How to Punch Harder

So you're familiar with the basics of boxing? Or perhaps another martial art such as kick boxing or Muai Thai, but you need those extra gains to increase your punch power to continue getting better.

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In this article I’m going to explain how to do just that, increase your punch power, and believe me, you might be surprised where the power comes from, and surprised about your new power!

Hint: It’s not doing bicep curls five days a week!

The punch is almost an art, it’s not about just trying to punch hard or from putting more effort into your swing, or tensing your arm.

It’s all to do with your body weight and how you use it to build momentum into the punch. Your arm & fist simply delivers your bodys power when punching.

What you need to understand first

There are many misconceptions when it comes to throwing a punch, probably a result from all those action movies we all love, in which of course, the punches are scripted. Some trainers even get punching wrong, which is why you should always train with well respected trainers, but that’s a different topic!

Let’s resolve the confusion of power by breaking down the steps to throwing a good punch.

It’s not about speed. Think of the equation: Power = Acceleration X Mass. If you just have acceleration (speed) with no mass (body weight) you will have no power. You need both the speed and your body weight behind the punch to throw a hard punch.

So how do you put your bodyweight into a punch?

Remember the one-inch-punch theory from Bruce Lee? Which states moving your body one inch generates more power than moving your arm one foot.

Using your entire bodyweight will give you the maximum amount of power you will ever be able to generate for your punch, there is no other way of getting more power.

To start utilizing your body weight, you have to incorporate your legs into the punch. Your legs are biggest muscle in the body, so naturally they will generate the most power.

So lets get into it. Let’s start at the bottom of the body and work our way up.

How to position your feet

Get into the typical boxing stance; spread your legs slightly wider than shoulder width apart, facing sideways on and the heel on your back foot slightly raised. You are going to pivot your back foot and therefore body towards your opponent when you throw the punch.

Legs

When you move your front foot forward drop your body weight into your legs bending your knees slightly.

Tip: keep your knees slightly bent at all times.

Hips

As you throw the punch turn your hips into your opponent to increase momentum.

Upper body

As you spin your hips, you also want to turn your whole torso and shoulders and make sure the punch comes from the shoulders and not your arm. A full rotation hits a lot harder than a small one.

Tip: Don’t lean forward into the punch. The power comes from the rotation.

Shoulders

Keep your shoulders loose to preserve energy and increase speed, and therefore power. Raise your shoulders slightly to incorporate more muscles into the punch.

Arms

Keep your arms relaxed and loose. As your body starts moving you start moving your punching arm towards your opponent.

Have you ever been given the tip punch through your target instead of at your target? This is otherwise known as staying inside your range, if just your arm is fully outstretched when making impact your punch will not be able to harness the swings momentum, and as a result, will have a weaker punch.

If your arm over-extends, you are opening yourself up to get counter-punched easily.

Tip: Never pull your arm back before your punch as better fighters will see the punch coming.

Hands

Keep your hands relaxed when not about to impact. Do not clench your fists all the time. A loose fist is ok when not striking.

When about to strike, make a fist and twist your hand so it’s horizontal as you throw the punch. For a hook, you keep your hands vertical.

Your hands are blocking your face before the punch and then straight back to blocking after the punch is delivered.

Head

Breathe out on every punch (exhale). Keep your eyes on your opponent at all times and tuck your chin down towards your body to protect yourself with your shoulder.


Wrapping up

And that’s all there is to it! It’s all in the legs, momentum and balance. Keep practicing and you’ll soon be throwing those knockout punches in no time.


Want a video demo?

Check out this excellent video from Wing Chun Kid, who breaks down how to hit harder into five simple steps:

By the way, the ‘real life’ punch bag is called a B.O.B (body opponent bag), produced by Century, which can be found here.

The hanging bag is produced by Outslayer, and is definitely worth checking out if you’re in the market for a new bag, find it here.

SportGains also has in-depth review guides for both the best freestanding punching bags and the best 100lb heavy punching bags. If you're looking to up your game, check them out.