6 Tips To Throw The Perfect Jab
What Is The Purpose of a Jab In Boxing?
The jab is one of the 6 basic punches in every boxer’s repertoire. It helps you set up your range, establish your position for other types of power shots, and it helps you keep your opponent at arm’s length.
How To Throw a Jab
If it’s your first time learning to jab, or if you want a refresher, follow along with FightCamp trainer & former US National Team member Tommy Duquette as he guides us in-depth on how to throw a jab (link to video).
Whether you are a beginner or know your way around the bag, here are 6 (six) easy tips that you can practice at home on your own or with a bag to up the speed and power of your jabs:
1. Set up your training area
Make sure you have enough space to punch, kick, slip, and roll before you start practicing your punch and kick combinations. The FightCamp gym comes with a 8’ x 2’ floor mat which is a good size to start training with.
2. Nail your stance
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent and your non-dominant (lead) foot and hand forward. Always jab with your lead hand.
A strong boxing stance is key to throwing a good punch. It provides a strong foundation so that you can leverage your weight to generate power and speed with every punch.
3. Balance and distribute your weight
Shift your weight to the balls of your feet, staying light and bouncy so that you can easily shift your weight, dodge punches, and move around.
Keep your knees bent and light throughout the punch - resist the temptation to straighten your knees and pop up when you throw your jab. Doing so throws off your balance and reduces the control and power of your hit.
4. Get your guard up
Put your hands up in your finding stance--elbows bent, tucked tight by your chest, and gloves to temples.
Even when your lead hand punches, keep your rear hand high and tight against your face. Dropping your guard leaves you wide open for a left hook from your opponent.
5. Extend, rotate, and exhale
Snap your lead glove out and back in with speed. As you extend the punch, shrug your shoulder upwards and rotate your entire arm so that the punch lands with your palm down and your shoulder near your chin. When you throw your punch, exhale sharply.
When you extend, keep your elbow tucked in tight to avoid the dreaded "chicken wing." When you let your elbow swing outward reduces the power and speed of the punch, and makes it much less difficult for the opponent to counter. When you rotate, isolate your arm and avoid rotating your whole body. Pivoting on your foot or rotating your entire body slows down your punch.
6. Snap back
Snap your punch back as quickly as you extended it, and return to where you started: feet apart, weight on the balls of your feet, gloves to temples protecting your face and head.
How To Throw a Jab With Power
You do not have to be a heavyweight boxer to throw a powerful punch. Delivering a hard-hitting jab is all about using your weight and power efficiently. Imagine power coming up all the way from your toes into your legs, shoulders, and then fist as you activate your calf and thigh muscles, tighten your core, and throw your jab.
Once you are comfortable throwing a killer jab, practice your moves with a drill. Then, try incorporating other punches or kicks to create a combination. The Jab-Cross is a common combo to bring any jab to the next level.
The Author: Tommy Duquette is the Co-Founder and Head of Content at FightCamp. He is a former US Boxing Team member with 136 fights under his belt and qualified for the 2012 Olympic trials as the #2 seed. He has 18 years experience training clients in boxing and fitness.