Increase Punching Power: 6 ACTIONABLE Tips & 26 Exercises

In this article, you will learn how to increase punching power using 6 actionable tips and 26 exercises.

Implementing these tips and doing these exercises will GUARANTEE you will increase your punching power to improve your chances for a knockout.

While the focus is on boxing, the same exercises also apply to other sports such as MMA, Muay Thai, and Kickboxing.

With these exercises and tips, I took a boxing beginner from punching 220 psi to 482 psi when measured using a boxing force measurement device similar to this one.

That’s an increase of 119%!

The punching power went from 220 psi to 482 psi, which is an increase of 119%,

This can be achieved using the tips and exercises discussed here.

I will first give you actionable tips that you can implement RIGHT AWAY to increase punching power immediately.

Then, I will explain 26 exercises to improve even more.

If you just want the full list of the exercises, then you have them below.

  • Normal Pushups
  • Pushup with a jump
  • Pushup with a clap
  • Pushup with a clap behind
  • Heavy bag: power punches
  • Heavy bag: alternating normal and power punches
  • Heavy bag with partner
  • Medicine Ball: explosive squats
  • Medicine Ball: ground slams
  • Medicine Ball: throws with partner
  • One-handed medicine ball throws
  • Both-handed medicine ball throws
  • Medicine ball rotational slams
  • Explosive shoulder press
  • Explosive bench press
  • Explosive dumbbell press
  • Jump Squats
  • Knees-to-chest Jumps
  • Plyometric Jumps
  • Explosive Lunges
  • Landmine Throws
  • Landmine Throws With Partner
  • Two-Handed Landmine Throws
  • Shadowboxing with weights
  • Power Punches with Resistance band
  • Fist Push to Wall

ACTIONABLE Tips To Increase Punching Power Right Away

First, I’ll give you actionable tips to increase your punching power straight away.

Tip #1: Rotate With Your Punches

Contrary to popular belief, punching power does not come from the arms, but from the body.

The mass of the arms is a fraction of the entire body so naturally, you will exert more power if you put your entire body into the punch than just swinging your arms.

Therefore, you must rotate your hips every time you throw your punches.

Demonstration of hip rotation to increase punching power.

Tip #2: Relax Your Shoulders & Arms Before Throwing

One of the biggest mistakes people make when throwing a power punch is to tense their arms like a hammer and throwing a power punch.

The reality is, this makes the punch much slower and therefore weaker.

You want to therefore relax.

Loosen the shoulders before throwing and only right before you fully extend and impact do you tense up.

Tip #3: Punch Through The Target

Every time you punch, make sure that you visualise the punch going through the target rather than hitting the surface.

This ensures that you don’t slow down with your punch.

And so adds extra energy to the punch.

Tip #4: Breath Out With Your Punches

You can increase the power of your punches by increasing the speed.

This is why you want to increase the explosiveness—the ability to accelerate your punches from rest to full extension as fast as possible and Mike Tyson’s source of knockout power.

You can increase this immediately by breathing out with every punch.

This is what it means by the ‘hiss’ sound that professional boxers make when throwing punches in the ring.

Tip #5: Consciously Think About Explosiveness

Explosiveness is the source of power for your punches.

Consciously thinking about explosiveness allows you to apply the movements such as rotation to your punches.

This allows proper punching techniques to be applied and so maximise punching power.

Tip #6: Punch When Your Opponent Comes To You

Here’s a tactic that greatly amplifies the power of your punches.

Image a car colliding with a wall.

Now, imagine two cars colliding head-to-head when one of them accidentally crosses a road’s centerline.

The latter will be more devastating.

The same applies to any combat sports such as boxing or MMA.

Try timing your punches when your opponent steps into your range and use his momentum to add extra power to your punches.

26 Exercises To Permanently Increase Punching Power

Now that you know how to increase punching power immediately, let’s talk about a more permanent way to do it—through proper training.

The exercises that I will discuss here will allow you to develop the muscles needed to increase the mass and speed of your punches.

Additionally, these exercises will also strengthen your entire body to better deliver your punches for more power.

I’ll add the number of sets and reps you can do for each exercise as part of your gym routine.

If you’re a beginner, do the lower end of the reps but if you’re advanced, do the higher end. As you become used to it, gradually increase the number of reps per set.

Plyometric Pushups

DO: 3 sets of 5 – 15 reps per session.

