Tips and Exercises for Boxers to Improve their Punching Power
Though a lot of boxers give importance to technique, speed, and mental strength for becoming great in the sport, the ability to throw power punches is also important. A powerful punch can end a fight at any time.
Many people who are not blessed with innate punching power may get disheartened while thinking about their boxing career. This is where punching power exercises and workouts come into play through which they can improve their punching power.
Tips to Improve Punching Power
Here are some useful tips that will help you pack more power with each punch.
Speed Alone is Not Equal to Power
Many newbie boxers make the mistake of understanding that speed is power. So, they spend more time on speed improvement. But they forget that other factors also come into play in affecting the power of a punch.
Power is always defined as the acceleration times mass. It means that along with speed, you also have to have some body weight to make your punches impactful. Only speed cannot help you hit your opponent’s hard.
Do not throw arm punches. Keeping your body still and only using arms for punches is the reason for not striking opponents hard. Professional boxers know that bigger muscles always help in generating more power.
Using legs when punching is the right way to make punches impactful. Legs refer to the calf and quads muscles that generate the most power than any other part of the body. Twisting legs and then torso help you transfer power from the lower body to your arms and then fists for landing a powerful punch on the opponent’s face. Punch power starts from the feet and involves the whole body till you land it on the target.
Related Reading: The Ultimate Beginner's Guide to Boxing
Variate Your Angles
If you punch your opponent from the same angle, they may easily predict your punches and can evade them. In addition, they can easily launch counter punches.
But when you use different angles when punching your opponents, it gives your punches more strength and causes more damage to your opponents. Therefore, attack your opponents from different angles when throwing blows.
Stay Within Your Range
Another factor that can help you make your punches destructive and unstoppable is by remaining within your range. With stretched-out arms, you cannot land a strong punch. You’ll hit harder and recover faster when you’re within your actual range of motion.
Keeping the same principle in mind, be aware that your opponent can make use of this as well. Therefore, don’t come too close and get trapped in your opponent’s clinch.
Main Areas Need to Develop for Power Punches
Though there is no specific research or study on punching in the sport, boxing experts have identified some key attributes for athletes to develop and respective exercises that can help achieve this and improve punching power. Some of these are listed below.
Rate Of Force Development
You must be able to produce a lot of force in a very short period of time. The greater your RFD will be, the more powerful the punch. Pro boxers are witnessed to take the very least time in producing force about 3.5 times greater than their body mass.
Though the weight of fists is quite important for a perfect punch, you cannot ignore the significance of the speed of hands too. Regardless of the power your hands hold, if you are not quick to use them, your punches cannot make the impact that you want.
Kinetic Chain Sequencing
The ability to transfer the force from the foot to the fist involving the whole body is also important to be developed to be a great boxer. Many amateur boxers face the problem of low power in their punches due to lacking this ability.
If you are also facing the same trouble, there are plenty of exercises to increase punching power that can help you gain this capability.
Poise, Balance, and Ground Reaction Force
One must have a solid stance and position along with the ability to transfer most of the weight on the rear foot. For throwing punches, you cannot ignore the importance of posture and position.
If you are attempting to throw a punch, but you are not in your position or effective stance, there are opportunities for the opponent to counter with powerful blows.
To maintain the effectiveness of your punches, you must be working on your stance and position while combating along with the weight transfer element.
Exercises to Improve Your Punching Power
For strengthening your punches to make them impactful and damaging, there are numerous workouts to increase punching power that boxing experts suggest. The following are some of the incredible and effective exercises that you can include in your boxing training routine to improve your punch power.
Medicine Ball Throw
Medicine ball throw is a great tool for improving punching power that has been used for a long time. There are at least two ways in which you can perform this exercise to gain the best result.
You can lie flat on your back on the floor and pick a heavy medicine ball. Throw the ball as high as you can and start punching forward from your chest using both hands before the ball comes back down. You also have to catch the ball with both hands. Repeat for the desired number of reps and sets.
Pick a medium-weight med ball and stand in your fighting stance against a wall, or a partner. Take the ball into your palm and throw it forward as hard as you can using one hand. In both cases, whether you throw at the wall or to a partner, you have to catch the ball as it comes back.
These techniques can help you train the explosiveness in your arms and strengthen the punching muscles. When doing this exercise, throw the ball with maximum power to make your knocks as explosive as you want.
Related Article: BOXING 101: BEST PUNCHES WORKOUT
Plyometric or Plyo push-ups are an amazing exercise to train arms, shoulders, and pectoral strength along with all other body parts involved in throwing a punch to improve power and speed. This exercise is also called jump training.
In this power boxing exercise, muscles exert maximum effort in short intervals. This is one of the underrated exercises for improving punching power.
How to perform?
You can start plyo push-ups by getting into the normal push-up position. You dip down as in a normal push-up, but while coming back explode enough that your hands should lift off the ground. You can add variants in this exercise such as clapping hands against your chest or in the mid-air.
To perform it effectively and to get the best results, ensure that your glutes and core are tight throughout the exercise. If you are not strong enough, you can position yourself working way up while knees touching the floor.
However, if you are strong, you can try to lift your feet as well. If you can do so, it will do wonders in increasing punching power.
Heavy Bag Workout
Another important tool that you can use to improve your punching power is the heavy bag workout. Boxers and MMA fighters use this exercise every day to keep themselves trained and in shape.
