How to throw a boxing punch with perfect form

You Dont Have to be a Big Guy to Hit Really Hard!

Let me begin by saying, learning how to punch effectively is not predicated on ones size or strength. While it’s true that your body weight can substantially increase the power of your strike, it’s not the only determining factor. For example, take a look at the late Bruce Lee who weighed approximately 130 pounds, yet he knew how to punch harder than a professional heavyweight boxer. Lee was able to do this because of two important factors. First, he mastered the fundamentals of punching technique. Simply put, he knew the correct way to throw a punch. Second, Mr. Lee exploited the laws of kinetic energy by relying on movement speed instead of body weight to generate his impact power.


Punch Through Your Target

Jabbing is a huge part of boxing and fighting, because not only can a well-placed jab really daze your opponent, it can also help you find your range and determine how to throw a bigger, more powerful punch. Punching through your target—as opposed to punching to a point of contact—is ideal because of, well, physics. Mass has a lot to do with punch effectiveness, but unless you know how to grow a bigger fist, there really isn’t much you can do to change that. What you can do is maximize your velocity to work in concert with your mass, create momentum, and thus, force/power. Punching through your target allows momentum to build right up into your contact point, which is fancy-nerd-speak for, “If you connect, you’re far more likely to do a lot more damage, or even knock a dude out.” Link

How can I test my punching power at home?

If you’re working without boxing equipment at home, such as a punching bag, your boxing training can still be very effective since professional fighters shadowbox all the time–it’s probably not a great idea to see how powerful your punch is by hitting something with all your might. One thing you can measure is your stamina and your speed. Keep count of how many punches you can do in a set amount of time, making sure to use the correct technique.

Punching technique should always come first so your body learns the right muscles to propel your punch while protecting your other muscles. For example: When you throw a punch, you should feel your glutes flexing while you turn your body. This means that multiple muscle groups are active to throw the punch and your whole body is engaged.

After you’ve perfected your punching technique, you can start punching a little faster. You can see if you can throw more punches in that same amount of time and continue to progress, punching with more power.

FightCamp tracks strength and speed for you while you complete your session. You don’t have to worry about stats–FightCamp’s punch trackers will take care of the numbers for you while you stay in the zone and perfect your punches.

Step 5: Targets

See below for an overview of the most common targets. Personally, in a self-defense situation, I would favor a heel-palm strike to the nose. It is very painful, does not cause serious damage, and makes their eyes water so you can escape.

Straight Punch Technique VIDEO

Benefits of Straighter Punches

Better Form

Good form will deliver more power and reduce the chance of injury. By stretching the inside of your arm and reaching with your big knuckles, you are hitting with a straighter arm. Throwing *crooked* “straight punches” will hurt your hands because the fist swings inwards (even if only slightly) and impacts on the smaller knuckles. This mistake alone is the cause of many common hand injuries for beginners!

More Speed

The straighter punch arrives faster and has less recovery time because it bounces straight back at you. A *crooked* “straight punch” has that looping effect where it swings off to the side requiring you to spend more energy to recover the hand. By the way: a straighter punch has much less telegraphing making it appear faster to your opponent.

Strategic Advantage

A straighter punch can penetrate your opponent’s defense better. A straight punch can truly penetrate up the middle whereas a slightly curved one gets deflected away. Worst of all, you don’t want a straight punch to over-rotate you so much that it slows down your follow-up punch.

*** Why Do Some Fighters Stretch the Outside of Their Arm?

Some fighters do it because they’re trying to get extra reach or extra power. Others don’t know how to punch and so it’s more natural to swing wide than to punch straight up the middle. The biggest risks of stretching the outside of your arm is landing on the smaller knuckles (instead of the first two), and also that you might be pulling yourself off balance and slowing your follow-up punches.

It’s not improper technique to stretch the outside of your arm when you punch. Just know that this curve your punch slightly.

Other Factors

Speed and Precision

Anyone throwing a well-placed punch with good speed dramatically increases their chances of hurting their opponent, no matter how hard they can or cannot punch.

That’s why you should always focus on your speed and accuracy before power. One way you can improve on your hand speed and precision is by working the double end bag, which also helps to improve your timing.


If you want extra power, then always make sure that you’re in the right position to throw a punch. This means that your opponent should be within range and directly in front of you. If he’s too far to your left or right, it doesn’t mean you won’t catch him, it just means your power will be reduced.


Remember to exhale everytime you throw a punch, and inhale when you’ve finished. If it helps, make a noise to exhale, but whatever you do, do not hold your breath because it will quickly drain your energy.


No matter how fast your opponent is, you can always beat him if you have excellent timing, and timing is necessary for counterpunching. You probably already know that the punches that hurt the most are the ones that you don’t expect.

Being a good counterpuncher means that you’re more likely to catch your opponent off guard, which not only causes more pain, but will usually make him reluctant to attack.

Do You Know How to Punch Injury Free?

Learning how to punch without sustaining a hand injury requires you to understand and ultimately master a few concepts and body mechanic principles. Keep in mind that you don’t have to be a martial arts expert to master these basic principles. Essentially, there are four main causes of punching related hand injuries. They are weak structural integrity of the fists, poor skeletal alignment of the hands, wrists and forearms and hitting the wrong anatomical target. While there are different body mechanics for each and every punch, there are four things that must take place in order to avoid a hand injury. They include the following:

  • Knowing how to make a proper fist.
  • Strong hands, wrists and forearms.
  • Maintaining skeletal alignment when your fist makes contact with its target.
  • Hitting the proper anatomical target and avoiding contact with extremely hard boney surfaces.

