September 5, 2022

What Are Punching Muscles In Boxing?

There are many punching muscles involved in fighting and training. Let us break it down in detail in this article.

Unlike your ready position or hand movements, your muscles are typically disregarded or cause less caution to the opponent. That’s why having a strong boxer body is a huge advantage!


But do you wonder:

Which muscles do you use to punch?

Obviously, you could not train your whole body into boxers’ muscles. Nobody has enough time for that!

In this post, we will show you the detailed answer to the question above, so that you would know what muscles make you punch harder.

Without further ado, let’s get right in!


While throwing a punch, not only your upper body’s strength is worth reinforcing, but your legs’ power also matters! Your legs provide you with enough stability and power when you punch.

By legs, we mainly mean the quadriceps, calves, and hamstrings muscles below. If you want a robust punch, you have to train these muscles first, considering they make the base for you to give out your power!

When you throw your punch, there must be somewhere that you want to put the mass of your body on, which in most cases are the ground! Since your legs are directly connected to it, you should learn how to make the best use out of the moving and pivoting footwork for the most potent boxing punch.

Hips – Important Punching Muscles

A little bit higher than the legs, what do you think might be necessary muscles used in boxing?

Here’s one hint: great training of these muscles would give you a perfect balance and lower body care!

If you are thinking about the hips, then you are right.

Hips – the bridge connects your upper body and legs. Pivoting hips could generate tons of potential power to support your punch. Another essential task of the hips is controlling the equilibration since your body’s center of mass is somewhere around that.

As you might feel from your fights, balance plays an essential role in boxing. It decides the performance of both your attack and defense.


Besides the hips, it is your abs that hold your entire body together. They act as a frontal body core, allow you to perform the most unexpected and aggressive boxing punch!

Let us tell you the reason:

Every small group of muscles in your body produces a particular amount of power independently. And that is exactly why you would need strong abdominal muscles to make the most use out of this potential energy!

For pivoting punch, you would use a lot of your side ab muscles. It is the most important muscle in the body that helps with the punch’s strength by reinforcing the rotating motion.

So, do not forget to train your side abs (both sides) along with your frontal abs to get the most powerful momentum!


(Rear Body Core & Punch Recovery)

The back is the whole set of muscles from your shoulder down until your hips, which is your rear body core, and offer recovery after a strong punch.

And by punch recovery, we mean the speed of that you can draw your fist back after a robust punch to prepare for a counterstrike.

In fact, lots of boxers are busy developing their upper frontal body through continuous push-ups or heavy bag punching, so they have no time for rear muscles.

That is a lousy exercising focus!

If you ignore training your rear back muscles, your punch recovery muscles will gradually become weaker in a fight. After every punch you throw, your arms would encounter great exhaustion since you have to pull both your fist and glove back with your muscles, which could bounce back to you if you train thoughtfully.


Your shoulders not only support your punch with power and sudden movement, but they also provide great arms endurance.

If your shoulders are wearied during a fight, your arms would have no base to punch or even defend the head! If you might notice, when your punch becomes weaker, and your arms are exhausted, it is normally your shoulders part to get tired first.

This condition is easy to understand because your shoulder muscles have to hold up both your arm and heavy boxing gloves. No wonder why the shoulders get exhausted that fast!

If you have not had any shoulders muscles training schedule, then you should start now to gain greater endurance!

Arms – Important Punching Muscles

Many people might think it is your arm that produces power since they are the muscles that place a punch at your opponent’s face anyway!

But that is a big misunderstanding! They just give off power! Your legs and twist movement are the ones that generate power. Everything your arms do is transferring that power to the face, belly, or whatever muscle of your opponent!

Since the arms’ muscles serve for punches accuracy, not power formation, you should know that fast arms are better than sturdy arms. Keep that in mind next time you try to strengthen your arms muscles!


Think about it:

If your lower body core is your hip and power are mainly generated by your legs and hips there, then what are the upper body core and the central generator above?

Well, as you might already guess, they are the chest muscles.

Their main functions are to link your upper body muscles and combine their power so that you can throw the most powerful punch.

Other Small Muscles

  • Training your neck will help with punch protection. Stronger neck muscles mean that you are less vulnerable to the opponent’s punch.
  • Sturdy forearm muscles can give you more solid and injury-resistant punch since they are able to tighten your fist and make them a firm block.

Exercises To Increase Punching Power

So, we already explained what each muscle does… And, are you wondering about the answer on how to train each of these muscles?

Here are some recommended exercises for you:

  • Punch with resistance bands: Be careful and control your arms movement to avoid extra pressure or injury.
  • Standing alternating dumbbell press: This is much similar to exercises with resistance bands. Both of them help train your shoulders and arms muscles so that they can grow faster.
  • Close-grip barbell bench press: This bench press exercise is to train your chest and frontal body muscles.
  • Russian twist: As the name suggests, the twist training helps reinforce your abdominal muscles.
  • Squats: This is the compulsory training for anyone who wants to be in a real fight. Squats strengthen your leg muscles, help you stick to the ground and also give your punch more power!
  • Med ball & plyometrics workout: Increase your upper body muscles’ strength.
  • Sparring: Use sparring boxing gloves to practice will enhance entire your body.


Now, we believe that you’ve already had the answer to the question: Where does punching power come from?

Punching muscles are not that easy to get, so you need to be patient and laborious in order to achieve and maintain them. Strong muscles will give you a significant advantage in a real fight without the opponent’s noticing.

Note: there are plenty of skills and techniques that you should look at when as a beginner, try advice for the beginner.

Feel free to let us know about your training schedule and the benefit of strong muscles. See you later!

Eugene Hardy

Eugene is a professional Muay Thai fighter, with several years of experience. Also, a black belt holder. He actively participates in tournaments and provides training to his students. Eugene started this blog to share his experiences with Martial Arts.

View all posts by Eugene Hardy →

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