How to Get Faster Punches & Increase Power at Home
Often, the highest performing boxers aren’t the strongest, but those who are dedicated to building impeccable form, increased endurance, and agility. As Muhammad Ali puts it, “I'm so fast that last night I turned off the light switch in my hotel room and was in bed before the room was dark.”
Whether you’re looking to hone your skills before facing off with a competitor or are sheerly committed to pushing your potential at home, the secret to landing faster punches lies in honing your workouts for punch speed, accuracy, and power.
In this quick primer, we’re breaking down how to get faster punches from the comfort of your home.
What’s the Secret to A Faster Punch?
If you’re wondering, “how can I improve my boxing speed?” it’s important to note that accelerating your punches isn’t necessarily about building sheer strength or fast hands. To learn how to increase punch speed, you need to focus on two key factors that facilitate more rapid muscle responses:
- Foundation – Fortifying your lower body is essential for landing a chain of punches in short order. In addition to honing your technique, preparatory training should include workouts for your trunk and core to build stability and balance. Specialized footwear like boxing shoes can provide extra traction, ensuring your feet and legs don’t budge.
- Technique – Technique, and strategy go hand in hand. Not only will honing your technical skills enable you to meet your target, but developing a repertoire of punch tactics can help you conserve and calculate your energy expenditure instinctively. This ensures your punches not only land faster, but that you can sustain that tempo for longer durations.
How Can I Increase My Punch Power?
When we talk about power, we’re talking about the physics of force. Punching force is effectively the transfer of kinetic energy—the energy an object possesses due to its motion.
Think about a ball rolling down a hill or even the interval wind-up you perform before you hit a punching bag: The ball’s impact, or the power of your punch, hinges on the speed of weight transfer from your stance and into your fist.
This is called the rate of force development (RFD), which describes how long it takes your muscles to ramp up their explosive strength between punches. Five types of training have been shown to enhance RFD in professional and amateur athletes alike:
- Resistance Training: whether with weights, your body weight, or workout bands
- Ballistic Training: by either throwing weights or jumping with them
- Plyometric Training: which uses jumping exercises to foster explosive strength
- Balance Training: which typically focuses on building trunk and core strength
- Weight Lifting: which helps to strengthen muscles and promote joint mobility
By incorporating exercises from each of these modalities into your boxing workout routine and learning what muscles a boxing workout targets, you’ll shore up the motor responsiveness, tactical precision, and power necessary to fire off punches in quick succession.
How to Make Your Punches Faster: Two Different Workouts
Whether you’re shadowboxing or engaging in 3-hour sweat sessions with your punching bag in the garage doesn't matter. Learning how to increase punch power at home starts with incorporating exercises designed to train your muscles to contract and extend rapidly, and practicing with consistency.
#1 Plyometric Push-Ups
You won’t need any extra equipment for this exercise. Plyometric push-ups are designed to build power, strength, and stability in:
When done with excellent technique, plyometric push-ups are indispensable for enhancing fast-twitch muscle fibers in your upper body. Here’s how they’re performed:
- Assume a plank position, with shoulders stacked over wrists. Pull your body weight forward, tug your navel into your spine, and tighten your glutes. Stay light on your toes.
- Bend the elbows to a 90-degree angle, but instead of pressing back up steadily, push up rapidly so that your hands lift off the ground.
- Once you build enough strength, try getting enough air time so that you can clap your hands at your sternum between push-ups.
- Repeat 5 to 10 reps in 2 to 3 complete sets.
#2 Tabata Interval Drills
Strength training with a heavy bag is an ideal opportunity to focus on endurance to build maximum speed. Beyond offering improved cardio performance, Tabata interval drills are excellent for cultivating:
Take these steps to use your training bag to accelerate your punches:
- Start with 3 minutes of shadowboxing to warm up, focusing on punching as fast as possible with maximum intensity.
- You’ll punch and rest in equal-measure intervals to initiate your Tabata drills. Start by punching the bag for 15 seconds, then resting for 15.
- Aim to take short, efficient breaths to fuel each powerful punch. Keep your knees pliant and keep pivoting to a minimum, focusing on moving your arms and shoulders.
Aren’t training with a bag? No sweat.
Shadowboxing is known to hike your heart rate quickly, but it’s also an excellent way to hone your technique and learn to conserve energy while firing off combinations. You can build strength by adding hand or wrist weights, or freestyle sans equipment to focus on precision.
Find Your Optimal Punch Pace with Hayabusa
Building punching speed and power doesn’t happen overnight. We’re here to help you on the journey so that you can experience all the benefits of boxing along the way.
Create a training environment you can’t help but run back to with Hayabusa’s professional collection of boxing training equipment. With repetition, a meticulous program, and discipline, you’ll eventually start increasing your punch velocity, responsiveness, and power.
And here at Hayabusa, we’re focused on discovering the quickest and strongest version of you.
Britannica. Kinetic energy.
National Institute of Health. Rate of force development: physiological and methodological considerations.
Expertboxing. How to Punch Faster.
Science for Sport. Rate of Force Development.