Boxing requires speed as well as strength in addition to the skill and technique. While the right technique does take you a long way, it is the speed, agility, and strength of a punch delivered with the perfect technique that makes it effective. It is, therefore, crucial for professional boxers and martial artists alike to learn tips for powerful punches by making punches exercises a regular part of their training routine. Along with the right technique, every boxer must also learn how to speed up punches and how to make punches stronger, harder and faster.
Punches Exercises and Tips for Powerful Punches
Like any other sport, Success in boxing depends on the skill level, and technique of the athletes. Delivering powerful punches right is crucial to staying in position and maintain your balance during fights. Here are some punching exercises along with tips for powerful, strong punches.
Drive Power from the Ground Up
In boxing as well as other forms of combat sports, you drive power for strong punches and hits from the ground up. That is why it is crucial to strengthen your legs and core to be able to transfer power from your feet to legs to core, shoulders and all the way to your fist for the perfect powerful punches. Your strength and technique basically depend on the strength of your legs and core. Perform aerobic as well as anaerobic exercises including running, cycling, squats and jumps to increase your lower body strength and endurance.
Make Your Hands Stronger
In fight sports, hands are your most significant asset. It is, therefore, crucial to condition your hands to make your fists stronger and less prone to injury. The more you train and condition your hands, the stronger they become. From each individual finger to the whole fist, conditioning increases the endurance and stamina of your hands. A good way to get stronger hands is to use a heavy punching bag or something to hit and punch repeatedly. For starters, you can simply fill a tub with rice and dig your hands through it.
Grounding yourself firmly to the ground, while staying light and quick on your feet, is crucial in combat sports. Planting yourself firmly to the ground, while delivering a punch, helps maintain balance. At the same time, it increases the power and strength of a punch. Moreover, when you are grounding yourself firmly you will be able to maintain your balance even if you miss the punch which is crucial in fights for professional athletes. If they lose balance on missing a punch, it is an opening for your opponent to attack you when you are most vulnerable.
Improve your Upper Body Strength and Movement
A strong punch involves your full body, not just a strong hand or arm. Therefore, the focus of full-body strength rather than just on developing shoulder strength or strengthening your biceps. More importantly, upper body strength and movement are what decides the effectiveness of a punch. Strengthen your core and upper body for powerful punches. Moreover, improve your upper body movement and torque. When you are delivering a punch your upper body rotates to deliver power to the punch. Swing a bat or a golf club and try medicine ball exercises in multiple variations with both hands. You can swing, throw, play catch and perform several other variations with a medicine ball. You can even use weights with plyometric and anaerobic exercises to increase your upper body strength and improve your body movement.
Punch Through Your Target Not At It
Don’t just punch at your target. Rather, punch through it. This is because, in order to be able to deliver strong punches, you must be fully committed to the punch, putting in all your strength and power into it for a strong powerful punch. When you are hitting your target, you never put in all your strength. Therefore, ground yourself so that you don’t lose balance. Then put in all your strength into the punch for strong powerful punches right through your target and you will be surprised how by the difference in the power of and impact of your punches.
In order to deliver powerful punches, you must set your technique right first. Once your technique is perfect, then focus on enhancing your strength. Work on the coordination and accuracy of your punches first and then go for powerful punches. This is because all the strength and power is useless if you cannot hit your target at the right place.
Stay at the Right Distance from the Target
Stay within an appropriate distance range from your target and never overextend your arms to deliver a punch. Overextending your arms can not only pull the muscles and cause serious injuries, but it can also throw you off balance. Moreover, when you have to reach far to deliver the punch, it reduces the power and strength of even the strongest of thee punches.
Hit the Heavy Bag
Heavy bag training is one of the best ways to condition and train the body and the muscles for power punching. Not only working up a heavy bag increases the strength and power of the punches making them more powerful, but it also increases your overall strength, stamina, and endurance. At the same time, a heavy improves your skill level and technique.