Pushups are great for physical conditioning.

However, certain variants are optimal for increasing the power of your punches.

One such variant is the plyometric pushup.

This is exactly like a normal pushup but instead, you add an explosive push every time you go up.

boxer demonstrating plyometric pushup.

Make sure that when you land, you go down slowly to better engage your upper-body muscles.

These are great for punching power as it trains your arm’s explosiveness.

Clapping Pushup

DO: 3 sets of 5 – 10 reps per session.

This is similar to the previous exercise, however, it’s harder to do but works great for your explosiveness.

The steps are the same as the plyometric pushup covered previously, but you add a clap to the chest at the end.

Back Clap Pushup

DO: 3 sets of 3 – 6 reps per session.

This is one of the hardest variants of the explosive pushups I covered previously.

To do this pushup variant, you do the same steps as the clapping pushup, except you do the clap behind your back.

Make sure to put a towel in front of your face when you’re doing it for the first time.

You don’t want to face plant to the ground.

Power Punches On Heavy Bag

DO: 1 round of 2 – 3 minutes in your heavy bag routine.

Training on the heavy bag is not only great for boxing conditioning, but it’s an excellent way to train your punching power.

What I highly recommend is to include a single, 2 – 3-minute round on the heavy bag where you only throw power punches, like how George Foreman trained his punching power.

Don’t have a heavy bag routine?

Then I have a perfect heavy bag workout for you, regardless of your boxing level.

Alternate Between Normal And Power Punches On Heavy Bag

DO: 1 round of 2 – 3 minutes in your heavy bag routine.

This is a variant of the previous exercise on the heavy bag, but instead of doing power punches only, you also alternate with throwing only normal punches every 30 seconds.

To do this exercise, you should implement it as part of your heavy bag routine.

Throw power punches only for 30 seconds.

Then only throw punches with moderate power for 30 seconds.

Alternate between the two, until 2 – 3 minutes have passed.

Keeping track of 30-second intervals during the routine is not easy and so I highly recommend installing a boxing interval app into your phone while doing it.

Power Punches On The Heavy Bag With A Partner

DO: 1 round of 2 – 3 minutes in a heavy bag routine.

This is a heavy bag drill for better punching power you can do with a boxing partner.

For 30 seconds, you throw non-stop power punches, all while your partner will count for 30 seconds and hold the heavy bag in position.

After 30 seconds, you and your partner will switch roles.

This serves to help you rest.

Repeat the cycle until 2 – 3 minutes have passed.

Medicine Ball Squat Toss

DO: 3 sets of 12 – 20 reps per session.

This is a fantastic explosiveness exercise you can do using a medicine ball.

You can do it with good form through these steps.

Step #1: stand up with feet shoulder-width apart while holding the medicine ball.

Step #2: squat down with the ball.

Step #3: explosively go up and toss the ball up with the help of your explosiveness when you’re in the top position. The feet must be touching the ground at all times.

Step #4: catch the ball when it comes back down.

boxer demonstrating the medicine ball squat toss.

Medicine Ball Slams

DO: 3 sets of 12 – 20 reps per session.

This is another great medicine ball exercise you can do to increase punching power.

The steps are below and make sure to get a padded floor.

Step #1: stand up with feet shoulder-width apart while holding the medicine ball.

Step #2: raise the ball above your head.

Step #3: slam the ball onto the floor as hard as you can while bending the legs. Think as if you’re smacking the floor with a sledgehammer.

Boxer demonstrating medicine ball slams.

Medicine Ball Chest Passes

DO: 3 sets of 12 – 20 reps per session.

This is an exercise you can do against a wall or with a partner.

This aims to strengthen your upper body muscles for a stronger punch and explosiveness to increase the punching speed.

The steps are as follows.

Step #1: stand straight shoulder width apart and the medicine ball in your hands.

Step #2: throw the ball at the wall or towards your partner with both hands at full force.

Step #3: catch the returning ball and repeat.

The steps are as follows.

Step #1: stand in a staggered stance, similar to the boxing stance and the medicine ball in your hands.

Step #2: throw the ball at the wall or towards your partner with both hands at full force.

Step #3: catch the returning ball and repeat.

A demonstration of the medicine ball chest pass against a wall

Medicine Ball Throw-Ups With Partner

DO: 3 sets of 10 – 20 reps per session.

