How To Punch Harder

June 24, 2008 June 24, 2008 by Johnny N Boxing Techniques, Punch Techniques 306 Comments

How To Punch Harder

This is the ultimate punching guide for boxers, fighters, and just about anyone who wants to learn how to punch correctly and punch hard! Learn how to throw knockout punches now!

Before we even talk about power punching, you have to learn some basic theories about how power is generated from the body. Next you’ll learn about how to position your body so that all your power and body weight is being channeled efficiently into your punches. After this, you’ll learn the proper punching technique in full detail to learn how to throw a harder punch. Lastly, I’ll leave you with some final tips on how to maximize the damage dealt on the other boxer.

Basic theories you must understand to punch hard:

  1. Speed is not Power – Power is acceleration times mass. Power is not only speed, you must have a force (or a weight) behind that speed. A fast punch will not hit hard unless you put some body weight behind it.
  2. Move Your Body – Like Bruce Lee’s theory behind his famous one-inch punch: moving your whole body one inch hits much harder than moving your arm one foot. You must move your entire body to get the maximum force (weight) behind that punch. The trick is not to focus on moving your body a great distance but rather to move it all at the same time.
  3. Use Your Legs – The biggest muscles in your body will generate the most power. People who punch only with their arms will never punch with real power.
  4. Stay Inside Your Range – Your strongest punch doesn’t land when your arms are fully out-stretched. Your punch hits harder when it lands a bit shorter than your full range of motion. Don’t reach!
  5. Use Angles – Punching from different angles will give your punches more power, more punching opportunities, and more damage on your opponent.

Flow Of Energy

  • FEET
    • They are spread on the ground a little wider than shoulder width.
    • The back foot always starts with the heel lifted.
    • When punching, the feet will pivot in the direction of the punch.
    • As you throw multiple punches, your feet will pivot back and forth pushing in different directions as you throw different punches.
    • When you throw a right handed punch, the right heel is lifted while the left foot is flat; the opposite is true when you throw a punch from the left hand.
    • Your feet never leave the ground when you throw a power punch. (This rule can be broken LATER once you learn how to throwing pivoting punches.)
  • LEGS
    • Knees are always slightly bent.
    • As you punch, you drop your bodyweight into your legs bending the knees slightly.
  • HIPS
    • Turn your hips. Spin them into your opponent as if you were punching your opponents with your hips.
  • UPPER BODY
    • Your torso should rotate as much as possible and spin the punch out from your shoulders.
    • A full rotation with short arm extension hits harder than a small rotation with full arm extension.
    • Don’t lean forward. Don’t try to reach forward, rotate instead!
  • SHOULDERS
    • Your shoulders are stay loose during the punch to keep the punches relaxed and save energy while increase speed and power.
    • Try to raise your shoulders during your punch. This makes the punch stronger since it’s now involving the shoulder muscles.
  • ARMS
    • Your arms start relaxed.
    • As the punch is thrown, your arms spring out towards your opponent extending just enough to hit your opponent.
    • Don’t let your punches over-extend or else you’ll get countered.
    • Do not pull your fist back right before a punch. This is called, “telegraphing” and allows experienced fighters see the punch coming, minimizing its impact.
  • HANDS
    • Your hands are relaxed when you are not punching. You can make a loose fist but don’t clench it.
    • When you punch, that fist transforms into a brick as your deliver it to your opponent.
    • Your glove starts at your face and ends at your face.
    • Your turn your fist over (horizontal) for straight punches, but your fist can stay vertical when you swing a left hook to the body or throwing pivot left hooks.
  • HEAD
    • Exhale sharply on every punch.
    • Your eyes are 100% alert. Always look at the target you’re punching.
    • Your chin is tucked down a little so that it’s covered a bit by the shoulder on your punching arm.

Everything I just described is called the flow of energy. You want to feel the energy traveling through your entire body from the feet to the fist. If one part of the body is lazy or feels uninvolved, you need to train harder to make that part of your body an active participant in the punch.

Aiming

  • Learn the distance of all your punches. Do it again with a quick front foot step. Try to keep your punches WITHIN this range.
  • Punching too close or too far of a distance diminishes your power.
  • Jab
    • Stepping forward quickly will make this punch much stronger.
    • Extend your fist all the way and lift that front shoulder a little to really stab your opponent with this jab punch.
    • Don’t lean forward when you throw this punch, save that momentum for your right cross.
  • Straight Right or Right Cross
    • Body rotation, body rotation, body rotation.
    • The ABSOLUTE best aim for this punch is not in front of you. I’ll tell you where it is; do this: extend your jab out as if you were to jab someone. Really straighten out that left arm all the way and hold it. Now imagine your opponent slipping to the left OUTSIDE of your jab and his face is about one foot to the left of your extend jab fist. That new space in the air that you are looking at now is your strongest punching point. Don’t believe me? Try it on the punching bag. Stand to the right side instead of directly in front of the bag and over-rotate yourself counter-clockwise to hit the bag. Feel that power? GOOD!
  • Left Hook
    • Elbows stay low when you throw hooks to the body and elbows go high when you throw hooks to the head.
    • Learn to throw a stopping hook. Don’t let the hook pass through your opponent. Practice stopping your hook when it’s in front of you. This gives it the “smack” sound and also keeps you from over-rotating on that hook.
    • Don’t forget to spin both feet so that they’re pointing to the side when you throw that left hook.
    • As you throw the left hook, drop the right heel and lift the left heel to put leg strength into the left hook.
  • Right Hook
    • When you throw a right hook, swing your body weight from your back foot to your front foot and make sure you push your head into the punch and look at where it’s hitting.
    • Also, don’t throw your head to the side when you throw the right hook, instead bring it forward but try to keep it in front of your target. (This hits harder but in some cases, you’ll have to move that head more to stay out of harm’s way.)
  • Uppercut
    • Forget what you saw in Street Fighter 2.
    • A real uppercut is short and quick. The punch doesn’t go straight up, it actually goes forward.
    • Imagine yourself throwing a big right cross. Now start a new one, but instead – flip your fist so that the palm is facing up. Now throw that right hand straight at your opponent’s head.
    • An uppercut isn’t necessarily thrown from the floor down up, it’s thrown more like from your waist so it’s diagonal. The point is: it’s still got plenty of horizontal momentum, it’s not completely vertical.

Hitting Your Opponent
This is a very important to learning how to punch hard. You can’t just throw a hard punch anytime you want. You have to learn when to throw it. You have to be at a proper distance. Not just for the first punch but for the second one as well.

The best time to hit your opponent:

  • When he’s punching – getting hit by a counter-punch hurts more than anything else.
  • When he’s not expecting it – you can achieve this by breaking through his defense or simply throwing punches in a weird rhythm. Very fast boxers can do this by simply throwing a super fast lead right hand or left hook.
  • From an angle – Hitting your opponent from an angle can hurt him more, stun him better, and at the very least disrupt him for another hard punch.

Common Mistakes

  • Lifting Your Feet – if you lift your feet, you’ve taken your full body weight out of your punch’s power.
  • Reaching – Over-extending never does the trick. More often than not, you’ll just lose your balance and get countered. Over-committing will limit you to one punch whereas keeping your balance will allow you to throw several.
  • Forgetting The Jab – If you don’t throw your jab, you’ll never set up those big punches. Use the jab! It’s short, powerful, and can setup the hard punches by stunning or distracting your opponent momentarily.
  • Punching Too Fast – What happens is you get too excited and start throwing “arm punches” where it’s just arm power flying out really fast. Of course you’ve got tons of energy and it still feels like a hard punch but as time goes by, your arms tire and now you’ve got no power.
  • Telegraphing – Don’t cock your fist back right before you throw it. Too many boxers try to build this rhythm in the ring that they’re punching becomes predictable. Learn to stand in front of a bag completely still and throw a punch when someone says go. Don’t bounce around too much building a predictable rhythm for your opponent.
  • Stay Away From Weights – Trying to bench press to build your power punch is like lifting leg weights to break the sprint record. Although there are many conflicting articles out there that argue back and forth between whether or not lifting weights will aid your punch, the science is quite simple: when you lift weights, your body is becoming stronger at moving slow (punching is a fast movement). Not only that, but training with weights will only make you noticeably stronger within a limited range of motion. Your body will also be building unnatural muscle that will tire much faster than your regular muscle. If building truly powerful and effective muscle was possible, a great middleweight boxer could easily be a great heavyweight boxer, right?

Power Punching Exercises and Drills

  • Punch Slow – One of the best drills I give to everyone is I make them punch slow. I make them punch as hard as they can but slow. I make them go about half speed. What amazes everyone is that just about everybody I have taught realizes that they punch harder when they punch slow than when they throw punches fast. The reason for this is because nobody’s body moves as fast as their arms do. The arm usually finishes the punch before the body has even begun to rotate. By punching slow, they are allowing their entire body to get into the punch and to really help build the power. The drill is to stand square (feet side-by-side spread farther than shoulder width) in front of a punching bag or somebody with focus mitts and to throw alternating left crosses and right crosses. In between each punch, the boxer will POSE for 2 seconds as if taking a picture before beginning the next punch. Just try it! There are many exercises a boxer can do to speed up the body, but for now the goal is to PUNCH SLOW!
  • Swimming – swimming is an AWESOME way to build power in your whole body. There aren’t too many other exercises that can build endurance and power in your entire body like swimming.
  • Isometric training – Lean at a wall and make a fist at it. Now push your fist into the wall like you’re throwing a punch that’s stuck. Give full effort for 10 seconds and then repeat on the other side. 15 reps and 3 sets per arm should be perfect. This is training your body how to store energy. You’re training your body, in a sense, to become a powerful rubberband and once the barrier is released – BAM!

In order to learn how to punch harder, you must be willing to forget everything you know and try new things. As with everything, boxing is an art and there is always room for improvement. Boxers that think they know everything will never be able to learn how to punch harder. Keeping an open mind and paying attention to techniques and strategies that are not your own is the best way to learn. Respect punching techniques different from your own and see how you can incorporate their techniques into your own.

boxing ebook Advanced Boxing Techniques 30 Day Fighter's Diet Advanced Boxing Footwork Drills
Did you learn something? Share It!



306 Comments

NotoriousPac August 1, 2008 at 12:16 pm

Amazing.

Reply

SilvrTung1 March 22, 2013 at 7:09 pm

After over 8 years in the ring posing as a ” Rightie “, there is one thing I know as fact , if my first short hanging hook from my natural LEFTIE stance doesn’t crush the tempo-mandibular nerve junction , I would never have fought for a second year , much less 8 . You are not a contender if your sharpest punch doesn’t leave your opponent unconscious on his feet , FIND ANOTHER HOBBY ! That may be harsh , but cie la vie , the heavy bag is the place you build your natural skills up in strength , pound it till you bleed using 16 oz. gloves . Sugar Ray Leonard didn’t have power , he was a speed bag puncher , 85 % of his wins come because of his speed , not over-whelming power , it was always the lack of answering the blows thrown that brought the ref in to stop his fights. Analogy to prove my point, you take a 12 gauge shotgun and I’ll take a Win. 300 Mag , at 100 yards I’ll give you the first , second , and third shots with your buckshot , then you stand still and I will put 1 round right between your eyes . Get the picture ? I might get stung a little , but you my friend are stone cold dead . Though you may have to take a fews hard knocks , if you have the skills , trained right , and have the confidence and conviction within , One precisely placed punch will knock any man out EVERY TIME . That is anatomical fact, over-whelm the nerve junction and the brain shuts off , lights out .

Reply

David April 16, 2013 at 4:41 am

Spoken like a true puncher if I ever heard one. It’s great stuff, and you may be a terrific fighter. But one wonderful thing about boxing, is that there is more than one way to skin a cat. And there’s a lot more room in boxing for people to become good that aren’t “Natural Thunderous” punchers. Hitting someone extremley hard is definatley not a bad thing in boxing though.

Reply

Fury June 1, 2013 at 8:04 pm

Silvr 8years are ya pro yet mate? You talk a good game

Reply

Jacob February 3, 2014 at 2:04 pm

How should I practice i have a fight tomorrow

Reply

Johnny N February 12, 2014 at 3:19 pm

If you don’t know what to practice by now, I’m not sure you can be ready for that fight tomorrow. Most of the preparation work should have already been done.

Reply

Lucas Fedrick July 26, 2014 at 1:32 pm

You’re asking for practice tips the day BEFORE a fight? Please tell me this was just some schoolyard fight and not some kind of actual regulation-style fight. I know this is already late, but my best advice would be to learn how to defend yourself against punches from all angles. Have a buddy throw punches at you from all angles and try to memorize what kind of guard you should have to make for each kind of punch. It’s not perfect, and you’re bound to have a few punches slip through during the fight depending on the skill level of your opponent (try to avoid or block punches to the ear, temple, throat and cheeks under the eyes) but if you can tank his best punches, then he’ll have little to threaten you with and once he realizes this and hesitates with either doubt or fatigue, that’d be your moment to fight back. Keep your blows simple, nothing overly complicated that will leave you doubting your own punch’s effectiveness or leave you open for a counter, and follow the instructions listed above about not overextending, etc. and you’ll either win or have given the guy a run for his money. A master of the basics can whoop a novice of advance methods any day, I say. Another saying would be a Master with a wooden sword is deadlier than a rookie with a steel sword.

Reply

raydel December 13, 2008 at 7:50 pm

thanks for the help

Reply

Eric January 11, 2013 at 10:25 pm

The magic angle is 45 degrees, i just wanted to throw that in about the part about changing angles, because the body cannot handle 45 degree angle of attacks. Pressure points are the most vulnerable to that angle. To explain the application in punching the punch can be thought of as an arc and that arc passes through the target. (True target is behind your target, but that’s a different topic)Therefore the force of the punch is applied evenly across the punching surface yet the “direction” of the punch is at a 45 degree, Which for example could be downwards(generating the lead ball to stomach feeling). This concept of angled punching by no means is implying a “hooking” motion or any other such telegraphing body language, but rather the subtle direction you apply the force of your body weight.

Reply

Tam January 22, 2009 at 6:37 pm

best advice on the net i have come across…very clearly written too…cant wait to try out the various techniques

Reply

Vinlend February 20, 2009 at 12:28 am

so i got some qs here ??
well first of all this guide is really helpful to learn how to throw power punches. and i’m kinda new at boxing so i’d like to straighten out some qs i got from here :

1. in the flow of energy session there’s this sentence ”do not pull your fist back right before a punch ”, i don’t really get the point. is the “punch” as in the one that comes from the opponent or what? explain plz?

2. should my fist clench while i’m throwing punches? that’s becuz i was once told that the punch would get more power and damage if i loose my fist just a lil bit when throw it.

just thanks so much for helping me out here :-)))

Reply

sakthi August 5, 2012 at 3:11 am

hi, how to fight against anxiety.

Reply

Johnny N August 15, 2012 at 10:02 am

train harder and be excited to fight

Reply

helper December 22, 2013 at 11:33 am

1. your fist.

Reply

Johnny N February 22, 2009 at 6:37 am

punching questions
1. I meant for you not to pull your fist back when you’re throwing your punch. A lot of beginner boxers like to reel their fist back before they punch as if to bring in more power and it’s highly recommended against since it allows your opponent to see the punch coming.

2. Never clench your first when you’re throwing punches. You only snap your fingers tightly shut when the punch lands. Always walking around with a tightened fist makes you tired faster, weakens the speed, and decreases the impact of the punch. Relax your hands and just practice on the heavy bag. When in doubt, relax it even more and tighten it only to the point where it feels good. Unnecessary squeezing of the fist makes your whole body tense and slow.

Reply

alex January 28, 2012 at 3:30 pm

Good advic.

Reply

chinolee March 5, 2009 at 6:42 pm

very very helpful tips! thank you so much..this is the best boxing site ever!

Reply

James May 7, 2009 at 5:41 am

James
This is a great site with v practical articles. I have been getting mixed messages from different trainers on exact method of transferring power from feet through body to shoulders and arms and would like to hear others’ views. I have one trainer who is adamant that it’s important on straight shots – jab and cross – to completely straighten your legs (you start with legs bent in your stance of course). For him it’s “bad form” if when your jab lands your left leg is not straight with the muscles fully engaged. Likewise “bad form” if the right leg not completely straight at point where right cross lands. This makes a lot of sense: people often talk about pivoting the foot or the hips on the jab but it’s actually the lifting of the heel and straightening of the leg that drives the hip, shoulders and arm forward; likewise on the cross simply pivoting your rear foot or swinging your hip doesn’t do anything without the leg straightening to push right side of your body and right arm forward. I see a lot of other trainers though whose legs are always bent and I’ve been told explicitly by some NOT to straighten my leg (particularly on the right cross).

And while we’re at it…should I be straightening my left leg as I turn into a left hook and my right leg as I drive into an uppercut? Experienced trainer last night told me I should be sitting down on my left hook, ie legs bent and low centre of gravity or I won’t be getting any power.

Obviously I’m talking about head shots here: I know to keep my legs bent when punching to the body.

Reply

Eric January 11, 2013 at 10:37 pm

Awesome that you bring this up! Form is crucial but only as far as getting you in a position to let energy flow from your feet to arms. I was taught to be grounded (in a good stance) and make a ripple through your body ending in the strike. Its the same effect of a whip or snapping a wet towel, but without the exaggeration. Over exaggerating the motion is a good way to feel it, but with much practice it is honed down to extreme subtly as in the case of the immortal Bruce Lee.

“Heroes are remembered, but Legends never die”~The Sandlot

Reply

delinquent beats July 3, 2013 at 7:36 am

Personally when I through a big punch I think of the weight transfer like a baseball pitcher, giving the punch the snap needed to fell a man

Reply

Johnny N May 12, 2009 at 12:24 pm

straightening legs for punching power
Hi James, thanks for the compliments. I’ll do my best to explain what I know below that appeases and balances out the information from all the conflicting advice you’ve been given.

The theory behind straightening – yes it’s true that straightening your legs can give you more power just like how fully extending any part of your body during a movement would increase the momentum and force.

The theory behind NEVER straightening – the idea behind NEVER straightening is probably because if you fully extend yourself, you might run out of “room” and not be able to exert any more force since you’re already completely stretched out.

Lower center of gravity – A lower center of gravity will definitely help since all the power comes from the ground. A lot of beginning boxers spring up too much during their punches and the last few punches aren’t anchored to the ground therefore suffering in power. It’s important to always imagine that punches are being pushed off the ground, not necessarily your body.

MY OWN TAKE? – Straightening your legs will give you a marginal 2% gain of power but sacrifices many other things. For one, you might over-commit and not be able to retract your punch as quickly. You might also unintentionally weaken the power of your own punch since your focus might be on the extension of the leg as opposed to the rotation of the hips. Your footwork agility might suffer since your leg is fully stretched out and you won’t be able to move and punch as well as you did before.