Box With Weights
Shadowboxing is an important boxing exercise. It not only improves technique but also strengthens the muscles. Shadowboxing is an ideal way to develop power. It is even more effective when you do it with weights. However, always start without weights and warm up. Throw punches at a high speed and try different combinations. Imagine that you are in a real fight trying to dodge and block your opponent while firing back at the same time. Once you are comfortable without weights and the muscles are all warmed up, use weights for the next round. Weights must not be more than 10 pounds. In fact, go for lighter weights of 2 to 5lbs that you can easily hold and box. Heavier weights will affect your technique negatively instead of improving it. Moreover, when you use weight, don’t commit fully to the punch in terms of strength and speed, rather just focus on your form, balance, and technique. A smart way to use weights for shadowboxing is to alternate the rounds with and without weights.
Make Use of the Medicine Ball
Medicine ball throw is a common power punching exercise in the boxing world. It is highly effective when done properly because it mimics a real punch and practices power throw. There are multiple variations of the medicine ball throws by standing in a boxing stance and throwing the ball against the wall is the most effective way to do it.
Stand in a boxing stance with a power arm and leg at the rear. Use your lead hand to support the ball and then use all your strength to throw the ball like you would throw a punch with your power hand at the wall. Then catch it as it bounces back. use your full strength and alternate both sides of your body. After all, you need to train both of your hands for power punching. You can time or number your throws performing 3 to 4 rounds in the beginning. Make sure to rest for one minute between each round.
Perform Burpees and Push-Ups
Burpees and plyometric pushups increase your explosiveness. Both these exercises incorporate your whole body and work almost each muscle group. These exercises train the body for sudden explosive movements as well as strength. You don’t need any specific equipment for these exercises. Instead, they simply use your own bodyweight to develop power, strength, and explosiveness.
How to Speed Up Punches
Along with your strength, speed matters a great deal in boxing. It doesn’t matter how powerful your punches are if your opponent delivers three punches while you delivered only one and that too, they managed to block only because they are faster than you. Therefore, while you work on your technique, power and strength, focus on your speed too.
Shadowboxing is quite an effective way to develop and practice high speed with different combinations of punches and moves. Imagine you are in an actual fight. Throw different combinations of punches while moving, bobbing and weaving around, dodging and blocking your imaginary opponent’s attacks. This will condition your mind and body for actual fights. Throw those punch combinations fast and hard. This is one of the best punches exercise to speed up punches.
Speed Bag Workout
Speed bags and double-end bags are the most effective way to speed up punches. These fast-moving bags bounce back quickly when you hit them. Therefore, they make you think and respond fast. Speed bags are a great way to develop endurance, stamina as well as speed and hand-eye coordination. They improve your reflexes training you to act and respond much faster. Set short 30 seconds to two minutes' time slots and punch as many times as you can. Try to hit as fast as you can to speed up punches. Make sure to fully focus and hit right through the bag instead of just tapping at it.
Practice Quick Yet Stable Breathing
Never, ever, ignore your breathing pattern when training or fighting. Focus on maintaining a stable breath. The reason is that stable breathing keeps your blood full of oxygen and makes your body and your muscles perform at their best. However, if you are not breathing properly you will start feeling fatigued in no time. Besides, tensing up and holding your breath only holds you back. Develop a good breathing rhythm with your punches. Make sure to keep your shoulders loose and your body relaxed. A strong breathing pattern accompanied with good cardiovascular health helps tighten your core and adds power to your punches. At the same time, it speeds up punches like nothing else.
Practice Speed with Combination Punches
Speed is not just action. In training as well as competitions, you need to be able to think fast. Only then can you act and respond fast. Start with fast punches exercise for short 15 to 20-second intervals with equal breaks in between. Then try out different combinations of punches. Same as you would in the ring during a fight. Keep the punches light and just focus on your speed. Punch as fast as you can to speed up punches. Practice the same with your sparring partners. Focus on speed and disrupt their rhythm. Rather than focusing on the strength of every single punch, think fast and challenge them with your speed.
