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How To Increase The Power Of All Your Punches

People I have trained have often asked me why my punches are so powerful and how they can learn to generate power just as I do. In this article, I am going to explain how I can generate the power that I do. It is nothing special; you must learn proper body mechanics.

Your Stance

Proper punching begins with a proper stance so Let’s start with your stance. Below are four tips that will help better your stance.

1. Foot Position

Your feet are the most critical factor in determining your balance. The more you can feel and control the position of your feet, the better you will be at punching (or kicking or moving for that matter.)

Your feet should be staggered and placed slightly wider than your hips. Your weight distribution between both feet should be fifty-fifty. Both feet should be angled slightly to the side, and your knees should be facing in the same direction of the feet. Having your feet and knees aligned will minimize the dissipation of your force and provide a more stable base for your punch. Your rear heel should be raised slightly with the weight placed on the ball of your foot. Your elevated heel will be the trigger for your punch. Never stand flatfooted on both feet as it will hinder your movement.

2. Abdominal Tension and Hip Position

Whenever you are in a fighting stance, you want a small amount of tension kept in your abdominal muscles. Also, it is essential that your pelvis be positioned directly underneath your shoulders. This will allow for a stronger defense, assist you in transferring force to your extremities, and improve your balance by keeping your spine in an optimal position.

Take my word for it; you do not want to be hit in a relaxed stomach. Once I was fighting in a tournament. My opponent was shorter than me. When he saw an opening, he dropped to one knee and hit me with a blow to my solar plexus that knocked all the air out of me. I just stood there for a second and then dropped. Body shots have a nasty way of stealing the life from you, especially when they are met with zero resistance, which is what I gave him. Tensing your abs will aid your movements for delivering a powerful punch.

3. Arm Position

The placement of your fists, forearms, and elbows is extremely important for punching power. Having these three things in the proper position can significantly add to you the power of your punches.

Your right (or rear) elbow and forearm stays close to the body and protects the solar plexus, the liver, and the ribs. Do not flare your elbows out to the side and open up the ribcage. The right (or rear) fist stays close to the face and is positioned on the jaw or cheekbone. This protects the face and gives your fist the appropriate path to attack your opponent (reverse if left-handed.)

Your forearms and elbows aid in protecting your solar plexus and ribcage. Your left fist should be held at nose level. This will help protect your centerline while not obstructing your vision to throw your punch.

4. Head Position

The position of your head is also critical in self-defense as a bad head position can lead to knockouts and broken noses. Your head should be slightly tilted forward with your chin practically glued to your collarbone. Keeping your head in this tucked position will aid in protecting your nose and the soft tissue of the eyes. Never move your head from this position!

Your Punch

Now let’s examine how you can generate power with your blow. When you throw a strike with your hand or elbow, the lower body must be involved, or the strike will have no power using only the muscular structure of just your arm, with the other upper body muscles acting as stabilizers. You have to put your entire body into the blow to generate power (MV=P, Mass times Velocity = Power.)

1. Keep your elbow in close to your side

We already established this with your stance. Try this experiment. Put your arm at your chest with your elbow sticking out to the side. Have a partner hold your arm at your chest as you attempt to extend your arm straight out in front of you. Now bring your elbow into your side and push again. Notice the difference in strength when you can utilize both the upper and lower body as opposed to when you just use the strength of your triceps muscle? Keeping that elbow in will generate power.

2. Exhale explosively as you strike

To punch with power, you must exhale when you punch. Try holding your breath and throwing a punch, then repeat the same punch exhaling hard as you execute it. You will notice a difference in your power. Exhaling also helps to prepare your body for a strike in case an attacker gets through your defenses.

3. Stay relaxed

To punch with power, you must stay relaxed. Tighten up all your muscles and throw a punch. Now relax as much as possible, stopping just short of full extension of your elbow to prevent hyperextension. By not incorporating those muscle groups which hinder a movement. Many people don’t get this. Instead of relaxing, they tighten their muscles when they punch. By relaxing you will have more striking power with less energy expelled.

4. Snap turn your wrist

Snapping the wrist, as you begin your punch, will add speed to your strike. By increasing the speed of the strike, you increase the energy of the strike, which transfers to power. Your wrist should tense near the end of the strike to help prevent injury to your wrists.

5. Your hips follow your fist

Many people punch by thrusting their hips forward as they punch with their foot staying flat on the ground for stability. This is not the proper way to punch. By twisting the hip even to such an extent that you push onto the ball of your back foot to incorporate the calf muscle you involve the gluteal (butt muscles) and quadriceps (thigh muscles) generating more power. You will feel a tendency to swing instead of punch straight. Don’t do it. Be sure to keep your elbow in line with your wrist as you throw the blow and keep your elbow close to your side.

If you incorporate these movements into your punch, including as many joints and muscles into the execution of the strike as possible, and use proper breathing, I guarantee you that your punch will generate much more power.

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