Want to improve your punches? Check your feet.

Want to improve your punches? Check your feet.

When starting out, punching anything can seem awkward and feel weak. Anyone training in the martial arts or boxing will want to improve the power and effectiveness of their punches. Nobody wants to feel like the punching bag is winning. Someone that is new to boxing may think arms are where you should focus your attention. But a straightforward way to begin to improve is to look beyond your arms and pay attention to what the rest of your body is doing while throwing punches. To get your whole-body weight behind a punch you are going to have to start at your feet. When you use your feet correctly the amount of power you can generate is going to be significantly greater than what your arms can do alone.

Let us break this down by starting with a punch with your back hand from a fighting stance. Naturally, your weight should already be on the balls of your feet when in a fighting stance. This will keep you balanced and mobile, which is super important for sparing and self-defense. To start the punch, you are going to lift your back leg heel slightly and twist it out. This motion will twist your leg in and cause your hip to shift forward. Use this forward motion to drive your upper body forward and finally your arm. It is important to remember to keep yourself balanced and not lean your whole upper body forward and put yourself off balance. Also, remember to breathe out as you throw your punch. This will help release unneeded tension which should improve your endurance in a workout.

Once you have that down the jab off the front hand is similar with the motions being more subtle. Again, starting with the back foot, your heel is going to shift slightly toward your front foot. This motion should cause a chain reaction shifting your hips forward and at the same time causing your front heel to turn out slightly. Allow this motion to twist your upper body forward and then finally, your front arm. As with the punch off the back hand this motion should not pull you off balance.

Additional Tips

If you have ordered your Aqua Training Bag and you are eagerly waiting for it to arrive this is a wonderful time to practice your punches in front of a mirror before it comes! Stand in front of the mirror in a fighting stance and punch at nose height keeping your feet and body motion in mind. Start slow and get the technique down first. You will be able to add speed and power later. Using a mirror will help you catch mistakes in how you are moving. Many times, we are moving incorrectly and do not even realize it. As you train more and observe others with more experience you will be able to catch smaller details. This practice tool can still be valuable even after you have your Aqua Training Bag so keep it in mind throughout your training.