How to Increase Punching Power

One of the most prolific and powerful goals within the combat sports world is a powerful punch. The ability to efficiently and effectively transfer your energy towards a target with maximum power and potential. The systematic execution of this basic motion is a complex total body movement that requires perfect a synergetic combination of coordination, timing and exertion. In addition to this article, we have professional mixed martial artist Josh “The Fireball Kid” Mercado with an exclusive video tutorial on how to increase your punching power. Read more below…

Punching power yields a powerful knockout. Photo Credit- Martin Rhodes

The first thing to realize is that a punch is more than your arm and shoulders. A common mistake is to “arm punch” which is basically a snapping triceps motion that has limited power and speed. A true punch utilizes a rapid succession of micro movements from the ground up to create one seamless conveyance of power through the fist.

  1. Begin your stance in a neutral fighting stance shoulder width apart. Slightly bend your knees and keep more weight on the balls of your feet.
  2. When using your rear punch (cross or straight): Quickly twist your back foot towards your opponent, snapping your leg forward and turning your knee towards your opponent while torquing your leg muscles against the floor to twist rotate faster and on the ball of your foot.
  3. Use the motion from your legs and implementing explosive core strength, quickly twist torque your hips, following in the same motion.
  4. Continuing to use your core and back muscles, snap your rear shoulder forward.
  5. As your shoulders snap forward, whip your arm out as quickly as possible towards your target.
  6. All of the aforementioned motions should be done in extremely rapid succession and practiced while moving in order to avoid telegraphing an impending attack.
  7. Keep your wrist straight and locked while squeezing your fist tight.
  8. Do not focus on the range thereby stopping the punch early. Simply attempt to punch through your target.
  9. Just as quickly as you released your punch return it to your defensive stance to mitigate the chances of a counter punch.
  10. The quicker these motions are executed with rapid contraction of the aforementioned muscles, the more powerful the punch that will be delivered.

Focus on developing your speed and timing without a bag first, then slowly begin to migrate over to a bag while still maintaining the correct motions. Do not revert to “arm punching” or heavy slow heaving punches which simply push the bag. Focus on popping the bag and creating a dent rather than swinging the bag. In order to build strength and power implement total body strength workouts, core exercises and hitting heavy bags.

A well executed punch is vital to developing your combat sports skill set for competition, fitness, self defense, confidence, drills, and any form of training.

Josh Mercado in the cage

Josh Mercado is a professional mixed martial artist with: 6 years of experience in the combat sports world, and has taught Muay thai, brazilian jiu jitsu and Mixed Martial Arts. Josh is a Brown Belt in MMA, standing at 5’6 and weighing 125-135 pounds. Check out Josh’s other SwoleScience collaborations- Stand Up Combinations and Strategy, Kick Drills and Darce Choke, and Basic MMA Strategy.

Josh is currently undefeated with a record of 3-0-0 in Professional Mixed Martial Arts. All three wins are attained via impressive submissions. Josh offers personal training in the South Florida area specializing in- Weightloss, Kickboxing, MMA, Jiu Jitsu, Boxing, Self Defense, Strength Training, Endurance Training, Conditioning. Contact Josh to train at- (305) 905-0522

-Papa Swole

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  1. August 1, 2012

    […] at 5’6 and weighing 125-135 pounds. Check out Josh’s other SwoleScience collaborations- Increasing punching power, Stand Up Combinations and Strategy, Kick Drills and Darce Choke, and Basic MMA […]

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