increase punching power at home

Doing Maximum Damage with Boxing Skills: How to Hit Harder

Basically, if you are looking into fighting and want to learn how to punch faster, how to punch really hard, and ultimately,how to increase punching power at home or in a gym, this guide is for you.

This right here can be considered one of the most complete guides for any type of fighter but, I’ll focus more on how to throw a punch boxing. However, for all fighters everywhere, you can learn how to make your punches faster and be able to throw a stronger punch. If this is what you’re looking to learn, I can help show you and teach you how to hit like a freight train so that no matter how small you are, you’ll never have to worry about size again.

Throwing a power punch or a knockout punch is based on several concepts and theories that originates from your own body. You don’t have to be a powerhouse! So, if you are looking to learn how to punch hard if your skinny or how to punch harder without a punching bag, you have what it takes—you just have to be guided through it—so read on!

Power is generated from your body by positioning, bodyweight, and channeling the power through different ways. Power punch boxing is about technique, technique, technique—I cannot stress that enough. In this guide, I’ll help you master the technique you need to throw an efficient and much harder punch. By the end, you will even know how to increase punching power at home!

So, before I get into my how to punch harder workout, here are some basic concepts that you have to grasp before we move on.

Power and Speed are Two Different Things

Mathematically speaking, power equates to the number you put on acceleration and multiply it by the mass. You have to have speed to have power but you also have to have the weight you need to generate it behind the speed. Although they might go hand in hand it seems, they are two different things.

Pull your Punch from your Legs

Some of the largest, most powerful muscles in your body are your legs, so doesn’t it make sense to use that to your advantage? Generate your punching power from them and then transfer them to your punch.

Know Your Limits

I’m not talking about power here, I’m talking about range of motion. If you keep your punches within your physical range of a normal punch, you’ll be able to hit harder. Your punch will actually be stronger if you’re landing your punch a bit shorter than your full range of motion. So, in basic terms—don’t allow your arm to be sticking out straight.

Think Geometry

Even though you might have to reach back to the eighth grade, learn how to punch from different angles. These will increase your punching power and chances to punch. When you combine opportunity and power, you’ll get a knockout punch.

Keep Moving, No Matter What

Pack your whole body’s power behind a punch. Moving the whole body will make cause for a more effective punch than simply just throwing one arm into it. Throw your whole weight behind it.

You got those? Great—now I’m going to head into separating various parts of your body and showing you how they affect your punch. As I just mentioned, you should be throwing your whole bodyweight into a punch, and move your body towards a punch. They key here is to not isolate one single body part when punching. So, isolating each body part here on your guide and going through them, I’m going to let you know why they’re important when talking about a punch.

Form Based on Body Part

based on body part

Ultimately, you have to get a good form with your punch before you move on to generating and working on power and speed. Improving your form will in turn improve your punch.

The first step in that is to see how far you can reach and base your punch on that. This way, you’ll know how close or how far you need to be to land these punches. Work with a punching bag or sparring partner to work on that.

While you’re working on that, let’s take a look at each part of your body:

Head

This mainly plays a part in your breathing.

With every punch, you should be exhaling, sharply. Your vision and eyes should always be on your target (eyes on the prize!) and they should always be alert.

Keep your chin tucked in and down so that you won’t get jabbed in it. Cover your chin a bit with your shoulder and it should be also guarded by your fist.

Upper Body

When you’re throwing a punch, you should be rotating your torso as much as possible to draw energy from your midsection.

Fully rotate your upper body so that you can transition all that power generated by that spin to your punch.

A common mistake beginners make is reaching or leaning forward. Instead of doing that—rotate your upper body instead. It will eliminate that need to move and you will be doing it effectively.

Shoulders

As I just mentioned, the shoulder of your punching arm should be protecting your chin but it should also be loose—so focus on that more. Keep your punches relaxed before trying to draw power. Get your form right before moving on. However, while you’re punching, raise your shoulders during it. Your shoulder contains a huge group of powerful muscles that will contribute to your punch if used correctly.

Arms

Moving down your arms from your shoulders, they should also begin relaxed. Although you might think the part that your arms play in a punch is the most important—you’re wrong—it’s just one part (but, of course, a major part!)

Your arms should shoot out towards the opponent without fully extending but just enough to make contact. It’s important to not fully extend. Not only may this cause injury, it will also make it easy for your opponent to counter.

After your fist makes contact, don’t pull back immediately or right before the punch. Follow through—displaying all your power—and then bring it back home.

Hands

Just like your shoulders and arms, your hands should also be relaxed. Make a loose fist with your hand but try your best not to clench it as much as possible.

Think about your fist going from your fist to their body and then coming back to your face at base. Face and base rhyme, so it shouldn’t be that hard to remember.

When you are throwing straight punches, like the jab, turn your fist horizontal. However, when planting a hook, your fist can stay vertically positioned.

