6 Types of Basic Boxing Punches

FightCamp Types of Boxing Punches - Woman Boxing

These SIX (6) basic BOXING PUNCHES--jab, cross, lead hook, rear hook, lead uppercut, rear uppercut--form the foundation of boxing. Let’s break them down...

Published: July 16, 2021

Topics: Boxing, Training

Author: Tommy Duquette

Watching professional fighters showcase the pinnacle of their sport can be mesmerizing. It can also intimidate some beginner boxers. Anyone just starting out boxing should remember that a powerful boxing prowess comes down to learning the six (6) basic boxing punches.

FightCamp Types of Boxing Punches

These foundational moves are broken down into an easy punch number system that is at the core of all boxing combinations and basic boxing techniques.

1 = The Jab
2 = The Cross
3 = The Lead Hook
4 = The Rear Hook
5 = The Lead Uppercut
6 = The Rear Uppercut

What Are Different Types of Punches in Boxing?

Although there are six (6) punches in the punch count number system, they can also be broken down further into four (4) main types of boxing punches.

These four (4) types of punches are:

  1. Jab

  2. Cross

  3. Hook

  4. Uppercut

The six-punch number system incorporates these main types of punches thrown, plus variations based on the right and the left hands, which require slightly different positioning.

How Are Punches Numbered?

The way these different punches in boxing are numbered is by design. There is a formula to boxing punch numbers 1-6 that not only makes them easier to remember, but also helps create winning boxing combinations.

This punch number system is based on an Orthodox boxing stance and is broken down like this:

  • All even-numbered punches are right-hand punches

  • All odd-numbered punches are left-hand punches

Boxing workouts often use boxing combinations using the punch count numbers to identify drills. Here are a few of the basic boxing combos using the numbering system:

  • 1 - 2 = Jab – Cross

  • 3 - 4 = Lead Hook – Rear Hook

  • 5 - 6 = Lead Uppercut – Rear Uppercut

Beginners should memorize these numbers and be comfortable with these boxing combos as they will be used frequently throughout boxing training and boxing drills. Boxing punch numbers make it easy for trainers to call out punch combinations during a workout.

How Do You Do Basic Punches In Boxing?

Armed with a better idea of how this punch number system is designed, it’s time to get started learning the moves.

1 = The Jab

Jab Boxing Punch
  • Assume fighting stance with your fists in guard position.

  • Extend your lead arm straight ahead, keeping your fist in line with its starting point.

  • Return your fist quickly back to your face.

The jab is meant to be more of a rapid movement than a powerful one, so keep this in mind as you practice.

2 = The Cross

Cross Boxing Punch
  • Assume the same fighting stance with fists in guard position.

  • You will pivot on your back foot as you rotate your hips, angling your body towards the front.

  • As you pivot and rotate, extend your rear arm forward using your shoulder as the source of your power.

  • Rotate your body back to fighting stance and return your rear hand to guard position.

3 = The Lead Hook

Lead Hook Boxing Punch
  • Start in your fighting stance with fists in guard position.

  • Rotate your body into a forward position to transfer your weight on your lead leg.

  • Bring your lead arm up to shoulder-height with your elbow bent at a 90-degree angle.

  • Pivot on your lead leg while rotating your body to follow your fist.

  • Your arm will remain bent at the elbow at a roughly 90-degree angle and your elbow should end up almost in front of your face as you follow-through.

Note: This can be one of the trickier (but most powerful) punches to throw, so don’t get discouraged if it feels awkward at first!

4 = The Rear Hook

Rear Hook Boxing Punch
  • Start in your fighting stance with fists in guard position.

  • Bring your rear arm to shoulder height with your elbow bent at a 90-degree angle.

  • Pivot on your rear foot while rotating your hips and body.

  • Again, your elbow will remain bent and should be almost in front of your face as you deliver your hook punch.

5 = The Lead Uppercut

Lead Uppercut Boxing Punch
  • Assume fighting stance with fists in guard position.

  • Bend your knees into a low squat.

  • Drop your lead arm to a 90-degree angle from your body.

  • Using the power from your legs and body, drive your fist upwards into a punch keeping your elbow bent.

6 = The Rear Uppercut

Aaron Swenson Showing How To Do a Rear Uppercut
  • Assume fighting stance with fists in guard position.

  • Bend your knees into a low squat.

  • Drop your rear arm to a 90-degree angle from your body.

  • Like the cross and rear hook, pivot on your back foot and rotate your hips and body as you drive your fist upwards for the punch, keeping your elbow bent.

These six (6) punches represent the groundwork behind every great boxer and are fundamental parts of every great boxing match.

Learning the six basic boxing punches is the foundation of becoming an experienced boxer. Some of these punches and boxing combos may feel more natural than others at first, but beginners will get comfortable with practice. All boxers have their favorites and start to create their own go-to boxing combinations. The important thing is to get comfortable using all the tools in your arsenal to really excel!

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Learn more about how you can enhance your training skills and take your workouts to the next level by visiting the FightCamp YouTube Channel and Blog. 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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Tommy Duquette

Tommy Duquette is a Co-Founder and Head of Content at FightCamp. He is a former US Boxing Team member with 136 fights under his belt & qualified #2 seed for the 2012 Olympic trials. Tommy is USA Boxing Coach certified.

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