We all know the importance of technique and balance during a fight. But we also can’t deny the beauty of a solid, powerful punch. A punch that knocks the opponent out. A punch that breaks someone’s nose or takes out a tooth or two.
Then again, it’s easier said than done. Just punching is not enough. It might have the right amount of balance and force behind it otherwise it would be ineffective. A loose punch, more often than not, can be used by the opponent against you for joint locks or wrist grabs, or other techniques.
And to make it easier for you, here are 11 different ways through which you can hit powerful punches with lightning speed:
One of the very important methods of improving your punches is via shadowboxing. It improves your technique and execution which means that you’re not just blindly hitting your opponent and hitting them with utmost efficiency (along with power, of course).
Shadowboxing also increases the speed of your punches. Speed equals power and the more speed you’ll have, the more powerful your punch would be.
Try different varieties of punches as fast as you can. To improve your technique, practice while standing in front of a mirror. Pay close attention to how you move and how you’re throwing the punches.
If possible, get a friend or a trainer to supervise you as they’d be able to provide better suggestions. And most importantly, try to make shadowboxing an essential part of your day to day practice.
One of the biggest advantages of shadowboxing is that it improves muscle memory. Building muscle memory is a process through which you’re able to perform complicated movements and techniques easily on autopilot by repeatedly practicing them over and over.
When you’re shadowboxing, you’re practicing while keeping your stance and techniques under observation and in turn, feeding these skills into your muscle memory which is very helpful in a real fight.
3. Hit The Cross
One of the most effective punches, the cross is one of the best strikes for knocking out your opponent. Hitting the right cross is a great option especially when you’re standing in an orthodox stance.
Knowing a proper cross is something every fighter must know. If it’s perfectly executed, even if the opponent is not knocked out, they’re going to get hurt and vulnerable to further attacks.
The punch is executed by generating power at the base of your fist and lands flat on the opponent’s chin moving straight through the middle. For generating the maximum amount of impact, you gotta punch straight through the target. This is one of the most essential punches and its swift and perfect execution can knock out any opponent.
2. Use a heavy punching bag
Practicing on the punching bag goes a long way in improving your punches and developing the muscles in your arm. You must make sure that the bag is of a suitable weight. It should neither be too heavy, or it’ll break your knuckles, nor should it be too light otherwise you’ll keep swinging it away.
You can practice punching at alternate intervals. First few seconds hard punches with as much force as you can muster, and the next few seconds with light jabs and lots of footwork. Set up fixed intervals and practice. Over time, the force and efficiency in your punches will automatically increase.
As time passes, you can gradually increase the overall weight of the punching bag. This would make sure that the force of your punches increases. Also, if you’re involved in a game that involves fighting with naked fists, make sure that you get in practice with the punching bag with your bare knuckles.
4. Keep your Center of Gravity low
This is something every professional fighter abides by. Just by bending your knees and keeping your center of gravity low, you can add lots of power to the same punch of yours. When you’re standing with completely extended knees, it becomes easier for you to get hurt and while punching, you can’t put your whole body behind that punch.
By just lowering your center of gravity by 10 centimeters can you increase the power in your punch by three times! With bent knees, your joints are closer and you can spring forward easily, quickly, and fastly.
5. Punch behind your opponent!
You have to keep in mind that you don’t want to hit the opponent’s face, but rather an imaginary point a few inches behind, or beside, or above their face varying according to the various techniques. Whenever you’re practicing, try to hit a point a few inches behind the target and finish the impact at that point only.
When you’re finishing the impact right on the target, you’re losing out on power and speed. And this is why when you do everything properly, your punch lacks the punch (get it?). Only when you hit your target with your impact ending a point further do you hit with maximum force and with a faster speed.
6. Avoid Rookie Mistakes
There are plenty of mistakes you’re bound to commit if you’re new and professionally untrained and you must watch out for them. One, you must never lift your feet while punching. The impact of your body weight is left out of the power that your punch generates in this case.
Two, do not overextend your arms. Doing so would mean losing out on power while also losing your balance. Moreover, it also opens you up to counterpunches. Third, don’t be predictable.