Improve Your Footwork
Footwork is very important in boxing and fight sports. It decides your overall performance and the pace of your movement, actions, and responses. Boxers need to be quick and light on their feet in order to move around, attack and dodge their opponent quickly. Jump rope and short, fast sprints are the best way to improve your footwork. Interval sprinting and jump rope both condition your feet and legs to move fast. At the same time, you develop overall agility and endurance.
All these methods when combined and performed on a regular basis definitely speed up punches and make your reflexes quick and agile in the ring. These along with good fast sparring sessions is a great way to train and speed up punches for boxing.
Plyometric Barbell Punches Exercises
Plyometric barbell punches are one of the most effective exercises to develop explosive strength. This means the speed with power. Plyometric barbell punches is an explosive exercise, which when done right, develops very impressive explosive strength and power along with speed.
Start with one leg in front of the other. Keep the heel of the back leg slightly elevated while the front foot firmly grounded. Use an empty barbell since this is not weight training. Rather it is an exercise for explosive strength and speed. Bend your knees, keeping your abs tight, back rounded and shoulders firm, still and straight along with your chest. Relaxing the spine is one of the biggest mistakes you could make with this exercise. It can lead to severe injuries including disc slip. Keeping your shoulders still and firmly hold the bar close to your chest, never touching it. Then in an explosive motion push it away and slightly up from yourself. Make sure not to move or shrug your shoulders. Also, do not extend your arms fully. Next in an explosive contractionary movement bring the barbell back to the starting position close to your chest. Make sure you are holding the bar firmly with both hands at shoulder-width apart. Perform two to three sets of 5 to 15 repetitions, as you become a pro at it. Perform these plyometric barbell punches twice a week to speed up punches and develop explosive strength.
How to Make Your Punches Harder and Faster
Speed and power are two different skills. However, together they make your punches harder and faster. Combining powerful punches with speed makes them even more effective. Here are some tips on how to make your punches harder and faster.
The technique is the Key
You might think a strong muscular person can always throw a mean punch. Well, you are wrong. Strength doesn’t always make for a strong punch. Rather, it is the right technique that makes your punches harder and faster, meaningful and effective. Without the right technique, a heavy punch will go to waste since the impact will not be as intended. In order to punch harder and faster, use your full body not just your arms and shoulders. Drive power from the ground up and direct it all into your punch. Pivot your toes, rotate your hips, keeping a tight core and relaxed breathing, rotate your shoulders transferring all the energy to your arm and the fist to deliver the final blow. Work hard on your technique every day. Speed and power will always follow.
Avoid Overextension at All Costs
Avoid overextending your arms for the punch since it not only reduces the impact of a punch but poses serious risk potential too. Distance is crucial to you’re your punches harder and faster. Every punch needs a specific distance for the full impact, work on your distance and accuracy as this really affects your performance in the long-run.
If you overextend your arms, chances are, you will lift your toes and lose balance. This will leave you open and unguarded for a counterpunch. Moreover, extending the arm to punch decreases the power of your punch.
Hyperextension is dangerous. It can lead to severe damage to your elbow because of the sudden stretch of the tendons and ligaments in the joints. In addition to this, extending your arm fully leaves no chance for you to contract your forearm muscles in the last phase of movement before the impact. This significantly decreases your power.
Keep Your Muscles Relaxed
Keeping your muscles relaxed is crucial to good performance in boxing. When you do not contract your muscles all the time, it helps you focus on the punch and the final blow rather than being stiff and focusing only on the contraction. To make your punches harder and faster, focus on your opponent, keep your breathing normal and muscles relaxed. Contract your shoulder and forearms only when your fist is right about to hit the target and put in all your energy and focus right then into the punch. This makes for a total knock out blow. Keeping your muscles relaxed will make you feel less fatigued and you will have more strength and focus for the fight.
