There’s no doubt that speed and technique are two crucial factors in boxing, MMA or any other combat sport. However, punching power is an aspect of training and fighting that will always intrigue and motivate people. But what is the best way to develop legitimate punching power at home?
Good question! In this post, we’ll talk about how to increase your punching power at home by utilising a range of equipment and exercises.
Can You Improve Punch Power at Home?
Absolutely! Whether you’re someone who trains at a boxing gym or club or simply want to improve punch power before you get more serious about boxing — there’s plenty you can do outside of the gym. However, your sole focus should never be the power of your punches, as speed and technique are vital for developing a well-rounded skill set.
Combining strength and conditioning with various fundamental boxing techniques will help you enhance your skills and confidence as a fighter. But also provide you with the blueprint to improve your overall fitness and health massively. So, let’s talk about how to increase your punching power at home!
Exercises to Improve Punch Power (Some Equipment Needed)
A simple yet effective way to build your strength is using free weights (dumbbells, kettlebells, etc.). You may well already have free weights at home, which means you’re one step ahead! There is a vast range of exercises you can do using free weights, all of which can be used to strengthen different muscle groups and increase both the power and speed of your punches.
Not only this but regularly using free weights (especially thick grip equipment) is a brilliant way of strengthening your hands and wrists. Strong hands and wrists are crucial for delivering powerful punches without causing an injury.
Medicine Ball Throws
Medicine balls are a tried and tested tool within the boxing world and throughout a wide range of other sports and forms of training. A medicine ball is a weighted ball used for strength and conditioning and rehabilitation for various upper-body injuries. But we’re here to talk about how to increase your punching power!
Medicine ball throws are exactly as they sound. Throwing a weighted ball benefits your boxing by encouraging explosiveness in your arms and increasing the power produced by the muscle fibres you use to punch. The two most common ways to throw a medicine ball are as follows:
- Lie flat on your back and hold the medicine ball against your chest with two hands. Then throw the ball in the air and catch it with both hands. It’s best not to go crazy with power right away as you will need to practice the catching technique, plus it makes it easier to maintain a steady flow of repetitions.
- Using a medicine ball you are comfortable with, stand in your fighting stance. Then use one hand, with the medicine ball in your palm, throw the ball as hard as you can against a wall or to a catching partner. Carry out this exercise in the same way you would throw a power punch.
- Bonus exercise: While it may not be a throwing exercise, medicine ball squats are also an excellent way to improve punch power. A great deal of the power of punches is generated in your legs. Squats provide you with a stronger base to throw powerful punches, especially when using a weight such as a medicine ball.
A heavy bag is one of the most essential and widely used tools for power punching training. The reason for this is that you can hit a heavy bag as hard as you can on a non-human ‘opponent’, meaning there’s no reason to hold back, and you can gain a better idea of how hard you hit. With that said, you should always be careful not to injure your hands or wrists by getting too… shall we say ‘eager’? To counter this you should always invest in high quality boxing gloves as well as handwraps.
However, working a heavy bag isn’t just about power. It also allows you to fully focus on your technique as no punches will be coming back at you, as they would be in sparring. An efficient technique is a crucial aspect of punching power. So as you improve your technique, your power will soon follow. Two birds with one stone! Try the following heavy bag routine to get started:
- Throw combinations using straights, hooks, and uppercuts with full power for 10-second intervals.
- Between each power punching set, stay active with light jabs while focusing on your footwork (for 10-15 seconds)
- Continue to switch between power punches and light jab sets until three minutes is up. Then rest for a minute and go at it again. You can try as many rounds as you want, but be careful not to overdo it and hurt your hands or wrists.
Chinups and pullups are considered to be a cornerstone of strength and conditioning. Both of which target multiple muscle groups, and the critical difference between the two is hand placement. They are hugely beneficial for strengthening opposing muscles, meaning you aren’t just focusing on pecs, deltoids, triceps and other muscle groups used for punching.
You can also use weights for additional resistance as you become stronger and want to challenge yourself. These exercises make your arms stronger, but it also improves hand and wrist strength because of the varied hand placement.
Increase Punch Power with No Equipment
You may not have heard the name, but you will likely have seen this exercise before. To perform plyometric push-ups, get in the standard push-up position. Lower yourself as you usually would, but come back up explosively so your hands come off the ground. Doing so trains your arms, pecs and shoulders — essentially, it strengthens the core areas you use to punch. You may have seen people clapping or adopting other variants of this push-up, which are great, but for now, just focus on keeping your core and glutes tight.
This one might surprise you as it’s not a type of exercise that springs to mind when you think about specific ways to improve punch power. But like we said earlier, the fundamentals of boxing and developing good technique is essential for hitting hard. As someone who boxes or incorporates boxing into their workouts, you’ll recognise shadowboxing as one of the go-to forms of punching training.
One of the biggest mistakes you can make is focusing on throwing hard punches without working on your technique. Shadowboxing helps you to consistently work on your technique and, in the process, improve punching power. It’s also very, very simple. Just stand in an open space or in front of a mirror and begin to throw punches, as if you have an imaginary opponent in front of you. Focus on the way you throw punches rather than how hard you are throwing them — good technique encourages a more efficient distribution of power.
So, there you have it. If you have wondered how to increase your punching power at home, now you have a few tips to help you get started. Now, this doesn’t mean that a few pull-ups or throwing around a medicine ball will transform you into Mike Tyson. Developing real punching power takes time, effort and patience — as most things do in boxing or any other sport.
Work hard, rest when you need to rest and keep all of our advice in mind. Now that you know which types of exercises work best for power and the vital benefit of technique, you can begin to tailor specific workouts to benefit you more when it comes to improving punch power.