| Maxim Claes

Top Tips and Exercises to Increase Punching Power

Whether you see it in mixed martial arts or boxing fights, action-movies even, there is always that one thing that brings excitement into the crowd when it comes to watching fist fights: the powerful punches. Many people believe that punching power is a gift, which is true to some extent, but actually, anyone at any level can practice to throw better punches with the right exercises to increase punching power.

A powerful boxer utilises their whole body in order to throw an even more powerful jab. Similar to how quarterbacks create powerful throws, force is pooled not only by flexing of the triceps; an experienced boxer too knows how they can utilise power from all parts of their body, pool it and then channel it into their upper body strength.

Stay Relaxed

Although “staying relaxed” sounds counterintuitive to what a boxer should be - strong and always full of power - being tense can actually weigh you down! Relaxed, however, doesn’t mean you should slack off, it means to free yourself of any tension whenever you feel any part of your body tensing up.

Afterwards, when training, do not stress over how to increase punching power. Stressing over your punching power will only slow you down as you find yourself overthinking in between every jab, and the slower a boxer is, the less powerful his jabs become. Instead, focus on throwing punches as fast and as accurately as possible. As exercises to increase punching power are actually the same exercises used to increase punching power and speed.

Eat, Sleep and Train With Heavy Bags

Heavy bag drills are an MMA-style boxing staple, and there’s a good reason for it too. It is utilised in most, if not all, boxing training sessions. This exercise helps increase hand speed, which naturally translates into an increased punching power and speed.

To train with heavy bags, you need to do it the high-intensity interval training (HIIT) way. In fifteen-second intervals, try hitting the heavy bag with any combination of hooks, straights and uppercuts. Then, for ten to fifteen- seconds, give some light jabs and footwork to keep your heart pumping (active rest time). Repeat this routine for three-minute intervals and a minute rest in between.

Shop: Fairtex Hb5 Muay Thai 4Ft Bag Filled for the classic cylindrical “hang on a ceiling” heavy bag, or this Adidas Boxing Maize Punch Bag Maya for the rounded heavy bag.

Go Down, Lift Up, and Rotate That Torso

Does lifting weights increase punching power? Yes it does, but these 3 simple exercises might bring more effective results in a shorter time span. These three words represent the three core exercises you need to do to increase punching power and speed. Go down means doing push-ups, lift up means doing chin-ups, and rotate that torso simply means what it says. 

First, for the push-ups you will need to replace the “ordinary” way of pushing yourself back up into an explosive, plyometric move of clapping your hands mid-air. This simple move is essential and should not be skipped as it helps strengthen your upper body strength by targeting the arms, shoulders, and pecs.

Afterwards we have the chin-ups. This exercise is effective in training opposing (antagonist) muscle groups, so you don’t become primarily focused on strengthening big muscle groups, like your pecs and triceps, which are frequently associated with upper body strength. To increase the intensity of chin-ups, try going faster or incorporate some light knee weights.

Finally, we have the rotating-torso-move. This move is simply performed by rotating your torso, however, to help strengthen your punches you will need to hold a medicine ball as well. The rotating move helps you get used to the motion of incorporating your whole upper body while you try to hold up the medicine ball, which also helps strengthen the shoulders.

topless man doing push-ups at the side of a field

Shadow Boxing

It might sound a bit out of place to include shadow boxing as one of the exercises to increase punching power, however, it is actually a really good one as it lets a trainee focus more on technique and execution. Not only that, it is also a good exercise on how to increase punching power without a bag as you will only need yourself and a certified trainer/ buddy.

Ask your trainer/ training buddy to oversee your shadow boxing session while you shadowbox in front of a mirror. Ensuring you incorporate proper footwork, defense, and head movement to improve your overall performance. Once you get better, you will start seeing improvements in your punches being more efficiently, and powerfully delivered. If you want to bring this exercise up a notch, try incorporating hand weights like these ones from Title Boxing.

Medicine Ball Throw

The secret to a powerful punch lies in explosive moves, throwing medicine balls is one way to train this. To do this, simply lie down or stand in the boxing stance (whichever you prefer) and throw the medicine ball away from your chest with as much force as possible. This move will help strengthen your punching muscle fibers.

Rice Punching

This move might sound a bit weird, however, it is an essential part of increasing your overall punching power. This move entails digging your hands into a tub of rice, fingertips first, to strengthen your fingers. This move is especially essential as it is very common for MMA-fighters and boxers to injure their fingers, which then slows them down throughout the remainder of the round. Therefore, you should not skip this, you can however swap the rice for water or the good ol’ sandbags.

Shop: these boxing gloves from Ace Boxing will help give that extra layer of protection during training sessions.