Legs

Moving down to your lower body, as I mentioned before, is turning to the strongest parts of your body. when you’re punching, you should turn your hips towards your opponent. This is a main location rooted to your core and will therefore be your source of power. Always keep your knees slightly bent—never lock them.

Feet

Last but not least, what do you do with your feet? They should be at first planted a bit wider than shoulder-width.

When you’re punching, your back foot will be pivoting in the direction of your punch while lifting your heel.

Your front foot should also be turning towards your punch, as well. They should be versatile and ready to move—pivoting back and forth as you are throwing combinations.

Depending on with which hand you’re punching, the movement in your feet will change. When you’re punching with your right hand, your right heel will lift while your left foot stays flight and visa versa with your left hand.

Now that you have the common concepts, I am going to head into the more negative aspect of punching—the common mistakes. Especially when you’re trying to much power as you can, it’s easy to get caught up in the moment and forgetting to emphasize on a few things. When you’re trying to learn how to get stronger punches or how to punch harder in a street fight, you might run into these mistakes:

Reaching too far forward.

As I mentioned before, stop your punch right before you are fully extended. This comes with knowing your range, which will come to you as you train. When you’re punching, never over-extend. You’ll either get injured, lose your balance, get countered or all three.

Moving those feet off the ground.

Although I mentioned before to pivot your feet, they should never lift up off the ground. Doing this will take your bodyweight, the full amount of it out of your punching power.

Losing your concentration.

Without it, you may forget the jab. This jab is an essential portion of the combination because it sets the other big punches up by distracting your opponent and beginning your combination.

Focusing on speed rather than anything else.

Whether you are under pressure or are getting too excited, you might feel pressured to just throw fast jabs and throwing punches wildly.

If you’re not focusing on your form, the power behind your shot won’t come. Also, if you are not following through on your punch, it will also lose its effectiveness.

Now that you know what to do and what to look out for when you’re training, let’s get you training. Here are a few power punching exercises and drills to complete:

Cardiovascular Exercise

Cardiovascular Exercise

Before you even get started in punching, you have to get your anaerobic fitness in check. This allows you to be able to train short-term, with high intensity and sustain your muscles to give the most effort when they count. This type of excursive will also increase your effectivity by getting your muscles adept at sustaining an all-out effort. Anaerobic exercise is responsible for increasing your lactic-acid-handling abilities and recovery, even while you’re training.

There are various things that you can do for cardio which goes beyond running. You can swim, which can build endurance and targets all parts of your body. You can also run, jumprope, and cycling, to get your endurance up so that you won’t be facing exhaustion in the ring.

Isometric Training:

This is basically breaking a motion or system down into individual parts and focusing on them. Focusing on the power behind your punch will help a lot. An isometric exercise that will help you learn how to store your energy (which is important when fighting) is to use a wall for exercise.

Make a fist and lean it up against a wall. Push it into the wall as if you’re punching it but it’s stuck in the cement. Keep that power up for 10 seconds and then let off. Once that wall barrier is released, your body will have learned how to store your energy and give it off. Complete 15 reps and 3 sets or at your discretion.

Slow Punching:

To also focus on your technique, punch hard but slow. By slowing down the pace, you are building the power behind your punch. Focus on your form and use a punching bag or if you want to know how to punch harder without a punching bag, you can also use shadowboxing or pads. Also, slow down your transition— freeze between punches and focus on your stance before you throw a punch.

Weight Training:

Weight Training

To get true explosiveness, you need to get your strength up and work on your power output. Invest in explosiveness through weight-exercises. To develop speed, you need strength. Not only should you be building strong muscles in your upper body, you should also build your lower body, as well.

Strengthen your muscles through the punching motion and also lifting weights by targeting specific muscles and getting them bigger and stronger. However, you don’t want to just bulk up, this will be ineffective in boxing and in the ring. To help you focus on boxing-specific exercises, I’m going to give you a few exercises to do that will specifically help you with your punching power.

Straight Punching

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Throw straight punches while holding dumbbells. This will help you develop a power behind your punch, whether you are punching the straight right or left jab, this will help give you the strength in a punching motion.

This exercise will build strength and give you more of an ability to endure a long workout while not losing power. This exercise targets the shoulders primarily, then hits the chest pectoral muscles, and then shoots down the arms.

How to do it:

Get into stance with your arms at your sides. Hold 5-10 lb hand weights or dumbbells in each hand (adjust the weight accordingly).

Bring both arms up in your protective stance with both palms facing each side of your face.

Alternate the punching motion, pushing each arm out in a punching motion and bringing it back home before releasing the other arm.

As you can, do this for 10 repetitions (5 each side) and three sets. Give yourself one-minute rest between sets.

Dumbbell Uppercuts

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Just like the straight punching exercise, this will help you generate power for when you’re completing an uppercut. It will target the bicep muscle, making it stronger but also more effective when throwing a punch. Gaining strength in the movement itself helps a lot when you are doing movement-specific training. This exercise also targets the shoulder and back, which are essential muscles and necessary to strengthen when throwing a punch.

