Even if you don’t have access to a boxing gym, you can hit harder by polishing your punch until it is the picture of perfection. The pointers in the following checklist don’t apply to every punch, but if you don’t understand each concept, one or more of the punches in your arsenal will probably be as weak as water. Make sure you regularly run through this checklist whenever you change some aspect of your training.
Don’t arm punch
Most novices and untrained fighters are guilty of arm punching. That is, they swing or poke with a single arm without involving the torso and legs. Arm punchers rely on their relatively weak shoulders and triceps instead of using their powerful leg, back, and core muscles.
To increase punching power, never arm punch. It’s that simple.
Although it is sometimes acceptable (and often necessary) to arm punch while you throw the jab, this is a special case.
Shift your weight
Make every punch except the two uppercuts more powerful by shifting a percentage of your weight from one foot to the other. Get your body weight moving with the punch or you’ll end up arm punching.
Once you learn how to transfer your weight from foot to foot during a punch, you will be one step closer to successfully stringing several punches together into an effective combination.
Step with the punch
Increase the power of every punch except your uppercuts by stepping with the punch. Even the left hook — which was traditionally used in situations when you were close to your opponent and rooted to the ground — can be supercharged with a step.
Pivot with the punch
Everyone knows the value of a pivot during the left hook. But fewer folks understand that a pivot significantly strengthens the straight right, both uppercuts, and even the jab.
Odds are the power of the punch you’re working on can be increased with the addition of a slight pivot which begins with the unweighted foot and continues up the body. Pivot to get more body mass lined up behind the punch, and your power will skyrocket.
Use footwork to maintain proper range
When you reach with a punch, you create several problems:
- You alter the technique, thereby weakening it.
- You create huge defensive liabilites that a competent counterpuncher will capitalize upon.
- You hamper your own footwork and make it hard to get back into your fighting stance before being countered.
When you punch from too close a range, your power never gets a chance to fully develop. If you are too close to throw a good, technically-solid punch, you should either use footwork to maneuver yourself back into proper range, or choose a shorter-range punch.
Increase punching power gradually
Anyone can hit like a rhinoceros if they ignore defense. Remember that power is useless if you get KOed. Don’t ruin proper technique just to squeeze a bit more power out of your punches. Instead, use the checklist to intelligently examine your technique and tweak it to perfection.
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