We’ve all watched our favourite pro fighter throw their punches at lightning speed and wonder if it’s natural god given talent or if they had to work on it. The good news is they all had to work on it, the bad news is so will you if you want to punch with machine gun speed. As always it’s back to basics, there is no fast track for this one.
Practice boxing using a heavy bag. In addition to increasing the power and strength of your punches, a specific workout exists that allows you to improve your punching speed with a heavy bag.
- Push the heavy bag to generate a slow swinging rhythm, then stand about an arm’s length away from the heavy bag as it swings.
- Move your body back and forth with the rhythm of the heavy bag, then throw straight punches at the heavy bag as it moves toward you.
- Move backward slightly as the bag moves away from you, then repeat with throwing straight punches at the heavy bag as it swings back to you.
- Continue to throw straight punches at the heavy bag until you become comfortable with the routine, then incorporate a variety of extra moves to your workout; such as throwing 1 and 2 punch combinations in place of straight punches, adding circling and pivots to your workout, or moving to the opposite side of the heavy bag as it swings away from you to throw more straight punches.
2.Perform jump rope sprinting with a jump rope. Jump rope sprinting will help develop the muscles used for fast punches; which are the fast-twitch muscle fibers located in your upper back and shoulders.
- Pump your knees up and down rapidly while swiftly moving your wrists as you jump rope.
- Incorporate interval training into your jump rope sprinting workout; such as alternating between sprinting in place with the jump rope for 30 seconds, then slowing your pace slightly for 10 seconds. This method may allow you to place more focus on speed during the sprinting portion of the interval.
3. Use focus mitts with a training partner. While using focus mitts, you can centre your workout primarily around developing speed.
- Throw 5 and 6 punch combinations, then follow each punch combination with a fast pivot throughout the duration of your workout.
4. Use hand weights during your shadowboxing routine. The hand weights will add resistance to your speed, then increase the speed of your punches after you retire the hand weights. This method will also help strengthen the muscles in your upper back and shoulders.
- Shadowbox as you normally do during your boxing routines, holding 1 or 2 lb. (0.45 or 0.90 kg) weights in each hand.
- Stop using the free weights after several rounds, and continue to shadowbox without the weights. You will then notice an increase in boxing speed after you have trained with the weights.
5. Use a double-end bag during your boxing training. This method will allow you to focus on hand and eye coordination in addition to developing your hand speed.
- Jab the double-end bag repeatedly, then gradually work to incorporate jab and cross punch combinations into your routine.
- Continue to jab and cross punch until you can eventually begin to throw 6 to 8 punch combinations at the double-end bag.
6. Use the speed bag to help improve the timing of your punches and their speed.The speed bag will also work the fast-twitch muscle fibres located in your upper back and shoulder region.
- Take smaller swings at the speed bag to decrease the circumference of circles you form as you punch the bag. For example, if your punches currently cause the speed bag to form a circumference of 8 inches (20.32 cm), modify your punches so the circumference of the bag forms 6 inches (15.24 cm).
7. Practice reflex exercises. You can develop speed by performing training techniques that allow you to move immediately from a relaxed stance into a fighting stance.
- Walk at a moderate pace around your training area and focus on deep breathing to help your body relax.
- Enlist a friend to shout impromptu commands every few minutes, at which point you will immediately assume a boxing stance and throw 4 or 5 punching combinations at your fastest possible speed.
- Perform several rounds of this exercise during each of your boxing workouts.