Ultimately, you will find that advice is just simply advice. Practice what you can in the gym but always keep in mind that fighting in the ring will always be different. Different boxers and different situations will force you to react in a different manner. What works as an advantage over one boxer might be a disadvantage over another. Power does help, but it’s not always the answer. Sometimes, you might want to give up some power for a gain in speed or mobility.

Reply

James May 22, 2009 at 7:06 am

James
Many thanks for advice. I totally agree that straightening the legs completely does over-commit you to the punch and interferes with your ability to move your feet when countered. I think also that completely straightening the leg on the jab gives you less power: you’re pushing yourself away from your opponent! You’re right of course also there’s no one correct way to throw the jab in all situations: sometimes all you’ve got time for is an arm punch, sometimes you’re stationary and can use hips to give you power, sometimes you do a short step forward combined with a twist of the hips after your foot lands, sometimes you do a big step so your fist and foot land almost at same time and there isn’t any time really to twist etc etc.. I’m having some one-to-one sessions which are ironing out some of bad habits I’ve picked up; also stepping up the sparring to get a better idea of what works for me in practice. And watching a lot of the greats on YouTube to see how they do it…Alexis Arguello etc.

Reply

Johnny N May 25, 2009 at 5:01 am

boxing extension
Training different methods is always good.

Reply

vinod February 9, 2012 at 12:42 am

but practiced a conistant metod helps up alot

Reply

egan June 4, 2009 at 8:06 am

push ups
You say doing benchpressing is bad for punching power and all, but what do you think of pushups and dips?
Would doing explosive pushups (the one where you clap your hands) be worth doing or are they still not worth giving time to etc…

Reply

Johnny N June 4, 2009 at 1:49 pm

benchpressing is bad for punching power
You’re right about that. Benchpressing can be bad for punching power if you’re doing really heavy weight loads. Pushps and dips are great…. just keep it explosive! Clapping your hands is a good idea or you can also have the platforms on the side and you keep jumping your hands up and down. You can also use a medicine ball and do push-ups with one arm on it and one arm on the ground and keep alternating hands with each push-up.

Reply

thomas June 10, 2009 at 9:48 am

school boxing
thanks so much cos we do full on boxing no pretection in the play ground and i have a fight tomoro thanks again

Reply

james June 13, 2009 at 10:56 pm

thanks 4 the helpfull comments, i’m a boxer who is bout to join the australian army, i’ve had 7 fights and 5 knockouts, i was woundering if i could get the address to the gym where u train boxers so i could come, and train, i’ve always wanted to train in america.

Reply

Johnny N June 14, 2009 at 2:23 am

thanks James
I’m actually not a boxing trainer. I use to be a very active boxer but now find it more enjoyable to be helping many people over the internet without having to leave the house. If you’re ever near Los Angeles, CA… feel free to message me! GOOD LUCK WITH THE ARMY AND ALL!

Reply

Ryan December 11, 2009 at 12:05 pm

I have just begun boxing workouts and am concerned about lifting weights. I am fairly muscular, 187lb @ 5’11″ and not much fat. I have big arms for my size and a long reach so I thought they would lend themselves to boxing. One of the excercises I started doing was very heavy, high rep bench press. Sounds impossible…but basically I”m just working the upper 6-8″ of the bench press movement. To me, this would correspond to the last few inches of punch extension. If I do these excercises explosively, wouldn’t that help with punch force? Or, how about moderate weight, but explosive movement? Also, wouldn’t something like bench flies work in your favor for hooks since you are punching with a component across the front of your body?

Also, since my arms are relatively massive, for force I just need to get them moving fast, which I assume would be torso rotation. What would be the best excercise for this? Thanks, great site.

Reply

Johnny N December 13, 2009 at 1:29 am

exercises for punching harder
Ryan, since punching is a very VERY explosive movement. It is much better that you practice explosive movement. I prefer resistance band work and bodyweight exercises over heavy weight-lifting.

You are correct that working out in your punching range of motion will increase your physical ability in that range of motion.

Bench flies cannot replicate the hook motion because throwing a proper hook uses your legs, abs, torso, chest, and arms. You are probably better served by using that time to practice the punching motion since proper technique will deliver more damage to your opponent than raw muscle performance.

The best way to get your arms moving faster is to stay away from heavy weights that force them to move slow. In the end, I would have to say that doing many clapping push-ups is better than doing many bench presses to increase punching power. An even more critical statement is that time spent working on technique would help a beginner more so than time spent working out.

Ultimately, I think for what you are trying to achieve, swimming is a much better exercise for you. It offers your body resistance at all angles and allows you to build power, strength, and speed. A typical round of boxing would require AT LEAST 50 punches in a 3 minute period; if you are unable to push the weight load explosively as often as 50 times per 3 minutes, your exercise may not be the right one for boxing.

Reply

Ryan December 13, 2009 at 12:47 pm

Lifting Weights
Thanks for your response. I’ve been mainly on a mass building program for the last 6 months, but now that I have GAINED mass, maybe I should switch to working with more reps and moderate weights, focusing on explosive movements (I’m talking about weight workouts outside my regular boxing gym training). That way I can get that “new” muscle trained and slim down just a bit. Putting on lean muscle mass seems to be a very difficult thing to do, so that’s why I started with it. Now I’m an overall heavier guy so now it’s time to work on being quick.

In my short experience punching, I have found so far that the part of me that wears out quickest is my SHOULDERS/deltoids. I dont’ know if that’s mainly because my muscles are just not conditioned right or if my arms are just heavy. I’m gonna work on this in particular, by holding out barbells straight in front of me and holding them. Bruce Lee was able to hold a 125 lb barbell straight out!

Reply

The Punch Lover! December 31, 2009 at 12:05 pm

I Get What You Trying To Say
You Must Not Use Only Your Arm For The Force …..You Should Use All Your Body Parts To Give A Strongest Punch!

Reply

Amar April 21, 2010 at 11:53 am

Weights
I disagree with what you say about weights. While single-jointed movements like bicep curls or leg lifts are bad for fighting, you can’t bring down the true multi-jointed movements (more than one muscle involved) like deadlifts or squats. You say lifting weights your body is becoming stronger, but slowing down. I agree with you, but only with those single jointed movements. Doing bicep curls are only going to slow you down. But if you do a lot of, say, explosive squats to overhead press’s, your building your legs,core(important!!),back, and arms. All the muscles required for a good punch! Now i’m not throwing out good bodyweight training, but I don’t think you should be quick to rule out weights. And one more thing, about what you said about the middle weight boxer being a great heavyweight boxer. I Think you have this misconception that if you touch a barbell, your going to grow to be the incredible hulk. Building muscle mass is hard, and your not going to gain much weight, especialy if you do those multi jointed movements. Professional bodybuilds do high-rep, high-weights with single jointed movements to really rip their muscles and grow them huge. Well anyones, i’m not trying to start a debate, just to get you to think outside the box more.

Reply

Johnny N April 21, 2010 at 12:58 pm

weights and punching power
Amar – thanks for the expert opinion!

Reply

ILYAS KHAN June 29, 2013 at 6:51 am

Sir i realy amazed by your tips

Reply

joe September 20, 2013 at 12:06 pm

Is t honestly bad that I throw punches with 20 pound weights I don’t exactly shadow box I just throw a jab and straight right I throw 20 punches then rest then do it again for 3 rounds I don’t do it every day just every other day I just want to know if what I’m doing works also I’m 17 5’10 and I weigh 235

Reply

Johnny N September 26, 2013 at 4:12 pm

It’s very bad for your joints. Don’t throw full speed punches with weights in your hand.

Reply

Joe October 1, 2013 at 11:44 am

Thanks also just to ask how do you feel about combining boxing with wing chun cause both of them to me are kinda the same

Reply

Joe October 1, 2013 at 11:46 am

Also about the weights I do have pretty good control of the weights because I started by using 5 pounds of weight when I was boxing a age 14 then over the years I’ve increased it

Johnny N October 6, 2013 at 6:52 pm

They’re not the same at all, not even close. Go to a boxing gym with competing fighters and you’ll see what i mean.

Joe October 8, 2013 at 10:02 am

The way they train is different yes but the concept is somewhat the same and if it’s not can you please explain why?

max April 23, 2010 at 7:01 am

true that
There was an article in the NY Times recently discussing how even people who do moderate-heavy weights generally don’t gain much mass. It stated that doing moderate-heavy weights (as opposed to many reps, light weight) was actually MORE useful to TONE (this is especially true for women, who maintain mass/calories/weight like mofos, in order to feed their babies!).

So like Amar said, don’t shy away from weights. Any explosive (that is, pushing or pulling quickly, and then returning the weight at a slower pace) set can be helpful.

If you want to gain mass, you need to eat more calories. I’ve tried all sorts of weights, but I’m only gaining weight now, because I’m eating 2600 calories a day (I’m skinny).

I find it best to do reps between 8-12.

Reply

Chad June 25, 2010 at 6:35 pm

I think throwing medicine ball, sprinting and doing plyometric are good to improve punching power. it’s usually to see lots of fighter use those ways to increase their performance.

I also find another way to improve punching power. Just check this website.

http://www.motleyhealth.com/fitness_and_strength/fitness/boxing-workout-plyometric-circuits-for-speed-power-and-strength

Reply

justin binner June 26, 2010 at 3:13 am

me
;-) ican master all lessons there in 1 day.

Reply

Michael July 27, 2010 at 3:12 pm

Punching
Im new to boxing and fighting and when i throw any punch (especially jabs) they feel sloppy and powerless i do the rotations and movements when i punch. I am wondering if you know any exercises that will make my punches feel strong and not feel sloppy.

Reply

Johnny N July 30, 2010 at 1:06 am

exercises for strong punches
Hi Michael,

If you want stronger punches, you have to practice throwing explosive punches with explosive breathing. Since you’re new to boxing, everything you do is going to be slow because your body hasn’t built up the muscle memory and coordination to put together the movements yet. Even if you do it right, it still won’t come out like a pro boxer. My advice is to take your time to develop your craft and the skills will come soon enough! There is no shortcut for hours and hours of practice.

Reply

Axe Man Andrew Jansen December 14, 2010 at 1:33 am

Perfect form leads to Perfect punches— one good shot is all it takes to cause a knockout.
I’ve talked to many of my friends who have had a career in boxing. they have all told me that weight lifting was ok, but the key is to focus on explosive power that the fighter gets from hitting the bag. my last training coach said to me “one shot thrown with perfect form in the right place and time is better than a flurry that did’nt land right.” i also talked to my great grandfather who had seen his share of boxing in the army during world war 2. he told me that once he mastered the One Perfect Punch concept, everything else just fell into place naturally.

his drill instructor also had another idea. one side of the body is always going to dominate the other. this one is where the power should come from. this drill sergeant also had a memorable quote that he lived by

he would hold his left in a fist and say “this is 6 months in the hospital…” he would then hold the right hand in a fist “This is sudden death.” (meant as a figure of speech.)

that means that 500 reps per technique over time will cause the movement to be programmed into the bodys muscle memory. then throwing the hit right and scoring a knockout is just second nature. when that happens, you can get in the ring, look for an opening and when you find that opening… “UNLEASH HELL!!”

Reply

T December 14, 2010 at 5:00 am

Sensei
comment #1 on the Power= accelleration not speed,
Power = SUM ( E) /t ~ 1/2m V^2 (V as in Velocity=Speed)/ t
so the faster the punch the more power, the M (Mass) is only a small part of the equation, the reason a fast snap doesn’t work is Punch Damage= Energy delivered, and when you hit an object it pushes back with equal and opposite force , so if your muscles are too weak to fully extend your arm after impact, a lot of your energy kicks back at you, so you need enough strength to extend all the way through after impact so you can deliver 1/2MV^2 in Energy and not have it come back at you

To get there you need
1) Good technique, boxing punches need to hook to prevent recoil and Karate ones need to be straight and much stronger or more recoil (Same theory on why most martial artists believe elbow strikes stronger than a punch, since there is less recoil in a rounded elbow strike than a lnear punch, but the punch has more energy, just less delivered in most cases)
2) Heavy bag training especially for boxing type punches, Makiwara for linear punches
3) Condition all your body like the guys above state, a punch should involve a lot more than your arm, so build it and use it
4) Work your weak points from the impact point to the starting point (you don’ worry about making a better hammer handle if the head is made of glass, once your hammer head is steel, then replace the weak handle with something stronger or with better leverage

knuckle conditioning
Wrist
Elbow
Shoulder
Hips
Glutes
Quads
Hamstring
Ankle
Foot

Hope this helps (remeber defense over)

Reply

Jossh October 25, 2011 at 12:27 pm

How should legs be strengthened?

Reply

Johnny N October 27, 2011 at 1:31 am

my favorite is the jumprope!

Reply

Dex February 20, 2011 at 9:04 pm

Arm relaxiation
When i punch should it be my arms are relaxed upon impact?

Reply

Johnny N February 22, 2011 at 12:06 am

@Dex – yes, release the arms upon impact. By doing so you are releasing the punching weight into your opponent… think of it as the gun releasing the bullet.

Reply

kd February 24, 2011 at 11:14 am

If im punching right should my arms feel like im barely using them its like my weight carries the punches?

Reply

Johnny N February 24, 2011 at 2:41 pm

@kd – yes, you want your arms to feel relaxed. Of course they’re exerting force so they’re working but try to relax them. I highly recommend that you read the guide on how to throw snap punches.

Reply

Brandon March 6, 2011 at 10:07 am

Training
I dont see how raising the shoulder increases power or how lifting weights weakens the punches ? i workout to train for football and i dont notice a difference if someone can explain e-mail motocross579@yahoo.com

Reply

Johnny N March 8, 2011 at 1:04 am

@Brandon, raising the shoulder activates the shoulder into the punch. That quick simple little motion doesn’t add a ton of power but it’s a noticeable difference. There’s also a defensive advantage in that the raised shoulder covers your chin better.

Lifting weights doesn’t weaken your punch, but it doesn’t add much power to it either. The problem is that you’re building muscle that takes time to exert maximum effort. Your muscle might be very strong but it’s not instanteously strong, weight lifting muscles take a little time to reach full force, so your punches finish without the muscle using its full capacity.

To expand on this further, there ARE proper ways to lift weights that do add power to your punch.

Reply

Dawei October 23, 2012 at 9:00 am

Every thing that’s said here is great info for power, apart from lifting the shoulders, scapulae need to be relaxed down and out, to adhere to the back of rib cage, so that in the instant of impact, a connection between ground and target are one, and a stretch unstrech of all fasia in the body happen in an instant to quick to feel, so relax and trust the body

Reply

Arnel March 26, 2011 at 1:28 pm

Johnny N is right that Power is proportional to Acceleration
Fascinating article, Johnny N. Thank you for your advice.

I’m not sure if T is disagreeing that Power is proportional to Acceleration. Power equals Force * distance. Force = mass * acceleration. So I agree with Johnny N’s statement that Power is Acceleration. In any case, the Physics definition of Force is probably what many people would think of as power. Power (in physics) is also proportional to Energy, as T pointed out. Rearranging Force * distance gives you Energy / Time.

To deal the most damage, accelerating a larger mass (the entire body) is going to do better than a smaller mass (just the fist). Alignment and technique are really important here. If the fist and the arm crumples upon hitting the target, then clearly, the maximum energy is not transferred to the target. That’s not muscular strength that allows one to push through, that’s structural integrity and alignment (technique). The punch with the proper alignment, with the full acceleration of the body, that is anchored to the feet and into the ground is like a 12 inch sharpened pole angled from the ground that can stop a charging cavalry unit dead in its tracks (like in the movie Braveheart).

Reply

Goones April 20, 2011 at 9:36 pm

@Johnny N what you mean by raising the shoulders?i cant seem to get it ;-) i’m a total beginner still learning the basic punches.When i punch i try to keep my shoulders parallel to the ground.

Reply

MT fighter May 24, 2011 at 4:59 am

Does shadow boxing with light weights help?
I do one round of shadow boxing with three pound weights. I’ve been taught this method gives you more speed and power.

Also, kettle bell workouts are good for core.

btw awesome web site! If you could load more video examples that would be great!

Reply

Johnny N May 24, 2011 at 8:36 pm

@MT – shadowboxing at a SLOW speed with dumbbells are ok. Going fast injures your joints. I’ll be uploading videos as soon as I find time to record and edit them.

Reply

Vince June 29, 2011 at 9:26 pm

Boxing to keep in shape
I have black belt in karate. And believe combination of all excercise done properly ligth weights , pushups. And hittin bag. Heavy and ligth for coordination. Even exercises like yoga for stretching creates power and concentration, also tai chi the slower you move in tai chi better balance and will move faster, works in reverse and helps body to move in a unit. So combing all these exercises in routine will improve punching power, body movement and katas in karate for body movement. Like being anchored to ground and can move like a cat. Balanced and set ready for next movement. I feel and with practice using all these exercises will improve a boxers punching power speed ,balance.and you go with opponents power use it against him. But a defencive. Let us say for gives you better offensive. Like football a defense can stop a good offense and win. For lack of better words. And dancing like Ali and punching like Marciano for knockout punch. A straith karate punch puts know out punch into let us say a jab done properly. Like sugar ray leornard second figth against Roberto Duran hit him so fast and hard could not counter like first figth they had were Duran one. For experience and good counter puncher. Especially in close. Shorter reach closer to opponent gives you more power and person with longer arms looses his advantage of longer arms taking that weapon away from him and you tying him up close with good body movement. Found this out in grainy for 30 years for self defense.

Reply

Vince June 29, 2011 at 9:53 pm

Throwing punches should always come from legs to hips threw arms . For lack of better words. Includes any punc or combination. Also strching throwing karate kicks give you better balance. And using hi
Speed generated with good body movement will create this loose arms relaxed till ready to strike with any punch combo or hook upper cut and straight jab to set up and open your opponent up. For striking with sped and power. Does not matter what punc you throw but focused like shooting a photo with a camera. And always recoil back into defense position. You only worry like a cube around your body outside that cube your body can not effect you. That’s the key to success I feel . Many figthers boxers distracted from what happens outside there body area. And get distracted and then are in trouble. Must move body as a unit. Always in contol and balanced. The key is balance. Loose that it’s all over for you. I always was say like middle weight and could defeat say a Man 50pounds heaved because he used his size not technique. Since most untrained persons or with little grainy think they can use there size alone to defeat you. Again just boxed, done karate, Ect. Because big kids picked on me. In a period od six months to a year wow do not want to mess with that 150 pd man. Best weight for me go over 155 Pounds loose sped and power one must find best weight for body bone structure. If you are middle weight keep weight there. At 5th. 8 in. Tall were a six foot man can go to 200 pds let’s us say. And move like. Ali. But a middleweight can not move well when heavier than he should be for body frame. He will fool beat a bigger man if bigger man fibers his size alone will defeat smaller person. Iccc

Reply

mingsy the cat July 1, 2011 at 1:57 am

shouting necessary in punching or not?
does shouting while punching increase ones punching power and relieves stress? i see karatekas and other matial artist shout while punching and as i remember there is an article here that only nose breathing will suffice. do we really need to shout? manny pacqiao shout while training, is it a bad habbit or is it required in boxing?