This is an excellent exercise if you plan to improve explosiveness in your arms for snappier, stronger punches.

You will need a partner for this exercise.

The steps are as follows.

Step #1: lay on your back like in the sit-up position. Hold the medicine ball with your hands while the ball is touching your chest.

Step #2: throw the medicine ball explosively as you would in a chest pass toward the ceiling.

Step #3: allow your partner to catch the ball while it is coming down and then pass it to you.

A boxer and his boxing partner demonstrating the medicine ball throw ups.

Medicine Ball Single Arm Chest Pass

DO: 3 sets of 12 – 20 reps per session.

This is one of the best exercises you can do using a medicine ball to improve the power of your punches, especially for the backhand.

This is because it imitates how you throw the punches.

Also, it emphasises explosiveness in your arm and so improves the power transfer.

Here’s how to do it.

Step #1: stand in your boxing stance and hold the ball in place using your backhand.

Step #2: throw the ball towards the wall as if you’re pushing the ball. Make sure to throw it all while maintaining the stance and simulating a boxing cross punch.

Step #3: pick up the ball and repeat the movement.

Make sure while doing it to do it for both hands.

Boxer demonstrating the single arm medicine ball chest passes

Medicine Ball Rotational Throws

DO: 3 sets of 12 – 20 reps per session.

This is similar to the previous exercise but emphasises building the core muscles to effectively rotate your body for stronger punches, especially your hook punches.

Like the previous exercise, you will need a medicine ball and a wall to throw towards.

The steps to do this exercise is as follows.

Step #1: stand sideways relative to the wall with both hands holding the ball and positioned around the opposite shoulder relative to the wall.

Step #2: throw the ball towards the wall by twisting the hips explosively.

Step #3: catch the ball and repeat the exercise.

Demonstration of the medicine ball rotational passes against a wall.

Explosive Shoulder Press

DO: 3 sets of 8 – 15 reps per session.

This is a traditional gym exercise that is also effective to build up power for your punches.

However, there is a slight difference that’s best tailored for punching power.

Instead of a heavy load, you add only light weights with higher reps and every time you lift, you press up explosively and come back down slowly.

The explosiveness of the exercise will help build up the back muscles for more explosive punches.

Demonstration of the explosive shoulder press

Explosive Barbell Bench Press

DO: 3 sets of 8 – 15 reps per session.

It is another traditional gym exercise you can do to build punching power.

Again, avoid heavy weight.

Instead, you should do it with light weights and go up explosively when lifting it but go down slowly.

Explosive Dumbbell Bench Press

DO: 3 sets of 8 – 15 reps per session.

A variant of the previous exercise, except you do it with dumbbells.

As you know by now, keep the weights light and focus on increasing the number of reps as you would when throw a lot of punches during your boxing.

Make sure to explosively go up but go slowly when going down.

Demonstration of the explosive dumbbell press by a boxer

Jump Squats

DO: 3 sets of 10 – 20 reps per session.

This exercise is the explosive variant of the normal squat.

Specifically, you add a jump at the end.

This explosiveness in the squat conditions the lower body to leap with the punches which will allow you to increase the power of your punches.

Boxer doing a jump squat

Another great thing about this exercise is that you can also add a barbell with weights on it.

This focuses more on the conditioning of your legs for boxing. However, make sure to not add too much weight.

Light weights with high reps are key for explosiveness.

Knees-to-chest Jumps

DO: 3 sets of 12 – 20 reps per session.

Like the jump squat, it is an excellent gym exercise and a great exercise you can do at home.

The knees-to-chest jumps condition your lower body for explosiveness.

It is important to make sure that you jump high enough so that the knees reach around the belly button area.

Boxing doing knees-to-chest jumps

Plyometric jumps

DO: 3 sets of 15 – 25 reps per session.

This is an exercise focused on training your legs to be like a spring.

Easy on the joints and builds explosiveness.

Here’s how you do this exercise.

Step #1: put your hands on your hips.

Step #2: jump as high as you can, but only using your toes to go up.

Demonstration of plyometric jumps

Explosive Lunges

DO: 3 sets of 12 – 20 reps per session.

This is similar to the traditional lunges you do at your local gym.

However, the twist is, you jump explosively when you alternate between your two legs.

It’s a great exercise to condition your legs for explosive power.

