If you’re imagining knocking your opponent knocked out and gliding through the air, you may be projecting yourself onto your favourite KO scene from a movie where you throw a lightning fast bunch of combos before landing that last devastating uppercut to send him flying through the clouds and back down on to the canvas. The crowd goes crazy, the confetti falls, you’re on the shoulders of your coaching team shouting “Hey Adrian we di-”. Did we just take a turn towards Rocky Balboa?
Anyhow. Look. You can be as ‘movie fancy’ in your skill as you want. But remember. All that flashy stu
ff is actually a chaining of the most ‘BASIC’ of boxing punches in quick succession to become a thing of beauty. Sometimes all you really need – is basic punching technique and boxing moves to use OUTSIDE the ring.
You have to practice these moves at home or at the gym with dedication so you can develop technique, quickness, power and maintain balance while hitting and making sure you get hit back the least.
Begin with the basic types of punches;
Basic Boxing Punches
When you break it down to the basics, there are 4 types of hits in boxing. As a boxer you have to master the jab, cross, hook, and uppercut.
The set up punch, jab is the most used weapon a boxer has.
It is fast and has little power behind it but when used right, it can set up much more powerful hits.
The jab is also effective in keeping an aggressive opponent at bay, because they will be wary of other punches to follow.
- Take up your boxing stance and keep your stance straight.
- Extend your arm (right or left) straight in front of you.
- Do not move your body in any other way.
- The next movement you need to learn is the rotation of the arm.
- You will rotate the entire lower arm – wrist, elbow, and palm – while you throw the jab.
- From your stance the arm should rotate in a way that your palm is facing the floor.
- Speed is key, not power.
- Don’t think above hitting, think about snapping your arm towards your opponent’s head like whip.
One mistake that beginners often make is that they give signs to their opponent when throwing a jab.
They load their bicep and twitch their arm muscles, giving opponent the signal to prepare a counter punch. Avoid telegraphing the jab.
Keep your arm ready and snap out the jab without any extra movement.
After practicing your jab, you can move on to the cross.
This punch is much more powerful than the jab and requires body and leg movement to get right.
You will use your dominant hand to throw the cross.
- Take your fighting stance.
- Twist your hips and pivot your back foot.
- The back foot’s ball should be ground on the floor.
- After getting this movement down, throw the punch.
- Do it slowly at first. Extend your arm while rotating it and follow the body movements mentioned above.
- You have to generate power while being precise with the cross.
- While you throw the cross, keep your head hidden behind your shoulder to avoid damage from any possible counter punches.
Do not extend yourself or lift your back foot while throwing a cross. It will leave you unbalanced and open to counter punches from your opponent.
A perfect hook requires your whole body to twist along with your fist. It should be one smooth motion. The hook can be thrown with either arm so you will have to practice with both.
Get in front of a heavy punching bag to practice the hook.
- Get in your stance.
- Plant your back foot on the ground firmly.
- You should be on the ball of your front foot.
- Raise the elbow of your arm (left or right) to shoulder height and keep your elbow bent at 50 degrees.
- Throw the hit while twisting your body and the lead leg, the lead foot should grind on the mat while rotating.
- Generate all the power you can from the body movement.
- Keep your other arm near your chin to protect yourself.
- Rotate your body back fluidly.
- Start adding more speed to the movement and get back to your stance as quickly as possible.
You have to get back to your normal stance immediately to avoid any counters. You can create more space between the bag and yourself and try to extend the hook, only after you have got the basic movement down.
The uppercut can be one of the most devastating punches, whether it is thrown at the body or head. Your lower body is the key in generating power in the uppercut.
- Start with your normal stance.
- Bend your knees slightly. The back knee should be more bent than the front one.
- Bring your elbow down, drop your shoulder slightly, and throw the punch while making a scooping motion upwards.
- Elbow should be bent at 50 degrees the whole time.
- Rotate your arm so your palm is facing towards you.
- Shift the weight from your rear to front leg while you are throwing the punch.
- After making contact, bring the glove back to your chin quickly.
Uppercut can be thrown with both arms so practice both arms by alternating the movements. Again, try not to telegraph the punch by making massive scooping movement. Keep it tight and throw it as fast as possible.
Practice, practice and then some practice. That is the only way that you will get the movements right. Get your lower body involved wherever necessary because without it you will not have any power in your hits.
The heavy bag will be your best friend until you get these punches right, soon they will become a part of your muscles memory and you will throw them without making any extra movements.
Don’t forget to take a look at what other boxing equipment you will need during your training.