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How To Increase Punching Speed: Boxing Tips and Exercises

As a boxer, learning how to increase punching speed and power is an absolute must. Doing so can help make your strikes more effective whether you’re working out on a punching bag, shadowboxing, or sparring.

Fortunately, there are a number of exercises to increase punching speed. Many of these exercises require little to no equipment, and can be done from the comfort of your own home. Once you have a background in boxing form and proper punching technique, you can get started.

Here are some tips and exercises to increase punching speed:

3 Tips To Increase Punching Speed

While there are numerous specific exercises that can help a fighter develop punching speed, there are a few general training tips as well that can help:

1. Use Hand Weights

An effective training technique for improving punching speed is to start using hand weights when shadowboxing. Hand weights can be anything from velcro wrist weights to holding a light dumbbell (around 2-5 pounds) when you punch.

2. Use Focus Mitts

If you have a friend or family member willing to help, start focus mitt training. In focus mitt training, one partner dictates the punches that the other partner will throw by holding hand mitts in a certain position. Start by having your partner call out combinations to you, but eventually work your way up to not needing verbal cues to recognize the strikes.

3. Start With Technique

Another great tip for increasing punching speed is to focus on your technique. Make sure your elbows don’t flare out on jabs or crosses, and keep your punches tight to the body. Snap your punches back to a guard position with every strike. Improving your speed starts with refining your technique.

Exercises To Increase Punching Speed

Focus mainly on bodyweight exercises that train key muscle groups. When learning how to increase punching speed without a heavy bag, bodyweight training and punching speed drills are some of the best strategies.

Exercise 1: Pull-ups and Chin-ups

  • Using a pull-up bar, lift your body until your chin is at the height of the bar
  • Slowly release until your elbows are fully extended
  • Repeat
  • For chin-ups, reverse your hand grip on the bar and repeat the movement

Pull-up Hand Grip


  • Keep your hands about shoulder width apart on the bar
  • Ensure your palms are facing away from you
  • Keep your wrists as straight as possible

Chin-up Hand Grip


  • Keep your hands about shoulder width apart on the bar
  • Unlike a pull-up, make sure your palms are facing towards you and wrapped around the back of the bar
  • Keep your wrists as straight as possible

For an added workout, hold your body at the top of the pull-up or chin-up for 10-15 seconds before slowly lowering yourself. Place your hands at about double shoulder width apart on the bar for pull-ups to perform a wide-grip variant that will push your back muscles even more.

Exercise 2: Push-up Variants

While the chest is important for developing punching power, your arms are key to punching speed. Push-up exercises can work both your arms and your chest. Since speed is the name of the game, explosive push-ups are an important exercise variant to focus on--specifically, clapping push-ups:

  • Drop down into a push-up position with your hands shoulder-width apart
  • Lower yourself into a push-up and, once at the bottom of your movement, push yourself back up quickly
  • Keep your feet planted to the ground, but as you explode upward, lift your arms up clap before landing back down in a standard push-up position
  • Repeat for 10-15 reps and 2 more sets

Exercise 3: Classic Shadowboxing

While the previous two exercises focused on muscle-building, shadowboxing is an active way to learn how to punch faster. Rather than focusing on power, focus purely on your speed with shadowboxing.

When working on a punching bag, practicing power strikes and combinations can help build strength. However, there is no resistance when shadowboxing, so training speed combinations can be more effective than power combos.

The following boxing punch combinations can be effective for increasing your punching speed:

  • Jab - Jab - Cross
  • Jab - Cross - Lead Hook
  • Jab - Jab - Jab - Lead Hook - Cross

The above three sample combinations are particularly effective when shadowboxing because they emphasize speed strikes, rather than power. The cross is certainly a powerful strike, but mixing it in with the jab helps you to train your speed.

When learning how to punch faster, boxers need to start slow and focus on key combinations that use quick strikes. Mixing the above combos in with power combos can give a boxer an effective arsenal in a sparring match.

What Is The Best Way To Increase Punching Speed?

The best way to increase your punching speed is to train the specific muscles involved with the “snap” of a punch through bodyweight exercises, as well as using speed-focused shadowboxing combinations.

Practice these strategies and you’ll be punching faster in no time. For more workouts or general boxing tips, feel free to visit FightCamp today!

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