Keep a Good Boxing Stance
Keeping a good boxing stance is crucial to performance in a fight. A good boxing stance makes the impact of your punches even greater. On the contrary, if you can not maintain a good boxing stance, your punches will be a week and lack the energy, no matter how strong you are. A good boxing stance not only makes your punches harder and faster, but it also protects you from the attacks of your opponent. At the same time, it helps maintain good, fast footwork while allowing you to dodge and counter-attack more easily.
Here is what a good boxing stance generally looks like; keep your legs shoulder-width apart, your feet parallel, leading leg forward and the other slightly at the back. Keep your rear heel slightly raised for good balance. The fist of the rear arm must be at your chin while the elbow will cover your ribs. Keep the lead fist in front of your face and your chin slightly tucked into your chest. This is the basic boxing stance that every boxer follows. You can begin with it and further personalize it to match your style.
Work on Your Stamina
Stamina is the key to good performance in any sport from swimming, to football and combat. Your stamina is what makes your punches harder and faster each time you mark a strike. If you do not have the stamina, your punches are going to be weak. Even if you were great at the beginning of a match, if you have no power left by the time you reach the mid of the fight, you are probably going to lose. Increase your stamina with different realistic condition-based exercises. Jump rope, interval sprinting and explosive exercises along with speed bag training are some great ways to build your stamina and endurance level for boxing and combat sports.
Condition Your Body
Conditioning your body as well as your mind for the fight is the best way to prepare well for the competition. Work on strengthening your whole body including your legs, hips, abs, core, shoulders, back, and arm muscles. Boxing is a full-contact sport and in order to be able to perform well, you need a strong, well-conditioned physique as well as mind. Only then you can be a great boxer.
Drive Strength From the Ground Up
Drive power from the ground up. This is quite a repeated phrase in boxing, one that every trainer, coach, and even boxer will tell you if you want to make your punches harder and faster. Engage your full body in every strike you make. Drive strength from your toes to the legs, hips, core, shoulders and right through to your arm. It will make the punch meaner and much more effective.
Improve your Accuracy with Quick Movements
Accuracy of the hits along with quick, fast and flexible movement is crucial for a boxer. If your footwork and good and you can move fast, it will be easier for you to ditch and dodge your opponent. At the same time, if you are fast and accurate, you will be able to drive a mean punch when your opponent misses one and lose their focus. They are quite vulnerable at this stage and if you can get to them at this time with a right punch, you can be the winner.
Be Patient and Think Fast
Boxing is a full-contact sport played in short intervals and rounds. Yet, it is one of the most intense sports. You need to think quickly, act and respond fast in a fight. At the same time, you need to be patient. Defend yourself from your opponent’s attacks keep moving around bobbing and dodging. Then weigh for the right opportunity and make your strike as powerful and impactful as you can. Not being patient and simply trying to attack without thinking of your defenses is the biggest mistake you can make in boxing.
Improve your Cardiovascular Strength with Swimming and Jump Rope
Work on your form and build strength with push-ups, pull-ups, shoulder presses, crunches, and squats. Perform cardio exercises including a jump rope, running, swimming and more. This will allow you to maintain a steady, relaxed breathing pattern while boxing. At the same time, it will improve your strength, stamina, and endurance.
How to Make Punches Stronger
A strong punch is a combination of speed, stamina, power, strength and focuses along with timing and accuracy. You cannot make punches stronger without the right technique, perfect timing and the right mix of speed and strength. All these come from practice and regular training. There is, in fact, a long list of training and exercises that help make punches stronger, harder and faster. Here are some of the basic exercises to start off with in order to make your punches stronger and faster.
When it comes to strong, powerful punches what most commonly comes to mind is large, strong, muscular arms with heavily build biceps and triceps. The reality, however, is not the same. Powerful punches do not come from big muscles. Rather, they are a mix of the right technique along with speed, timing, and accuracy along with full-body strength rather than just strong arms. You need to develop strong leg muscles, glutes, abs and shoulders too to achieve this final title. Here are some of the basic exercises that you can do literally anywhere to strengthen and shape these muscles right.
