Are you hoping to improve the way you do your self-defense skills, or are you planning to sign up with a professional martial art/boxing gym? Then mastering your punching skill is a must.
Your expectation of your opponent’s skills and your coordination, your balance, and timing determines the quality of your punches significantly.
However, no matter how well coordinated your punches are, you won’t see the kind of blows that results in KO (knockout) if they are not hard enough.
Working on your upper body muscles can help you land better and harder punches because much of the power in your punches come from your shoulders and your back. To amass strength in these regions, there are some workouts that you need to do to punch harder.
Such workouts like push-ups, shoulder press, and pull-ups are ideal exercises to target the back and shoulder muscles.
However, before we get right into the tips and tricks that make your punches harder and stronger, lets quickly look at some mistakes that some beginners are likely to make that might affect the strength.
And if these mistakes are not corrected right now, they might slow down your prospect as a boxer or MMA fighter.
See also: MMA Workouts at Home
Common Mistakes To Hinder A Hard Punch
Throwing Uncoordinated Punches – You must learn how to land your punches with a precise aim.
Your punches should be intelligently planned, and each punch should be well-timed and placed in the best manner.
Wild punches will never get you a real hit to knock out your opponent for submission. Instead, it gives your opponent a good time to block the punches or quickly move out of the way.
Leaving Your Feet– Do not give to the temptation of leaving your feet all the time when you are training. By doing so, you are compromising your ability to balance your feet correctly.
If you have watched some wrestling matches or action movies, you would have seen some actors with the ‘superman’s punch’.
This is more like flying to meet your opponent with a flying punch.
Although it may looks and sounds good and might also work while doing some MMA sports, it is never the right way to practice your skills, especially in a traditional boxing match.
Warning Punch – Every newbie into the MMA sports is likely to think of punching this way.
Warning punch or Telegraphing is when you cock your punch by pulling your hand back before throwing the punch. When you telegraph a punch, it gives your opponent ample time to easily parry the blow or prepare a defense against your hits.
Reaching – Overreaching your opponent with your punches may add more power to your punches, but the end goal might be self-defeating as it can lead you to have an injury or lead to joint dislocation.
Boxing should be seen as a fun way of sporting and, at the same time, helping your body to living a healthy life.
No experienced coach will see you using any of these tactics mentioned above and will be comfortable with your performance. They are short term benefits and are possibly gained by inculcating lousy form, which will also lead to your sustaining injury.
Exercises to Punch Harder
Working on Form
Whatever exercises that will influence you’re improving your form while boxing can also help you improve your punches as well. Firstly, to work on your style, you will need to determine your reach and make sure your blows never fall outside of this reach.
More importantly, you will need to train extensively and spend lots of time in an energetic practice session with a trainer that can spar with you or help you move the punching bag. While on your training session, make sure you focus on keeping your hands up while your back is kept straight.
As you gain mastery of the right form, your coordination will improve significantly, and your punches will add more weight.
See also: Best Punching Bags
Conditioning your cardiovascular strength can mean a lot, especially if you’re competing. Cardiovascular strength can make the difference between punching your opponents harder and harder, hit after hit, and fallen into exhaustion to carry your hands up to land a single blow.
Your aerobic workout is essential for your cardio strength, and they should be incorporated into strength training by circuit training. To gain good cardio strength, you can do 30-60 minutes jogging, rope jumping, swimming, and other forms of similar intense cardio during the week.
To get a similar effect like when you’re doing a cardio challenge in the ring, do your cardio workout first, then mimic the exhaustion you might likely get in the ring by practicing on your strength training.
The best way to improve your strength and punches by any rookie MMA or traditional boxing is to practice shadow boxing almost like every day intensively. You can shadowbox to warm up before any training ie, and you must first do the necessary warm-up exercises before doing the shadowbox.
However, you will need to shadowbox before you spar with your partner or before you hit the heavy bag.
You will need to practice how to improve your footwork and maintain a proper form with a visual image of your opponent in your front. The real idea behind shadowboxing is to exercise the right form and increase your punching speed.
For added strength, you can hold on to some weights as you shadow box.
This way, you will feel exhausted, but at the same time, build strength in your muscle you used in throwing the punches. Shadowboxing can also be turned into cardiovascular strength training by doing it while jogging.
Here are some more training routines that can help you punch harder…
- Strengthen your arms with regular biceps curls
- Use the bench press to develop your chest muscles
- Do some ab stabilization workouts – e.g., sit-ups and crunches
These exercises will help you gain more balance and improve your punches to come harder on your opponents.