Reply

Johnny N July 5, 2011 at 5:14 am

@mingsy the cat – all you really need is explosive breathing. If this means making a sound, a hiss, a shout, whatever it is…the breathing just needs to explode. What you have to be careful about is not opening your jaw and putting it at risk to being broken by a punch. Either than that, you can make whatever sound you want. I’m sure there are many other boxers that make a sound but you don’t hear it because of the shape of mouthguard they use.

Reply

Amit July 6, 2011 at 5:16 pm

Thanks Johnny
Hi Johnny,

Your are really very good and kind person. I have become a regular reader of your mail box and comments. This site is the king of boxing. Thanks sir.

I have some confusions in my mind regarding boxing workout.
- How many rounds should I go for heavy bag and double end bag and speed ball
- I start my workout with 3 rounds of skipping (3 minute round 1 min rest)
- then 2 rounds of shadow boxing (sometimes with weight)
- then 3 rounds of heavy bag and 2, 2 rounds of double end ball and speed ball
and finish the workout either with skipping or shadow boxing.

Pls suggest me do what else I need to modify to make it better
And how much should I run and for how many times in a week
I also want to know a weight lifting schedule to enhance my performance.

I would be very very thankful to you sir. Pls answer my queries.

Regards
Amit
amitbhardwaj09@gmail.com

Reply

Johnny N July 9, 2011 at 5:11 am

@Amit – your workout is fine. It’s a basic solid workout. You should check out the EASY boxing workout that I put out and incorporate some things from there into your routine. The amateur boxing workout will be put out soon and that may be what you want.

Running should be 3 to 5 times a week and should go for 3-5 miles. If I had to add anything to your routine right now, it would be some balance exercises and perhaps a core routine where you do at least 100-300 crunches or sit-ups. Your stomach will quickly get use to it where you can do it easily every day.

Reply

Amit July 11, 2011 at 4:29 am

Thanks a lot sir
Thanks a lot sir to reply my query…. A salute to you sir

Reply

Amit July 12, 2011 at 3:35 am

Substitute of running
Hi Johnny,

I need to ask you about the substitute of running. I am not getting time for running because of my daily hell schedule. Second problem is I don’t know swimming.
So please suggest me what can else I can do which is equal to 3 miles running.

Thanks
Amit

Reply

Johnny N July 13, 2011 at 6:33 am

@Amit – riding a stationary bike. running up and down stairs? Doing cardio is crucial. Some people also use the jump rope. Not having enough time for running is tough because anything you might try to substitute the running would end up taking more time than doing the running itself. Running is pretty efficient and a great workout using little time. Once you get good at it, doing 3 miles will take you less than 30 minutes.

Reply

Jossh October 25, 2011 at 12:32 pm

How would you recommend strengthening the leg? Does running and stairs do it all? I’m thinking of Mike Tyson, the robustfulness of his legs and the power that must have came from them. Further, anything on the fiber-twitch muscles? they say faster feet, faster hands, thanks!

Reply

Johnny N October 27, 2011 at 1:50 am

Plyometrics will develop fast-twitch muscles. Again, use the jumprope…(I mentioned this on one of your other comments.) Running and stairs also helps…depending on how you do it.

Reply

Anonymous July 13, 2011 at 8:34 am

re: subsitute of running
@Amit and Johnny N – ya Johnny is right. there’s not much substitute to running that takes less time than running. if u really have no time to run I would suggest you do hard sprints.
Benefits to sprinting over running are:
- takes less time (just like jogging takes less time to burn same calories than walking)
- gets your heart rate up higher and quicker than jogging/running which means your lungs and diaphragm muscles gets stronger
- burns more calories in less time
- builds explosive lower body power
- sprinting works the core muscles harder and more efficiently than just running
- improves recovery mechanism if u do sprints in intervals (i.e. sprint hard, then slow jog, sprint hard, slow jog, and so on) – heart rate goes up and down, up and down,…
- you don’t have to sprint as long distances as running
- again, more importantly for those who don’t time like you: IT TAKES LESS TIME

Note: Keep in mind though that sprints have to be hard sprints. 100% effort. The harder you push yourself the better the workout and the better the results.

I personally have time to run but I don’t like running because I get bored sometimes. I specially hate running on treadmills or using other sorts of stationary bicycles or whatever. They get me real bored. Plus I think it has been proven that running (not stationary) is better than stationary (e.g. treadmills). This is because when running on treadmills, mostly all your doing is bouncing up and down, whereas if your running outside u have to produce forward force as well as against the gravity IMO.

So Johnny, do u think sprinting is a effective replacement for running?

Reply

Amit July 14, 2011 at 12:25 am

Big Thanks
Dear Johnny and Anonymous,

A big thanks to both of you to give me the ideas.. I would surely implement those now onwards.. specially I would try to do sprints now.

Now I am gonna take your more time by asking another query… ha ha ha
My question is :: In weight training should I go for light weight higher reps or heavy weight with less reps?

Please reply with as you have been guiding so far with your ample knowledge.

Regards
Amit

Reply

alejandro September 21, 2012 at 2:10 pm

or heavy weights like 5 and less reps followed by explosive movement which targets and fires all the fasttwitch muscle fibers… its called complex training and made for max strength and fast movements of any explosive matter like jumping and punching

Reply

Johnny N July 14, 2011 at 3:30 am

@Amit – I choose light weight. But it also depends what muscles you are training. Some muscles have more endurance than others and can handle a much heavier load.

Reply

Anonymous July 14, 2011 at 1:49 pm

@Amit – Weight training for boxing is one of the controversial topics in boxing. Some suggest to do no weight training at all and do only body weight exercises, Some say do light weights only. Some say training with heavy weight helps too. I don’t think it has ever been universal.
As far as I know, training with heavy weights and low reps improve strength and muscle hypertrophy which means to increase the size of your muscle cells. This type of training used extensively by bodybuilders might not be well suited for a boxer because many say that this kind of training will make you a slower boxer. And strength basically is related to the maximum weight you can lift in 1 repetition regardless of the time it takes for you to do that 1 repetition. So although strength gains are not totally bad for a boxer, you shouldn’t focus too much on this because it might slow you down.
Training with light weights and high repetition is associated with gains in muscular endurance which is good for a boxer. More endurance results in being able to punch and defend effectively for a longer amount of time.
Training with light to moderate weight and low to moderate repetition but lifting as fast as safely possible is associated with gains in muscular POWER. Power is the amount of force u can produce in a given time. So the higher the power, the more force u can produce in a little amount of time. I believe this kind of training also makes you faster and more explosive.

I have recently become a fan of power training since I am really into MMA, where explosiveness is very important. MMA has only 3 rounds per fight or 5 rounds in a title fight and 5 minute per round as opposed to 12 rounds in boxing and 3 minute per round.
So even if we take 5 rounds for MMA that is 5 x 5 = 25 minutes for MMA; whereas 3 x 12 = 36 minute for boxing. Therefore, I believe boxers need more endurance than MMA fighters. MMA fighters are usually more explosive than boxers IMO specially since they have to be explosive for takedowns and stuff. But I believe boxers can benefit from power training too and with power training you will be faster and hit harder.

Reply

Anonymous July 14, 2011 at 1:55 pm

Btw, when doing power training, don’t lift till failure ever.
The reason is that training till failure will mean that the in last few reps, you will be lifting the weights slow and barely manage to lift which isn’t the point of power training. Power training is about explosively lifting the weight fast, which is why heavy weights isn’t used for power lifting.
Keep in mind though that doing power training require you to move the weight fast while using proper form and technique as to not cause any injuries. Having bad form while lifting weight fast might have dangerous consequences, especially to your lower back.

Reply

Amit July 14, 2011 at 2:03 pm

Again thanks to Johnny & Anonymous
Thanks a lot sir… both of you are really helping me this way… I am surely gonna do the same ….

Regards
Amit

Reply

Johnny N July 14, 2011 at 4:52 pm

@Anonymous – thank you, sir. Whoever you are, I couldn’t have said it any better. Thank you, watchman.

Reply

Amit July 14, 2011 at 4:55 pm

Big Arm size
Hi Johnny,

I used to be bodybuilder earlier.. So I have big arms size its 17″ now, earlier it was 19″.
Is it bad for boxing? Do I need to decrease my arm size or is it ok for boxing? Though I am not doing any special workout now to increase or maintain my arm size however pls let me know is it fine or I need to reduce it?

Regards
Amit

Reply

Anonymous July 14, 2011 at 10:30 pm

@Johnny N – no problem. Plz don’t call me sir, lol. I am pretty sure I am younger than you. I am 17.

Reply

Johnny N July 18, 2011 at 8:40 am

@Amit – if you can throw 70-100 punches a round, you’re in good shape. I think the only problem with big arms is speed and endurance. As long as you can throw enough punches, and fast enough punches, you’re ok.

Reply

Amit July 18, 2011 at 8:00 pm

Thanks Johnny Sir
Hi Jhonny,

Thanks for advice, if we talk about the punch count per round so according to me I throw more than 100 punches in a round. Earlier my shoulders used to get tired very quickly and my hands used to go down due to tiredness. Then I included speed bag rounds in my workout and could built some more power in my shoulders. Now I keep a check that how many times my hands are going down even sometimes a make a video of my workout and I could improve my self.

And this is just because of your valuable guidance. Big thanks to you.

Regards
Amit

Reply

Radd July 19, 2011 at 12:01 pm

Direction of pivoting foot and arm
“Quote”
“Straight Right or Right Cross
The ABSOLUTE best aim for this punch is not in front of you. I’ll tell you where it is; do this: extend your jab out as if you were to jab someone. Really straighten out that left arm all the way and hold it. Now imagine your opponent slipping to the left OUTSIDE of your jab and his face is about one foot to the left of your extend jab fist. That new space in the air that you are looking at now is your strongest punching point.”

I guess this is related to direction of pivoting foot. With this way foot, leg and arm are parallel and there is no loss of power. When pivoting the foot, leg and hips direction is not shows the front, it is where you exactly say. Also with this way there is more hip and leg power produced cause it forces to body turn more.

Once I asked experienced boxer to learn why we pivoting foot too much (heel more outside than the arm direction) if we punch in front of us. For my mentality if we punch directly in front of us, foot should be turn enough to show directly in front of us to give power for vertical movement. if we turn foot much more than this foot and arm direction are not being parallel and it is break the power chain and disturb the movement. Now with your words i guess my thinking is not very wrong but incomplete if i get your words true.

Reply

Amit July 20, 2011 at 4:01 pm

Query regarding Skipping surface.
Dear Johnny,

I have a big query regarding the skipping surface. I dont have any wooden floor. I have to skipp on concrete floor. So what I do, I wear a couple of towel socks and after that elasting bands at my ankles than I wear sport shoes.

Is it ok or do I need to put some yoga mats on floor? or anything speciall?

Regards
Amit

Reply

Johnny N July 21, 2011 at 4:57 pm

@Radd – EXCELLENT QUESTION. I’ll make it very simple. The foot rotation is to pivot the hips. Nothing else. It’s not to go parallel with the punching arm or to push the body into the punch or anything. It’s simply to turn the hips.

@Amit – I think most people would tell you concrete is the worst surface. You need something that slightly absorbs impact. Concrete would give you shin splints. Yoga mats might be too weird of a surface. Gym mats (like the ones at fitness gyms) are the best, I would say.

Reply

saber khan July 22, 2011 at 5:46 am

good places to build power
power and chin are really mostly God given gifts. one can increase speed upto a limit but theres a good amount of improvement possible there. proper technique allows use of the muscles and full body weight. so one doesnt arm punch. because thats useless. but there are 4 parts of power:

1. using all of the weight in your body and having it go together (technique helps)
2. creating the acceleration through muscles flexing (technique helps)
3. transferring that power (bone-muscle levers, coordination, timing that cant be trained)
4. the hardness of the things that transfer the power (tendons and bones in arm and hand)

if you get 1 and 2 down, but you arent knocking anyone down flush, you probably dont have something in 3 or 4. and you cant build that.

Reply

saber khan July 22, 2011 at 2:59 pm

little ways to improve power
i really dont know what generates power, of course the hips and using the body and planting the feet. but unlike fast punches there are no 2 or 3 magic pills. however theres so much good advice here, im gonna try. what kind of a KO artist cant say anything about power :S so ill try.

ok so you got to plant your feet. every body knows that of course, but when you really want power ok, you see guys trading and youre like wow they could decapitate each other ? you should look at our feet. because after say a 5 or 6 power trades when im back in the corner the skin under my big toes really burnt. and it must be a severe thing cuz while youre adrenaline is high in actual fights not sparring with headgear and safety you generally dont feel anything right? so i think that the feet really should be planted. like press them down intentionally. and kind of try and imagine in your head, when punching, spinning that canvas SO ******** hard it tears or just bursts into flame. ok? thats real power. no one hits a good shot without really grounding their feet. i mean one KO i cant forget, and of course there are many great ones, is sugar ray ko-ing going backwards. in boxing, thats kind of like defying gravity. hes backwards, weight aint forwards, it looks like an arm punch all the laws seem to disappear. but he still has to do three laws while breaking all the others, which i feel means something really important. one is his FEET, they are planted at the moment he throws the punch. and so i would suggest really planting it. i mean press down on the ground if you have to. you can fly up like street fighter if you want, but to fly you need to get down into that ground. think of jordan jumping or mcwire hitting a hme run. they aint doing it with feet not planted. plant those feet and push them into the canvas if you have to. when you feel the burn you know, youre maximising the ability to make your weight count. two he had to use his speed a slow punch wont knock a dead body out. and three he hit flush. all the power in the world is useless if you dont hit em flush. speed kills, accuracy is the accomplice as sam used to say :-) and a fourth and fifth i suppose ws that the punch was unexpected and a counter , but those are not laws theyre a special thing.

okay, the second thing is the contact and not pulling the punch. your punch should be snappy that is dont try to go through his skull, but try to go like 1/2 an inch into his skin. dont pull back. boom. one motion one thought one expulsion of air. that doesnt mean a haymaker it means give it all you got, plant those feet and when you hit let that punch really make contact before turning it back. how long ? barely a fraction of a second. how do you know. ok this one i know. YOU SHOULD FEEL HIS BODY WEIGHT AGAINST YOU PUSHING YOU BACK. if you hit him hard, you should feel his body pushing back into your hand and the HARDER YOU PUNCH the MORE you feel a shock going through your body. thats how you know you didnt pull the punch. this is why amateurs dont break their hands early, they do it when theyre all caught up in the tech of putting weight behind the punch and havent learnt to wrap up or have an experienced mate do it for them. you wanna punch hard enough to break your hands, cuz otherwise you cant get a KO right? so your aim is to hit hard enough to break your hand, to feel that you hit something hard. not like the ground pushes you back when you do a pushup, a fast shockwave like a car accelerated. if you dont feel like youre going back, you didnt hit hard enough or pulled it. and btw i think few ppl even hard hitters know this trick, cuz it was a lightweight funnily enough who taught it to me. he came up to me for advice and was like `i hit so hard i feel my body is shaking with the pressure from his body,what else can i do?’ and i was like `yeah, i feel that too.’ and i worked with him, he wasnt a ko puncher but he got some power by imrpoving his planting and stuff.

Reply

saber khan July 22, 2011 at 3:00 pm

part 2 of my pathetic theory on boxing power
ok third thing. to really get that power you generate into a punch, and you got ALL THE TECHNIQUE IN THE WORLD, you still need hard hands, tendons and bones that dont waste energy. now i know this is really a natural thing, but a good way to build ligament strength is doing pushups with claps. its not the power cuz ive taught a girlfriend to do it and most of you guys can do it, if you get the timing right. ask any experienced fellow hell show you how. but at the top just clap and and catch yourself on your hands. it does something to the ligaments, the arms that isnt actually muscle power. but its like you have so little time to save yourself, your ligaments learn to use the power you give them and not waste it. i cant think of any other exercise that does this. the feeling you get, is something like how a car thats revved up and then you change gear at the right time just ZOOMS. so when you throw a punch, for no reason you can feel more power through your entire arm. not a stiff arm, but that dead feeling that weightlessness in the arm isnt there. it feels like your arm muscles are being controleld by your back muscles. like you flex your back and youl see your wrist flex a little or at least quiver. i think thats kind of a tension that builds in the ligament, it kind of binds itself better to your muscles and to your need to use it fast.

finally the tricks coach taught please do not disregard them. they are cop outs but they are damn useful cop outs. my brother boxers im sure johnys younger than me but hes a coach he knows what hes talking about. dont be like `oh i cant shake the guy behind the heavybag, im not gonna score a KO.’ there are other ways, ill just recount them:

1. the punch they dont see coming really puts people down. BELIEVE IT GUYS! ok try it and see in your sparring ok ? it is so so vital yet no body but this coach on this website has printed it. when they dont know its coming they go down much more.
2. use their weight against them. the counter punch. is always. harder on the opponent. because his brain is busy throwing and coordinating itself. and it lands people on their ass, a flash knockdown, and suddenly they may respect you and if youre a boxer you need a swarmer or slugger to respect you so you can get out of a jam which you will now and then.
3. dont punch too high up, dont punch down. straight lines. no looping. amazing how many guys ignore this, and btw this is taught to every boxer not like the nuggets like the previous 2. and they still have loopy punches.
4. there have been no more than 10 one punch KO (not KD, KO) men in the history of a sport that goes back at least 120 years. fitzimmons, langford, saddler (amazing he was a feather), robinson, marciano, shavers, julian jackson, mcclellan, tyson from 1980 to 1988, roy jones jr. and 2 more guys. oh hearns right cross. i hope im not braging when i say i had a wonderful 35 running KO record at a time till i went to cruiserweight and won a decision, then got TKOd myself. but thats another story. guys like dempsey, louis, duran, leonard, cuevas, hagler, pacquaio, foreman, rosario, cintron, de la hoya, trinidad, its not one punch. its one stunning punch and then maybe 2 in a row that puts them down. so if you cant bust the heavy bag dont worry. you gotta have 4 or 5 good blows to end a fight. and you will still be naed a KO artist.

last little thing ? punching hard is great for tournaments and exhibitions. i saw karate guys who broke 4 bricks with a punch at the middle east mixed martial arts forum. it was damn impressive. then my friend willy, a guy at my gym with whom ive sparred and ive put down frequently, i think he got hit twice flush but still traded and scored 4 knockdowns which was the TKO limit for that tournament in 2 rounds. now im sure if willy was a brick he would be dead. but he wasnt. he was a human who could move, take a punch he saw coming. im also sure my head is no match for one brick forget 4. but willy never dropped me. so i say in boxing, punching that heavy bag hard isnt as important as hurting the opponent more. i love this forum, i really love this coach, i hate it that this stuff wasnt there when i was looking for data and i wish all of you KO’s and great fights.