4. Right hooks

This is a reversal of the left hook and is a bit challenging because it emanates from your rear side. It is also a bit slow but is best combined with the left and perfect for a close-range attack. The proper boxing technique is that of the left hook that is reversed. Remember not to overextend or be too slow. Protect your chin with the other hand.

The right hook is a power punch since the whole body is activated. The body rotates to transfer the power from the toes through the core to the right fist. The generated energy is released when the fist reaches the target.

Learn more: Right & Left Hook Punches for Beginners

2. Right Cross or Straight

This is the perfect knockout punch. You have the additional torque that is provided by both the shoulders and hip. Because of overextending the arm, you are incredibly vulnerable. It is therefore used as a follow-up to a jab or other hits.

When throwing it, the upper body is turned towards your fighting opponent. You pivot with your back foot and rotated hips. The arm extends in a coiled spring manner. All this time, guard your chin with your left hand and recoil the hand as fast as possible. After the cross is thrown, the hands should be retracted quickly and the guard position should resume.

The cross is also a powerful counter punch targeting the head or the body when the opponent throws a jab. Cross usually follows the jab, which is the classic 1-2 punch combination. But, we can find it in many other typical boxing combinations. Straight punches are used to quickly damage the opponent’s head or torso.

Learn more: Proper cross punch techniques

Hit The Spot

If you’ve been keeping up on all our excellent self-defense stuff lately, then you already know where that spot is. But this article is about throwing a better punch, so it’s important to recap. Hitting the right spot is extremely important in a fight, because more often than not, it doesn’t take a whole lot of force to put someone to sleep. Taps on the nose, temple, tip of chin, jaw, neck, solar plexus, kidneys, and behind the ear are all your best places to hit someone if you’re really trying to inflict some damage. So, don’t be the guy who breaks his hand trying to punch someone in the shoulder.

1. Jab

With your lead foot forward, extend the arm on that side and use your first two knuckles as a guide. Without overextending your elbow, jab straight ahead, bringing your fist back up to guard your face. Jabs are meant to be faster than they are harder, so the key thing to remember with a jab is to bring back your hand quickly. Once you feel you’ve perfected a single jab, make it a double, always bringing your fist back to protect your face.

Power it up!

To put more power into your jab, put your whole body into it. Think of the power that is coming through your arm starting from your feet, coming all the way up through your legs, core, shoulder, and out through your arm.


  • If you aren’t engaging in a combat sport, never punch someone unless you’re being attacked and can’t get away. The goal of learning self-defense is to protect yourself, not start an unnecessary fight.

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  • If you’re practicing your punching with a heavy bag, speed bag, hand pads, or sparring match, always wear hand wraps. If you don’t, you’re more likely to break your wrist or injure your hand.[22]

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Throw the punch

Now it’s time to send some fingers flying. The first thing to remember is that the punch should go straight forward, rather than out to the side. The idea is to send your fist out and bring it right back to its original position, with as little extraneous motion as possible.

If you flare your arm out, like in the movies, your target will have plenty of time to avoid or block the strike—and you’re going to leave yourself wide open to getting a punch in your own face.

The full punch motion stems from turning your hips. Imagine swinging a baseball bat with just your arms and no hip swivel: It’s not very powerful. The same idea applies to hitting with just your fist.

When you start the punch, pivot your back foot on its ball and push your body forward. You don’t want to exaggerate the motion and throw yourself off balance, but you want to feel your lower body pushing your arm forward. As you push off your foot, turn your hips and extend your arm straight toward the target. Don’t flare your elbow or try to loop around in a big hook punch.

Also, don’t overextend into the punch. You want to feel in control and balanced at all times during the process. If you over-commit and fall forward, you’ll put yourself in a vulnerable position.

View this post on Instagram Every action has led to this || @lukerockhold #mma #ufc #lukerockhold #canon #perth #australia #ufc221 #redditphotography A post shared by Ryan Loco (@ryanloco) on Feb 9, 2018 at 8:55am PST

(Above: MMA fighter Luke Rockhold keeps his other hand up when he throws a punch so no one strikes his face. You should, too.)

Step 2: Upper Body Dynamics

A punch has the most power when thrown from the hip. While a seemingly obvious statement, you would be surprised by how many people want to throw short, 6-8″ punches. While Bruce Lee had the “One inch Punch,” the rest of us should have a little more wind up in their punch. Also, twist the hips when you punch. Otherwise, you are robbing the punch of much of its power. When throwing multiple punches, it is important to bring the fists all the way back and twist the hips when you punch, to avoid rapid little punches that don’t do anything.

Types of Punches

The rules above to punch harder are generally the same for all types of punches, however, the technique of each punch is different, so I would recommend that you check out these other articles to understand exactly how to throw a specific punch.

2. Make Two Fists

Curl the tips of your fingers in toward the center of your palm. Wrap your thumb over and behind the index and middle fingers — never wrap your fingers around your thumb.

Align your wrist with your forearm so that there’s a straight line from your elbow crease to your knuckles.

If you’re sparring with an opponent or using a punching bag, “not locking your wrist straight into position can result in injury to the ligaments and tendons of the wrist,” says Jason Salter, certified personal trainer, boxing/kickboxing instructor, and co-owner of Forged Soul Fitness in Berlin, New Jersey.

A program like 10 Rounds, which features shadowboxing, is a great way to get the benefits of a boxing workout — without actually having to hit anything (or anyone).


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