How to Punch Faster: Boxing Hand Speed Drills & Tips

FightCamp - Hand Speed Drills to Punch Harder & Faster

Add these three (3) boxing tips and exercises to your training for improving PUNCHING SPEED and generating powerful punches with each strike.

Published: September 17, 2021

Topics: Strength & Conditioning, Training

Author: FightCamp Team

Can You Train Hand Speed?

As a boxer, learning how to increase punching speed and power is an absolute must. Doing hand speed drills 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 hand speed drills 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 hand speed drills to increase punching speed:

3 Tips To Increase Punching Speed

While there are numerous specific hand speed drills 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

FightCamp - Hand Speed Drills to Punch Harder & Faster

If you have a friend or family member willing to help, start focus mitt training. When doing mitt work, 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.

Boxing Hand Speed Drills to Punch Faster & Harder

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

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 and clap before landing back down in a standard push-up position

  • Repeat for 10-15 reps and 2 more sets

Exercise 3: Classic Shadowboxing

FightCamp - Hand Speed Drills to Punch Harder & Faster

While the previous two exercises focused on muscle-building, shadowboxing is one of many hand speed drills and 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 | 1 - 1 - 2

  • Jab - Cross - Lead Hook | 1 - 2 - 3

  • Jab - Jab - Jab - Lead Hook - Cross | 1 - 1 - 1 - 3

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 harder and 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 and hand speed drills. Practice these strategies with FightCamp, and you’ll be punching faster in no time.

Train Like a Fighter

Take your workouts to the next level and train like a fighter with the at-home connected fitness solution used by world champion boxers Mike Tyson and Floyd Mayweather. FightCamp has everything you need to work out on your schedule, with premium boxing equipment and hundreds of on-demand strength, conditioning, kickboxing, boxing, core, and recovery classes led by real fighters. As Mike Tyson said - “FightCamp is the next level of training!”

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FightCamp Team

The FightCamp Team is in your corner, curating the latest in at-home boxing, kickboxing, and fitness training. With up-to-date and expert-level information from workouts, boxing tips and technique, wellness and nutrition, and fight news, our goal is to help you find the fighter within!

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