How to Punch Harder

Last week I posted an exercise to help you kick higher, so this week, I thought I’d throw in another article that I know is going to be popular on how to punch harder.

Punch is one of those funny words if you say it enough times, it starts to sound comical.




How to punch harder like GSP

Don’t agree? OK maybe I’m just a weirdo or I’ve spent too much time with this article rolling around in my head then. :)

Before continuing – take this poll/quiz, I’m just curious to see where you’re at:

There are a lot of myths out and about talking about how to punch harder.

Let’s bust those then get on with how you can actually go about increasing your punching power properly.

How to Punch Harder MYTH #1 – Increase Tricep Strength

I remember watching a video put out by one of those fitness magazines that shows a trainer ‘teaching’ the magazine interviewer guy how to punch harder.

One of the exercises he shows is the standing tricep cable extension, saying that it’s a good exercise because you need tricep strength to punch harder.

He then goes to punch this geek in the gut when he’s not expecting it, crumpling him, “proving” his theory right.


Tricep strength contributes very little to punching power, which comes more from the hips and core.

How to Punch Harder MYTH #2 – Punchers Are Born, Not Made

Your genetics and build play a role in your punching power through their effects on muscle fiber type, neuromuscular activation speed and tendon length, to name a few. [For those with more background about the human body, even tendon insertion points that increase moment arm size to increase force production at that joint]

However, you can take the most genetically gifted freak in the world and if he’s never taught proper technique, he’s probably not going to have ridiculous KO power.

Anybody can wind up and throw everything they’ve got at a bag, but this is useless since something like this will never work in a fight (maybe in the street, but not against a trained opponent).

So we’ve got to talk about punches that have a chance of landing, and with this, technique is first and foremost.

Teaching technique is one way to “make” punching power.

After that, we can train the body strategically to improve two of the genetic components (in italics) mentioned above.

OK I’m done with myth-busting. Let’s move on to what to actually do to punch harder instead…

1) We know that before punching power can be developed, you’ve got to master technique.

2) We also know that much of your punching power comes from your hips and core, not just your arms.

Because I’m the S&C guy, I’m going to leave #1 to your striking coach. [f you don’t have one or you’re not confident in what he’s teaching you, talk to Jeff Joslin]

What I am going to do is address #2.

And I’m going to do it in a 2-step process, because I want you to think about this and understand it.

Once you understand it properly, you’ll start to practice the concept in all of your training and you’ll punch a hell of a lot harder than ever before.

Step #1 is for you to watch the video on this page and identify the key concept that I’m cueing my athlete to focus on.

Step #2 is for you to leave your answer as to what you think the key concept is in the Comments section below.

When you leave your comment, scroll right to the bottom of this page so you don’t see anybody else’s answer and it doesn’t influence yours.

Remember – you’re not doing this to prove how smart you are, you’re doing it to deepen your understanding.

There are 2 exercises shown in this video, both of which are in my Ultimate MMA S&C program.

I want you to focus on the exercise that more closely resembles throwing a punch and listen closely to my coaching cues.


Identify the “Cue” to Punch Harder:

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I also want to encourage participation – so let’s get at least 50 answers here and in addition to revealing the magic cue to punch harder, I’ll also outline why we’re doing what we’re doing in this short clip, so let’s hear your answers!

Leave a Reply

236 Comments on "How to Punch Harder"

Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
2 months 29 days ago

Start arm extension from yours to oponents chin with the whole body perfectly relaxed, the rotation of the hips start simultaneously with the rotation of your wrist to point your knuckles forward, you have to feel your leg pushing your shoulder forward, do not sway your body forward or backward it should move like a solid block to be able to transfer the power from your foot to your knuckles just before the blow lands at the target flex your leg, ass, core and arm muscles for the duration of the blow, then relax again and restore original position or… Read more »

3 months 5 hours ago

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4 months 28 days ago

It did not make Larry and Sergey to get rid of the project.
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Your struggling to reply to this question aren’t

7 months 16 days ago

Hip rotation and pelvic thrust

7 months 16 days ago

the secret is hip movement and a pivot on the balls of your feet so as you throw the punch the hip and foot turn into the punch

8 months 1 day ago

Body rotation based on obliques — their strength and speed — is essential for punching power.

Gabriel Gonzalez
8 months 4 days ago

It’s all about the rotation of the core!

8 months 23 days ago

Timing and switching energy systems in a way that you can keep moving before and after snap?

8 months 27 days ago

Power comes from the ground

najmo okash
8 months 28 days ago

This has helped me a lot thx

10 months 5 days ago

Fast hip rotation.

