Speed is one of the most valuable attributes you can have as a boxer. Fast hands allow you to touch your opponent before they touch you, and they make your punches more powerful. Many of the best boxers in history, like Muhammad Ali and Floyd Mayweather, are known for their lightning-quick hands.
But how do you develop such fast hands?
The first step is to understand the mechanics of how to punch faster. Then, you need to practice with the right drills.
In this article, we’ll cover:
- How to throw a faster punch
- 6 drills for improving your hand speed
How To Throw A Faster Punch
Before we get into the drills, let’s briefly go over the mechanics of how to throw a faster punch.
There are three main components to throwing a quick punch:
- The snap of your wrist
- The speed at which you move your arm
- The weight transfer from your legs
The Snap Of Your Wrist
The snap of your wrist is what generates the power in your punch. When you throw a punch, you want to extend your arm and then quickly snap your wrist so that your hand is perpendicular to your forearm. This will give your punches more power.
To hone this, you can shadowbox and focus on the snapping motion at the end of your punches.
The Speed At Which You Move Your Arm
The next component is the speed at which you move your arm. This is determined by how fast you contract your shoulder and chest muscles. To increase the speed of your punches, you need to do exercises that target these muscle groups.
One exercise you can do is medicine ball throws. Start by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart and holding a medicine ball in both hands. Then explosively throw the ball as far as you can. You can also do this exercise with a partner and have them throw the ball back to you after each rep.
The Weight Transfer From Your Legs
The last component is the weight transfer from your legs. When you punch, you want to transfer weight from your back foot to your front foot. This will give you more power and help you generate more speed.
To practice this, you can do lateral hops. Start by standing on your right leg with your left leg bent at the knee. From this position, jump to the left and land on your left leg. Then, immediately jump to the right and land on your right leg. Repeat this for 30 seconds.
6 Boxing Drills That Improve Your Hand Speed
Now that you understand the mechanics of throwing a fast punch, let’s get into the drills. These drills will help you develop the speed and power in your punches:
Shadowboxing helps improve your hand speed and accuracy. When you shadowbox, you have to be quick on your feet and react quickly to your imaginary opponent’s movement. This helps build the muscles in your arms and shoulders, which will make your punches stronger.
To start, stand in front of a mirror and throw punches at your reflection, focusing on using correct technique. Start slow and increase your speed without compromising technique. You can also try moving around the mirror and throwing punches from different angles.
2) Punching Mitts
Punching mitts are a great way to improve your hand speed, reflexes, and accuracy. Hitting mitts works many aspects of boxing like your footwork, slipping, ducking, and combinations. It requires you to react quickly to your trainer’s callouts, improving your hand speed and reaction time.
To start, stand in front of your trainer and throw punches at their mitts, while sticking to proper technique. Your trainer will give you feedback during the drill, helping address any weaknesses.
3) Double-End Bag Drills
A double-end bag is one of the best ways to improve your hand speed. This bag hangs from the ceiling and bounces back and forth when hit. This forces you to be quick on your feet and react quickly to the bag’s movement.
To start, stand in front of the double-end bag and throw punches at it, focusing on the snap of your wrist. Gradually increase your speed as you get the timing down. You can also try moving around the bag and throwing punches from different angles.
4) Reflex Bags
Another great way to improve your hand speed is to use a reflex bag. This type of bag is similar to a double-end bag, but it’s heavier and doesn’t bounce back as much. This means you have to be even quicker in your punches.
To start, stand in front of the reflex bag and throw punches at it, focusing on the snap of your wrist. Start slow and increase the speed of your punches as you become more comfortable. You can also try moving around the bag and throwing punches from different angles.
5) Speed Bag Drills
Speed bags are a great way to improve your hand-eye coordination. When you hit a speed bag, you must time your punches so that they hit the bag in the center. This requires you to be quick and accurate with your punches.
To start, stand in front of the speed bag and throw punches at it, making sure you snap your wrist with every punch you throw. Gradually pick up the speed of your punches as you get the timing of the speed bag down. You can also try moving around the bag and throwing punches from different angles.
6) Heavy Bag Drills
Heavy bags are a great way to build power in your punches. When you hit a heavy bag, you must generate a lot of force to move it. This helps build the muscles in your arms and shoulders, which will make your punches stronger.
To start, stand in front of the heavy bag and throw punches at it. Make sure you use proper form when throwing your punches and bring your hands back to the original defensive position after each punch. You can also try moving around the bag and throwing punches from different angles.
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