Many fighters cock their fists backward before punching. Some bounce around a lot before striking a punch. These movements become predictable to the opponent easily and therefore, you must practice punching while being still.
Four, don’t do weights. Many fighters make the mistake of lifting heavy weights to build muscle. While yes, you’ll build muscles, what you’re doing here is that you’re getting stronger at moving slowly (which is surely not what you want, eh?). And not just that, heavy weight lifting also results in excess muscle growth which further limits your movements.
Five, you must never try to hit many punches in a short time. All those wild punches rarely hit the target and are easily blocked by the opponent. Also, you’ll lose too much energy too soon and end up tiring yourself for nothing.
Six, do not forget jabbing from time to time. Fighters often try to go for big, large punches forgetting the effectiveness of a short, powerful jab that can stun any opponent on a good day.
7. Improve your Stamina
Being durable is very important if you want to get to hit those powerful, fast punches in a game. All the techniques, all the preparation goes out the window if you don’t have the energy to execute them. And hence, it’s a must that you develop your stamina while training.
Keep specific goals and make sure that you complete them. Run, jump, swim, exercise: just make sure you’re not tiring yourself out too soon. Keep persisting and you’ll gradually see your stamina increasing with time.
8. Try to Punch Slow!
There’s usually an astonishing increase in the impact of a punch when it’s done slowly. Most of the fighters punch significantly harder when they punch relatively slowly than their usual fast punch.
It’s because when someone is punching fast, their arm moves at a speed much higher than that of their body which lessens the impact of it. Now when they’re punching at a slower pace, they’re allowing the whole body to make an impact.
Hence you should practice punching while standing still and taking pauses between each punch and consciously trying to throw your whole body in that punch. As you practice, it becomes a habit that increases the overall power of your punch.
9. Punch at the right time
Increasing the power and speed of your punch is great, but you must also know where to hit, and when to hit. You just can’t punch your opponent at any time. The distance should be adequate. The position should be perfect. It’s important to hit the opponent with perfect timing.
For one, when the opponent is punching or trying to punch you, trying to counter punch is a great strategy (if done effectively) as the opponent, more often than not, is taken by surprise.
Trying to hit punches when the opponent is not expecting it is always a great strategy. Punching in a variable rhythm, breaking through the opponent’s defense: these are all some ways through which you can try to hit the opponent effectively.
Hitting from an angle usually has a greater impact on the opponent and can also result in a knockout. Also trying to hit the more vulnerable (or softer) areas is always a great plan. Try hitting their ribs, or chin, or the temple or their solar plexus.
10. Hit ’em with the left hook!
Any boxer or MMA fighter will tell you the lethality of a well-executed left hook. Considered the most destructive punch by most boxing veterans, it is pretty to execute even though it’s difficult to learn and takes several years to master and properly utilize.
It’s quite simple to see why it’s so effective. Because the same hand is used as in a jab (with an orthodox stance), it’s a short and quick distance from beginning to the end. The power generates from the base to the torso and from there, to the fist. While throwing the hook, make sure that only the largest two of your knuckles connect.
Also, it’s important that you don’t draw your hands back a bit or cock your fists, as it telegraphs the punch meaning the opponent is aware of the oncoming attack and prepares themselves accordingly. This takes away the element of surprise and decreases the effectiveness of the strike.
Exercise as hard as you can. Build your stamina, your flexibility, and your overall strength. Several exercises can help you in punching at a harder and faster rate.
Plyometric push-ups are a great exercise in building your muscles and putting pressure in short, rapid bursts. This increases the aggressiveness in your moves and increases the speed and power behind your punches.
Another great exercise to increase the power of your punches is the medicine ball throw where you throw a pretty heavy medicine ball, throw it as high as you can, and try to catch it. A simple but very effective exercise is swimming which increases your overall stamina and your punches grow harder with time as well.
You can also practice punching at the air using dumbbells. Practice jabbing at the air while holding dumbbells. This enhances the power of your punches and builds endurance.
Start with a lighter weight and gradually increase the weight with time while making sure not to put excess strain on your arms. Also, never punch the punching bags while holding dumbbells.