For boxing and other martial arts, you must be able learn how to throw four basic boxing punches. Whether you are training for competition or for fitness benefits, these punches are essential and not all that hard to learn. Follow these instructions carefully to master the four basic boxing punches.
- Learn how to throw the jab. The jab is performed with the lead hand, such as your left hand if your left foot is forward (in a right-handed fighting stance). Slide or lift (a difference in style here) your lead foot slightly forward (and drop quickly if using the latter technique). Then rotate and extend your lead hand to make contact. Keep your off hand over your face for protection.
- Using the cross. The cross is performed using your dominant (or rear) hand in your fighting stance. Step or slide forward similarly to the jab, and then quickly bring your dominant hand across your body to make contact. Your hand should rotate for maximum impact. Your other hand should stay over your face.
- Add the hook to your repertoire. The hook can be thrown with either hand from a specific fighting stance. The key is to be close to your opponent or target; you want this as you are bending your elbow, at a 90 degree angle or so, to enhance the effectiveness of the punch. Keeping your off-hand over your face bend your punching arm and rotate your body into the punch. No rotation of the punching hand is used for the hook.
- The uppercut is the final basic boxing punch. Like the hook, the uppercut is thrown with either hand. You will also keep your elbow bent in this punch to increase the strength of the punch. You will need to twist your body into the punch for strength. Of course, always keep your off-hand in front of your face.
Your punching hand should not lock the elbow, at least in training, as this is not good for your arm to repeat this motion. Practice these motions slowly to get the right mechanics, so that you don't develop negative habits. Then you will be able to add speed, quickness, and other dynamics (height of punch, combinations, etc.).