Long, flashy combinations are one of the most iconic hallmarks of a great boxing match. From the blistering hand-speed of Muhammad Ali to the smooth precision of Ricardo Lopez, we’ve always been captivated by the moments a fighter truly ‘lets their hands go.’ But how do these great boxers execute long punch combos like that without losing power on their punches? Here are some tips to make sure you keep the sting in your shots.
Smooth Is Fast
This is probably one of the most important lessons any aspiring volume puncher (someone who throws a lot of punches to win exchanges) needs to learn: technique creates speed. Punching with proper form will always create faster combinations than just focusing on moving the hands as fast as possible. This is because both the hip rotation and the whip motion that a proper punch has will always be faster than only pushing with the muscles of your arm. A great example of this is Manny Pacquiao. His punches have great technique and flow well, naturally building momentum.
Rhythm Makes The World Go Round
Just as important as proper boxing technique is maintaining a rhythm with longer combinations. This doesn’t mean you should be predictable with your punches. It just means that you should try and keep your flow steady rather than switch between a ‘sprint’ pace and a ‘walk’ pace in between punches. The reason for this is that keeping a steady punching rhythm allows your body to maintain and adjust purely on muscle memory rather than conscious adjustment. A fantastic example of this is Evander Holyfield. All of his combinations have a very noticeable rhythm.
Breathe With Your Punches
In boxing movies, you will often hear boxers ‘hiss’ when they throw their punches – and this is an actual boxing technique. Breathing and activating your diaphragm when throwing shots has the dual benefit of ensuring your core is engaged in the punch and making sure you maintain your oxygen levels, especially during long combos. I try my best to breathe in when I bring my punches back, and breathe out when I punch, making sure I keep my oxygen levels up to help fight off muscle fatigue. This one takes some time to get used to, so don’t feel bad if it doesn’t seem natural at first.
Throwing long punch combinations without burning out is something that takes a lot of practice and conditioning, and it's something even the very best fighters in the world struggle with. The most important things to remember when trying to work long combinations on the punching bag are to try and maintain a smooth flow to your punches, to keep your breathing timed on rhythm, and to not fight the natural momentum by trying to keep yourself in one spot. It is by no means an easy technique to learn, but the Trainers at FightCamp are up to the task of helping you learn how to really let your hands go and get a great workout doing it!
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