A lot of the greatest boxers in the history of the sport were able to attain success because they had fast hands; thus it is obvious that training your hand speed in boxing is vital for success.
Having fast hands means your fists reach the target quicker and more explosively. Getting there first is important in the grand scheme of offense and defense. You can shock your opponents and land clean combinations because of your faster hands. So developing your hand speed should become a big part of your training.
Having faster hands often also means you have more power. The hardest punchers in boxing history, like Manny Pacquiao and Mike Tyson, all had incredible speed to go along with their fistic dynamite.
The next time you’re training in the boxing gym, make it a point to develop your hand speed. We’ve come up with a few exercises that directly enhance hand speed. Give them a try and see how fast you can get.
Today, Evolve Daily shares five workouts you can do to improve your hand speed in boxing.
1) Fast push-ups
One of the secrets to getting fast hands is to perform fast push-up. This can train your muscles to fire faster and increase your muscle response. Of course, faster muscle response means better speed and faster punches.
Performing push-ups is a great way to train all the muscles involved in the science of throwing punches. Fast push-ups train the pectoral and shoulder muscles to fire quickly and repeatedly, which gives you better punching speed.
Obviously, never sacrifice speed for form. So even if you’re doing fast push-ups, make sure you get the most out of each rep by maintaining optimal form. Once you get the hang of it, it becomes easier to train, and you will definitely notice the speed boost in your combinations.
2) Jumping rope
Another great workout, and one that is used in boxing quite a lot, is jumping rope. Like the push-up, jumping rope helps develop the muscle group responsible for fast and powerful punches, particularly the fast-twitch muscle fibers in your upper back and shoulders.
When you are in rhythm, try increasing the speed of which you jump rope. This is important because it trains all the necessary muscles to act and react faster than normal. To gain speed, you have to utilize speed. Aside from being a great way to develop your speed, jumping rope also improves your endurance.
Jumping rope is a skill that is trained and learned, so don’t get discouraged if you aren’t that good at it when you first start. With constant practice, consistency, and focus, you’ll develop this skill and improve your punching speed in no time.
3) Core stimulation
Another way to improve your hand speed is to ensure you have enough fuel in your gas tank to be able to fire off rapid punches in succession, and even more importantly, maintain the speed and activity as bouts go on.
The “gas tank” we are referring to is, of course, your core. Good power and energy in boxing is directly tied to having a strong and developed core. Strengthen your core muscles, and you extend your fuel reserves.
Regular core workouts promote good blood circulation and oxygen delivery to your muscles. This is crucial in your overall fitness, and especially in boxing, where there’s constant movement across the upper torso.
Perform sit-ups, crunches, obliques, and leg raises to strengthen your core. Breathing exercises also help condition your body to expend energy wisely and more efficiently. Working your core will make you fast beyond your expectation.
4) Weighted shadowboxing
Shadowboxing is one of the most important workouts in boxing, not only because it accustoms you to the movement of combat, but also because it helps condition your body in the proper boxing techniques.
One way to enhance your shadowboxing workouts, however, is to pick up a light weight to add resistance to your movements. A light weight can be around 1-3 kg, depending on your fitness level. Start off at a lower weight.
The idea is to perform your shadowboxing drills with each weight in hand, increasing the degree of difficulty and stimulating the muscles involved in punching to greater effect. Shadowboxing with weights is an amazing workout in and of itself, and you’ll quickly start to see the benefits.
Try to punch with speed and power with every rep. Practice your full arsenal of punches — your jabs, straights, hooks, and uppercuts — all with weights. Do this for a couple of rounds, and then drop the weights and shadowbox as per normal.
5) Speed bag drills
Last but not least, work the speed bag. The speed bag is your friend.
The speed bag is an amazing workout in boxing and one that explicitly works your hands and trains your hand speed.
It may take some practice, but once you get the hang of punching the speed bag, you’ll be hooked. After getting the rhythm and pacing down, try to punch the speed bag as fast as you can with each cycle. The faster you can go, the faster your hands become.
In boxing, speed kills. And the speed bag is an important tool in improving your hand speed.
Speed bag workouts also improve your hand-eye coordination, rhythm, and timing, and punch accuracy. It’s one of the best workouts to improve your overall boxing skill.