret what’s right and wrong, if you do something over and over, it will learn it and memorize it. This trait can be used to your advantage, or to your loss. 

If you train with your ego and without properly taking the time to break down each technique, you will learn how to punch the wrong way, and not reach your full potential. In this situation, what you’ll need to do is UNLEARN, then re-learn. Unlearning a bad technique is a very lengthy and difficult process. This approach takes much longer than if you had learned it the first time. You need to slow down, practice slowly to refine the technique before putting power into it. From the book The Talent Code, author Daniel Coyle talks about watching a girl learn something that should take a normal human 10 hours to learn, but she did it in just 1 hour. How did she do it?

Well, she slowed it down, and practices each segment of the technique. Then, she slowly picked it up and made sure she completed each segment like a stage-gate. This is basically how you can learn accurate techniques efficiently too! 

 

2. Bodybuilding Style Workouts

 

Body building

 

When you start to work-out like a bodybuilder, your body puts on extra mass that will slow you down and limit mobility. In addition, you want to develop fast twitch muscle for explosiveness rather than bulky slow twitch muscles that are obtained when performing long sets as in body building style weightlifting.

 

The Technique Behind a Perfect Punch.

 

Each martial arts discipline has a different stance, but we are going to use a Muay Thai and/or boxing stance. There is a slight difference, but for this article, we will assume they are the same. Start with your feet shoulder width apart, and assuming everyone is right handed, take a step back and then pivot your body to the right at a 45 degree. Bring your left hand up and about a foot out of your face with your elbows close to your body; and your right hand touching your cheek with your elbows close to you. 

 

The Fighting Stance

The Fighting Stance

 

The Jab:

 

The Jab

 

Step 1:

Take a small step (half step) with your left foot and bring your left arm (keep elbow down) out. Do not wind-up your punch, as this would telegraph it, rather just move forward.

Step 2:

When you reach that ¾” mark, turn your elbow over and rotate your fist. At the same time, make sure your right hand is touching your face and your chin is tucked behind your left shoulder.

 

The Cross:

 

The Cross

 

Step 1:

Imagine there’s a pole down your back, begin to rotate your upper body by brining your right should towards the left. As you do this, pivot your right foot and rotate your right hip at the same time as your shoulder.

Step 2:

When you rotate and your arm extend about ¾ of the way out, “cork” your first as you flip your elbow over and press through with your hips and your shoulder. Pivot on your right foot and drive your fist out with your hips. Focus on bringing your left shoulder all the way back.

Step 3:

When you are done the punch, you should be looking straight down your right hand, chin tucked behind your right shoulder with your left hand protecting your chin on the other side. Your shoulder and hips should be turned all the way. Then bring your hands back. When you throw the cross, keep your elbow down until you reach ¾ of the way out before flipping it. This prevents you from telegraphing your punch so your opponent won’t see it coming.

When you rotate and your arm extend about ¾ of the way out, “cork” your first as you flip your elbow over and press through with your hips and your shoulder. Pivot on your right foot and drive your fist out with your hips. Focus on bringing your left shoulder all the way back.

 

 

How to Strengthen Your Punch.

 

After you refine your technique, there are additional strength and conditioning exercises that you can do to help increase your muscular endurance and output of your arms. There are many ways to train to increase your punching power. As a general note, you want to avoid any bodybuilding type of exercises as these will add unnecessary mass and can restrict your body’s mobility. Here are two of my personal favorite circuits that I did in the evenings, in addition to my normal training to give me that extra edge.

 

Circuit 1:

Note: Repeat the below exercises two times. Click here for the instructional video.

 

  1. Punch Out – 30 Seconds
  • Grab some light weights, 1-3 lbs.
  • Keep your shoulders loose, and punch out at roughly 2-3 punches per second.
  1. Punch Up – 30 Seconds
  • Grab some light weights, 1-3 lbs.
  • Keep your shoulders loose, and punch out at roughly 2-3 punches per second.
  1. Reverse – Fly – 30 Seconds
  • Hold two weights (5 -1 0 lbs.)
  • Keep your back straight, hinge back and hips to leave forward.
  • Squeeze your shoulder blades back, push chest out, as you perform reverse flys. 

 

Circuit 2

Note: Complete each exercise twice with two 5-10 lbs weights. Lift them in front of you as fast as possible, repeat approximately once every 2 seconds. Click here for the instructional video.​

  1. Front Raises – 30 Seconds
  2. Side Raises – 30 Seconds
  3. Front Circles – Fly – 30 Seconds

 

Circuit 3

Note: Complete each exercise twice with two 5-10 lbs weights. Lift them in front of you as fast as possible, repeat approximately once every 2 seconds. Click here for the instructional video.​

  1. Band Twists – 30 Seconds
  2. Band Hold – 30 Seconds
  3. Wall Throws – 30 Seconds

 

Conclusion

There you have it, your guide to how to accelerate the learning process of throwing the perfect 1-2 punch. If you take your time at the beginning, refine your technique, then slowly increase how quickly you throw it, you will be able to learn how to throw a punch effectively after as little as one month! Use the strength and conditioning routine I highlighted above to take yourself to the next level. If you’re looking to be in the best shape of your life, be sure to learn more about my 12-week program innovative kickboxing based workouts, check out here!

 


Ready to take your fighting skills and knowledge to the next level? No matter what your preferred martial arts disciplines are, we’ve got the perfect training program for you! Head over to BookMartialArts.com to find and book your favorite one today!