Reply

Radd July 22, 2011 at 9:36 pm

@saber khan; Thanks for the tips and sharing experience. Tell us more of your experiences and pathetic theories :D (they are brilliant) of you about KO’s, Sparring, Styles, Tournaments etc.

One of the other page the statement you said is very true “i think everyone in our part of the world learnt a lot of stuff by themselves”. Maybe it is because of the bad trainers but some way i like this part of boxing when there is people like Johnny N and you who share their experiences and knowledge to others. Especially Johnny is via Unanimous Decision Undisputed World Heavy Weight Champion of the World on this concept :-)

Reply

saber khan July 23, 2011 at 5:47 am

thanks man
@Radd

thanks man, im just trying to copy the coach here, and when i foudn this site i kind of realised i never did for anyone what my friend sam did for me, simplifying things, you know teaching it right. its a beautiful thing and believe me we have some dumbass ideas in this sport. my coach’s philosophy was `you have the power prox you got him you just nail him. he cant hurt you he cant hurt you.’ that may seem flattering but ive lost 3 teeth in the ring im not gonna curse here cuz coach might take disrespect but when i think about kind of the injustice of it, and how i myself never taught anyone much and this guy johny i dont know if hes a pro fighter but i have a feeling he isnt. because pro fighters are selfish man we fought for the money and i felt ashamed of myself when i was reading this guy posting posting on all the stuff in boxing and i was like `wow, even in books you can buy no one throws out trade secrets like this (i read a few books my friend sam had, he was my boxing coach really). sam was like johny but visual. but you know styles, defense, tactics he wasnt good in that. and he wasnt a heavyweight but not a ko puncher so i had to pay for that education by sparring trial and error.

i like this site, id be willing to write anytime about what i know, and i apologize if my writings arent so clear as coach but then damn i dont think ull find too many peoples who are you know :-)

so thanks Radd, im just trying to do what i think every experienced boxer should do keep this sport alive cuz its a beautiful sport its a mans sport.

i think even the concept of punch hard is kinda stupid in a way. i think i already talked about this karate guy who broke 4 bricks ? and i mean house buildiing real bricks and a sparmate of mine whos a boxer and went down a bunch of times with me, others in sparring and in his pro fights he just took that guys shot and landed his own, dropped the guy. and he won that exhibition match in like 2 rounds i think it was 3 points for a KD 1 for a punch and after each flush punch the fight was stopped. it was quite silly actually to see one punch landing and theyre breaking it up :-) so u know im sure that karate guy hits hard man he broke FOUR DAMN BRICKS. but this guy valdez i cant remember his first name, we asked him how was he ? he was like there was power but maybe if i kept taking a few for like 6 or 7 rounds he could really have hurt me. and the guy was mexican but he didnt brag so i take his word for it he didnt even looked marked. i think the concept of punching harder is dumb. the concept should be `how to knock the other fighter down and possibly out’, and coach johny is the only guy who actually says `its the ones you dont see coming that hurt’ and thats so true and ill bet every pro fighter knows it. no one says it unless you know youre watching boxing PPV and you hear a roy jones or a sugar ray leonard. and this info is great ESPECIALLY for beginners right guys who think theyre gonna get whooped in sparring and are scared. my brothers no need to be that scared. just know theyre coming and take the punch.

i think coach already wrote one about taking a punch but its the same stuff. neck exercises, breathing out (tightens the abs), tuck the chin if possible if not at least turn with the blow instead of into it unless its a push puncher and youre close in that case just get close to him. and see it coming, tighten your neck. do jaw exercises, chew like 3 of 4 pieces of gum. make those jaws hard, keep that mouthpiece tight in there. mentally focus on absorbing the punch and letting it flow through you. i have a personal opinion that i think helped me. a lot. when i got hit flush in sparring, id feel like my legs were rubbery. and so i fell. it happens real fast like suddenly your legs wont respond. so if i could see a punch coming, i liked to squeeze my jaw, my leg muscles, my neck, tighten my whole body. and it didnt hurt-that is the punch didnt make me feel wobbly. so i think getting off a punch the other guy doesnt see has a lot to do with kd’s and ko’s and punching harder is just for heavybag showponies. btw if any of you guys try out my stuff, could you just let me know ? im curious if all this was mental or its just good chin as the oldtimers said. the more i read coach johny the ore i realise what a dumbass i used to be then robotically following a lot of ringside gospel.

youre the best coach and thanks radd for the compliment man

Reply

Johnny N July 23, 2011 at 5:55 am

@Radd – HAHAHAHA!

@saber khan – you definitely know your stuff even if you’re unable to explain it. Your theory is very much similar to mine. I’ve been working hard on a super advanced guide to power punching lately and I just need more time to write it and shoot videos to demonstrate every little detail before it’s ready. Your theories are definitely covered in it and more.

Reply

saber khan July 23, 2011 at 8:39 am

alright coach!
thats amazing news coach, i cant wait to see it. and im hopeful i may pick something up, i still like to go shake the bag now and then and my cousins coming up as a fighter too. i cant WAIT coach! go for it

Reply

Radd July 25, 2011 at 6:03 am

Power Puncher vs Power Puncher
Miguel Cotto vs Ricardo Torres

Highlight: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dR5nnRTEQtQ
Full Match: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hRb-AFbu3v0&feature=related

This match i guess is a good suggestion for example of power punch boxing. Almost every round knock downs, groggy after groggy, hurt after hurt very violent match.

Reply

Johnny N August 1, 2011 at 7:11 pm

@saber khan – still putting the pieces together. I’ll definitely want your input when it’s done.

@Radd – that is one of my all-time favorite fights. I can never get bored of watching it. It reminds me a lot of Victor Ortiz VS Marcos Maidana.

Reply

saber khan August 3, 2011 at 12:08 am

im on a high even sex can’t provide
just watched mosley and margarito again. man ooh man. sugar shane is much more a puncher than a boxer, and his trades with margarito in the 7th forward oh boy i feel it. now shane loves his right hand anyone whose seen him and knows boxing understands that. but it’s his really short left hooks inside, and his beautiful short rights that put margarito down and out. many consider margarito to have possibly the best chin in boxing. yeah i think thats crap that goes to chuvalo-a guy who took foreman lyle bonavena and frazier and never went down even once. but margarito’s chin is as tough as you will find this side of chuvalo. watch mosley-margarito to see power punching from a guy who in my opinion doesnt have natural power, he has to like pacquaio push into the punch. but notice how the best punch, the punch that really sent margarito reeling looks. a haymaker shares many of the qualities of a power punch-but it doesnt have the snappiness. and its hard to define what snappiness in power does exactly, but in this fight you will see sugar shane land lots of hard uncontested rights. but its a short left followed by a short right that margarito knew were coming, that put down the toughest chin of at least the last 30 years. twice if not thrice (its a knockdown if the only thing prevent a fighter from falling is the ropes). watch the fight’s last 3 rounds to see the difference between the effectiveness of haymakers and that of proper power punches. really huge power does not come from haymakers, unless someone doesnt have natural power and has to kind of rev up the engine a huge amount (and mosley does have to do that sometimes). but the short left hook and the right-pure absolute power, totally staggered margarito and proof that a lighter man who puts all his weight into his punch and punches properly and has the speed of a snappy punch thats not overextended somehow does more damage, than a haymaker that snaps an opponents head back goes flying through but still does not stop him from coming forward. power punching’s good and fantastic in one fight. its a one sided fight, but margarito was not the least bit hurt until the 7th round, and even at that point his punch numbers per round were going up. 2 properly executed short sweeeet blows just took the wits out of him. ahhhhhhhhhhh nirvana……

Reply

Radd August 3, 2011 at 8:08 am

@saber khan, im gonna watch that fight in a few minutes, with the points you mention. I was just looking for a good match to watch few minutes ago. By the way this link for you :-) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LKxWl4PcBY4 your nickname reminded me this good old days cartoon :-)

Reply

saber khan August 3, 2011 at 5:18 pm

Where my star sherriffs at ?
@Radd

hahahahaha that was…very offensive, considering the cartoon is so silly :D but i loved it, my bro used to watch it, and sometimes he would call me that. by the way my ACTUAL NAME is Saber Khan. and all khans are distantly related to each other so from some side im related to Amir Khan (probably quite a few 100 generations off tho :-) My nickname was The Prox, which kinda was a joke cuz prox means `in place of’ or `missing link’. u know like the missing link between apes and humans, im hairy and a bob-and-weave stance so i suppose i did look like an ape-and i hope i hit like one :-) plus i was bananas back in those days :-)

also, you could check out mosley-cotto to see the other side of the coin. cotto had a suspect chin while margaritos is granite QA passed thrice over. a younger mosley couldnt dent cotto at ALL but he pounded margarito into the first and only KO of his career, something pacquaio, cintron, cotto, all powerful punchers, could not do. i dont consider williams a real power puncher do u guys ? now there’s all that PED stuff but thats to make muscle weight it doesnt have anything to do with power. otherwise bodybuilders would be knocking the iron rods out of walls :-) and anybody who’s fought a weightlifter knows, they really look like sissies considering how weak their punch is compared to their enormous physique. slow pushing punches and one good cross or hook and they go down. so i really dont think it has anything to do with steroids, the mosley-cotto and mosley-margarito fights really to me are showcase of what true hurting power is. cotto, a guy with a 7/10 chin not hurt ONCE. margarito, a taller stronger fighter with an 11/10 chin wobbled, technically Kd’d THRICE by an older man. why? its not like mosley even had to struggle to make weight. well i saw the fights, mosley landed flush in both of them and 3 things stand out:

1. cotto got hit less to the body than margarity. going to the body makes a big difference in big chinned guys cuz i think it takes the wind out of them, kind of loosens them up. margarito got his body hit by mosley quite a bit cotto didnt.
2. cotto hit more to the body and slightly more upstrairs than margarito, and cotto hits somewhat harder. reason was against cotto mosley landed his best and backed off. against margarito mosley landed and clinched ali style vs frazier.
3. cotto made mosley waste energy more than margarito did. as stated before, mosley would hit, see cotto still coming, maybe take a punch or two and get out, or just punch and retreat and jab and move. against margarito mosley would hit, and tie up.
4. probably with the help of all of the above, mosley threw less haymakers and more of what we call sweet power punches. not looking to kill margarito, but to cause damage without overextering himself. and he had more gas to keep throwing them, and when he found the chance, landed beautiful short as u want sweet as SUGAR left, right, left.

and margarito’s hurt! on the ropes! and margarito goes down! marga-rito goes down!

so i think its a good bunch of lessons for ppl who want to hurt the opponent more, people with power who want to know what to do against a big chinned fighter, and people who want to know how to prevent a puncher from taking you down.

this wasnt even styles, cuz cotto and mosley are both puncher-boxers with cotto being more swarming, and margarito the essential `my head is my third parrying glove’ swarmer with some power. cotto has most power in his left hook, mosley has most in his right (both really one handed dynamite punchers) and margarito has good power but not amazing in both hands. cotto beats mosley, margarito beats cotto (wraps or not cotto couldnt hurt margarito at all what margarito did was much later), an older mosley beats margarito!

i think it attests to how much more hurtful and successful the accumulation of non-haymaker proper power punches can be vs. a lot of big haymaker punches that dont seem to do as much damage and worse make you open to getting hit and losing steam late. i feel much better knowing i was always a stickler for short punches, like dempsey and louis, and that they actually seem to cause more hurt than haymakers.

anyone wants to see how hurtful the punch that isnt seen can be, pacquaio cotto. pac drops cotto with one blow from an angle that is OBVIOUSLY not at all hurtful, cotto just didnt see it. and second time, cotto didnt see it but it properly hurt him. neither punch was HARD or a haymaker they were done while pac was moving and just stopped to plant and land.

Reply

Radd August 4, 2011 at 6:57 am

@saber khan, you have a very good sense of humor, first part of your entry makes me lol :D and second part of your entry makes me think.

quote “margarito the essential `my head is my third parrying glove’ swarmer with some power” hahaha

Also weightlifter vs boxer is an interesting situation i didn’t know they’re that weak punchers.

Reply

saber khan August 4, 2011 at 10:44 am

@Radd

thank you, im just aping around u know. yeah weightlifters and in general all sports ppl really suck at hitting-except for rugby players cuz theyre huge and tough and baseball players who do have good power. weightlifters i mean the bodybuilders u know doping up injectors those dudes who cant life their shoulder above their eye level and have a purse to carry protein. theyre big, and have great strength. but theyre slow, and push on their punches. and most important theyre scared of fighting, their aim isnt to fight or get into fights its to keep themselves pumped up and looking good. and when they do throw punches its just hilarious dude the size:Power ration is soooo bad. i mean u expect a heavyweight to be able to at least hit you with a full haymaker and make u feel something other than being shoved back right ? their punches dont hurt. even HUGE basketball players-bball’s my other sport i played at club level for money-suck at fighting. most athletes stand tall and usually uncoordinated, two-they have no idea how to defend themselves or where to hit except the lower male organs. they dont even realise hitting the cheekbone, the top of the head or your elbow will break their hand. three-they just dont know how to hit, usually these guys protect their hands instead of roughing them up like we do. so even if they have power they dont show it. this is just guessing of course.

no sport really has proper power motions except baseball, and rugby guys arent as big as bodybuilders but theyre tougher, they can go to the ground, they know how to fight got a decent punch:-) probably a martial artist even a bad one will win against any sportsman, but rugby, american football players know how to take some blows. and i was pretty surprised, the good baseball pitchers batters can actually a good punch, not `proper’ and not that it isnt telegraphed to the entire world :-) but yeah im pretty surprised how close their swing is to a wide looping right hook really not bad at all. their main problem is really their hands are not heavy. and rugby guys them the most durable ppl to a punch. they will go down but it doesnt look cartoonish like hitting a weightlifter who’s 50 pounds over you (say ur a middle) all pumped up muscles and veins and throws the most bad intention punch and you just want to laugh cuz it feels like he just pushed u in the face or the chest. yeah its pretty funny :-) they usually btw go for the top of the head or chest i dont know who or what told them `yeah that’s where humans go when they want to hurt each other’. u can see how its kind of funny right ? but thats really not a reason to make fun of them i know most boxers will suck just as bad compared to weightlifters in terms how `how much can u bench dude’ competitions specially considering how hard a power puncher can hit (my best bench EVER, only could do it once too, neer replicated it, was a very shameful 240 pounds am im actually including the olympic bar’s weight :S yeah thats pretty shameful for a 160 lb guy

abt the margarito-pac-cotto-mosley thing, i do feel there’s something under the surface there, mosley couldnt hurt cotto and cotto just gave him permission, cotto couldnt hurt margarito. mosley hurt margarito landing maybe a few less than cotto did against the mexican (man that guy’s heart is bigger than his chin i wasnt making fun of him in a bad way he’s also a follower of JCC) pac hurt cotto, mosley and droped both but couldnt drop margarito. probably ppl will point out pac-marg had a bit of the effect of punching up and yeah i agree but then mosley nailed manny twice on very hard counters in their otherwise boring fight-most people foget that-and on counters mind you as manny was coming in mosley hit pacquaio twice FLUSH with full power and pac didnt get shaken at all. i cant remember any such weird rock-paper-scissors-lizard-spock situation ever existing before in boxing. i mean foreman never hit ali, frazier never hit foreman, and frazier got to hit ali. its not like comparing cotto, mosley and pac all hitting the pinata margarito calls his head and having so vastly different results. one had NO effect, one put him down, one busted him up. ??? mosley, margarito and pac got the chance to hit cotto. one had NO effect, one put him down totally and busted him up (tho ppl will say wraps and if ppl say forget that sample ok i agree) and the last put him down bad and busted him up too. cotto, mosley and margarito hit pac. cotto had no impact at all, mosley had no impact, margarito the least 1-shot KO of them all actually made pac do things fighters do when they realise they’re feeling the power like smiling and showboating and punching back in big flurries. anyone got theories, cuz i dont. and i dont we ever heard of a right hand being more effective than a left hook when both are easily visible

Reply

Radd August 5, 2011 at 12:43 am

@saber khan; Look at this chart for your bench press http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/weis1.htm you are on the “excellent” area which is the top area on this chart.

Quote “(man that guy’s heart is bigger than his chin i wasnt making fun of him in a bad way he’s also a follower of JCC)

Yes, you’re right no bad intention there just a harmless friendly joke, i got it.

Reply

saber khan August 5, 2011 at 9:22 am

@Radd

dont know how u went and found that, but i just get a feeling that the chart is overly flattering. i guess i misspoke about 160 tho i was 160 or 168 for weigh ins only. im normally 170-175 (77-80 kgs basically). in the middle east we call 147-168 all as middle. thats where i fought mostly. i also fought at cruiser, i won 4 lost 2 but won all on KOs. the losses were due to arm length, i was definitely too short for a cruiserweight. anyway the point remains-i think if i could knock knock down anyone except full heavyweights, i shud proportionally be benching like-300 pounds! but thats not the case and neither was it with other great boxers. i read in tyson’s biography `bad intentions’ at 13, he was 180lbs and benching 250. when i was 15 i hit 170lbs but never went above 220lbs for the last set of 6. and dude in bodybuilding gyms ive seen WOMEN bench 200 man come on 240 is not good! i wish hadnt posted my own humiliation :P

my point is, we boxers arent the greatest weightlifters, and compared to how hard we can hit a bigger stronger guy and scramble their circuits we cant lift anywhere near them. at least most boxers, and if i ever had to leave medicine and take up boxing as a way to earn bread (which is a pretty awesome thought TBH) i wouldnt let my fighters go weightlifting and pumping iron regularly. bodybuilders are better weightlifters, but they suck as fighters. boxers and martial artists are better fighters but they such at picking up huge rocks.

thankfully, in the favor of all martial artists-wushu guys, jiujitsi guys, boxers, muay thai-we all got MACHINES to pick up weights brothers. so the weightlifters arent really doing too much that we can’t copy. for those dudes to get better at defending themselves they need a gun or a steel baseball bat that they are really accurate with :-) so i think we’re better off cuz we can legally equal weightlifters’ advantages cheap, but those guys gotta break the law trying to equal us :-) go fighters

say Radd whats ur take on southpaws man ? i think the right cross-left cross debates been done to death, im talking stuff like feints, lead uppercuts vs rear uppercuts, going against the grain and doing a philly shell for either stance and keeping lead hand down for a hook or an uppercut. if someone can land the hook proper without hitting the shoulder which is what most guys do unintentially, the punch is invisible man. just ask a sparring mate to just emulate a southpaw, keep his right hand down, and throw a hook. if youre looking the way we’re normally always looking at a southpaw that punch is invisible. so is a left ortho hook to a southpaw-which is stronger than the right hook any southpaw throws. and i really believe and have experience of the fact that the `deadly’ left cross is only deadly to someone who uses their right to throw long punches.i believe if someone just keeps their right up properly they can turn a lefty into a no-hand puncher while with their left they can still hook. its when someone anyone tries to compete southpaws cross for cross or worse jab for jab that they get nailed and the myth of the southpaw gets bigger. southpaws also suck at body punching-no one takes advantage of that because southpaws and im not talking pacquaio dont get enough power on any hook and almost nothing on their body hooks and solar plexus uppercuts.

everybody simplies things with ortho vs southpaws to `crosses and the lead foot’ when its really about more: using the fact that southpaws dont have the variety of roundhouse punches, rolling outside and inside. and feints to mix up the down-up hook-jab combos making a southpaw wonder, `which of the FOUR left hand punches that can hurt me is gonna come that i simply cant try and left cross my way out of or save myself with my right glove up ?’

i have no problem with the cross and certainly its murder once someone’s got their foot out of the other’s. but its advice thats great for ppl with good speed and a good chin. why not teach everyone to use finesse feints, rolls and variety hooks, and tell power punchers how to hook and finish, and swarmers how to bob and weave and use the left and right body hook while moving right and throw actual hooks with the lead hand that have good chance of landing?

