Power Punching Exercises

How to increase your punching power.

Any strength training exercises that are performed properly and use sufficient weight, will help to enhance the power of your boxing punches. However, your gains will be much better if those exercises use movements that imitate the actual boxing techniques and motions that your arms make when punching.

To get the best results from the power punching exercises shown below, i assume that you already know the basics about boxing stances and how to throw a proper punch? If you don't, you will gain much more from these exercises if you familiarise yourself with those boxing basics first. You can do that by visiting the Boxing Stances and Boxing Punches pages of ScotBoxer first. (both of those links open in new tabs so you won't lose your place here)

If you have already mastered the basics, these exercises will help to increase your punching power.
Straight Punching With Dumbbells
This exercise will help you to develop more power in both your straight right and left jab punches (or straight left and right jab if you are a southpaw). This exercise routine will primarily help you to build more strength and power in your shoulders, while secondly working both your arms and chest
1. Stand with your arms at your sides, holding 2 x 5kg (roughly 10lb) dumbbells.
2. Bring your arms up, so that the palms of your hands are facing the sides of your face.
3. Push your arms out in a punching motion, one arm at a time.
4. Complete 3 sets of 10 to 15 reps, with a 1 minute rest between each set.
Dumbbell Uppercuts

This particular exercise is designed to increase the power of your uppercuts. It will also help to enhance the strength in your biceps, shoulders and back, muscles that are vital for all boxing punches. This power punching exercise also has the added bonus of helping you to develop more stability. As your body is momentarily thrown off balance during the execution of the movement, it follows that the leg muscles responsible for the uppercut power will strengthen too.

1. Begin by standing in your fighting stance while holding a 1 - 5kg (roughly 2lb to 10lb, depending on how strong you are) dumbbell in the hand of the upper cutting arm - begin with the left arm.

2. Adopt your uppercut stance (basically your fighting stance with the elbows dipped towards your hip).

3. Execute the uppercut, with weight.

4. Complete 3 sets of 10-15 reps, with a 1 minute rest period between each set.

5. After completing the 3 sets with your left arm, switch to your right arm. Do not switch to the southpaw stance if the conventional stance is natural for you, and vice versa.


Depth Jumps With Dumbbells

Depth jumps are a plyometric exercise that develops explosive power in the legs. Plyometrics essentially enhance muscular speed by making your muscles more explosive, through stretch-shortening-cycle improvements.
Given that much of the power in any boxing punch, not to mention footwork which plays an important role in landing these punches, needs explosive power through the legs, it is important to focus on leg exercises too. Plyometrics are among the best exercises for doing this.
1. Stand on a box, bench or something that's sturdy and approximately 30-40cm high (roughly 10-12 inches), while grasping a pair of 1-5 kg (roughly 2-10lb) dumbbells.
2. Step off the bench (don't jump off) and as soon as you land, explode vertically as high as you can.
3. Try to minimise the ground contact time and don't sink down into a deep squat before jumping up.
4. Complete 3 sets of 12-15 reps, with a 1 minute rest in between each set.
Single Leg Hops With Dumbbell

Another plyometric exercise, single leg hops, will help in the development of your leg power and balance. Balance in boxing is crucial as you cannot properly execute a goodpunch if your body is not stable.

Often, when you're hit and consequently thrown off balance, your ability to recover sufficiently before your opponent is on you again suffers. With single leg hops, your ability to throw much better punches from this vulnerable position will be improved as your body becomes adept at stabilising itself again in a split second.

1. Standing on one leg, Bend your knee slightly while holding a pair of 2 kg ((roughly 4lb) dumbbells.

2. Staying on the same foot, try to gain as much height and distance as possible with each hop. Always aim to keep the ground contact time as short as possible.

3. Complete 3 sets of 15 reps, with a 1 minute rest between each set. Then repeat using the opposite leg.

A Typical Workout Routine Using Those Exercises
1. Warm-up - Five minutes on a bike, followed by joint rotations (circles with arms and legs) and full body stretching.
2. Dumbbell uppercuts with 1-5kg (roughly 2-10lb) weights - Three sets of 10-15 reps.
3. Straight punching with 2-5kg (roughly 4-10lb) dumbbells - Three sets of 10-15 reps.
4. Bench presses - Three sets of 10 reps.
5. Shoulder presses - Three sets of 10 reps.
6. One-arm lateral pullbacks - Three sets of 10-15 reps.
7. Depth jumps with 1-5kg (roughly 2-10lb) dumbbells - Three sets of 12-15 reps.
8. Single leg hops with 2kg (roughly 4lb) dumbbells - Three sets of 15 reps.
Finish your exercise routine by cooling down with five minutes on the bike again, followed by full body stretching.
Perform the routine twice a week on non boxing training days



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