Deadlifts are a powerlifting exercise. It is quite an important weight training exercise that provides structural integrity to the shoulders while strengthening the legs, glutes, and hamstrings.
Squats are another important exercise that improves muscular strength while shaping the body at the same time. It strengthens the quads, hamstrings, glutes and the back muscles all at the same time. Moreover, it also improves balance and coordination.
3. Cable Rotations
Cable rotation is a core strengthening exercise that works the core, shoulders, back and arm muscles. You hold the cable with one arm fully stretched and pull it only with your arms, rotating around until the other arm is stretched.
Strength doesn’t guarantee stronger punches. To make your punches stronger you need the perfect combination of strength and speed. In boxing, your performance mainly relies on your explosive strength for quick defense as well as attack. You can practice and master your explosive strength with plyometric exercises, which specifically target certain muscle groups for explosive speed and energy. Some of the best plyometric exercises to master the explosive strength is power cleanse, plyometric rotations, jump squats and burpees. All of these are highly effective in developing one's explosive strength. They use your own bodyweight to strengthen the muscles and develop excellent balance and coordination. At the same time, they improve your explosive speed, stamina, and endurance level.
Swimming is an excellent cardio exercise. It is a full-body workout that engages and works for every muscle group in your body. It develops strong lean muscles along with great stamina and endurance. At the same time, swimming improves agility and balance. These are the characteristics every boxer needs to develop. Therefore, swimming is an excellent full-body workout for boxers. the additional benefit is that it is quite relaxing too.
Isometric exercise works for specific muscle groups. In isometric exercises, you get into a certain position or form and then try to hold that position for a specific time duration. It might seem easy but as you prolong the time to hold each exercise, it becomes more and more challenging.
Heavy Bag Training
The heavy bag is one of the best and most common workouts and training routines for boxers. Whether you are training for fitness or a professional fight, heavy bag training is the most effective training that makes your punches stronger while improving your stamina, technique as well as speed. It helps build strong muscles. At the same time, it improves your footwork a great deal too.
Shadowboxing is one of the best training routines to practice your speed and technique. You punch through the air imagining an actual fight, bobbing, weaving and dodging the attacks of your imaginary opponent. This improves your footwork as well as technique and speed. Practice shadow boxing for stronger punches with a trainer to guide you through the whole training session.
You need a partner to work with focus mitts. focus mitts are even more effective than shadow boxing. Mimic an actual fight to practice your punches. This helps you practice focus along with speed, agility, strength, and accuracy. All this without the chance of getting hit in return gives you the confidence to practice your power and strength along with technique at your best.
Push Up Variations
Push-ups not only help develop strong chest, shoulder and arm muscles, but they are also an excellent strength building exercise too. Boxers try different push-up variations to practice their stamina, strength, and endurance. From simple push-ups to one-handed push-ups, clapping in between each push-up and the more dynamic variations allow you to focus better in boxing while improving your balance and coordination.
Resistance Band Exercises
Resistance band exercise is another great workout to develop strong muscles along with great stamina and endurance. You can try multiple exercises with a resistance band to work the desired muscle group of the body. From leg exercises to arms and shoulder strengthening exercises, core strengthening workouts and much more, you can try as many variations as you want.
Boxing requires power, strength, stamina, and speed along with excellent balance and coordination. For a boxer, strength is nothing without speed and speed is nothing without strength. Even if you have both but lack the right technique and skill, your strength and speed are not of much use. Therefore, train hard and always focus on your skill level and technique. Once you master the technique, you can practice and develop speed and strength to make your overall performance more impactful. The above tips and training routines help make your punches stronger, harder and faster. Learn how to throw a powerful punch by working on your technique and you will develop the strength and speed with the exercises and workouts.