Since you are also throwing the punch with a bit more weight than you’re used to, you’ll also develop stability in core and with that, you will be able to hold your balance better not only when throwing the motion in the ring but also getting hit at.

How to do it:

From your fighting stance, hold 5-10 lb hand weights or dumbbells in each hand. You can adjust the weight accordingly to your strength and level.

Begin with your uppercut punching stance, with your elbows dipped in the direction of your hip. Holding the weight, follow through with your uppercut.

Once you’ve got the form and weight correct, follow through with ten repetitions and three sets of it if you can. Allow for a 1-minute break in between sets.

Switch arms after completing one side and one set.

Bench Presses

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You might be a little bit more familiar with this upper body exercise. A bench press will help you work on the muscles most associated with a punch, targeting directly your shoulders, your chest, your arms, and your neck. All of these muscles are engaged in when throwing a jab or cross punch.

How to do it:

Although it’s best to work with a personal trainer to watch your form, here are the basics.

Lie back down on a bench and grasp the bar about shoulder width or a little wider apart.

Release it from the rack by lifting up and then lowering it downward to almost hitting your chest. Control this motion.

When it reaches the lowest point, power the weight back up.

Try and get three sets of ten repetitions, with one minute rest between sets. Don’t let your back curve off the bench. If you’re doing that, the weight is probably too heavy.

Shoulder Presses

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Another effective exercise you’re probably familiar with is the shoulder press. By isolating the shoulder muscles in this exercise, you are targeting a powerful group of muscles that will help develop a punching power worthy of a knockout. Having your shoulder strong also helps keep your guard up at all times, which is really important in boxing.

How to do it:

Sit on a supported bench or keep standing with your knees slightly bent. Keep your abs tucked in and begin with the dumbbells in each hand, held above your head with your elbows at a 90-degree angle. Both of your arms together should look like a square-U.

Press the dumbbells up until you are holding them directly above your head without locking your arms. Bring them back down.

Try and adjust the weight so that you can comfortably but also with a challenge complete three sets of ten. Leave one-minute for a rest in between sets.

Depth Jumps With Dumbbells

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If you want to get moving, you should do some plyometrics, which can foster that explosive power you’ll need to throw a strong punch. These exercises, like a depth jump with dumbbells can enhance your muscle speed. It makes your movements much more explosive and increases the speed of force in your movements.

With this exercise, start off without weights and then move onto dumbbells with lightweight like five pounds. Leg power is also extremely important when it comes to throwing a powerful punch, and this exercise targets the leg muscles.

How to do it:

Start off with your stance on a box or bench with the dumbbells in your hand.

Step off the bench instead of jumping down and then as soon as your feet hit the ground, jump as high as possible while landing back on the ground.

Don’t allow yourself to stay on the ground too long before you jump. The movement should be quick.

Try for three sets of 10-12 repetitions. Give yourself a 1-minute break between sets.

One-Arm Lateral Pullbacks

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When doing these exercises, you should be consecutively completing them by alternating between upper and lower body. This exercise focuses on your upper body, by developing your back lateral muscles. The motion in this exercise simulates with the punch in boxing. Bringing your hand back and throwing a punch involves a lot of your back muscles and strength.

Not only does back strength play a role in the punch but it also plays a role on holding your guard.

How to do it:

Start with the fighting stance while standing in front of the lat pull-down machine.

Grab one side of the pulley attachment. Throw a jab and then pull it backwards, bringing the weight back with you.

Complete three sets of ten repetitions, with a 1-minute rest between sets.

Single Leg Hops With Dumbbells

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Moving back down to your legs in a plyometric exercise, you should do single leg hops with accompanied weight to focus on your leg power and balance.

This exercise will help you recover your form from when you’re thrown off balance after being hit or throwing a punch that wasn’t as focused on your form as you would have hoped.

Being on one leg is a vulnerable position. So, this exercise helps you work your way out of it and know what to do when you’re in it.

How to do it:

Start with a one-leg stance, with your knee slightly bent. In each hand should be 4-5 lb dumbbells. Of course, as always, adjust accordingly.

Power up on one foot and then lift off the ground, trying to gain as much height and distance as possible. Between hops, lessen the time that your foot makes contact with the ground as much as possible.

Complete three sets of ten repetitions, with 1-minute rest between sets. After three sets, repeat with the opposite leg from which you started.

Learning how to hit harder in football and how to increase punching power at home is a process. In order to be able to punch harder than you ever have before, you have to be able to transfer all these new concepts and theories you’ve just learned to your training.

It isn’t all about strength and effort. Learning how to hit harder is about re-learning form and focusing on technique. Being able to improve on this means to humble yourself all well. I hope that this guide has helped you gain the knowledge and concepts you need to know to be able to punch harder in your boxing training and fights. This is an important aspect of your boxing game to help you be as successful as possible in the ring or in your training.

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