Reply

Johnny N August 6, 2011 at 4:36 am

Margarito Mosley Cotto was like a clash of styles. I did notice that Cotto would ride and roll off many of Mosley’s punches whereas Margarito just took them square on. Cotto did have a quick snappy jab which interrupted many of Mosley’s combos.

Margarito did so well against Pacquiao because he was big enough to absorb the punches. In that fight, he was allowed to weigh more than he did against Cotto/Mosley. Also Pacquiao having such short arms kept the pressure on and made it hard for him to get away.

Reply

saber khan August 8, 2011 at 9:38 pm

marg and cotto are pretty similiar except cotto has more skills and margarito has 2 solid hands.

yeah cotto rolled with many shots but took 10 or 12 shots between rounds 1 and 3 flush, coming forward, and was just walking through them. i was thinking `hes going down hes going down’. some ex-boxers were watching with me, and i had predicted a KO in 5 or 6 cuz mosley would tire after with cotto’s pressure. and i had to admit wow cotto’s got a hell of a chin. and then we saw cotto rocked by margarito AND pac. and pac isn’t a 2 punch KO guy at welter.
cotto’s chin in retrospect is good but how did he take those shots without the slightest dent? a chin that took mosley’s best should have taken margarito without having to retreat… and margarito was having to punch down at times, and he had taken many shots from cotto that definitely took some power out of his shots.

watch the 4th and 5th round, when mosley is definitely throwing haymakers and still has steam. by then cotto is taking the punch and walking him down, and mosley just starts retreating and the commentators were going `cotto is walking through’ and stuff like `mosley’s landing his best but it’s not having any effect he’s throwing 2 shots and retrating he’s not going forward any more’. margarito got hit by the long shots a lot, but the SHORT rights stunned margarito a few times. and mosley stopped margarito with jab, right, and a short left hook after the right. incredible 3 combo.
youre right about marg-pac i already mentioned the height differential in height and the margarito beard.

but how did COTTO take mosley’s shots ? i really think mosley was far from his prime even before the cotto fight. against margarito maybe he had his last hurrah. and how did marg drop cotto, who whalloped margarito body and head rounds 1, 2, 3, 4, 5? MOSLEY was barely even hit touched up by cotto when mosley was landing his! and we know margarito has good power but not close to mosley’s power,

the only thing i feel is-short punches do real hurt. long punches can look as badass as they want but its the short punches mosley threw, the short uppercuts margarito threw, that did the job. against cotto mosley was throwing long rights long left hooks …

Reply

Amit August 11, 2011 at 10:27 pm

Big Question
HI Johnny,

I want to ask a question what surely runs in everyone’s mind. I am damn confused and in big doubt because of i.
My question is ::
- Does having sex impacts our workout or performance?
- How many times it is allowed in a week or month?

Regards
Amit

Reply

Johnny N August 15, 2011 at 4:25 am

@Amit – good question that will be answered in an article soon. Having sex will definitely impact your physical, mental, and psychological abilities. If you do it only a little, then perhaps it will affect you only a little. The article will explain how and why.

Reply

Amit August 15, 2011 at 3:05 pm

Will wait for that article..
Thanks Coach,

I will surely wait for that article..

Regards
Amit

Reply

Azubuike August 19, 2011 at 1:38 pm

Great
This is a really great site and I love it..thanks

Reply

Johnny N August 22, 2011 at 5:30 pm

you’re welcome, Azubuike!

Reply

Amit August 23, 2011 at 3:35 pm

Cnfussion about workout frequency
Hi Johnny,

I have a simple query regarding the workout frequency troughout the week.
I mean to say I don’t have much time to workout(not more than 90 minutes at any cost) due to my job and busy schedule. I tried your easy workout but it also takes time.

I request you to please clarify that in a week for how many days I should go to boxing workout/ for how many days weight training/ and for how many days for running.

I really request you to answer my query in described way because I am so confused about it.
You are the only coach I have, please guide me for the right workout.

Regards
Amit

Reply

Amit August 23, 2011 at 3:36 pm

90 minutes a day
90 minutes a day

Reply

Johnny N August 24, 2011 at 6:05 am

Amit, I would suggest you follow the easy boxing workout just as you have already done. If your time is limited, then remove whatever parts you don’t care much for. If you’re goal is simply to learn more technical skills, then remove the running but keep the gym sessions. If your goal is to stay in shape, then remove the technique drills and keep the workouts. You can also try just boxing on 2 days a week and combining more workouts in one day.

Reply

Splinterz August 26, 2011 at 9:56 am

Running Substitute
I read an article recently about an athletics coach from the 60′s. Playing squash is an excellent substitute for running. It has the same benefits, but it’s less boring.

Reply

Radd August 29, 2011 at 4:49 am

Where is Saber ?
@Saber, where did you disappear to ? Miss your awesome articles bro ;-)

Reply

Amit August 29, 2011 at 8:17 pm

Southpaw and orthodox
Hi Johnny,

Pls tell why left handed boxers are called southpaw and right handed boxers are orthodox?

Regards
Amit

Reply

Johnny N August 31, 2011 at 3:48 pm

@Amit – the term southpaw is an old baseball term. Back in the days, a left-handed pitcher stood facing direction of “south” (since all baseball diamonds were placed west of the pitcher). Hence, the term southpaw.

Reply

LFF box September 6, 2011 at 1:33 am

mr
just started boxing cant afford any bags in the near futre is there any cheaper options to developing punching power and speed?

Reply

Ray September 6, 2011 at 8:51 am

I disagree about the weights
But like you said, there are people who will argue both sides. The argument that if your muscles become accustomed to pushing a heavier weight, than pushing a lighter weight will be that much easier (and faster…if pushing it faster is your goal), simply makes sense to me.

The principle is the same with the running analogy. The stronger your muscles are, the quicker you’ll be off the line, and the farther you’ll be in front of the rest of the pack.

Try this: do as many free-standing squats as you can in a minute (I’m assuming you work your legs) against somebody equal in size to you who doesn’t exercise. I guarantee you’ll be him because your muscles are accustomed to the weight. The other person, on the other hand, is being taxed by the task because he’s simply not strong enough to push and quickly as you are.

Reply

Johnny N September 6, 2011 at 6:48 pm

@LFF box – plyometric push-ups, jump rope, and lots of shadowboxing

@Ray – lifting heavier weights will allow you to lift lighter weights with less effort. That much is true. But it doesn’t guarantee that you will be able to lift the lighter weights with explosive speed. You also have to understand that punching power is not purely generated from the muscle force. There’s technique, timing, and the act of applying gravity to the punch. The most important physical factor of punching power is power, not strength. If you’re lifting weights to develop power, it will help…but if you’re lifting heavy weights that develop strength, it won’t help much if at all.

Being able to squat heavy doesn’t guarantee that you will run fast. I was a track & field runner and we focused on plyometrics which was pure power-based (although it will add some strength). Being accustomed to your weight only requires proper conditioning, not strength training.

Reply

Ray September 7, 2011 at 2:03 am

@ Johnny N – :-) Thanks for the reply.

I understand what you’re saying. I’m not saying that traditional workouts with weights will, by default, increase speed. What I’m saying is that performing certain movements (punching or kicking) against resistance will increase the speed of a movement once the resistance is removed. I also understand that there are other factors, including genetics. Your average person isn’t going to attain Mayweather-type quickness by using ANY speed-building tactic.

Thanks again for the reply. I love this site!

Reply

Johnny N September 8, 2011 at 7:53 am

Ahhh, ok. Thanks, Ray!

Reply

marlon September 8, 2011 at 6:45 pm

power
Well most ppl all ready have big strong legs.all you need is a good strong back.i say this bc most power is lost in your back mulcse.but learn how to throw a good punch before weight training

Reply

Hersh September 13, 2011 at 12:31 am

Thin and semi-newbie
Hey Johnny, thanks for this great article and great website!

I’m thin (at 105 lbs, 5’3 height) and semi -newbie (I started last 2009 for a few weeks, stopped and restarted about two months ago but only got serious this month).

I want to throw some good hard punches and I will follow the advice you mentioned above. But since I’m thin, I guess it would take more time before I can throw a hard punch.
Say, if I go to boxing gym twice a week, do some running in between, how long do you think I can achieve a powerful punch? (Hope my question makes sense)

Thank you! ;-)
Hershey

Reply

Johnny N September 13, 2011 at 4:24 am

@Hersh – developing a hard punch requires good technique and learning how to time your body to hit all at once. It just takes time. Some people get it faster than others. You could learn a good punch in as fast as 5 minutes. But with constant practice over the years it will keep improving.

Reply

Danny P. 1989 September 21, 2011 at 6:39 am

Right Hand Power?
I was just wondering if more power could be delivered by the right hand (rear hand) If the opponent is lined up with your right shoulder?…like by taking a step out to the left and delivering the right hand from an orthodox stance. And do you have any of your own advice on delivering a powerful straight right punch?

Reply

Johnny N September 22, 2011 at 4:47 am

@Danny P. – your right hand will carry power as long as your opponent is in front of your right foot and/or to the left of it. The more rotation you get from your hip, the more power you will have. There are definitely guys that come with the right hand. You see Roy Jones do that alot…he runs to his right, then switches directions and steps to the left with a right hand.

In my opinion, having your opponent a little to the left of your right foot…puts them at a better angle for maximum power since your hip will rotate more to reach them. But the more important thing is that you take advantage of opportunities that present themselves to you. If you can hit him, hit him. Next time, you’ll find a way to setup your shots. I like to sidestep to my right when I slip the jab…putting him deeper into my deadly right cross angle.

Now if you’re real clever, you will find a way to setup him up for the angle you want, simply by adjusting your feet beforehand. That way you’re not waiting for him to walk into the angle you want.

Reply

Mac October 7, 2011 at 2:01 pm

I don’t understand why you said lifting your feet is a mistake? When I throw a power shot, I’m stepping into it to get more power. I see how planting is beneficial to balance, but I feel like stepping, then planting gets you a lot more power.

Reply

Johnny N October 7, 2011 at 2:16 pm

Tricky point, Mac. If your body weight is LIFTING while you punch that means you’re losing power. If your body weight is DROPPING or GROUNDED while you punch, you’re drawing maximum power off the ground.

About the feet…well, I’ll make it simple. Stand next to a wall and push it with both feet on the ground. Then try to push it with only one foot on the ground. Try sitting on a chair (with rolling wheels) and push the wall with both feet off the ground. You see my point? Now stand on the chair and push HARD at the wall. Chances are, you got pushed back…not the wall.

My point is: it’s hard to draw power from the ground when you’re not connected to it. It’s even harder to transfer that power to your opponent if you’re not grounded. If you’re the one that’s floating (lifted feet), chances are only you will feel the impact and not your opponent.

Reply

Tristan October 21, 2011 at 11:20 am

i find that when i fight i am more of a power hitter but no matter how much i try i cant seem to build up my speed. any tips ??

Reply

Johnny N October 22, 2011 at 2:50 pm

Easy tip for you, Tristan. Turn off your power. Go for 2 weeks without trying to use power. Next time you punch, don’t think of it as a punch…think of it as a touch. Just pretend you’re trying to reach out really fast and touch your opponent. Try that and let me know how it goes. I’m serious…2 weeks. Don’t use power anywhere, not on the bag, not in sparring. TOUCH TOUCH TOUCH!

Reply

David M November 4, 2011 at 11:46 am

Hello, I just wanted to ask something about using your shoulders while punching. I know you have to keep them relaxed in order to get a faster and more powerful punch…but how would you incorporate your shoulder into your punch without tensing them. Your article says to raise your shoulder while punching to get the shoulder behind the punch but do you hunch your shoulders forward and tense them or simply whirl them around nice and relaxed without any tension? Also some coaches advocate keeping your shoulders relaxed but keeping them rolled forward in your boxing stance? Do you agree with this? Thanks and I really enjoy reading your articles.

Reply

Johnny N November 6, 2011 at 5:54 pm

Hi David M,

I’m going to try my best to help without being TOO technical. Generally, you want your fist to hit your opponent in the most relaxed manner possible. So this means the shoulder should move in the way that helps that motion the best. That is to relax the shoulder and let it spin forward. Letting the shoulder “lift” as you rotate helps to flick the arm straight up and send the fist up into the opponent.

Having the shoulders rolled forward in the boxing stance is a matter of preference, purpose, and style. It depends on so many factors. Try it rolled forward, backwards, slightly rolled, neutral. See what works best in different situations. Try to use the one that feels more relaxed and natural (but not lazy).

Reply

jimmy G November 5, 2011 at 12:41 pm

if I cant fully extend out my arm because of an injury is that mean i cant throw my hardest punch? because i cant fuly straighten my arm which means i lose reach for a punch

Reply

Johnny N November 6, 2011 at 5:56 pm

Jimmy,

If you’re injured, you won’t be able to throw the hardest punch regardless of whether or not that arm can straighten. You definitely lose reach but regardless the punch will suffer because of your injury. I guess it’s not so much about straightening your arm that gives you the hardest punch, it’s more about having THE ABILITY to fully use and control your arm. Did that make any sense?

Reply

Hugo November 15, 2011 at 7:08 pm

Jimmy winning a fight is not about that its about bieing able to want to win it more then anyone else

Reply

t November 21, 2011 at 1:26 am

johnny i do triangle pushups for strength, is it good exercise to buld up power nd for boxxing in general??

Reply

Johnny N November 21, 2011 at 5:47 pm

It’s a good exercise but there are a billion more great exercises for boxing, like jumping rope.

Reply

Victor December 3, 2011 at 5:23 am

In the shoulder section of this article, you mention raising your shoulder to add power to punches. Doesn’t that telegraph your punches?

Reply

Johnny N December 3, 2011 at 5:31 am

Victor, it doesn’t telegraph if you do it only when you punch. The technique is standard because raising the shoulder protects the chin.

Reply

sahil dhawan December 10, 2011 at 12:05 am

Thank’s for your help !!!!!!!!

Reply

Dan December 10, 2011 at 11:14 am

I would just like to ask a question about pushing off the ground while you punch. I seem to focus solely on turning my hips into the punch but i don’t feel a push from the ground, even when I keep a low stance. Should I focus more on my foot pushing first and then rotating or just simply rotating? And would power diminish if you just focused on rotating the hips rather than the pushing off foot?

Reply

Johnny N December 10, 2011 at 6:51 pm

Rotate your hips while pushing INTO the ground, not off the ground. That should do it!

Reply

saber khan December 15, 2011 at 9:20 am

being able to throw haymakers helps in creating more powerful normal punches. it just seems to give me confidence when i can rattle a sparring partner and knowing that i do seem to have the power to hurt him. it makes me start visualising turning someone into a jellyfish with one blow and kind of toning it down to the normal amount so i dont kill him. of course this is totally imagination no one punches hard enough to kill every punch. but it helps the followup punches have great power without sacrificing form. visualising and belief does tons in boxing for power, speed and the ability to take a punch. much more than in sports like basketball and soccer where something of one’s performance is still in the hands of teammates and there seems to me less connection between our mental control of our bodies and the results

Reply

Trino December 18, 2011 at 10:58 pm

Hows it going I can’t afford the classes but I want to be a boxer I just don’t know where to start. I have a jump rope 12 pound med ball and 80 pound bag but I couldn’t tell you how to properly use them. I been in some street fights I had to defend myself I have been told I can fight and should do boxing so thought I would give it a shot. Any tips?? Also is there a book you recommend until a I can afford the classes or something you could email me that I could work off of? Thanks

Reply

Johnny N December 20, 2011 at 3:11 am

Hey Trino, I’m on the verge of selling a book on how to box. Please be on the lookout and do purchase a copy, I think it’ll help you alot. But otherwise, reading everything on this site will be a great start. Youtube videos are also very helpful. Over time you will learn what works and what doesn’t.

Reply

Trino December 21, 2011 at 7:32 am

Thanks. Another thing a while back I was hit in the temple with brass knuckles went to the hospital and all, almost died. I wanna say maybe a year or two after that I got in to a fight and I froze as soon as I seen his fist coming and all I thought of was those brass knuckles well got my butt whipped! Lol. How do I over come that? I don’t know if that was a one time thing or if I will freeze up every time. I hope not.

Reply

Johnny N December 21, 2011 at 6:19 pm

That’s a very traumatic experience, Trino. You need confidence boosters…keep sparring slow for a long long time until you regain your confidence to fight again.

Reply

Trino December 21, 2011 at 7:26 pm

Thanks for the help

Reply

Tony December 21, 2011 at 9:42 pm

What about lifting weights on your legs to build leg strenght . I have weak/skinny legs and sore knees (Osgood-Schlatter’s disease in one leg ). I know jogging builds leg strenght but i want to build a little bit of muscle to strenghten them for taking punches and make my legs stronger, jogging on the pavement hurts my legs.

Reply

Johnny N December 24, 2011 at 2:15 am

How about the jump rope, Tony?

