There’s been a long debate in boxing gyms about whether power punching is something that we learn or we’re born with. Improving punching power is something that all fighters, competitive and fitness enthusiasts alike, chase after. For the competitive fighter, punching power is an equalizer that can change the outcome of any fight with a single blow. For the fitness enthusiast, the sound of crushing the bag with hard shots is both satisfying and a great way to burn calories. Fortunately, new research has emerged suggesting that there is a way that we can train to increase our power.
A study was completed that measured the effects of using elastic resistance training bands on individuals’ jabs. The study measured the athletes’ strength levels and velocities of different joint angles involved in a jab. The training program consisted of 3 workouts per week for a total of 6 weeks. The fighters performed 6 sets of 10 straight jabs using the elastic resistance bands with 10 seconds of rest between punches and 45-60 seconds of rest between sets. The study concluded that all of the athletes that used resistance bands improved their straight jab punch strength and velocity. Improvements in velocity and strength were seen in various joint angles including the elbow, shoulders, and hips, indicating that total body movements can be improved with elastic band training for punches. Part of the reason for this improvement is because of a concept called accommodating resistance.
Sports scientists refer to accommodating resistance as a special means of adding resistance to the entire range of motion rather than a specific point. Even though the weight is fixed for most traditional strength exercises, the force of movement is less at certain angles. As an example, think of how a squat feels heavier at the full squat position than at the quarter squat position. By providing accommodating resistance, the resistance is the same throughout the range of motion, allowing for strength gains across the movement. One of the best ways to achieve this is through the use of elastic bands, like the Everlast FIT Shadow Boxer. Elastic bands provide resistance across the entire range of motion and unlike using dumbbells for resistance, which has become popular with some fighters, the resistance with elastic bands is provided in the direction of the punch. Dumbbells can weigh the hands down, instead of horizontally (the direction punches are thrown).
You can improve your power on your jab and cross using this workout inspired by the study. It will consist of a total of 12 rounds instead of 6, as you’ll be working your cross as well. Take 10 seconds of rest in-between punches and focus on maximizing force with each punch (except for the jab-cross round where the punches will be performed in combination).
FIT Shadow Boxer workout
Round 1 -4
Jab x 10
Cross x 10
Jab-Cross x 10