To have a hard punching power can be a real gift and be very helpful when it comes to sports like a boxing fight. The reason is crystal clear, with hard and heavy punches; you can with considerably few shots can do some grave damage to your opponent, and end the game quickly.
All of that sounds macho and cool, but how does one know if they have high punching power? Are there signs of a person being a hard hitter? How do you measure your hitting power?
The answer to it will be rather easy if he or she has some experience in sparring or boxing, they will probably know a thing or two about punching power. But if one has never practiced sparring or other such activities or sports or are still at a beginner stage, it might not be so easy to gauge.
But there are still a few basic things one can do, that might help one to find out if they are a hard puncher or not:
If you frequent at Pad hitting as part of gym or training, ask the person who holds the pads for their feedback. Human hands are very sensitive, so when punching someone’s hands, even though covered with the pads, they will be able to give you genuine feedback on your punching power.
The guy who you practice sparring will know your punching power better than anybody. Simply asking for feedback or noticing if he was stunned or dazed after your strong punch will tell you a thing or two about your punching power.
How much does the heavy bag move when you hit it can help you get an idea of your punching power, moreover the punching bag will not exaggerate or downplay the punch.
Punching the air
If you throw a punch in the air, and you get a feel as if you are shooting with some heavy object, you probably hit hard. But if you feel your fist feels light chances are that you don’t have hard punching power.
Apart from anything, genetics play a vital role when it comes to your punching power. A large portion of how hard you hit is governed by your muscles, bones and ligament structure. A higher percentage of fast-twitch muscle fibers can determine the punching ability.
The fast-twitch muscle is associated with a person’s explosive power, which one uses when jumping, punching, sprinting etc. However, the factor that is as crucial as genetics is the technique or tactic that a person uses. If a person’s technique is good, they will be able to generate greater power with their entire body.
The big hands and wrists aren’t going to help you generate more power when punching. But they will allow you to efficiently shift the force that you generate with your whole body, into the target. That is why big hands are important when it comes to punching power; it is a sign of a hard puncher.
Weight in boxing symbolizes that the heavier you are, the powerful the punches will be. What is really interesting about this is that when you weigh more, and even if your punching technique is not perfect, you will still be able to punch hard. You can see it in the heavyweight boxing matches. The knockout percentage in the heavyweight divisions is considerably higher.
This is no way saying that one should not improve his or her technique if they are a heavyweight. But on the contrary, if your technique is good, you will be able to punch harder.
The speed is the other aspect of the equation. You can compensate for the lack of weight with hand speed. If you double your speed, you will quadruple your punching power. That is why many boxers including greats like Manny Pacquiao relied on their hand speed when throwing punches.
Similarly if you have broad shoulders, large chest and tight pelvis you will be able to rotate your upper body rather fast when punching, which will then increase the power of your shots. But even if your body isn’t shaped that particular way, it does not mean that you cannot hit hard. Strong back muscles
The upper back muscles can help you generate great power, especially when talking about overhands and hooks. So if your back muscles are big, it will probably mean that it can be a hard puncher.
While a person cannot control his or her genetic makeup, a proper and accurate punching technique is something that a person can learn by practicing. It might take some time to acquire a good technique, but eventually the punching power will increase over time.
To hit hard, you need to throw the shots using your whole body, not just your shoulder and your arm. That way you will increase the power that goes in the punch dramatically. You need to start the punch from your legs then rotating the pelvis and then the upper body followed by releasing the blow. That way you will build huge momentum.
Balance is really very important when attempting to throw powerful punches. That is why when doing so, you need to position your feet properly and stay in a little wider stance than your usual stance. That will help to generate more power and throw a blow without losing balance.
It does not matter much how hard you hit if your punch misses its target. That is why in boxing, the accuracy of the shot is way more vital than its power, especially when you are trying to knock someone out. That way even if you might not be the hardest puncher, you can effectively knock someone out. If your punches are not very precise, the best way to deal with it is by doing some serious pad work.
Some basic factors that you must understand in order to punch hard:
- Realizing that speed does not always mean power. Power is not just speed; you must have some force or weight behind that speed to back it up. No matter how fast a punch is, it will not hit hard unless you put some body weight to back it.
- You must move your body. Take cue from Bruce Lee. The theory behind his famous one-inch punch was moving your whole body. Moving your body even by an inch hits much harder than moving just your arm by one foot. You must move the entire body to get the maximum force or weight behind a punch. The trick however is not to just focus on moving your body a great distance but rather it is to move it all at the same time.
- Effectively using your legs. One of the biggest muscles in our body will definitely generate the maximum power. The boxers who punch only with their arms will never be able to punch with their real power. The secret lies in using your leg muscles as well.
- Always remember to stay inside your range. Your hardest punches will not land on your rival if your arms are stretched fully out. Your punch hits the hardest when it lands at a considerably shorter place than your full range of motion.
- Using the angles for impact. It is no secret that punching from different angles will give your punches different power, it will also award more punching opportunities, and do more damage to your opponent.
So is there a way to punch harder?
As we have already mentioned there are certain signs of being a big puncher. But there are certain ways in which a person could actually increase his or her punching power a little bit even if not drastically.
By not pushing the punches
Which simply means to first land the punch and thereafter rotating the hips and torso. It is a common mistake and in order to avoid it, one needs to begin a punch first from the heels, followed by the hips, upper body and finally land it.
That way one will be able to build momentum and the punch will turn out to be much more powerful. Also exhaling when punching will not only help breath during a fight or spar but it will also make the punches a little hard and sharp.
Try setting the aim with your elbow and not with the fist
This exercise will help you throw the punches with better technique. By trying to hit the target with the elbow and then releasing the punch at the end will improve your impact. Also visualizing punching through a target will make your shots much harder.
Heavy bag training
The bag training is a crucial aspect of the process of developing punching power. Shadowboxing will not exactly make the punches hard but will help develop proper technique, which is very crucial when it comes to punching.
Common mistakes that boxers make to drain power out of their punches
- By lifting your feet when delivering a punch. If you out of a habit lift your feet, you have unknowingly taken your body weight out of your punch thereby reducing its power.
- If you are constantly reaching. Always remember by over-extending is not necessarily the most effective trick. It is a possibility that you will just lose your balance and end up getting countered. Also it will limit you to one punch only, whereas keeping your balance and being in your range will allow you to throw multiple punches.
- Forgetting the jab. If you do not throw your jab, you will never be able to be in a position to set up those big punches. Using the jab is necessary as it is short, powerful, and can help in stunning or distracting your opponent allowing you an opportunity to deliver a powerful blow.
- Trying to Punch too fast. What happens when you get too excited is that you start throwing arm punches where it is simply your arm power being used. But as time goes by, your arms will tire and then you will be left with no power.
- Not doing the proper exercises to train the right muscles.
In order to punch harder, one must be willing to try new things. As goes with any form of sports and with almost everything, there is always room for improvement and a chance to get better at something or the other. Keeping an open mind and paying greater attention to techniques and tactics may be your best shot to learn. Trying different punching techniques distinct from your old and practiced ones will help you improve your punches and game.