What are the best exercises for increasing punching power? In this article, we’ll ignore the gimmicks, pseudo-science and bro-science that currently surrounds this question. Instead, we’ll go straight to the techniques that will actually help you develop a more powerful punch.
Most guys want to develop a more powerful punch. There’s just no denying it; while few of us want to see more violence in our lives, we all want to be better able to protect ourselves and our loved ones. That typically means learning how to throw a better, more effective punch.
But the information available online for how to actually achieve a more powerful punch is far from helpful. Instead of clear, evidence-based training methods, we are often given training gimmicks, as well as advice that is – if anything – counter-productive to developing punching power.
In many cases, people just prescribe augmented bodybuilding workouts for developing punching power. You don’t need to be a seasoned boxer to know that heavy weightlifting does not lead to more knockout punches!
So what really increases punching power?
Let’s take a look at some of the most effective techniques.
Heavy bench presses, done in ‘bodybuilding fashion’ wont help you achieve a more powerful punch at all. Professional fighters – boxers, MMA fighters, martial artists – do not train with heavy weights, and their primary goal is never to increase muscle mass for muscle mass’ sake. Heavy bench press training trains you to lift heavy weights from your chest. That’s it.
But according to One Punch Workouts, the same movement done in explosive fashion is a different story.
I recommend explosive pushups because pushups allow you to do lots of repetitions, every single day, in an explosive manner without putting too much strain on either your muscles, your joints, or your connective tissues.
Training explosive pushups on a regular basis will develop the kind of movement patterns you need to unleash a knockout punch. It will train both your mind-muscle connection, your technique, and your ability to fire your fast-twitch muscles fibers (the fibers with the most potential for power output).
Box jumps will give you both endurance and explosive power in your legs. This is important because all the power in your punches ultimately come from the ground up.
You can try this for yourself and see what I mean; stand perfectly still with your feet planted on the ground. Do not bend your knees at all. Using your upper body only, throw a punch. It will probably be the weakest punch you’ve ever thrown.
That’s because your punching power comes from your legs, the momentum is directed by your hips, and then the final movement comes from your chest, shoulder and arm. The upper body is responsible for a tiny amount of the power in a punch; it is more of a target finder than the source of a punch’s power.
Box jumps will give you the muscular endurance and the fast power output you need to throw powerful punches in rapid succession. That is how true punching power is developed, as is the ability to stay in a fight for as long as is necessary without becoming overly fatigued.
Heavy bag punching
Finally, we come to the real “heavy hitter” of boxing workouts – the heavy bag.
Every great boxer developed their punching power through heavy bag work.
Yes, technique is important for throwing hard punches. Of course strength plays a part; you couldn’t hit hard if you didn’t have enough muscle to generate power from the floor, up your body, and out through your fist.
But it is the combining of technique and power that really produces a hard punch, and that is developed through heavy bag work. Lots and lots of heavy bag work.
This really is an indispensable part of training to have a more powerful punch. Mike Tyson says that he developed his punching power through heavy bag work alone.
By repeatedly hitting a bag with as much force as you can generate, you are doing two things. Firstly, you’re actually training the muscles you use when you punch. Secondly, you’re mastering the technique of explosive punching. When the movements involved in punching properly become rote, and all the muscle systems used in punching are developed fully, you’ll be unstoppable.