Reply

Trino December 22, 2011 at 4:57 pm

What is a good brand to buy from gloves sparring equipment hand pads and what not? I am going to work out and try to spar with a friend? I seen videos on punches and foot work but the bobbing, weaving, slipping, and catching, I am a little confused on don’t really get it.

Reply

Jonathan December 22, 2011 at 6:37 pm

All my equipment is Lonsdale, they have a geniune boxing heritage and are good value; except for my mouthguard, which is Opro Shield.

Reply

Johnny N December 24, 2011 at 2:16 am

Everlast, their professional grade products are good. I use rival mitts, too. Are you saying you don’t know any mitt drills, Trino?

Reply

Josh December 22, 2011 at 5:48 pm

Excellent advice

Reply

Trino December 24, 2011 at 2:30 pm

Pretty much and sparring drills I know I got to hit and try not to get hit but I don’t know the proper tech s. Like the bobbing weaving slipping and so forth

Reply

mesfin abulo December 27, 2011 at 5:45 am

i have to playing boxing in amater box have to like the good boxer man ,

Reply

mesfin abulo December 27, 2011 at 5:46 am

that is the good advising

Reply

Gab D December 28, 2011 at 10:58 am

Hello, I’m a 6″10 and 300 pound giant, I’m a power lifter but recently decided to use my great strength into boxing, and effectively I have been rather successful ( 7 fights, 7 K-O, 5 of them in the first round), yet after my latest fight which I accidentally broke my opponents jaw, some of the people watching said that I through too many hayemakers and looked a little sloppy. And also although I may have pure brute power to knock my opponents out in a single punch I am not nearly fast enough to reach higher levels of boxing. Is there any way I can increase hand speed without sacrificing my devastating power? What is your professional opinion on hayemakers? Do you have any tips to tighten up my style? And I really enjoyed you sight and have to say that it is without any doubt the best boxing sight out there!

Reply

Johnny N December 29, 2011 at 4:31 am

Thanks Gab! Ok here goes…

Hand speed and power are two separate things. Hand speed is the speed of your arm. Power is generated from your entire body, not just your arm. Hay-makers can be effective but not when that’s all you throw. Tips to tighten your style—-

All your problems come down to one problem…too much muscle. You need to lean down, get faster and more effective. Power is nothing if you can’t hit a moving opponent. You’re throwing haymakers and wide punches because that’s how you’re been training your body. Ditch the weights and do more boxing specific exercises.If you’re already as powerful as you say, then you don’t have to worry about losing it. When you workout, try to develop FUNCTIONAL muscle. Develop your speed and endurance, not just power.

Reply

Gab D December 29, 2011 at 6:04 am

Thanks a lot, what are the functional exercises? Push ups? Sit ups?

Reply

Gab D December 29, 2011 at 6:13 am

Thanks a lot bro! I’ve got another fight next month do you have any drills or exercises to increase speed? What are the functional exercises? Push ups? Sit ups? But if I drop the weights won’t I lose power and strength?

Reply

Johnny N December 29, 2011 at 9:17 pm

I have entire articles for increasing speed. I would do more calisthenics if I were you and also plyometrics. Yes, you will lose SOME power and strength and gain other advantages in return. If you want to be a boxer, you have to train like a boxer.

Reply

curtis c January 3, 2012 at 4:28 am

whats better a snapping punch or a powerful one? And is there any limit to how hard you can hit? I heard Earnie Shavers once hit so hard that he bust his own right glove in two!

Reply

Johnny N January 5, 2012 at 12:02 am

A snapping punch IS a power punch, that’s part of the reason why snapping punches are so effective. The only limit to your punching power is your physical strength, punching technique, angle, accuracy, and timing.

Reply

Diomedes "formerly Jkdwarrior3/fightrguy" January 7, 2012 at 4:37 pm

Hi Johnny, I’ve been practicing my punches the way you described(your ball and cup analogy) and now have a huge increase in power (feels like a 30% increase). I no longer use drop shift mechanics or weight shifting from leg to leg (although I drop slightly to increase power…lower hips= more power). Now I use both legs to twist my spine, in turn, my hips and shoulders while maintaining balance about 50/50 on each leg. I think I punch too hard now. I wear hand wraps and gloves and I punch a standard 100 pound heavy bag. Now when I throw a rear handed hook I hit the bag and it feels like the bag is shooting the power back into my arm and right into the elbow. I’m throwing the hook horizontal, shoulder up, small dip, lots of hip rotation and my arm is at a 90 degree angle on the hook. I tried to solve the problem by staying in contact with the bag even less(increasing snap) but it seems that didn’t work either. I hold a vertical fist when throwing the hook. Thank you again for the power adjustment now I get a lot of torque from the ground instead of shifting my weight. Do you think that maybe I wasn’t throwing powerful punches before and that now my wrists and arms aren’t used to the impact? Thank you in advance for you’re help.

Reply

Johnny N January 9, 2012 at 10:02 am

Hey JKD!

“I think I punch too hard now.” That is probably the best technical compliment I have ever heard. I was wondering when someone would complain because that’s one way to know you’re finally punching hard!!!!!!!

Anyways, welcome to the power punching club!!! Sometimes I want to cry when I land a hard left hook. You definitely have to get use to it and develop stronger wrists to support the punch. Good form and fist angle helps but you have to slowly develop it. When you hook, try the boomerang motion (whipping the fist back towards you) or a stop motion (let the fist stop at the bag’s surface instead of forcing it through). Either way, it will take some time before you get comfortable with your newfound power. Awesome work!

Reply

Diomedes "JKD" January 9, 2012 at 11:14 am

Many thanks Johnny, I will have to try the boomerang method when my lead hand heals up, I’ve sprained the hell out of it and can’t hit a thing. I have been reducing the power of my swings and focusing more on economy of motion though, so that should help. Thank you again Johnny, looking forward to your E-book.

Diomedes "JKD" January 15, 2012 at 7:47 pm

Hello again Johnny. Big question, I was recently watching a video of a former classmate who does Muay Thai. Well I noticed his back foot comes up on some of his hooks, which is a big no no. I also suggested he draw his power from the ground(ball n cup)using both legs, staying balanced. Instead of drifting over it( like the weight shift from leg to leg). I told him that if he was really hitting hard he would need hand wraps under his gloves, which he did not have. So my former Coach jumped in and said………” I hit the bag alot without handwarps. IF you punch correctly you don’t need hand wraps, if you have weak bones or prior breaks then ya maybe. You gotta realize this just through punching and kicking bags over and over agian it conditions your bones and your body making your bones as hard as concrete.”……. He says hand wraps are unnecessary if you hit the bag right. I think they just don’t know how to punch. Whats your take on this? much appreciated.

Johnny N January 17, 2012 at 9:33 am

Both of you have valid arguments. Yes, if you know how to punch straight and correctly then you won’t need handwraps. The problem is that the body is not a flat surface. It’s easy to hit the head or the body at and angle in a way that bends your wrist. Or your opponent might block in a way that bends your wrist. If you’re going to be throwing many punches all over, there’s a great chance that your wrist might not be in perfect position when it lands so in that case the handwraps helps to support it.

Also some people have stronger thicker wrists than others.

Reply

Steve January 7, 2012 at 2:10 pm

omg Saber Khan’s essay long comments rofl.. thanks for the details though.. still super funny

Reply

stephan richardson January 12, 2012 at 5:09 pm

thanksz

Reply

stephan richardson January 12, 2012 at 5:19 pm

why do my shoulders crack when i punch ?

Reply

Johnny N January 13, 2012 at 2:45 pm

Assuming you have good form, it could be your shoulder. Hopefully you’re not doing other types of physical activity that might be messing up your shoulder.

Reply

curtis c January 13, 2012 at 2:01 am

how do you know someone out with a single punch?

Reply

Johnny N January 13, 2012 at 2:46 pm

Good form, technique, timing, accuracy, set up.

Reply

curtis c January 13, 2012 at 8:51 am
Johnny N January 13, 2012 at 2:50 pm

I haven’t watched his stuff so I don’t know, Curtis.

Reply

Trino January 16, 2012 at 12:46 pm

The old workingout with a sledge hammer and tractor tire do you think it improves power and speed?

Reply

Johnny N January 17, 2012 at 9:40 am

Trino, the old workout definitely works. I’m guessing it’s so effective because it forces you to contract your body all in one combined effort. Many other exercises only use part of your body making it less effective at developing full-body timing of a punch.

Reply

Diomedes "JKD" January 17, 2012 at 11:18 am

Thanks Johnny, Hey wheres that E Book at bro?

Reply

Johnny N January 17, 2012 at 11:23 am

ALMOST DONE! Details be finalized…please hang on. And thank you for the love, man!

Reply

Trino January 17, 2012 at 1:17 pm

Thanks man

Reply

Dan January 19, 2012 at 9:36 pm

I find it kind of funny how some of these comments are just re-stating what he said but making it a lot more complicated

Reply

Kyp Duran January 28, 2012 at 8:29 pm

And here I was working my ass off lifting weights, when I should’ve incorporated isometric and swimming exercises. I’m gonna have to re-evaluate my entire exercise regiment now.

Reply

Kyp Duran January 29, 2012 at 4:01 am

Many kettle-bell exercises build significant explosive power. Now would tossing around kettle-bells translate into increased punching power?

Reply

Johnny N January 29, 2012 at 9:48 am

Yes and no, Kyp. It helps a little depending on how you do it but it doesn’t substitute for superior technique. I prefer jumping rope over kettle-bells.

Reply

Ian V January 30, 2012 at 10:22 am

Hello Johnny,

I appreciate the site and all the useful tips.
I have worked up my strength and technique up to a point that I can punch very hard on a bag.
I hit harder than my colleagues with similar experience (less than a year) and almost as good as the more seasoned guys.
However, I have trouble applying that power to an actual opponent.
Obviously, it’s a little harder – but given ideal timing and technique – it shouldn’t be that different at all.
I’ve dropped guys before, but mostly with straight punches to the body. My killer hooks and uppercuts are nowhere to be found. During a match i’m all speed & technique, but no power.
Perhaps I am afraid to commit to the punch. Or maybe i’m too anxious about getting the shot that I am throwing fast but meaningless arm punches?
Any advice, or experiences you can share?

BTW – – i’m 5, 8 140 lbs (average reach=69 inches), and I mostly fight taller guys, so I do struggle with range sometimes.

Reply

Johnny N January 30, 2012 at 11:23 am

“I have worked up my strength and technique up to a point that I can punch very hard on a bag.”
- therein lies the problem ;)

“Obviously, it’s a little harder – but given ideal timing and technique – it shouldn’t be that different at all.”
- therein lies the assumption.

So it sounds to me like you were working on your power technique but not the functional skills to apply that power. Then you went into a fight and realize you couldn’t use your power, so you abandoned it and went into speed mode to at least score some points. This happens to everybody.

Hitting a moving target is the hard, hitting a moving target ACCURATELY with full transfer of your power is incredibly hard. This skill alone will take you forever to master and that’s the skill all the higher level boxers work on. Now that you know, you can move on to the double-end bag and start getting use to hitting a moving target. Boxing is not a power contest, it’s a hitting contest. The quality of the hit is not directly related to the power, it also has to do with timing & accuracy. I have many other guides on here that can give you some new ideas for punching and training. Keep up the good work, Ian.

Reply

Ian February 10, 2012 at 9:15 am

Thanks for the insight Johnny. I think you’re right about me lacking the right application for power – which is practicing it in front of an opponent or being more tactful on the bag. As for the reason, there could be many but I think one of them is that I began training over a year ago in kickboxing, so I developed my kicks first, while my hands were mostly jabbing and protecting my ribs (yes, this becomes habit after a few bruised ribs). Lately, with greater focus on boxing – my hands are much better and i’m emphasizing on speed WITH power, and incorporating proper stance and footwork, but it’s still a work in progress and i’m hoping to improve. Thanks again for your comments, and hard work.

Reply

Mr.Elijah February 1, 2012 at 3:38 am

Hey Johnny N Do u have Books Or videos on Sale,like a full course in Boxing ? i wanna get someting dat i can look at everyday during my training or read on my spare times!!!! You can reply at my email address dat wud be kindly appreciated.

Reply

Johnny N February 1, 2012 at 12:53 pm

Yes, I do! Check out the shop link above.

Reply

Eric February 3, 2012 at 8:22 pm

Punchers are born not made period. If punching the heavy bag made you a puncher than every boxer would punch hard. If lifting weights made you a puncher than bodybuilders would rule the boxing world. Same thing with isometrics and calisthenics, which are great for conditioning, but improving punching power, not so much. However, there have been many famous punchers like Jack Dempsey, Earnie Shavers, George Foreman who have stated that chopping wood did a lot for their power, and the wiry Bob Fitzsimmons was said to have inherited a freakish punch from slinging hammers as a blacksmith, while Jim Jeffries swung sledgehammers as a boilermaker. Rocky Marciano felt that throwing punchings shoulder deep in a pool was one of his top exercises for power. So maybe you can improve punching power through exercise, manual labor, hell even better nutrition, but it’s still debatable. Just think that punchers come in all shapes and sizes like the rail thin Alexis Arguello, the squat fat Tony Galento, the muscular Mike Tyson, the pencil-legged Tommy Hearns, smooth muscled Max Baer etc., so you sure can’t judge a puncher’s power by his physique.

Reply

saber khan February 4, 2012 at 8:40 am

i had an experience today which may have some implications on the very hard to describe thing we call power. i had the heavybag work today and found my left hooks to be absolutely terrible. they were aroudn as effective as my right hand cross which for me is a bad left hook. when i was landing the hook, i didnt know what was wrong and my irritating partner holding the bag was smiling at my bad luck and confusion. so im sure its not in my head. the morning i was doing pullups and kinda messed up on the left side with a pullup on the left arm, and felt my biceps tendon and grip got hurt a little bit. not the muscles themselves getting hurt. if it was simply my back and biceps being sore from working out that caused the problem my right hook and cross would have suffered too. i think its because tendons and ligaments help us brace against the pushback pressure on our bodies when we hit something. and of course they transmit the power as well. if our tendons and ligaments arent up to the task no matter how much we want to we are not going to punch hard.

so the point is, tendons ligaments things no one gives a hoot about matter huge. what works those tendons and ligaments ? slow weight lifting doesn’t do **** all. plyometrics is where it’s at. i’d suggest people do plyos if they feel they’re working on all other aspects of power. inverted rows with the legs held straight, pullups (when theyre done correctly :P) pushups with claps and double claps are awesome to increase ligament strength but these should be progressed onto carefully. the aim is to get to a point where one can do these exercises and do them with a very quick acceleration and medium speed deceleration. after this experience i think maybe many fighters are held back by their tendons and ligaments not naturally being strong ??

ultimately as eric said power is born not made and i think the only area that plays a part there is innate timing, the ability some people have to get all their muscles work like clockwork to have a 1+1 = 5 effect. that cant be trained but everything else can. and if someone is WORKING on their power, they should never expect to be scoring KOs with less than 20 or 30 clean shots anyway. accumulated damage will get improved if one can punch harder, no matter how bad he is initially. working on power, wont help u slug and brawl effectively, but it will help u become a better defensive fighter boxer boxer-puncher swarmer pressure fighter. and lets not kid ourselves its what we all want :D

Reply

Eric February 4, 2012 at 12:21 pm

You could even breakdown different types of power punchers. George Chuvalo who fought just about every note worthy contender in the 60′s-70′s Heavyweight division including such punchers as Cleveland Williams, Oscar Bonavena, Jerry Quarry, and most notably Foreman and Frazier. Chuvalo was asked who was the harder puncher among Foreman and Frazier. Chuvalo stated that getting hit by Frazier was like getting hit by a Cadillac going 90mph, while taking a blow from Foreman was like getting run over by a tractor trailer going 50mph. Frazier was actually probably more of a “pure puncher” with more “snap” behind his punches but Foreman’s clubbing blows were just as effective if not more so than the more technically sound Frazier.

Reply

ray February 5, 2012 at 2:57 pm

i love this article for everything except for the critical view of weight training. you should study power and olympic lifting. they build immense power and speed. the elite power and olympic lifters will teach you to train with acceleration as the main goal for every movement. the focus is on moving weights as explosively as possible. when bench pressing a heavy weight with max force, you are moving at full speed but slowed down. you are still training the muscles to move as quickly as possible. good weight training should train your central nervous system to react with speed, leading to faster movements with more power. lower rep explosive movements build almost no muscle size or weight, only speed and power. all sprinters train with weights! watch some video of usain bolt doing olympic lifts.
i hope you take this advice under consideration because many people could benefit from understanding proper weight lifting. any athlete at any level will benefit from getting stronger. good weight training will always help. if done correctly they will get stronger and faster, with no added size or weight.

Reply

Johnny N February 5, 2012 at 6:44 pm

Ray, the critical view of weight training is a result of my personal experience as well as the knowledge and experience of dozens of other fighters and trainers. I was formerly a powerlifter and ultimately stopped lifting weights once I realized the truth about POWER PUNCHING.

Lifting weights might benefit your body’s ability to generate power MOVEMENT but it does not correlate to power punching. Anyway, I will be writing a long guide to quell these theories once and for all. If it works for you, then great. Otherwise, I have to stand with the old timers on this view.

Reply

Eric February 5, 2012 at 7:31 pm

It was said Earnie Shavers lifted weights back in his fighting career. I forget which bout on Youtube it’s mentioned on, but the commentator comments on Earnie’s massive upper body and former contender Jerry Quarry comments that Earnie has been lifting weights. Shavers certainly did have a massive back and shoulders, whether he built his physique through traditional training or chopping wood, or weight training, well you would have to ask Earnie. Quarry as was the case with old-school boxers had little use for weight training and commented that bulky muscles would slow down your punches and effect your stamina. I personally believe that weight training with fighters back in the 60′s and 70′s were like steroids of today, if fighters weight trained they kept it secret. It’s seriously hard to believe fighters like Sonny Liston, Ken Norton, and 80′s fighter Mike Weaver never touched the weights. Evander Holyfield certainly is a successful example of a weight trained fighter, but he was successful and talented before he ever touched a barbell.

Reply

Trino February 7, 2012 at 3:05 pm

Hey man I found a boxing club close by never even knew it was here. Well went and checked it out the coach asked if I wanted to join and I told I couldn’t afford the monthly fees maybe when I get a better job. He told me I will train you for free but I don’t want you wasting my time I don’t wanna put you in the ring and then you say it’s not for me he said that he gets a lot of that. I told him I wouldn’t. But I got a little tripped out because aint nothing free in life. Do you think he is trying to find stepping stones for other fighters? You the pro man and you got the best advice what you think?

