5 BEST Exercises to Increase Punching Power for Boxing and MMA

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5 BEST Exercises to Increase Punching Power for Boxing and MMA

increase punching power

Everyday people ask me, “Hey coach, how do you increase punching power for boxing?” Well, today I’m going to share how to do that. And one better, I’m going to share punching power exercises for boxing AND MMA.

The truth about increasing punching power is, there’s five layers to it. Obviously, you can’t throw powerful punches without good technique. So, that’s the first layer you have to get right.

Next, you need stability. Stability is the infrastructure you need to transfer high amounts of force through the body. 

Then, you need mobility.

Then strength.

And finally, we work our way down the force-velocity curve to produce high amounts of force fast… Aka… Power.

If you want to read more about how to increase punching power, check out this blog post.

But, for the sake of this post, I’m going to share the 5 BEST punching power exercises for boxing and MMA.

What makes them the best? 

They’re sport-specific (most of them). They’re easily doable for any fighter. And you can find the equipment to perform them in any gym.

If you want to see how they fit into a program, check out Heavy Hitter. Heavy Hitter is your complete guide to increasing your punching power. You’ll find all the strategies you need for boxing specific strength, power, explosiveness, movement efficiency, stability, mobility, and endurance inside. Plus, you’ll get a 50% discount for being a blog reader.

Alright, let’s get into the exercises:

Punching Power Exercise #1: Fight-Specific Medball Throw

Power is all about being able to produce force quickly. And there’s no better way to increase your punching power than by adding some light resistance to your punching movement.

That’s what this movement is going to do.

You’re going to start in your fighting stance with the medball by your chin, hop step towards the wall, and use the momentum from the hop step and the force generated from your lower and upper body to propel the ball against the wall as hard as you can.

Remember: You want to keep the reps low and quality high when you’re performing power exercises. Quality over quantity.

Here’s How to Perform the Fight-Specific Medball Throw:

  1. Start with your feet just outside hip width parallel to the wall
  2. Hold the medball by your chin
  3. Hop step towards the wall
  4. Use that forward momentum as well as power generated from your rear leg and core to propel the medball against the wall
  5. Repeat on both sides for desired reps

Punching Power Exercise #2: Fight-Specific Medball Side Toss

This punching power exercises for boxing turns things up a notch.

In this movement, you’re going to simulate cutting off your opponent in the cage or ring and catching them with a hook.

You’ll start in a staggered stance, square to the wall, hop step, explode from the hip and blast the medball against the wall.

This will work the muscles in the obliques and transverse abdominis. The development of these muscles will allow you to produce more force when throwing hooks and other punches.

Here’s How to Perform the Fight-Specific Medball Side Toss:

  1. Start with the feet hip width, medball at your belly button facing the wall
  2. Hop step to the right. As you do, load the medball by your right hip
  3. Upon landing, use the power generated through your legs and core to propel the ball towards the wall
  4. Catch the ball then hop step to the left and repeat
  5. Repeat for desired reps

Punching Power Exercise #3: Accommodating Resistance Landmine Press

The landmine press is one of my favorite strength exercises for boxing and MMA performance.

And it makes the movement 10 times more powerful when you add accommodating resistance.

For those that don’t know, accommodating resistance is adding tension to the easiest part of a movement to ensure the athlete is producing force through the entire range of motion. As an example, in a squat, the hardest portion of the movement is ascending out of the hole. The easiest portion is towards the top as you reach lockout.

Accommodating resistance adds tension to the lockout which forces the athlete to accelerate through that full range of motion.

In the case of the landmine press, the accommodating resistance adds tension to the top portion of movement. Again, this forces the athlete to accelerate through the full range of motion.

And this will carry over to increased punching power.

Accommodating resistance can be done with heavier weights… But, since our goal is power, we’re going to keep the weight light and focus on speed so we’re training down the force-velocity curve.

Here’s How to Perform The Accommodating Resistance Landmine Press:

Variation One:

  • Start in fight stance, barbell in your lead hand, lead foot on the band
  • Lower the bar down into the bottom position. Make sure your wrist and elbow are stacked
  • With slight drive from the legs, drive through the shoulder and punch the barbell to the top position
  • Repeat for desired reps

Variation Two:

  • Start in your fight stance, barbell in your rear hand, rear foot on the band
  • When the barbell is in the bottom position your wrist and elbow should be stacked
  • With slight drive from the legs, punch the barbell into the top position
  • Repeat for desired reps

Punching Power Exercise #4: Accommodating Resistance Back Squat

Another accommodating resistance movement here.

The accommodating resistance back squat can be another great contributor to your punching power, despite it not being sport specific. 

If it’s not obvious, you generate force from your legs when you throw punches. That force then transfers through your torso and out your arm as you smash your opponents face.

And if we’re generating force through our legs, we might as well generate that force fast, right?

Right.

So add this one to your toolbelt.

Remember: Our goal is to increase punching power. So, keep the weight light and keep the reps sharp.

Here’s How to Perform the Accommodating Resistance Back Squat:

  1. Make sure you have your bands attached securely to your barbell and another stable surface
  2. Place your hands just outside shoulder width and place the shoulders down and back
  3. Unrack the bar and take a step and a half back
  4. Place your feet just outside of hip width
  5. Push the hips back slightly and sink the butt down
  6. Explode out of the hole with intention
  7. Repeat for desired reps

Punching Power Exercise #5: Trap Bar Deadlift Jumps

Trap bar deadlift jumps are one of my favorite weighted plyometrics to use in the gym.

And they’re really an undervalued tool.

I like them better than barbell squat jumps for many different reasons. The main one being that there’s less stress on the spine. But also, this movement works triple extension AND most fighters have an easier time doing trap bar deadlift jumps than barbell squat jumps.

Make sure to reset in between jumps when you perform these.

And again, keep the weight light.

We’re going for increased punching power. We’re not trying to set the record for heaviest trap bar deadlift jump.

Here’s How To Perform Trap Bar Deadlift Jumps:

  1. Start with your feet hip width in the middle of the trap bar
  2. Grab the handles and sink the butt down while keeping the chest up. Also make sure both of your feet are in contact with the ground fully
  3. Explode out of the bottom position
  4. Land softly and reset your position
  5. Repeat for desired reps

Want To Uncover My FULL Programming to Increase Punching Power?

Check out Heavy Hitter.

Whether you’re a boxer or you’re in MMA, Heavy Hitter will help you put some weight behind your punches (and kicks).

More than that, it will help you build a deeper gas tank, improve your mobility, stability, and sport-specific strength.

How?

By addressing all of the five layers of power I spoke about above.

See, the body is like a machine. If there’s a broken piece, the whole thing malfunctions.

In Heavy Hitter, we’re strengthening EVERY component of boxing performance to give you a crazy edge in the ring, octagon, or wherever.

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