Tired of confusing instructions on how to improve hand speed written by people with no boxing experience? Our article will help you better.
Ok, faster punches, faster speeds, faster reflexes. These are all related. It’s not hard to do or hard to practice, but it’s certainly not easy to learn. From what I’ve seen, most people punch slowly because they’re practicing the wrong way. Even most agile men I see in the gym don’t do any specific exercises to improve their punching speed.
I don’t need to tell you the importance of speed in boxing. Look at Muhammad Ali. Look at Roy Jones. Look at Pernell Whitaker. Look at Floyd Mayweather Jr. Not only did they win, but no one could touch them. There are very few things that can equal execution speed. Regardless of your strength, if the other guy’s punch lands first each time, he will defeat you easily!
Ready to start training for faster punches?
Follow the punching methods below to improve hand speed!
Train your brain to punch faster
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Everything you do starts with the mind. Before blaming your poor hand speed on genetics, underdeveloped muscles or unknown punching secrets, you need to analyze your own mindset. The first question is, “Do I consciously do anything to improve hand speed when punching?” If you have never asked yourself this question before, the answer is probably “NO”.
The most important mindset you have to punch faster is to focus on perception. Your eyes need to be trained to quickly recognize the target and then transmit the signal to your arm, telling it to punch. Forget speed for now, I’m talking about mental agility. The guy who sees an opportunity punches first and succeeds in punching will give him a huge advantage.
So now that you understand that the first step to punching faster is throwing a faster punch, let’s get to work on building a quick mind. How do you do this, you ask. Really easy freestyle, daily practice to punch fast moving targets. Speedbags and double-ended bags will be your new friends.
They will train your eyes and mind to track fast-moving targets and unleash punches when openings appear. When you’re hitting doubles, don’t worry about throwing quick combinations. Instead, try to see the bag with the naked eye and throw 1 or 2 shots here quickly and accurately.
Even if you’re not punching, you’re still watching the bag carefully. Don’t take your eyes off it! Again, the first step to getting faster punches is to train your mind to be faster!
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Right attitude to punch faster
Having the right attitude is crucial to making faster punches. I see people always trying to destroy punching bags when I tell them to punch faster. When I say faster doesn’t mean hit harder. Elevating your punches for more power and more damage probably won’t make them any faster. Usually, that attitude just makes you turn wider, longer, and with more body commitment.
Punching faster doesn’t mean you put more power and more force into the punch. That doesn’t mean you clench your fists even harder and try to hurt your opponent more. Having the right attitude to punch faster means you focus on speed and nothing else. Don’t focus on power or accuracy. Just pure speed.
Instead of imagining you’re punching the guy, imagine you’re trying to touch him without him seeing it. Imagine you are trying to move so fast that he can’t even see the punch. You’re not trying to hurt him, you’re trying to surprise him! Now, adopt this attitude when you are exercising the ball box and when you are carrying a heavy bag. You will find that this change in attitude alone can speed up your punches. You won’t even think about trying to break this guy’s chin anymore – you’re trying to steal his mouthpiece!
Relax with a quick punch
This is something that I have understood for a long time. This principle holds true for any sport or athletic endeavor you pursue. The ONLY way to move at your fastest speed is to RELAX! The muscle that is most relaxed has the potential to move at maximum speed. Of all the sports you observe, you will find that the most comfortable athletes are the ones who outperform their opponents. I used to be a track and field sprinter and I will tell you that the most comfortable runners become the best sprinters.
Remember that there is a fine line between comfortable exercise and lazy exercise. RELAX in motion means you are moving with the flow allowing your movement to express freely without tension and stress while Aging in motion means you are moving without control and purpose.
So how does one “relax” to have a faster punch? First of all, don’t clench your fist all the time. Instead, keep those hands loose and just squeeze them into fists at the time of impact. When in doubt, relax those hands even more. Keep your shoulders relaxed instead of stooping. Do not flex your biceps or squeeze any other part of your body before punching. A relaxed body will punch faster!
Quick punch release
Mind alert when throwing quick punches. Don’t think about destroying your opponent. That attitude keeps your arms tense and squeezes your entire body, slowing the punch and wasting energy.
Carrying around such stress also causes your body to burn out faster. As you execute the punch, exhale forcefully as you release your free arms into the punch and let your body catch the punch freely. As soon as the punch is extended, quickly breathe again and return the fist when you throw the next punch.
The most common mistake I see with new fighters is that they pull their hands back slightly to load their punch before releasing it. This slows the big time punch because it moves backwards before going forward. It’s also proof that they’re thinking too much about punching harder, not punching faster. Don’t think about power, think about touching him quickly.
Breathe fast to punch fast
This is another thing that many athletes don’t understand about speed. Rapid breathing equates to rapid movement. Explosive breath is equivalent to explosive movement. If you’ve never heard of this before, try this: try breathing slowly but punching fast. I bet you can’t do it. Notice how the movement of your body corresponds to your breathing rate? Now, practice breathing not only faster, but sharper and faster. Listen to professional boxers. When they do a quick 5 punch combo, they exhale 5 times quickly. Sometimes, when you watch professional boxers cast the ball, they don’t deliver full punches. They throw really short or half-long punches so they can breathe faster and punch faster. If you want the ability to punch fast, you have to breathe fast.
Throw fast combos
Let your punches flow as you release your hands and you’ll punch faster. Always keep your mind focused on the whole combination and not the individual punches and you will find that the combinations will flow from your arms at breakneck speed! Don’t attack your opponent with a step-by-step plan of how your punches will be delivered. Approach your opponent with a combination in mind