If you want a harder version, you are free to hold dumbbells in both of your hands. However, make sure to keep it lightweight as you do not want muscle hypertrophy.

boxer demonstrating explosive lunges while holding kettlebells in both hands

Landmine Press

DO: 3 sets of 12 – 15 reps per session.

The landmine press is an excellent exercise to build up your shoulder and back muscles to increase punching power.

It can be done at your local gym using a barbell and the barbell pivot near the squat rack.

Here are a few notes on the exercise.

To optimise the exercise for boxing, it is best to do it while in your boxing stance. Also, make sure to explosively push up when doing the exercise but go down slowly.

You can also add weights to the barbell.

However, make sure you do not add too much weight as you want to avoid growing large muscles that will slow down your punches.

Rather, keep it light and prioritise high reps.

Finally, don’t forget to do it with each hand to make sure it translates to a stronger jab and cross.

boxer doing the landmine press

Landmine Press With Partner

DO: 3 sets of 12 – 15 reps per session.

This is similar to the previous exercise, but instead, you do it with a partner.

The advantage of this exercise is that it focuses more on the ‘push’ aspect of the exercise and so will help you deliver faster and stronger boxing punches.

How to do this?

Well, the steps are as follows.

Step #1: while in the boxing stance, hold the barbell at one end around the shoulder while the other end is connected to the barbell pivot.

Step #2: lift the barbell explosively with one hand.

Step #3: let your partner catch it at the top and return it to you back in the shoulder position.

demonstration of the landmine press done with the help of a partner

Landmine Press With Both Hands

DO: 3 sets of 12 – 15 reps per session.

A variant of the previous two exercises that helps you train both arms equally.

Here, you’ll stand normally and use both hands.

When doing the landmine press, you need to lift explosively to the top and then come down slowly towards your shoulders.


DO: 3 – 5 sets of 3-minute rounds per session.

Yes, shadowboxing can increase your punching power.

It’s surprising, I know.

Shadowboxing is ideal for building your punching strength and most importantly, it helps you master proper punching technique that will ultimately bring the most amount of power in your punches.

But want even more power?

Then consider doing shadowboxing rounds with power punches only.

This is by far one of the best exercises you can do.

Resistance Band Punches

DO: 3 sets of 12 – 15 reps per session.

This is an exercise to improve your punching speed which will ultimately improve your explosiveness.

Using resistance bands allows you to build your punching muscles.

For example, your arms muscle and back muscles.

Here’s how to do this exercise.

Step #1: tie up a resistance band on a pole, such as that of the ring corner or the squat rack.

Step #2: stand in your boxing stance.

Step #3: throw your punches while holding the resistance band.

Make sure not to use a band that is too thick, as you will not be able to throw boxing punches with proper form.

The resistance band punch exercise demonstration by a boxer

Once done with one hand, do the other as well.

Isometric Punch

DO: 3 sets of 1-minute hold per session.

Unlike previous exercises, this is an isometric exercise.

This exercise in particular allows you to condition your fists to deliver a stronger punch and to develop your arm muscles.

Before starting, make sure to get yourself a towel and find a suitable, solid wall or a partner.

Here are the steps.

Step #1: stand in your boxing stance facing the wall.

Step #2: extend your arm in the form of a punch with a folded piece of towel placed between your fist and the wall/hands of your partner.

Step #3: push and hold your punch as strong as possible.

The isometric punch exercise done with the help of a fitness partner

How To Implement The Exercises As Part Of A Workout?

Now, you know actionable tips on how to increase your punching power immediately and fitness exercises you can do for improving it long-term.

But one question that lingers in your mind is, how should I implement the exercises within my workout?

Do I need to do them all?

Well, no.

My advice is to choose 1 or 2 exercises from the list above and then implement them within your normal workout routine.

If you prefer variety, you can choose to do different exercises every week and you are also free to do 3 or 5 exercises if you’re more serious about improving your punching power.

The most important tip however is to be consistent with your training.

You have to do them consistently to get actual results.

Wrapping Up

You’re now equipped with the knowledge to increase your punching power straight away, as well as exercises you can do to improve it in the long term.

Ultimately, remember: real results take time!

Be sure to be consistent with the exercises I talked about previously and stick to them.

You’re guaranteed to have a better punch.

Anyway, let us know what you think about these tips and exercises in the comments below. Also, share any other exercises you think I missed or you think are better.

Happy training.

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