Packing a Punch: How to Punch Harder and More Effectively

Packing a Punch: How to Punch Harder and More Effectively

Punching Like You Mean It

There is a lot that goes into a punch. Martial artists and boxers know that better than anyone. Just because you have big arms and great big bulging muscles does not mean you can punch like a master. In fact, someone half your size who knows how to punch properly can deliver more stopping power.

So, how do you pack the best punch? You have to learn to punch effectively, using a superior punching technique to utilize the full power of your body. This will allow you to throw the toughest punch.

First, it is important to understand how exactly a punch works.


Punching 101

There are some rules to understand if you are going to punch harder. You need to know that speed does not equal power. Just because you jab quick, that does not mean there is going to be power behind your punch. You need to combine speed with force, which involves moving your body.

By moving your body, I mean that you don't just punch with your arm and your fist. You need to use your legs, your feet, your shoulders – literally everything that moves needs to go into delivering the ultimate punch. And you need to move it all at the exact same time for the exact same purpose.

Legs generate more power than you know. Ever noticed how much bigger our thighs are than our arms? Our legs are stronger. By using the full strength of your legs with each punch, you are going to deliver a devastating blow. You will never reach your full punching potential by only using your arms.

You also want to keep within your punching range. Don’t go flying after the opponent, fully extending your arms like a lunatic. Your punch is going to be much stronger if it lands within easy striking distance, as all that extra energy is going to flow into the impact. Don’t overextended or overreach when punching.

Science is great. Knowing a bit about angles can help your punching power. Jabs are fine, but check your angles. Certain angles are going to aid your striking fierceness and increase the damage of your punch. You can aid your punch’s impact strength by using the leverage of a good angle.


The Structure of a Punch

Now let’s learn how to hit. To deliver a devastating knock-out punch, you need to know the setup. Every strong punch starts at the feet and moves up to the fist.

Your feet should be planted slightly beyond shoulder width. Start at the back foot with the heel slightly lifted, then pivot your feet in the direction of your punch. This is the same for multiple punches, follow each punch with your feet.

For example: during a right-handed punch, your left foot is on the ground while your right heel is lifted slightly, delivering maximum power. It is important to note that your feet will never leave the ground during a stable power punch. Stay firmed and flat to get the most power.

Your knees are always a little bit bent. As you punch, the weight of your body falls into your legs at the same moment that your hips and torso are rotating into your opponent. And as your body is pivoting (not reaching or moving forward, but pivoting), your shoulders will rise and add their momentum and power.

Then comes the arm, which swings with the momentum of your legs, hips, torso, and shoulder, firing at just the right moment and extending just enough to make firm contact. I should add another piece of advice. Never cock your fist back like you see in the movies. Any experienced fighter will see what you’re doing and act accordingly.

Finally, the fist, your weapon of steel. It was relaxed before the punch began, and as your body launches at the opponent and your arm swings out, the fist clenches and becomes hard. You want to turn your fist horizontal for a straight jab or keep it vertical when swinging a hook.

Keep your eyes straight on your target, your chin tucked and covered slightly by your shoulder, and exhale powerfully each time you throw your punch.

Sound easy? Take it to the gym and practice!

Top Tips for Improving Your Punching Power

The best way to improve the power of your punch is to practice. It’s great to have a trainer or a friend who can show you the ropes. But if you don't have one, just keep practicing.

One of the best practices is slow punching. You want to practice by punching super slowly and super hard, at least half the speed of a normal punch. You may be surprised to see that you actually punch harder when throwing a slower punch.

This is because your arm moves too quickly. The setup I just described, chances are your arm will move faster then your entire body has time to rotate, which means that you are not getting the full power of your legs and hips, nor the momentum. When you practice punching slowly and with power, you will train your body to deliver ultra-hard blows utilizing every aspect of form. Then you can ramp up the speed over time.

Something almost no boxer talks about is how advantageous swimming can be. Have you ever thought about how cool it would be to train at double gravity, allowing you to punch faster and stronger? It’s not such a crazy idea. The resistance of water allows you to focus on form and the composition of your punch, seriously prepping you for a fight.

Swimming is also excellent for building power in your upper body. As a boxer, you are going to build tons of endurance by swimming laps, helping you to stay fit during a fight.