Reply

Johnny N February 7, 2012 at 4:10 pm

That’s how I learned to box. I never paid any money but I took some major beatings. This is why not many people can handle real boxing. It’s too tough and they’re proud of that. The only belts that matter are title belts. You don’t have to be a stepping stone to get beat up; even an average chump can do that to you. Because you asked this question, I would recommend for you to go elsewhere. The sport is tough. It can take more out of you than you’re ready to give.

Reply

Trino February 8, 2012 at 11:02 am

If that’s what it takes then I will take this as an opportunity. Thanks man

Reply

Rog February 10, 2012 at 5:55 am

thanks for the advice, i have some question though.
1) for a right hook why do you not want to have your hand horizontal like you would in a right cross?
2) what are some good boxing routines that i could do to improve my boxing?
what do you think?

Reply

Johnny N February 10, 2012 at 1:47 pm

Rog, if my right hook or over hand right is going to the head, I use a horizontal fist. If it’s going to the body, I use a vertical fist or upside-down fist.

For good boxing routines to improve your boxing skills, I would check the “ExpertBoxing Workout”.

Reply

Micky February 12, 2012 at 10:30 am

I have some questions
when you drop the bodyweight by slightly bending your knees, you bend it and then king of jump and punch him of what??
If I’m right handed, my back foot pivots in direction of the punch right? how much it pivots and does the flat foot move to? or it stays the same place? because It’s hard to move my torso with my flate foot pointing the opposite side.
I mean my front foot is facing my right and my back foot too, then When I try to punch my back foot pivots and what about my front foot having it facing that way makes me hard to rotate my torso

Reply

saber khan February 13, 2012 at 5:23 am

hey micky

the point of bending is in some punches to put some `jump’ intentionally into a punch (the uppercut or the shovel hook, half hook half uppercut). and in other punches its main purpose is to create more friction with the floor (called planting). but it does also add some power to those punches.

1. it makes our feet have friction with the floor. friction + speed = power

imagine a drill head having a motor that is spinning it really hard but not being connected to the heavy duty drill body but instead to a paper body. the drill’s speed ends up moving that paper body with it. so there is no friction between them. and so there’s no conversion of the drill head’s speed into power. if the drill hits a wall the drill will end up spinning by itself not penetrating the wall.

when we connect to the floor with our feet we create similiar friction. it converts the speed of our body into power. thats what makes punches harder.

2. the bend in our legs does put a little `jump’ into every punch when the knees extend, adding some extra pop to the punch. but unlike with the uppercut, this should be involuntary and just an added action to your punch not the key method of developing power. it’s for the same reason we try to add some calf power to the punches.

both your feet follow the direction of your fist. always. sometimes more, sometimes less but always in the direction your fist goes.

imagine yourself as a wind-up spring with a very heavy base. if you punch with your left fist, you are punching from left to right. and your feet, left and right feet, will pivot from left to right.

if you punch with your right fist your arm will move from right to left. and so will both feet.

Reply

Johnny N February 13, 2012 at 12:06 pm

Micky, the front foot doesn’t pivot. The back foot pivots so that the toe points into your opponent. Your front foot should point to your opponent at all times. You don’t jump when you punch, you simply apply downwards force to the ground by letting go of your hips for a split second as you whip/rotate them.

Reply

vincent July 14, 2012 at 4:40 am

I’m just wondering what should i do to loosen my muscles I am very strong but my cerebral palsey causes me to become very tense and therefore tired

Reply

Micky February 19, 2012 at 3:44 pm

Thanks, everything it’s clear now. I was confused by a video of how to throw a body punch. I guess thats wrong.

Reply

Micky February 19, 2012 at 3:47 pm

One last question, are your knees bent like in normal stands or slightly bent than the stands?

Reply

Johnny N February 20, 2012 at 4:49 pm

Your knees are always slightly bent.

Reply

Micky February 21, 2012 at 5:41 am

Wait that’s not what I meant, I was talking about the right punch right foot is heel lifted and left punch is left foot lifted or only your back foot is heel lifted. It’s a little hard to for me to change what foot should be heel lifted. It’s confusing :S

Reply

Johnny N February 21, 2012 at 12:11 pm

The heel lifts on the side that punches. (If you punch with right hand, lift the right heels. If you punch with left hand, lift the left heel.) This rule is generally for every punch except the jab.

Reply

Micky February 21, 2012 at 12:21 pm

Now I get it, but it’s difficult for me to switch fast

Reply

Ahmad February 21, 2012 at 7:54 pm

Hey Johnny, I appreciate all your efforts in improving the quality of our boxing and wish you success. I have a concern and that is: when I spar with my partners, they tell me I am hitting hard though I know what my real power is and I have never used it with them in sparring. They say I look like I punch through a wall and I my hands and shoulder look not relaxed. I am a southpaw and it really affects their technique and style. I really dont know what my problem is. The coming year I am going to have my first amateur competition and I need to be weel prepared.

Reply

Johnny N February 24, 2012 at 3:35 am

Sounds like you’re hitting too stiff. Relax your hands and don’t tighten your fist as much. Start with touching your opponent and learn to punch without power. Not being able to spar with your opponents will affect you in the long run so I hope you can figure it out quickly. Being stiff will get you tired fast in competition.

Reply

Tom March 1, 2012 at 7:49 am

Hey Johhny,

When boxing( i kickbox) I find it easier harder and faster hitting for a right vertical hook Then a horizontal one i fought orthodox btw usd to fight southpaw but im righthanded with a karate background.

I have a problem with my right crosses i cant get any power behind those i feel my jab with either hand is stronger then the right cross in orthodox.

Ide like to hear some of your thoughts ;D

Thx,

Reply

Johnny N March 1, 2012 at 3:44 pm

Sounds like you’re off balance. Instead of trying to rotate your shoulders and reach for your opponent. Imagine that you’re drawing him into you (further towards your right hand) and then you pop him with a sharp right when he invades your space. Your stance might also be limiting your rotation, maybe you’re standing too sideways or your stance is too wide.

Reply

Tom March 2, 2012 at 4:24 am

Im going to practice more on my balance and stance then :)

Thx!

Reply

Eric March 3, 2012 at 10:38 am

Well there are always the illegal methods like using plaster of paris on your handwraps, taking out the padding in your gloves ala Panama Lewis or put a horseshoe in your gloves ala Three Stooges. Any of the three could increase your punching power significantly. Legally you might want to try hitting progressively larger heavy bags and when you can actually move a 300lb heavy bag with a punch and not a push you probably would have a knockout punch.

Reply

chaitanya March 14, 2012 at 8:07 am

its good for the biginer and its very usefull for collg guys thanx

Reply

Liam March 21, 2012 at 2:45 pm

Just have to say first – I really appreciate the work you do on this site, I am in a part of the world where I don’t have access to the best trainers and facilities and need to do a lot of my own reading/research – this site accomplishes that and more. Keep it up.

On the subject of pivoting your feet. My coach always tells me ‘your moving my feet when punching’ as if it was a criticism. At times a pivot, but depending on the situation I like to do a technique that is like raising the ball of my foot just slightly off the ground than pushing it into the ground with force as I strike, almost like stationary sprinting but in a boxing stance. I generate a lot of power with this and have learnt to do it while remaining balanced. Have you seen this technique before and what do you think of it (i tend to leave it for close range as it allows me to generate a lot of force with limited room)?

Reply

Johnny N March 22, 2012 at 5:06 am

Hey Liam,

Until I see a video of you demonstrating the technique, I can’t say for sure that I’ve seen it the way you explain it. There are many ways to punch: some while grounding, some while moving. Some balanced, some are not. What matters is that you get the effect you want. If you want to be able to move AND hit hard, then your technique should allow all that.

But for the record, most fighters have no idea how to move their bodies…and doing so while punching decreases their power easily as much as half.

Reply

cuso March 24, 2012 at 12:49 am

to answer your your question Johnny N, Roy Jones Jr. was a great middleweight who looked great at heavyweight :) Keep ‘em coming, cheers

Reply

Eric March 24, 2012 at 8:17 pm

I don’t think Roy Jones Jr. lifted weights until well after his title fight with John Ruiz. While Ruiz was little more than a glorified club fighter, for the 5’11″ 193lb Jones to handle him relatively easy and winning a comfortable decision was indeed a great accomplishment, considering Jones was conceding a lot of size to the 6’2″ 226lb natural heavyweight Ruiz. There was another natural middleweight who would go on and capture part of the Heavyweight Title in 1968 named Jimmy Ellis. Ellis started out as a middleweight before deciding to look for bigger game in the heavyweight division. Ellis was soundly trashed in a unification bout with Smokin’ Joe Frazier in 1970. Of course Floyd Patterson won the Olympic Gold Medal at middleweight in 1952 and by 1956 he would capture the professional Heavyweight Title. However, Roy Jones Jr., Jimmy Ellis, and Floyd Patterson never lifted weights during their build up to heavyweight, and Jones Jr. was the only one who ever did any kind of weight training and only then late in his career. But two natural Light Heavyweights would lift weights to add bulk for the heavyweight class, these two men were Michael Spinks and Evander Holyfield, both men would capture the linear Heavyweight Championship, Spinks in 1985, and Holfield in 1991. Spinks despite only having 5 total fights at heavyweight proved to be a formidable opponent for boxing’s big boys. With a record of 4-1, with 2 knockouts, and wins over Larry Holmes(twice), Gerry Cooney, and club fighter Steffen Tangstad, Spink’s only blemish was the quick kayo he suffered at the hands of a peak prime Mike Tyson. Evander Holyfield on the other hand would prove to be one of boxing’s all-time great champions with wins over Buster Douglas, George Foreman, Larry Holmes, Riddick Bowe, Mike Tyson(twice), Michael Moorer, and giving Lennox Lewis two competitive fights. Holyfield certainly belongs in the top 10 all-time Heavyweight Champions, which isn’t too bad for a guy whose natural weight was probably between Lt. Heavy and Cruiserweight somewhere in the 186-190lb range.

Reply

Eric March 24, 2012 at 9:31 pm

Might also add that for the old-timers fighting much larger men wasn’t that uncommon. Middleweights like Harry Greb routinely beat much larger men including heavyweights. Greb would trounce Gene Tunney for the North American Light Heavyweight Championship during their first encounter, but Gene would later defeat Greb, I believe 3 times in subsequent fights. Greb was said to have embarrassed Jack Dempsey during a sparring session so bad that Dempsey’s manager refused to let Dempsey spar with Greb again. Welterweight and Middleweight Champion Mickey Walker fought soon to be Heavyweight Champion Jack Sharkey to a draw while weighing less than 170lbs. And all-time great 5’6″ Sam Langford was little more than a middleweight when he took on heavyweights like Jack Johnson, Fireman Jim Flynn, Harry Wills, etc.

Reply

cuso March 25, 2012 at 3:30 pm

Eric thank you for your time. i want to point out though that in a documentary leading to his fight with John Ruiz, Roy jones jr is clearly seen lifting weights for the Ruiz fight. its all over youtube. i wouldn’t mention his name if i wasn’t sure. again, thank you for your time

Reply

Joey March 27, 2012 at 9:39 am

Ok I am 25 boxing gym bout a month ppl say I am to old to go anywhere in boxing. What you think? I would like to go far win a title maybe. Let’s be real I got kids also make money for them to. For me it’s about bout sport and money fir my family. Is it possible to go anywhere? I didn’t train as a kid cus well I was to busy being stupid but having kids changed that for me. Where I come from doing your best is working at a chesse factory and I don’t want that. I know I got slot work so I thought about getting your advice first you are like one of the best coaches.

Reply

Johnny N March 28, 2012 at 3:52 pm

Give it a try Joey. If you really like it and you want to work REALLY HARD, you have a chance.

Reply

Joey March 29, 2012 at 11:30 am

I am gonna give all I got bro. How it work I have done research tried asking my gym coach he tells me not to think about. But I do ameture bouts then try pro? How many ameture? What’s the average time line? I can be patient, just curious sorry for all the questions bro. Champions made or born?

Reply

Johnny N April 2, 2012 at 10:59 am

Your coach is right. There is no right answer. Some fighters have over 100 amateur fights before turning pro. Some have none. The average time line is “forever” because most boxers will never make it as champion. Champions can be born with talent but they are always made. The sport of boxing doesn’t give out free title belts.

Reply

Joe April 6, 2012 at 9:06 pm

You could not be more incorrect when discussing weight lifting and boxing. Your point about sprinters is completely incorrect because all sprinters do heavy squats and the world record was set at one point by Ben Johnson on a day he maxed out on squats. (yes he tested positive fore steroids but that has no barring on why the scientific approach of squatting on the day of race was implemented) Boxing is too old school and refuses to come to the 21st century.

The rest of your explanation was valid, and I do not fault you for not understanding the biomechanics of exercise science, but such information is what is holding many boxers back, and is literally a theory that is probably more then 50 years old old.

Are you aware that power lifters who only lift extreme amounts of weight in the squat/bench/and dead lift all have faster 10 yard dash times, vertical leaps, and explosive shuttle drills then sprinters? What I would not mind you saying though to all your readers is that traditional body building is absolutely incorrect and will completely impare your boxing skills, but if you meet up with a boxer that has been lucky enough to have elete athletic training similar to that of linebackers or defensive backs in football, who has similar weight as you in the ring, you will be completely unable to deal with the amount of power and speed and explosiveness that his core and legs will provide him. He you can run from him for all rounds and when on points that is great, but he will be more flexible, more balanced, more explosive, and able to hit much harder even when completely off balance then you at any given time, and will have the stamina to go the difference.

My Performance coach is one of the most well recognized in the country and I have put on over 20lbs of muscle, but my quickness, power, flexibility, and explosive endurance is 10 times of that when I started. Also when i cut weight I don’t loose nearly as much power as boxers who don’t lift because of the built up energy storage of ATP in my muscles that will not be depleted as much by cutting weight. Email me if you would like his info. He has worked with pro athletes internationally.

Food for thought, best of luck, but please hit the weights (CORRECTLY) just in case you were to face someone that trains like me, because I always feel bad with the difference of power I have in the ring, but still must do what I have to do.

Reply

Johnny N April 7, 2012 at 11:14 pm

Hi Joe,

I’m a former powerlifter and also track & field runner. I’ve trained in all those methods along with boxing and under the supervision of world class coaches and athletes. I’m not against weights or resistance training.

Reply

Dan April 20, 2012 at 12:45 pm

I just wanted to know If when punching, do your hips turn before your shoulders, or do your hips and shoulders spin around at the same time?

Reply

Johnny N April 25, 2012 at 2:25 pm

Generally, they spin at the same time. The shoulders will probably spin MORE than the hips but they both start and stop spinning at the same time.

Reply

Iron Boy May 7, 2012 at 2:16 am
Ty H. May 23, 2012 at 2:09 pm

When punching, should you transfer all your weight from your back foot to your front foot or just bend your knees to drop your weight

Reply

Johnny N May 24, 2012 at 2:46 am

Excellent question. Beginners are taught to transfer weight from foot to foot. If you’re more advanced, you keep your weight dead center and bend your knees to project your weight downwards.

Reply

Ty H. May 24, 2012 at 11:40 am

Which should i do i have been fighting for about 6 months the weight transfer or dropping my weight

Reply

Johnny N May 25, 2012 at 2:09 am

Learn to do both and use whichever feels best for the situation you’re in.

Reply

Ty H. June 8, 2012 at 2:29 pm

should both feet pivot?

Reply

Johnny N June 10, 2012 at 3:26 pm

Yes.

Reply

gatti4ever June 9, 2012 at 4:48 am

Hey Johnny, i have found a great deal of shared boxing wisdom on your site. I am from Bangalore, India and have been taking lessons for the last 6 months or so. My coach’s techniques are a little old fashioned but pretty effective and i try to incorporate most of what i read here with my sparring buddies / into my training regimen. Advice on avoiding flinching, slips etc have proved pretty helpful..ofc i am slow learner and about 10 years older than my sparring mates so it ll take me some time to get it right, but thanks a ton !!!

Regards,
Vikram

Reply

Amit Bhardwaj June 17, 2012 at 11:19 pm

Hey Johnny,

I am an orthodox, I have observed that my right (or straight punch,) is bit slow and less powerful than rest of other boxing punches and i am right handed naturally. Tough my jab is incredibly fast and power full, it smashes heavy bag, double end bag or any opponent to the other corner of the room. But i am facing problem with my right hand, though i rotate my body and uses my rear foot properly and try to throw it with full exhale but it is still slow and less powerful. Upper cut is good quick and power full and right hook is also powerful.

kindly advise, what should I do to overcome this problem?

Thanks & Regards
Amit Bhardwaj

Reply

Johnny N June 19, 2012 at 2:02 pm

The problem is either your boxing stance or your punching technique. It might also be that you’re standing with too much weight on the front leg. There’s also a chance you might be lifting your hips while punching which would take away your grounding power.

Anyway, I suggest for you to read all the guides here and try everything. There are so many tips I could give you, I wouldn’t know where to begin. Give it some time and keep practicing. Not everything feels right when you’re still developing as a fighter.

Reply

Amit Bhardwaj June 20, 2012 at 1:31 am

Thanks Johnny,

You are great, yes you are right I feel the same sometimes that I put much on front foot. You are like the GOD of boxing.

Thanks
Amit Bhardwaj

Reply

simon June 28, 2012 at 12:05 am

everything you said is spot on in this article..

but, I have to say… telling people to stay away from weights is a bit much.

I mean, you don’t want to lift like a bodybuilder, IE; the 10-15 rep range, doing isolation movements… you will just end up building big, but only slightly powerful muscles that will hamper your movement/speed…

however, you stick with the big compound lifts, and keep the weight high enough that you can only hit 3-5 reps for 3-5 sets, you won’t build much size, but your explosive strength will go through the roof, as will punch speed, you’ll also gain some endurance believe it or not… assuming you’re lifting explosively on the positive portion, and slowly on the negative portion of the rep…

deadlifts, weighted squats, bench press, overhead press, rows, weighted chins/pullups/dips, … all work the muscles you use for a punch… they strengthen all the core muscles in a very efficient manner, including the arms and legs.

again, not isolation lifts like bicep curls, tricep extensions, (although curls will actually improve your uppercuts and hooks a bit) … just heavy compounds, in the 3-5 rep range, and try to move those weights as fast as you can…. except on the negative part of the rep… that should be slow and controlled… and make sure you’re using a weight you can move explosively without injury, but still max out around the 3-5 rep range… not to absolute muscle failure ideally, have one or 2 reps left in the tank if you can, and give yourself about 5 minutes between sets… this will optimize strength gains.

this will give you power, speed AND endurance if you do it right…. of course, punching technique/timing and footwork should always be your first priority… but lifting really heavy weights on top of your normal conditioning is gonna do nothing but good.