James Mohler
10 months 27 days ago

the (cue) to punching harder is your rotating the hips, so you need strong core.

Michael English
10 months 30 days ago

The “Cue” to Punch Harder is the explosive rotational movement when throwing the medicine ball against the wall.

10 months 30 days ago

Rotating hips transferring energy from the rear foot/leg through to the shoulder and then arm then fist

11 months 4 days ago

I think that flexibility and strength in the hips and core is whats needed

Joe Thompson
11 months 20 days ago

Power equals speed times mass. Rotational force provides the most mass. It appears that primarily you’re working to expand rotation strength and speed.

11 months 20 days ago

1. You were trying to get him to understand how to generate the maximal amount of torque by properly using his feet, legs, hips, waiste, and shoulders in the proper sequence in order to optimize biomechanics. 2. I believe that you were cueing him or helping him to identify the weakest link(s) on the sequence chain involved during the punch delivery. 3. You were also making him aware as to when his body was under tension and when it was relaxed in order to maximize speed and power. Being able to distinguish between tension and relaxation will cue the puncher… Read more »

11 months 20 days ago

Load it up as fast and you throw it.

Andy A
11 months 23 days ago

You’re cueing him on hip rotation also you’re doing this in a manner which is simultaneously strengthening his core and developing explosive power. This will improve power for crosses and hooks. To improve power for a straight lead hand I start my hand forward and then step behind it (hands before feet) I time it so my hand hits my opponent a split second before my foot hit the ground. This way I am using my legs to explode towards the target and connecting with my full weight behind the punch..

Wayne wilson
11 months 25 days ago

Core and hip

Elizabeth M Alexander
1 year 4 days ago

Use your core, load it up from the ground

1 year 13 days ago

You’re training the athlete to develop torque at the hips and then integrating that immediately into fight-related movement. I’m guessing this is to hardwire the body to activate the hips and core whenever the athlete is in a fight stance/fight movement.

Gill higney
1 year 21 days ago

Core strength and hip rotation

Joey M.
1 year 22 days ago

power generates from the floor up, so i think legs, hips and core.

1 year 1 month ago

hip rotation and core movement. being explosive as well.

Gus Monge
1 year 1 month ago

Explosive hip/core rotation & weight dropping.

1 year 1 month ago

you have to have core strength first then it is speed i was once told by a world rated old fighter speed i was puzzled and he said what would hirt more a car at 20 miles an hour or one at 100 miles an hour in a word speed

1 year 2 months ago

Correct stance and then technique and speed/power of hip rotation, shoulder thrust and correct delivery of fist.

1 year 2 months ago

powerful rotation

1 year 3 months ago

Hip Rotation

Mike Drake
1 year 3 months ago

For me, I’d always thought punching power came from: strong shoulders, quick speed, leaning, twisting the waist, and putting some weight behind your punch. Though, I have to say, this video has shown me a couple new exercises to try.

Brandon Gaitor
1 year 3 months ago

Speed and fast twitch muscles in the core

Floyd Young
1 year 3 months ago

Hip rotation, legs, foot position, core.

Gill higney
1 year 3 months ago

Punching power comes rom hip rotation

1 year 3 months ago

Power is generated from abs and hips. Shoulders and pectorals also need to be worked out. Proper technique is important to learn because with proper technique the force of your whole body weight can be placed behind the punch. Rotation is really the key part of the technique that generates most power of the punch

1 year 4 months ago


1 year 4 months ago

load up your lats and push with feet

1 year 5 months ago

I believe the key is having Albanian blood line if you ever been hit by an Albanian you will get knocked out

1 year 5 months ago

The stable quick rotation of the hips.

Clint D Rogers
1 year 6 months ago

I think its the coming up in a twisting motion from the core.

allan schneider
1 year 6 months ago

I think they’re working on core strength and recovery

D G Bell
1 year 7 months ago


Tafari(cash stack ) McKenzie
1 year 7 months ago

I think that he had to pivot tuning his hip and pivoting his foot exscuse my simpleness I’m 12

1 year 8 months ago

the leverage from the floor directly linked through the leg and hip in an explosive kinetic chain

1 year 10 months ago

Explosive power trained with plyometric exercises. Core and back strength

1 year 11 months ago

Core strength and upper body plymetrics

1 year 11 months ago

Rotation…..keeping your feet grounded…using your whole body

1 year 11 months ago

I think your working on how to move your hips, speed, leg positioning, how to deliver energy from your body to your arms and how to move your arms.

1 year 6 months ago

I think it is activating the posterior chain from the ground up, driving that towards the target rather than upwards by rotating and driving weight into the strike. How it feels to me anyway

1 year 11 months ago

Generating power from your hips