Developing the perfect punch is something that will take your lifetime if you are committed to it. The perfect anything is somewhat misleading. The perfection of the technique comes in the very art of perfecting the practice of it. Your punch may not ever be perfect, but if you keep practicing diligently and methodically, it will be better than most.
If you’re a beginner, this a great place to start. You should learn proper technique first. Practice it over and over. And slowly make it your own by adapting it to the way your own body moves and what makes
If you’re a beginner, this a great place to start. You should learn proper technique first. Practice it over and over. And slowly make it your own by adapting it to the way your own body moves and what makes the most sense for you. Too many people rush over the basics only to discover later that they have holes in their game. hope to help you better your technique
If you are more advanced, take this opportunity to analyze your technique against this model and see if there are areas you can improve.
In any case, I hope to help you better your technique by having you think about how you punch.
Before I get into it, please disregard the idea that a punch is an arm technique. Any good boxing or fighting coach will tell you that in order for a punch to be effective, it must start from the ground. In fact, most techniques are executed this way. You could get lucky not use most of what I tell you, land a punch and knock an opponent out cold. But how often do you plan to get lucky?
Working Your Stance
A solid stance is important to maintain balance. It is also the foundation for a fast, powerful punch.
Of course, there are several slightly different variations on the fighting stance – and each has its benefits and drawbacks. You’ll have to find out which is best for you using trial and error, but these are the basics.
To get into the proper stance, place your lead leg forward (if you’re right-handed, your lead leg is your left and vice versa for lefties). Your legs should roughly be shoulder-width apart with the rear foot angled off to 45 degrees. This video covers the basics of a good fighting stance.
Most traditional stances (like those found in karate, tae kwon do or kung-fu) are not as practical. Those stances are usually deeper and allow for less agility and mobility which are critical in any fight situation.
Having said that, as a karateka myself, a traditional stance is great for building leg strength, flexibility and balance.
Lastly, it’s always important to return to your stance. Once you’ve thrown your punch, you should expect a quick counter-attack. If you’ve returned to your stance, you will have a better chance of dealing with such matters.
Developing Wrist Strength
Strong wrists are not only necessary for punching, but for a lot of activities which we engage in daily – basically anytime we push, pull, lift or carry weight. I would also include grip and forearm strength in the same category.
The risk of having weak wrists is obvious. They break. This may occur as a simple wrist sprain, but may also result in something more extreme. Care is needed to build up their strength.
There are several great exercises you can do to strengthen your wrists, grip and forearms thereby improving punching power.
Standing Reverse Curl – This exercise is best done with an EZ bar, but you can use anything similar in a pinch. If it’s being used, you can use the straight bar or pulley cable. Here’s how you do it.
Fingertip push-ups – If you don’t have access to weights, this exercise works too. The great thing about these is that you can easily make them more challenging by removing fingers, only using one leg, etc.
Toughening the Knuckles
You should aim to land your punch with the first two knuckles. If you don’t you’ll likely roll your wrist and sprain, tear or break something (other than your opponents ribs).
For most of my karate training, I would hit the heavy bag without wraps or gloves. Some of my boxing and Muay Thai brothers and sisters would likely think twice. But I think there’s something to be said for it. If you suddenly find yourself in a fight, who’s got time to put on wraps and gloves?
There are a few good exercises to strengthen the knuckles. As always, if it’s your first time doing an exercise, ease into it. If you’re going to hit the heavy bag bare-knucle for the first time, maybe go 25% until you get the timing, coordination and distance down.
The 2 best exercises to condition the knuckles in my opinion are knuckle push-ups and bare-knuckle heavy bag work (or makiwara). As you start to take on more weight or power, your knuckles will callus up and you won’t think twice about hitting the bag without wraps.
Using your hips
The hips play a vital role in the speed and power of your punch. Click here for my post on utilizing your hips.
Basically, remember to move your feet when you are punching. On the jab, you can lift up on your toes or step forward. On the cross, turn your back foot. On the lead hook, get up on your toes and turn the heel of your lead foot outward.
There are several good options for strengthening your hips. This would also include stretches that open up your hips. So, squats, deadlifts, static deep squats, etc. You should also check out GMB Fitnesses YouTube video on Hip Mobility.
Turning over your fist
Turning over your fist will get you that extra bit of torque you need. Torque equals power.
Your aim should be to time it so your fist turns just before it hits the target. As stated before, your goal is to land with the first two knuckles.
That’s all for now. If you liked this article, please share it!
Thanks and have a great day!