I know this from experience… I improved drastically once I started doing heavy compounds… in ALL areas of my game (I’m a kickboxer) and without getting bulky by any means… denser, yes… stronger, shit yes.. bulky, no

again… everything else you said is spot on… ;)

Reply

Johnny N July 1, 2012 at 10:45 am

I tell people not to lift weights because I was taught that way AND I even tried it for myself and absolutely hated the results. But you’re welcome to keep lifting them if you believe in them. I’m simply giving an experienced opinion out for those who want my opinion. ;)

Reply

simon June 28, 2012 at 12:23 am

heh… seems I missed ‘joe’s’ response… which is basically stating the same thing I just did…

Reply

Qba June 28, 2012 at 11:52 am

Halo to everybody,

It is my first post and first question. I’m 33 with 275 pounds (125 kg) high 6”6′ (201 cm). I was training body building mostly. Since 4 weeks I hit a heavy bag (50 kg). I have a preety good technics becouse of 2 years boxing period 4 years ago.

The problem is that since 9 years I work in 3 shifts, including nights and EVERY YEAR I gain 3 kg.

Now I’m on that level that I hit a bag (2 minutes with 1 minut rest time) * 12 rounds with 2 kg weights in my boxing gloves.

But I can’t loose weight!!! I must eat during a work!!! Also when I work at night.

Any advices???

Reply

Johnny N July 1, 2012 at 11:19 am

I would recommend for you to follow my article “common sense boxing diet”.

Reply

ary July 23, 2012 at 7:14 pm

thank u very much for that information.i been looking for it for a long time

Reply

Andy August 16, 2012 at 7:30 pm

Hey Johnny. What do you think of hitting tires with a sledgehammer. Would it improve punching power?

Reply

Johnny N August 21, 2012 at 1:58 pm

Yes, it’s a good core exercise. Not just for punching power but also overall core strength.

Reply

Ty H. August 26, 2012 at 7:46 am

johnny there was a earlier comment here that talked about the ball in a cup analogy. What is the ball in a cup analogy, because I havent heard you say that or talk about it.

Reply

Johnny N August 27, 2012 at 9:34 am

It’s a tricky concept I will explain sometime later.

Reply

Antonio August 28, 2012 at 1:16 pm

Very good stuff Johnny, I think you have a bright future as a trainer… you explain boxing, punching motorics very well, and help young generation ( and probably not only young) to get rid of those nonsenses and myths related to the sport of boxing.

On the other hand, lets say someone isn’t competing in the ring but has been trained boxing and has decent punching technique and speed, then gaining some beef on the body by lifting weights, I am almost sure, would increase punching power even more because body weight has a direct relationship with punching power. Actually, when someone lifts heavy weights but finds time for specific boxing drills the loss of speed is very minimal if at all. However, I don’t believe if a guy from a raw fighting weight of 81 kg gains muscle to become 91+ that will make him a real heavyweight boxer. There has been an example of Holyfield, and actually Cassius Clay won gold at olympics in 1960 in Rome boxing in 81 kg weight category, although he was only 18 y.o. and probably had to lose some weight to make that weight category, but I think this gaining beef wouldn’t work for most of the boxers.

Keep writing good articles, best wishes

Reply

Johnny N September 4, 2012 at 3:19 pm

Thank you, Antonio!

Reply

Antonio August 28, 2012 at 1:55 pm

and yes, lifting weights for strength isn’t going to affect your punching power in any positive way, it could possibly weaken your punches if you lift too much… because when you punch (very different from jumping or sprinting) you don’t have to overcome any resistance, you generate a free movement in the air, and only the technique allows you to put all your body weight and speed on the target. Body weight matters, yes. While the pure strength is irrelevant to the punching power, but in most cases it only disturbs puncher’s technique and speed. I have seen many strength athletes and all of them were very poor punchers, although good jumpers and some of them good sprinters. Actually for a powerful punch one needs surprisingly little pure muscle strength. Yes, you still need to have some, but not as much as most people not related to boxing tend to think.

Reply

morris September 22, 2012 at 7:11 pm

Thx for the help and advice as usual! This article is the best piece of advice on how to punch harder, that I’ve seen anywhere ob the internet . Thanks for clearing up the weight lifting myth, I still wasn’t realy sure that lifting weights wasnt the right thing for boxing. I have a question that I would really appreciate some advice on.
*#1 when your trying to get some concussive power to your punches, should you snap your punch back as soon as you hit the target(like snapping a towel on someones skin)so that like one of newtons laws staed,(i think)the shorter contact time will make the punch harder.or should you follow through trying to knock the brain back?
Thx. Morris

Reply

Johnny N September 23, 2012 at 6:43 pm

Snapping punch ALWAYS. If it’s well timed, it will do massive damage and come back. If you do it wrong, you will end up pulling the punch too early which decreases power, speed, AND SNAP. The snap requires you to bounce your punch off your opponent. So the harder you hit him, the better it will bounce back.

Please read my guide on snapping punches.

Reply

gerardo October 10, 2012 at 5:17 pm

when you throw a right hand does your lead foot go completely flat on the ground or do you just ground the ball part of your lead foot. which one is better?

Reply

Johnny N October 11, 2012 at 10:52 am

In most scenarios, having the lead foot flat is better.

Reply

Jim Jennett October 29, 2012 at 12:56 pm

thank you this information gave me alot to think about…with four years in mma and boxing and a handful of comps i can always learn so much more and again this information will be helpful…the jabs dangerous for me at 6 ft 6 270 but im not happy with my right always reaching the punch is errant and lands infrequently this should help the throwing punches standing in front of a heavy sounds interesting and i will look at telegraphing too thanks

Reply

sami November 28, 2012 at 2:16 am

Johnny im having problem with dopping my weight when i punch. i can do it but i get really sluggish cud u help me out? ty in advance :)

Reply

Johnny N December 2, 2012 at 8:27 am

Check out my punching technique videos on Youtube and other punching guides on the site. I explain the techniques in many different ways and hopefully one will click. Don’t worry sorry much about dropping your weight. The ultimate goal is to punch harder, not to drop your weight.

Reply

lIVIU January 26, 2013 at 2:01 am

What I need to do for first and only most powerful punch i can do?

Reply

Johnny N January 28, 2013 at 11:13 am

Technique.

Reply

lIVIU January 28, 2013 at 11:15 am

I meant what tehnique?

Reply

Johnny N January 28, 2013 at 11:25 am

Proper punching technique. Watch my punching technique videos on Youtube if you want to learn more about it.

Reply

Mac February 10, 2013 at 2:58 pm

What I notice most about power punchers – Frasier’s hook, Rocky Marciano right, and in particular Brandon Rios (arguable – but his punches are effortless), is their head position.

I notice Rios can punch heavy all day, because his head leans down and out, with a slight forward upper body lean (also helps with angular momentum). In other words, the mass of his head becomes part of the angular momentum of those whirling punches. If his head was upright, that extra 5kg of mass that protrudes about 20cm from the axis of rotation would not form part of the angular momentum.

Putting the defence issues aside, am I onto something?

Would appreciate your insight.

Reply

Johnny N February 11, 2013 at 10:47 am

The reason why boxers move their head is for evasive purposes. Their punches already have enough power regardless of what position they throw from. Moving the head is to avoid an oncoming punch or to become more elusive.

Reply

Cliff March 7, 2013 at 10:08 pm

Hey man, I got into boxing about 5 months ago. Just hit a heavy bag some and immediately found a passion in it. So I started doing it more and over the course of time I started training heavy bag everyday no exaggeration. I am in school and so I have hours a day I can spend practicing. The miracle of ADHD meds means I can focus like a champ. I know exactly what you mean by the flow of energy. I noticed it after a few months I noticed my punches could just fold a heavy bag in half. I even moved up to heavier and harder bags. My grip has gotten insainly tight from this training. So I am wondering if I should start hitting something even harder than a bag. It may sound silly but would it be to far fetched to start hitting something like a hard wall? I know it sounds like I might watch to many Kung fu movies but my punches just keep getting stronger when I continue to hit harder and bigger bags

Reply

Johnny N April 2, 2013 at 12:07 pm

The hardest punches comes from skill, not the strength of your punches. Accuracy and timing. Stop watching movies and pay attention to what the pro boxers are doing. They’re hitting the double-end bags, focus mitts, and lots of sparring.

Reply

Bry April 16, 2013 at 7:06 pm

I have a question on getting my body better accustomed to the recoil of my punches since according to my professional boxing friend and everyone at my gym i am a natural heavy hitter plus a trained one. My friend recommended training with light weights for my shoulders my fast controlled reps would you say the same thing or do you have any additional methods? Thanks in advance

Reply

Johnny N April 19, 2013 at 9:55 am

Learn how to snap your punches. If you’re suffering from the recoil, you might be pushing your punches too much. You also don’t need to do fast rep exercises. You need support muscles, so do slower ones like push-ups.

Reply

Bry April 19, 2013 at 7:37 pm

Thanks for the tip i have gotten back into doing my push up drills and clapping ones recently so this helps :). My pro friend also said that i might suffer from recoil cause i punch very hard but i don’t feel like i am loading up my punches or hitting with my all plus i usually snap my punches do you have any extra tips? Thanks in advance.

Reply

Johnny N April 26, 2013 at 8:56 am

It comes down to technique, conditioning, and attitude. If you’re pushing too much or hitting with your fist at the wrong angle, it will be less comfortable to absorb so much shock. Likewise if it can hurt more if you’re a hard puncher and/or your support muscles are weak. It can also be from over-training. You shouldn’t be hitting the heavy bag more than 6 rounds a day.

Reply

John May 5, 2013 at 8:26 pm

Dear Johnny,
When I’m hitting the mitts with my trainer we do this combination Jab-Jab-Cross but I’m a Southpaw and since I have a really wide stance I have a killer left-hand but, my right-handed jab is weak. Do you have any suggestions on how to fix that problem?

Reply

Johnny N May 6, 2013 at 12:25 pm

It’s common to feel the jab is weak because it’s coming from your weak hand AND it’s also in the front so you can’t swing it from the back for power. It takes time and practice to make it feel powerful but it will get there. For now, focus on speed and snap and not so much on power. That’s the best advice I can give you.

Reply

Caio June 21, 2013 at 7:42 am

Johnny, Im an orthodox out fighter but I have a HUGE problem, I almost never feel confident enough to use my right hand, it’s not as fast as my left so every time I send it, I usually get countered,and it makes me predictable since I can’t throw a hooks, uppers and crosses with it, would you have any tip on how to solve this?

Reply

Johnny N June 30, 2013 at 2:26 pm

I will be making a specific guide later on this. It has to do with your jab technique or your stance. Check out my videos on how to throw a proper jab and right hand. And also the guide on “How to Throw Straight Punches”. The problem is your stance or your jab technique is blocking the flow of your right hand.

Reply

Hayden July 9, 2013 at 7:43 pm

Just started reading this article: Power (force) is mass times acceleration. Power = acceleration is wrong. Acceleration is just the rate at which speed (velocity) changes. Sorry to be a physics snob.

Reply

Johnny N July 10, 2013 at 10:23 am

It wasn’t meant to be read that way but I changed it anyway to be more clear. Thanks for pointing it out, Hayden. I wrote these older articles so long ago and didn’t write as carefully back then.

Reply

M A September 3, 2013 at 5:57 pm

Great article, definitely gives you a step by step to increasing your punching strength. IMHO a hard punch can be achieved by staying relaxed, throwing it fast, and putting your body behind it.

Reply

Johnny N September 26, 2013 at 4:14 pm

Exactly! That’s all there is to throwing a hard punch. And most of the “punching techniques” you learn are simply techniques to help you put more body weight into the punch and relax the arm better for speed and power.

Reply

hajime no ippo November 7, 2013 at 7:18 am

Thanks for your advices. I find them wer helpful and so happy to se a person so dedicated to help others about boxing.

I wonder just one thing. İs the isometric wall training you talk aout (or all the isometric exercises generally) be trained every day, or must i go it as “train one day and rest one” like weightlifting?

Have a nice day.

Reply

Johnny N November 8, 2013 at 7:01 pm

I would start with every other day or even once every three days, and then go from there.

Reply

aman December 22, 2013 at 11:38 am

is there an easy way to give someone a dead-arm?
it seems like an easy way way to end a match quickly , but haven’t seen any references.

Reply

Johnny N January 8, 2014 at 7:06 pm

I suppose you could punch them in the side of the arm right below the shoulder muscle but there’s no guarantee. Besides, that’s pretty hard to do and I would personally go for the chin rather than the arm.

Reply

Griffzilla March 26, 2014 at 6:39 pm

Hello Johnny, I guess this is the right section for my question as it somewhat pertains to power. Recent I was told that when throwing the right cross the arm should come out at a 45 degree angle. Meaning the elbow is pointing somewhere around there when the elbow leaves the body. This made since to me because my punch felt more solid. My question is, it feels like my elbow is behind the punch when I throw it like you say to do when throwing hooks and uppercuts, is this necessary? I mean should the focus be to get the elbow behind every punch? I can throw the straight where the elbow is pointing at the floor for almost the entire motion but it doesn’t feel as powerful with the 45 degree. What is your take on this?

Reply

Johnny N April 8, 2014 at 2:22 pm

YES! You are right…get the elbow behind every punch! I’ve tried to explain this detail many times throughout my videos and articles. You’re understanding it perfectly. Keep doing it!

Reply

griffzilla April 8, 2014 at 6:18 pm

Thanks! So should my focus be on rotating the elbow instead of the fist when I’m turning it over and focus on it being “the driving force” behind the punch?

Reply

Johnny N July 13, 2014 at 5:55 pm

Well….all the tips I write are to help you visualize a better way to do something. But yes, I would say visualizing a rotation of the elbow is better than visualizing the rotation of the fist.

Reply

Mike G April 8, 2014 at 12:17 am

Hi Johnny,

I was just wondering in regards to turning your legs for power during a hook, straight etc., should I be turning my left foot during a left hook, and right foot during a right hook every time? I’m A Southpaw
and to me turning my left foot feels totally natural but turning my right during a right hook does not.
Is this ok? Or should I practice turning the right foot?

Reply

Johnny N April 8, 2014 at 2:23 pm

If it feels weird, it’s probably because you’re leaning back too much and so you feel like you don’t have any leverage on the right foot in order to pivot it powerfully. But the exact opposite may also be true. You have so much weight on the foot that you can’t pivot it at all. Try placing your axis in a different place to see how that changes things.

Reply

griffzilla April 8, 2014 at 6:47 pm

Could you break down what exactly leverage is, in terms of punching, I know it sounds silly but sometimes it’s the things we overlook and take for granted that can mess us up.

Reply

Johnny N July 13, 2014 at 5:57 pm

Leverage basically means to make good use (efficient use) of your bone structure so that you can deliver more force while using the same amount (or even less) muscle effort. And for different punches, you will have to position your body and limbs differently to maximize leverage for maximum power out of the shots.

Reply

griffzilla July 14, 2014 at 7:50 pm

As always thanks for the reply!

Kevin April 9, 2014 at 7:21 am

How hard do other boxers out there clench their fists on impact?

I ask this because if I clench my fist with full power it seems like it slows the punching speed down and it maybe wouldn’t make that much difference inside the glove if I didn’t have a very tight fist. If I clench my fist naturally as if I were lifting up a garage wrench (50% hand clenching total power) my punches flow a lot faster.

How about using a grip as if you were holding up an umbrella (30% total power)? Enough for a fairly solid fist but allows for an even faster punch speed.

I didn’t find that much on the Internet to answer this question with any clarity or experimentation by anyone. However, on messing around on my heavy bag with different clench strengths, I got on well the best with 30% power personally.

I found that if I clenched up my fist 100% it locked all the muscles down my arm and down through my body, freezing me momentarily and slowing me down.

Reply

Johnny N July 13, 2014 at 6:11 pm

The best amount is 0% during all moments that your fist is not IMPACTING your opponent. That means not clenching the fist when you’re not throwing and also means not clenching during the first 99% of your arm extension during a punch.

Many beginners like to clench it completely because they feel stronger when they’re exerting more energy OR their coordination is not yet trained and so their fist clenches faster when it’s already tense. The problem is this is not the best way to do it and so you should start training to do it correctly asap.

Relaxing the hand and arm AND YOUR BODY as much as possible is best. Keep it that way and don’t clench your fist/arm/body/core until you impact the opponent. The best way to see this in action…watch trained boxers do it in a gym. When you see it firsthand with your eyes, you will see how any preliminary clench is just going to telegraph all your shots, wear you out, and take away from your speed and power.

The beginners are always wasting tension when they don’t need it. The pros explode with the tension only in that tiny moment that they need it and all their movements are more powerful this way.

Reply

Kevin July 14, 2014 at 5:31 am

Thanks Johnny, good advice & makes sense.

Me and my sparring partner used grip strengtheners (up to a 40 kilo load) with the idea that a grip strengthener might make it easier to clench the fist on impact quicker and with more effect and less physical effort. However, an odd thing happened and we have therefore discarded the grip strengtheners . . .

We found that it had the odd effect of making our hands feel disconnected from our forearms and becoming a distraction. Hard to describe, but if you imagine strengthening your calf muscles much more than the rest of your leg muscles it would have the same effect but on your legs – as an example. Your strong limb starts to feel disconnected from the weaker limb.

We found that grip strength can be improved very fast and the muscles in your hand can recover like your abs – overnight even, much faster that say a forearm, shoulder or triceps muscle can. This created an imbalance.

Anyway, to cut a long story short, we both met up after experimenting with the grip strengtheners after about a month and ended up just nodding our heads and saying ‘Yeah, it feels kind of weird, it’s uncomfortable’. lol

Thanks again for your reply Johnny, I appreciate it :)

Reply

Mike G April 10, 2014 at 5:48 am

Thanks Johnny!
Helpful tip, and pivoting is a lot more natural on both feet now :D

Reply

ashley May 14, 2014 at 2:05 am

I have recently joined a boxing club and I have my first fight coming up in June and I was just wondering when Im fighting and I want to throw a KO punch if I get the right opportunity to do so after a couple of rounds. Can you land a harder punch if I was to use my weight when im throwing like you are meant to but when my KO punch is being thrown can I push down on my front foot. My instructor says that I should always have my weight on my backfoot because that’s were the power comes from but I don’t know? can you let me no what you think about this.

Reply

Johnny N July 13, 2014 at 6:06 pm

Your weight should be balanced. Unless you’re lunging for a hail mary shot, you will always be stronger with your weight evenly distributed. This is assuming you have good punching technique. If your technique is crap, then you’ll probably be a harder puncher throwing yourself off balance with each shot.

I imagine coaches like to tell their fighters to stay more on the back foot because it’s common for your weight to come forward because all your punches are pulling you forward.

Reply

Leave a Comment

306 Comments

Previous post:

Next post:

Copyright © 2008-2013 How to Box | ExpertBoxing. All rights reserved