When looking to increase your punch strength, it may seem logical to swing your arms as hard as you can at the target. In actuality you won’t be maximizing your body potential and this way of punching would actually increase your chances of injury.
Being able to punch harder is not the result of applying maximum force. Using the right technique would be the best way in unlocking your bodies maximum punch power. Your punch strength is the result of how you use your entire body. Starting with the position and movement of your feet up through your core and finally into your punch.
Using only arm strength makes your hits feel flat and would provide very little damage. Also throwing your entire body in to an overhand punch or haymaker would inflict more damage. However you will also leave yourself over committed and will have a higher chance of getting off balance. Situations like this should be avoided every time whether you’re in a boxing match or street fight.
By breaking down some of the technique for a great punch. You can focus better on areas that can be worked on individually.
Tips To Punch Harder
Using strength and speed would be a common way many beginners will start to increase their punch speed. Throwing punches as hard and fast as you can is one way to punch harder, but there is still other ways and areas to improve on, or add on, to maximize the full potential of your punch.
One way to effectively increase your punch strength and speed is by utilizing your body weight and learning how to transfer all that energy into your punch. It can take some practice with a punching bag to make it all feel more natural, but here are some tips in how you can punch harder.
- Step into the punch – whether its a jab, hook, uppercut or any other type of punch. If you’re want to put in as much power as you can, you would want to always be stepping into the punch. Transfer your weight and allow it to flow throw your punching motion.
- Do not fully extend your arms – much of the force you are looking for in your punch comes from the retraction part of the punch. You don’t want to end up pushing on the opponent or object that you’re hitting, you want to hit it. When throwing a punch do not fully extend your arm, instead begin to retract your arm when completing your punch.
- Bodyweight Transfer – part of stepping into your punch is needed to transfer weight. Starting with your back foot where you begin to load the weight of your body and as you step through, you begin to transfer that energy to your front foot and into your punching power.
- Rotate your mid section – core exercises and usage is so important when punching with strength. To go along with bodyweight transfer, turn into your punch as well. This goes for lights jabs or heavy haymakers. Use your mid section and create more power in your punch by twisting your body into the punch.
These tips are a good starting point in elevating your punch to another level of power. But in case we have gotten ahead of ourselves and are not even punching properly, lets start with what the mechanics of a punch should be.
Breaking Down The Boxers Punch
- Feet – feet position and movement is the beginning of gaining power for your punch. start by standing on the balls of your feet and slightly angled off your target. When throwing the punch you want to take a step towards your opponent within the same action you are throwing the punch.
- Legs – a lot of the where the power comes from the lower part of your body, specifically your legs. Your legs and feet create the stability needed for your upper body to turn into the punch. When reaching the full extension of your arms, turning your bag leg will help your body rotate and generate power.
- Mid Section and Core – the connection point that transfers the power from your legs through your arms. You may have heard fitness instructors say “keep you core tight” when doing almost every exercise. There is no difference here when throwing a strong punch, your mid section is the catalyst that begins the rotation of your body and generating the power.
- Arms – finally when everything is put in motion by the rest of your body you arms can do their part and complete your punch. A few things to note is that your target should not be at the end of your punch. If you find yourself reaching at the end, your punch would be ineffective. Imagine you are punching through your target.
Working on the basics we talked about above would be you in a great position to increasing how much power your can give. When you start feeling comfortable with your form you can try training on some related workout that help build arm and body strength as well as body flexibility and motion.
Workouts That Help Increase Punching Power
A great way to strengthen your hits is with consistent training that hits the right areas of your body. Workouts that are explosive and high intensity involving your arms are great. To get more specific workouts that include the arm as well as your body is ideal. Especially with work outs that involve a sort of punching motion.
One of the classics and basic trainings for any boxer. Heavy bag workouts provide a great opportunity to perfect your hitting form. This would be the time to work on finding your distance for a target and the mechanics of your motion as a whole.
Using a heavy bag will also give you instant feed bag on how hard you’re punching. You can continually throw power hits into the bag and adjust your process as needed. You can also keep improving your combinations and increase your strength in all types of attacks. An added plus is that while doing all this, it becomes a great workout as well.
This intensified version of a push up exercises the explosiveness in your arms and legs. Plyo-push ups help build and tone the muscles in your arms and legs that are also used while punching. As opposed to a regular push up that works mostly the core and arms. You just don’t get the practice in explosive force that you may be looking for in a punch.
A simple exercise that you can include in your regular workout routine is do 3 sets of 10 (or more if you can handle) plyo-push ups. Start off as a normal push up with the regular downward and upward motions. The change comes on your upward motion, where you push yourself hard enough off the ground that allows your hands to not be in the air also. A great example of this is found here.
We’ve covered shadowboxing a few times on this site. While admittedly this would not be the best way to gain strength in your strikes. It is one of the top ways to work on everything else. Remembering having a hard punch requires effort from all over your body. Your footwork, your rotation, your entire form is what dictates the power.
Taking a few minutes a day or even as a warm up before a work out, take that opportunity to focus your footing and movement of your body during a punch. The consistency and repetition of the movement is a good way in training your body for when you want to hit the heavy bag again.
When you’re comfortable with the way you’re hitting but want to build more muscle strength, giving resistance bands a try may do the trick. This exercise lets you go through the same motions as you normally would be with added effort due to the bands. This helps you tone the muscles in that punching range of motion.
You can start be anchoring your resistance band to something heavy and that won’t move during your workout. Grab the band and go through the entire motion of your punch. Go slow and control your body when going through this motion.
Another great way to tone muscles and get a cardio workout at the same time. The speedball also helps improve your accuracy and timing when striking a target. It may not sound as important when your only goal is power. Getting this skillset right will be a big compliment to one another.
Speedball training is also a great exercise to blend into your current routine. It could be a new way to warm up or cool down from your workouts.
Do You Hit Harder With Boxing Gloves
When wearing boxing gloves although you can have more piece of mind in using more of your strength in your punches. The actual impact and damage would not be as effective as someone throwing a punch with a bare hand.
Boxing gloves are meant to help protect the hand of the boxer. Having all the added padding and straps for hand security is meant more for protecting your bones from the impact that punching brings. Less on creating more damage or harder punches.
The boxing gloves has a much wider contact area than your fist. This also spreads the force of a punch through the extra area, and because of the foams that boxing gloves are made out of, the shock absorption will take out some of the impact that a regular fist might bring.
We go more in depth in this article here about how hard you can hit with boxing gloves.
Everyone has different punching strength. Some will naturally be stronger than others and brute force will only take you so far. With some consistent training, utilizing proper technique and learning to flow the power through your body. Your maximum potential of punching hard will come through.