Anyone can throw a punch, but not everyone knows how to do it with the proper power and control.
Whether you are boxing for exercise or learning self-defense, proper form will give you more power and control as well as help prevent injury. Here is a step-by-step guide to mastering the art of the basic, yet powerful punch—the cross. While you may feel off balance or awkward at first, keep practicing and pretty soon these movements will become automatic.
1. Fist: Curl your fingers into your palm and place your thumb over your fingers and below your knuckles.
2. Feet: If you are right-handed, place your right foot behind you and left foot in front for a comfortable and stable foundation. Switch if you are left-handed.
3. Arms: Lift your forearms into a vertical position and tuck your elbows into your ribs.
4. Hips: Your power comes from your hips. Think like a baseball player. Swing like you are hitting a pitch. Pivot on the ball of your back foot and push your whole body forward.
5. Punch: Your back arm should swing across your body and into your target.
6. Reset: Return your back arm to its vertical position.
Start with air punches and move your way to the heavy bag at the gym. Once you begin punching the bag, however, you should also learn how to wrap your hands.
At the end of your punch, keep your arm extended and look down. Check to see if your wrists, knuckles, and forearm are all aligned. You do not want your wrist bending up or tilting down. That can lead to sprains or breaks.
Do not lock your arm at the end of your punch. This will overextend your arm and cause your elbow to take the brunt of the impact and lead to injury, such as tendonitis.
Bring your hand back to cover your face after you strike. Dropping it down will open you to a return punch. Even when punching for exercise, you want to practice the correct form.