Whether you want to hone some upper body strength or just improve your punches from their speed to their power, you need some good punch workout. There are many exercises out there, but some are more useful for your goals than others. We took a look into some specific exercises to find the most beneficial punches routines for your needs.
Though there is an abundance of punching workouts, we decided to examine a handful that will provide some good intensity and serve as an adequate cardio and aerobic routine.
Heavy Bag – Basic Combos
An excellent way to get in a great aerobic exercise is by attacking the heavy bag with some basic combinations. Go for 4-5 3-minute rounds with a 30 second rest in between them.
You can always pace yourself if you are not used to going at a bag this long. With this exercise, you don't have to use your full power as you will most likely tire yourself out before you get to the second round. Also, remember to mix up the punches thrown and keep moving around the bag.
Heavy Bag – HIIT Drills
High-intensity Interval Training, otherwise known as HIIT, is an incredible form of cardiovascular exercise. It also makes for an excellent punches workout against a heavy bag. This may be better performed with those who are comfortable with high-intense training, so don't try this if you are a beginner.
What you will do is go for the bag using a 30-30-30 drill.
For the first 30 seconds, you won't be expending much power or speed. Instead, work on simple combos like jabs and such.
For the next 30 seconds, perform alternating punches with high knees. Do not let up here; keep the pace quick and controlled.
With the last 30 seconds, go full-power with your punches as if you're trying to knock out an opponent. Crosses and hooks work well for this portion of the drill.
Speed Bag – Endurance Training
One of the greatest things about a speed bag is that it forces you to react whether you want to or not. The bag is always coming back, so you are able to get in some incredible forced speed training here. Not only that, but these bags can improve your overall accuracy and reflexes.
For this specific exercise, we'll be focusing more on your endurance. Going the distance with a speed bag can provide an intense workout. Like with the other workouts, start out small if you are not used to such training.
As for the workout, start punching the bag non-stop for one minute (30 seconds if you don't feel comfortable). For the next set, you'll add 30 seconds onto your time and so on. Remember to rest for about one minute in between sets. You can do five or so of these, and you will certainly feel it not just in your arms, but in your shoulders.
Consider the size for doing this workout. Larger bags require you to punch harder in order to get a strong rebound out of them. This can help with the intensity of the workout.
Though we have provided some good punching exercises, it will help to understand the basics about a punch before you try them out. We'll focus on the following topics:
- Throwing a proper punch
- Basic punches
How to Throw a Punch
You may be surprised how easy it is to throw an improper punch. If you want to get the most out of the exercises explained earlier, you will need to know how to hit correctly to keep yourself safe.
For starters, remember your stance. You may not be trying to dodge someone in the ring, but stance is still important to overall power and how your hit will land. Keep your feet about a shoulder-width apart with your dominant foot behind you. To ensure you keep your balance, have your knees bent. Also, when you throw a punch, pivot with your hips for good punching power.
Now, work on making a proper fist so that you don't injure yourself. Never leave your thumb on the outside of your fist. All this will do is cause you to break your thumb. Instead, wrap it outside across the bottom of your curled fingers, and make sure that you keep your fist tight. A loose one doesn't just make for weak hits, but can damage your wrist.
When you do strike, you'll be hitting with the first two knuckles. Roll your shoulders as well; you don't want to be stiff when you're punching as you won't get the most out of your workout.
Types of Punches
We mentioned in the exercises that you can use a variety of combinations. To do this, be aware of the most basic punches you should utilize:
- Jab: This is a hit that is rapid and thrown with the lead hand. It is perhaps the most common punch you will frequently use during your punching exercises. To successfully use this, lightly rotate your torso and your hips when you strike.
- Cross: Thrown with your rear hand, this is a powerful straight punch. Make sure the rear shoulder is thrust forward as well while the lead hand is tucked near the face to protect the chin.
- Hook: This punch is thrown in a semi-circle with either hand, but it is more frequently used with the lead hand. The hips and torso are rotated in order to help propel the fist.
- Uppercut: With the rear hand, you'll throw this vertical, rising punch. The torso will shift slightly as you force your hand upward.
There are several ways you can work your shoulders, core, arms, but you need to have the right punches workout to do so. The above should provide you with a good idea on what to do to get a good aerobic and anaerobic exercise. Always remember to warm up properly and use the right protective gear before attempting any of the workouts, and you should be on your way to developing faster, more powerful punches.