How To Increase Punching Power (Without Boxing Equipment)
Punching is the foundation of boxing. Many people often forego the mastery of their punching technique in favor of training complex boxing techniques, but you can’t run before learning to walk. Developing your punching power should be the first item on your to-do list, however there are a few common questions that you may have:
- What muscles generate punching power?
- How do boxers increase punching power?
- What workouts increase punching power?
Anybody can build their punching power by making a few small adjustments to their punches. Using just two small tips below, it’s possible to learn how to increase punching power without equipment.
Step 1: Adjust Your Form
Technique is everything when it comes to boxing. You can throw a punch as hard as you like, but your punch will never be as powerful as it could be if you don’t have the form to match.
What Is The Strongest Punch Technique?
A proper punch shouldn’t just use your arm. Punching power comes from the base of the body upward. To get the most power out of a strike, you have to put your whole body into the force of the punch, rotating your body, and providing momentum to power the punch. The key to throwing a more powerful punch is finding the balance of speed and power, not one or the other.
Throwing a punch as fast as possible will cost power, but throwing a punch with as much force as possible will cost speed. So, how can you throw a quick punch that maximizes power?
Use all of your muscles.
What Muscles Generate Punching Power?
Depending on the part of your body, there are a number of muscles that go into a strong punch.
- Calves, hamstrings, and gluteus maximus are used to transfer power from your feet to waist
- Oblique muscles of your core allow for rotational power
Arms and Hands
- Deltoids, biceps, triceps, and forearm muscles are all engaged in a punch
As you can see, there are a large number of muscles used in such a simple movement. Let’s start from the ground up and look at how to perfect the motions these muscles are used in to increase punching power.
When looking at how to increase punching power, everything starts with the feet. Step into your fighting stance and keep your feet shoulder-width apart. Without actually punching, try the following:
- Rotate your back foot in the direction you would be punching (think of squishing a bug under your foot)
- When you go to punch, drop your body weight slightly into your legs while bending the knees
- Spin your hips towards the direction you are punching
[All three of the above motions should be done in sync.]
After perfecting the movements of your lower body, it’s time to focus on your upper torso. For now, practice the following movements without throwing a punch, just keep your hands up in a guard position.
- Rotate your upper body as much as possible while you rotate your hips
- Do not lean forward
- Allow your rotation to bring your arms and body closer to where an opponent would be
- Keep your shoulders loose and your hands raised so that you feel your shoulder muscles engaged
Practice this movement and work it until your upper and lower body are in sync.
After this point, you’ve primed the foundation of your power punch.
Arms and Hands
Now it’s time to piece the technique together. Keep your arms and hands as relaxed as your shoulders to save your energy for the actual strike. As your upper and lower body rotate forward, keep your hands loose and perform the following:
- Twist your arm from a vertical guard position to a horizontal punch, tightening your fist
- Leave a little give in your elbow, otherwise you may hyperextend the joint
- Return to your guard
As a side note, try not to let your opposite shoulder dip when you throw your punch. This is known as a “tell” and is a major sign to an opponent that a punch may be coming.
A good strategy for balancing speed with your strikes is to start by practicing with the “7/10 rule”, which can help you develop a snapping punch: punch out with a speed of 7 and snap it back with a speed of 10. This will result in a sharp sting to the opponent on top of the power you have generated by using your whole body.
Your overall goal should be to create a snap when you punch and the above rule can help you get a feel for the motion. In short, it’s about minimizing the time of contact with an opponent or bag.
You’ll know you’ve aced this technique when your punch is moving in sync with your back foot. As your foot twists forward, your punch and arm should be extending. As your foot twists back, your fist should be returning to your guard.
Step 2: Practice Power-Training Exercises
Learning the above technique is one thing, but practicing and perfecting it is another. Fortunately, you don’t need special equipment to train your power, just a couple of punching power exercises.
Since throwing a powerful punch requires strength from your whole body, these exercises will target every muscle. First and foremost, the muscles in your wrists and fists must be strong to deliver the blow. Next, your lower body has to be firm to give you a basis from which to rotate and build momentum for the punch.
Finally, the muscles in your shoulders have to be trained to carry out the momentum from the ground up and transfer it through the arm. For specific drills and exercises, you can read this article (3 Exercises To Increase Punching Power - No Equipment Needed).
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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 of experience training clients in boxing and fitness. Tommy is also USA Boxing Coach certified.