How to Punch Harder? Mistakes to Avoid & Tips to Follow

How to Punch Harder? Mistakes to Avoid & Tips to Follow

Tips on how to punch harder and the terrible mistakes you need to avoid!

Are you looking for ways to increase punching power among other self-defence skills, or are you contemplating signing up with a professional boxing gym? Then mastering your punching technique and improving it is a must.

Factors like your expectation of your opponent’s skills, your balance, timing, and coordination decide the quality and boxing punching power. However, regardless of how coordinated your punching skills are, you won’t be able to, predict the type of blows that happen in the knockout.

Most of the boxing punching power comes from the back and the shoulders, therefore, if you work on your upper body muscles, you land a powerful and fast punch. You can do workouts like shoulder press, pull-ups, and push-ups to target your shoulder and back muscles.

However, before we dive into the ways you can achieve a powerful punch, let’s understand the mistakes people make that can impact their punch strength. If these mistakes are not corrected, they might affect your prospect as an MMA fighter or boxer.

Also Read: A Step by Step Guide to Wrapping Hands for Boxing!

Rookie Mistakes

Leaving Your Feet

Do not leave your feet because it will comprise your balance. The superman punch may look amazing in films, and it may make your jaw drop in some styles of MMA fighting, but it never pays off during a traditional boxing match.

Wildly Throwing Punches

You do not just need to plan your punches intelligently, but you need to time and place them in an optimal manner and land them with a precise aim. Wildly thrown fast punches never find the target. They either get blocked by the opponent or the opponent moves out of the way.


This is a mistake that every rookie makes. Do not telegraph or cock your punch by pulling your hand back before you throw your punch. This gives your opponent the time to come up with a defence against your punch.


Overreaching may assist you in achieving a more powerful punch, but it is ultimately a self-defeating move because it can result in joint injury or pain. Boxing is an amazing sport, and, it is meant to be fun while simultaneously promoting lifelong and daily health. No good professional coach will allow you to reap the short-term perks possibly obtained by a bad form that will eventually lead to an injury.

Related: How to Use a Punching Bag for a Punch Bag Workout?

Basic Theories You Need to Know to Increase Punching Power

Speed Is Not Power

Remember that power is acceleration times mass. So, power is not just speed, you also need to have a weight or a force behind that speed. A fast punch won’t hit your opponent hard unless you add some bodyweight behind it.

Move Your Body

Just like Bruce Lee’s concept behind his renowned one-inch punch: moving your entire body 1 inch has a harder impact as compared to moving your arm 1 foot. Move your body to obtain maximum force (or weight) behind your punch. The trick behind this is to not focus on moving your body for a great distance but instead focus on moving it all at the same time.

Use Your Legs

The biggest muscles in your body always generate the most power when punching. People who punch by using their arms only never punch with real power. So, use your legs.

Stay in Your Range

You don’t land the strongest punch with your arms completely outstretched. Punches hit harder when they land a little shorter than your actual range of motion. Do not reach. Stay inside your range.

Use Different Angles

If you punch from different angles, you will get more boxing punching power, more opportunities, and even more damage to your opponent.

How to Improve Boxing Punching Power

Plyometric Push-Ups

Plyometric training, also called “jump training”, comprises exercises in which the muscles exert maximum force and effort in short bursts. The aim is not just to improve power but also speed.

Plyometric push-ups are one of the most underrated drills for increasing punch power. You can do different variations of this increase, just ensure that your glutes and core remain tight throughout the exercise.

When you’ve enough strength, you can try lifting your feet and hands off the floor. This works amazing for explosiveness and also translates well in the boxing ring.

Work on Your Form

Work on your style, determine your reach and make sure that your punches never go outside your reach. More importantly, train extensively and spend most of your time doing energetic training sessions with a trainer that can help you adjust the punch bag and can spar with you.

When training, focus on keeping the hands up and your back straight. As you master the right form, your coordination will also improve, and punches will have more weight.

Related: How To Fill A Punching Bag? A Step by Step Guide!

Start Slow

Many people focus too much on their speed that their shoulders and torso never end rotating in their blows. They practically throw fast yet underpowered punches. To solve this problem, learn to note how energy moves into your fist.

Take it slow. Pause at the start of a punch, and check your form and then throw the blow at half speed. Involve your body’s all muscles in the punch. Once you know how to add your body’s strength in your punches, then focus on your speed.

Cardiovascular Exercise

Condition your cardiovascular strength if you’re competing. It can make the difference between landing blows, harder and harder, hit after hit, and falling into exhaustion to make your hands move to land a single punch.

Aerobic workout is mandatory for cardio strength. Incorporate it into strength training by doing circuit training. Do 30-60 minutes of rope jumping, jogging, swimming, and other intense cardio during the week to gain cardio strength.

To achieve a similar effect of doing a cardio challenge in the ring, perform a cardio workout first, then mimic the weariness you might feel in the ring by working on your strength training.

Note Your Distance

In a fight, you will have many opportunities to punch. If you are too far away or too close to your opponent, your punch will not pack enough power because it will lose its momentum because of overextending, or you just did not twist far enough.

It’s not about waiting for the other person to be at the correct distance, it’s also about correcting the distance between you and your opponent and learning the right distance for you depending on your reach.

Shadow Boxing

The best way to learn how to punch harder is to do intensive shadow boxing almost every day. You can use shadowbox to warm up before you train, but you must first do warm-up exercises before you shadowbox. Shadowbox before your spar or hit the heavy bag.

The real concept behind shadow boxing is to exercise the correct form and boost your punching speed. For more strength, you can also hold weights when you shadowbox. Shadowboxing can also be transformed into cardiovascular strength training by performing it while jogging.

Also Read: Strength Training for Runners | Complete Guide, Benefits, and Mistakes

Bottom Line

In order to learn how to punch harder, you need to be willing to try new things. Plus, there is always room for improvement. Keep an open mind and pay attention to different strategies and techniques. As you become a better boxer, and your punching technique improves, your power also increases. These tips will help you improve your punching technique to come harder on your opponent.

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Main image: Sergey Nivens, Shutterstock