Using Weights to Improve Your Punch

Luis Bonnet

There are several ways to work on your punch. The basic way for any athlete to practice their punch is slow, with control. Building strength and control are vital for any fighting technique.


1. Punching with wrist weights are a good way to build strength and control in the movement of your punch. Whether it’s an uppercut, a hook, or a straight punch. First, get into a stance or fighting position – it can be any fighting stance. Do one set of 50 reps, alternating left and right hand. Weight should be anywhere from 2 lbs to 10 lbs.

2. Using a cable machine is great because you do not have the range-of-motion restriction of regular weight machines, or the bulkiness of heavy dumbbells. This will allow you to practice all types of punches from a straight punch to a hook. Try 2–3 sets of 30 reps, meaning 15 punches each hand for a two-hand total of 30 punches per set.

3. Alternating sides dumbbell bench press is a good exercise because it requires a lot more control, versus a regular bench press. It also mimics the movements of a straight punch, making it a functional movement to practice. Starting with your arms in a neutral grip position, push the dumbbell up gradually turning your arm so that your hand ends up in a overhand grip. While one arm pushes up the other arm is returning to the side of your chest. It is like throwing a punch while lying on your back. Try to do 2–3 sets of 30 reps – 15 punches each hand for a two-hand total of 30 punches per set.

Make sure you perform the above exercises at a slow, steady pace. Treat each exercise as any other weightlifting exercise, and not like a full power punch. Make sure you choose a light enough weight when trying to perform the above exercises. The amount of reps you do and the pace at which you perform each exercise matters. After you perform these exercises try punching freely without weight or resistance. Punch at a moderate speed at first, and than try full speed and power. You should feel a big difference.

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