In martial arts, fights are more often than not won on technique and intelligence, rather than brute force and strength. However, some fighters are just so powerful that it doesn’t matter what kind of game plan their opponents bring onto the battlefield. Their power ultimately shines through.
This kind of power that some fighters possess serves as an equalizer that levels the playing field, closing the gap between technical fight science and a good old-fashioned throw down.
We’ve all seen it. Punching power is an amazing thing to witness. In all its glory, punching power provides for incredibly thrilling bouts, which is why the prospect of a knockout is so alluring. Admittedly, fans come to see the thunder and lighting, as opposed to the underlying science behind it.
But not everyone has punching power. Some fighters just haven’t been blessed with that unique attribute. While the kind of power that scores exciting knockouts is a physical gift, it’s not to say that this sort of power cannot be trained — at least a little.
The heavy hands that explode on impact and don’t even need to land clean — some fighters are just born with it. With a few drills, however, you too can increase your punching power.
Looking to turn your hands into heavy artillery? Today, Evolve Daily shares four drills you can perform to increase your punching power.
1) Medicine Ball Throw
The medicine ball has long been a tool used in boxing to increase punching power, and there are at least two ways to do it.
First, you can lie flat on your back and pick up a really heavy medicine ball. Using both hands, try to throw the ball as high as you can, pushing forward from the chest. Catch the ball with both hands and repeat.
Second, you can pick a medium weight medicine ball and stand upright in your fighting stance. Using just one hand, take the ball into your palm and push forward as hard as you can, throwing the ball against the wall or have a partner catch the ball and throw it back to you. Do this as if you were throwing a punch.
Both methods train the explosiveness in your arms, and work to increase the power generated from your punching muscle fibers. The trick is to try and be as explosive as you can, and throw with as much power as you can.
Do this enough times and you’ll certainly notice an increase in punching power soon.
2) Plyometric Push-Ups
Plyometric training, also known as “jump training”, are exercises in which muscles exert maximum effort and force in short bursts. The goal is not only to increase power but also speed.
The plyometric push-up is one of the most underrated drills that helps to increase your punching power.
Start by getting in the standard push-up position. Dip down like you normally would in a standard push-up, but as you come back up, explode up so that your hands lift up off the ground. This exercise trains arm, shoulder, and pectoral strength — all parts of the body that work to increase your punching power.
You may also perform slight variants, including clapping your hands in mid-air or clapping against your chest. Make sure to keep your core and glutes tight throughout. If you’re not strong enough just yet, you can position yourself with your knees touching the floor and work your way up.
When you’ve gained enough strength and power, you can even try lifting your feet up off the ground along with your hands. This works wonders for your explosiveness and translates well into the ring.
3) Work the Heavy Bag
One of the most important tools in the gym for increasing punching power is the heavy bag. It’s there for a reason, and that’s for you to be able to practice unloading your strongest punches on a non-human target.
For 10 second intervals, throw your combinations and try to hit as hard as you can. That means executing your straights, hooks, and uppercuts with bad intentions. After 10 seconds, perform an active rest time of light jabs and footwork for 10-15 seconds, before going hard for another 10 seconds. Do this for the duration of three-minute rounds, resting for a minute or so in between rounds.
Make sure you pay close attention to technique, however, because proper technique will ensure that you are throwing your punches with optimal force.
Although the heavy bag is a great tool to improve your punching power, most boxers like to train on the heavy bag early in camp and taper off as camp progresses to keep their arms fresh in time for their bouts.
A legendary boxer who used to train the heavy bag a lot was Roberto Duran, also known as “Hands of Stone”.
Lastly, believe it or not, but shadowboxing is one of the best drills for training your punching power, because it ensures you are focusing on technique and proper execution, and forgetting about power completely.
One of the major pitfalls in boxing training is that fighters tend to focus blindly on increasing power, rather than training the technique behind it. Shadowboxing helps to train proper technique which in turn helps to train power.
Make shadowboxing an important part of your training routine. Ideally, you should spend at least 3-5 rounds every session shadowboxing.
Stand in front of a mirror and shadowbox, paying close attention to technique and the way you throw your punches. It’s best to have a trainer or partner supervise, so as to make adjustments in technique and tighten up your offensive game.
As you become a more technically sound boxer, your power increases as well. Furthermore, shadowboxing also trains defense, head movement, and footwork.
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