Go for ten-second intervals and hit the punching bag as hard as you can. You can use different combinations of punches like hooks, jabs, crosses, and uppercuts.
After a 10 second interval of punching, you should take a rest for 10-15 seconds and throw light jabs and footwork before going for another 10 seconds of hard punching.
Your exercise should last for at least three minutes with at least one minute of rest between the punching sets.
Elite Sports has the highest quality punching bags you can purchase at the most affordable prices.
Shadowboxing is a famous drill when it comes to boxing training. It not only helps you in increasing the impact of your punches but it also improves your technique and execution.
Many boxers tend to focus too much on becoming the strongest puncher but they forget to train for the required technique. Shadowboxing mainly helps you work on your movement, body coordination and work out better angles along with footwork to be faster, sharper, and stronger in the ring.
To gain the maximum benefits, you must be including at least 3-5 rounds of shadowboxing in every training session. Just stand in front of a mirror and shadow box. When shadowboxing, pay close attention to your technique and the way you throw punches.
The best way is to have a partner and ideally a trainer who can identify the mistakes and suggest adjustments accordingly. As your punching technique will get better, hitting power will also increase. In addition to this, as mentioned before shadow boxing also helps in footwork, head movement, and improving your overall defense.
Related Reading: WHAT IS SHADOW BOXING AND HOW TO LEARN IT AT HOME
Squats (With medicine Balls)
As we know that the majority of punching power comes from legs and a powerful punch involves the whole body for which performing squats with medicine balls is a great way for getting a strong base. There are two ways to perform this exercise:
Get a medicine ball and hold it in front of your face. Drop it into a squat while ensuring that your knees are not extending past your feet. To add another step to it, you can extend your arms while holding the med ball. Rise and repeat multiple times.
In this method of performing squats with a med ball, you lift the ball over your head and throw it to the floor. You can repeat it as many times as you want.
In case, if you do not have a med ball, you can perform this exercise with the help of your duffel bag, a basketball, or a book.
Squats and Lunges Combination
Performing squats and lunges in combination is also a good exercise for boxers who want to increase their punching power. This is a two-leg exercise that involves squats.
At first, you do a squat followed by a reverse lunge and come back to the start. Once again, perform a squat and perform a lunge, this time with the other leg. This whole cycle counts as one rep.
Though this can be a nightmare because it isn’t as easy as other exercises. You might start to feel the buildup of lactic acid that is a precursor for Human Growth hormones. However, these hormones always help in burning fats and have anti-aging properties, making this combination awesome for your boxing as well as your health.
You can perform 2-3 sets of 8 to 12 reps each. Keep in mind that every rep includes 2 squats and one lunge on each side.
Tub o’ Rice
The tub of rice or bucket of rice exercise is common among people who try to strengthen their wrists. Being a boxer, you can also go for this exercise if you are wondering how to improve your punch power as it will surely make a huge difference.
Steps to Perform Tub o’ Rice
- First, arrange a tub or bucket of uncooked rice. Rice should be enough to cover your wrist and hand.
- The bucket/tub should be close to your waist height and preferably touching your abdomen.
- Push your hands in rice with palms and forearms facing upward. You should be extending your elbow.
- Grab the rice and rotate your closed fists slowly in a way that your forearms end up facing you.
- Release and repeat the exercise as many times as you want.
Torso Workout with Medicine Ball
Torso and shoulder rotation is an underrated yet important component in throwing powerful punches especially when a boxer starts to wear out. Working on torso buildup is essential for making explosive strikes. There are plenty of torso exercises and workout plans that you can try to strengthen your punches.
The following are the three most impactful torso exercises that involve medicine balls making it easy for you to include them in your chest and shoulder workout routines.1. Medicine Ball Twist
You can start by sitting with bent knees and feet on the floor. Hold the medicine ball to your chest and raise your feet from the floor in the tabletop position. Now twist your torso to the right while moving the knees to the same side.
Rotate back and do the same to the left side with knees dropping a little to the left as well but make sure that they do not touch the floor.2. Medicine Ball Crunch
This exercise is like normal crunches but with the addition of a medicine ball. Lie down on the floor with your face up, knees bent, and feet flat. Hold the medicine ball with extended overhead arms.
Now curl your shoulder off the floor and squeeze your abs in. Raise the ball above your head and bring it to your front when you sit up. One set of this exercise should include 8 to 16 reps.3. Medicine Ball Plank
To perform a medicine ball plank, place your both hands on the med ball while extending your arms fully and keeping your legs straight behind you. This will be a high plank position but it also requires you to maintain the balance of your hands on the ball.
When performing this, keep your abs tight, shoulders down with your back and hips level. You can prolong a rep for 30-60 seconds. You can perform 2-3 sets of each of these torso building exercises.
Last but not the least important exercise that can help you improve your punch power is chin-ups. This is a bodyweight training exercise that targets the upper back while strengthening the bicep muscles.
To perform this exercise, you need a chin bar that you can easily find in your boxing gym. Put your hands on the bar ensuring that your palms are facing your body. Using upper arm strength, raise your body until your chin goes above the bar.
When performing this exercise, your elbows should be fully bent. To distribute your weight evenly, you can bend your knees or cross your feet.
Considering these above-mentioned tips and exercises for improving punching power can help you accomplish your goals. You can be sure that they’ll be useful additions to your arsenal as you strive to achieve greater power and potential.