There are several different ways to increase both punching speed and power. But what are the best exercises to increase punching power?
In this post, we go through 5 different types of exercises you can do to increase your punching power and speed.
It’s important to keep in mind that increasing punching power requires a combination of strength, technique, and proper form.
While these exercises can help, they should be incorporated into a comprehensive training program that also includes techniques, drills, and sparring to see the best results.
These 5 exercises should be added on top of regular martial arts training. These exercises will do little to no good for your punching power and speed if you don’t have your technique straight.
Let’s get started with the first type of exercise, shall we?
1. Plyometric training
Plyometric training exercises such as box jumps and medicine ball slams can improve your explosive power and transfer to your punches.
Having more explosiveness behind your punches can really make a difference in a ring. Not only will they become stronger, but also faster and more difficult for your opponent to notice.
Some of the different plyometric exercises that can improve punching explosiveness are:
- Jumping rope
- Box jumps
- Ball slams
- Pop squats
- Tuck jumps
Or pretty much anything that requires a quick sudden movement. All those can help you to increase your explosiveness which can directly transfer into more punching speed and power.
On top of being great for punching speed and power, plyometric training can also:
- Increase cardiovascular endurance
- Improve coordination and balance
- Improve reflexes and reaction time
The second category of exercise is weightlifting. It should not be a surprise, that having more strength will help you to throw more powerful punches.
Lifting weights is an excellent way to increase that strength, which is responsible for the power behind your punches.
Some of the best weight lifting exercises to do at the gym to increase punching power are:
- Deadlifts: Deadlifts work multiple muscle groups, including the hips, legs, back, and core, which are all important for punching power.
- Squats: Squats help to build up the muscles in the legs and hips, which are crucial for generating explosive power in punches.
- Bench Press: The chest, shoulders, and triceps are all important for punching power, and the bench press helps to build up these muscle groups.
- Bent-Over Rows: Bent-over rows help to build up the back muscles, which play a key role in maintaining good posture and stability during punches.
- Pull-ups: Pull-ups are a great exercise for the back, biceps, and forearms, all of which are important for punching power.
You might think that doing leg exercises do little to no good for your punching power and speed, but that is just not true.
The power of your punch comes from your whole body. Starting from your feet, transferring through your core and back muscles, and are only delivered through your arms.
Having overall more strength will help you to throw more powerful punches. If you have one weaker muscle group compared to others, that might be the bottleneck.
Also, keep in mind that proper form and technique are crucial to prevent injury and getting the most out of your weightlifting exercises
Shadowboxing in short is boxing with your own shadow. You don’t actually have to see your shadow, you can do it even in a perfectly lit room or outside in the sunlight.
You are basically fighting an imaginary opponent.
The reason why shadowboxing can make your punches more powerful and faster is that you get used to the motion of throwing a perfect punch.
Throwing punches in the air might seem like a waste of time. However, you are activating the muscles and building muscle memory, to help you throw the punches in the future.
Someone who has never or barely ever thrown a punch will have a hard time throwing punches at first. Shadowboxing can give you some great experience in the proper movement behind the punch.
Here is a more comprehensive post on what shadowboxing is.
4. Resistance band training
By doing resistance band training, you can increase the power of your punches by targeting the muscles used in punching and improving their strength and stability.
Resistance band training activates muscles responsible for throwing the punch from different directions, compared to weight lifting for example.
They also provide constant pressure on the muscles responsible for punching, since you don’t really put the weights down at any time like you would in weight lifting.
You might for example take a resistance band, hold it in both of your hands and make it go behind your back.
Make it as tight as you’d like, and start throwing punches and do different motions to activate the muscles that are used for punching.
Resistance band training can also help you to build up muscle control. There might be areas on the muscles responsible for holding the band that you rarely use. Wake up those muscles and by using them, you will feel more comfortable using them in the future as well.
5. Isometric exercises
Isometric exercises require you to hold a muscle in a still position without any movement to increase strength and stability.
Some of the more and less known isometric exercises to increase your overall strength, which can be translated into more punching power are:
- Plank hold: Hold a plank position, keeping your body in a straight line from head to heels
- Wall squats: Stand with your back against a wall and your feet shoulder-width apart. Slowly lower yourself down into a squat position
- Isometric push-ups: Get into a push-up position, then hold yourself in the up or down position
- Bridge hold: Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the ground. Lift your hips up into a bridge position
Depending on your physical condition, you can hold these positions for 30 seconds up to several minutes.
If you are really out of shape and you find it difficult to do a plank even for 10 seconds, it might be good to find alternative ways to improve your condition at first.
But how will these exercises make your punches more powerful? As I mentioned before, a powerful punch comes from your whole body.
Planks for example are great core exercises. The power from rotating your body while throwing a punch will come from your core, and having stronger core muscles will add more strength to that punch.
These were 5 different types of exercises you can do to improve your punching power and speed.
In the end, you can only get so much power to your punch from the technique. At some point, having more strength overall can make a bigger difference, compared to practicing shadowboxing for another year.
Keeping things balanced is the key. A good amount of technique and strength training is a good way to add the most power to your punches with the least effort.
I hope this was helpful, if so, you can bookmark this page to come back to these exercises later.
Have a wonderful day!