How to punch harder like GSP

How to Punch Harder

Last week I posted an exercise to help you kick higher, so this week, I thought I’d throw in another article that I know is going to be popular on how to punch harder.

Punch is one of those funny words if you say it enough times, it starts to sound comical.




How to punch harder like GSP

Don’t agree? OK maybe I’m just a weirdo or I’ve spent too much time with this article rolling around in my head then. :)

Before continuing – take this poll/quiz, I’m just curious to see where you’re at:

There are a lot of myths out and about talking about how to punch harder.

Let’s bust those then get on with how you can actually go about increasing your punching power properly.

How to Punch Harder MYTH #1 – Increase Tricep Strength

I remember watching a video put out by one of those fitness magazines that shows a trainer ‘teaching’ the magazine interviewer guy how to punch harder.

One of the exercises he shows is the standing tricep cable extension, saying that it’s a good exercise because you need tricep strength to punch harder.

He then goes to punch this geek in the gut when he’s not expecting it, crumpling him, “proving” his theory right.


Tricep strength contributes very little to punching power, which comes more from the hips and core.

How to Punch Harder MYTH #2 – Punchers Are Born, Not Made

Your genetics and build play a role in your punching power through their effects on muscle fiber type, neuromuscular activation speed and tendon length, to name a few. [For those with more background about the human body, even tendon insertion points that increase moment arm size to increase force production at that joint]

However, you can take the most genetically gifted freak in the world and if he’s never taught proper technique, he’s probably not going to have ridiculous KO power.

Anybody can wind up and throw everything they’ve got at a bag, but this is useless since something like this will never work in a fight (maybe in the street, but not against a trained opponent).

So we’ve got to talk about punches that have a chance of landing, and with this, technique is first and foremost.

Teaching technique is one way to “make” punching power.

After that, we can train the body strategically to improve two of the genetic components (in italics) mentioned above.

OK I’m done with myth-busting. Let’s move on to what to actually do to punch harder instead…

1) We know that before punching power can be developed, you’ve got to master technique.

2) We also know that much of your punching power comes from your hips and core, not just your arms.

Because I’m the S&C guy, I’m going to leave #1 to your striking coach. [f you don’t have one or you’re not confident in what he’s teaching you, talk to Jeff Joslin]

What I am going to do is address #2.

And I’m going to do it in a 2-step process, because I want you to think about this and understand it.

Once you understand it properly, you’ll start to practice the concept in all of your training and you’ll punch a hell of a lot harder than ever before.

Step #1 is for you to watch the video on this page and identify the key concept that I’m cueing my athlete to focus on.

Step #2 is for you to leave your answer as to what you think the key concept is in the Comments section below.

When you leave your comment, scroll right to the bottom of this page so you don’t see anybody else’s answer and it doesn’t influence yours.

Remember – you’re not doing this to prove how smart you are, you’re doing it to deepen your understanding.

There are 2 exercises shown in this video, both of which are in my Ultimate MMA S&C program.

I want you to focus on the exercise that more closely resembles throwing a punch and listen closely to my coaching cues.


Identify the “Cue” to Punch Harder:


I also want to encourage participation – so let’s get at least 50 answers here and in addition to revealing the magic cue to punch harder, I’ll also outline why we’re doing what we’re doing in this short clip, so let’s hear your answers!

Leave a Reply

228 Comments on "How to Punch Harder"

3 years 7 months ago

the hip mevement

3 years 7 months ago

My understanding is that the key concept is the medicine ball slams.
The movements are explosive, focusing on the core and hips.
Improving the neuromuscular speed will improve power – just think Bruce Lee :o)

3 years 7 months ago

Core development is key to improving all strength – and with punching power it is no different.
Slow twitch muscle fiber improvement and as shown in the video fast twitch fiber development – to provide explosive movement thru the hips and core with weight transfer from rear to front leg will improve the power in the punch.

3 years 7 months ago

“load” hips and core…..

Aaron Cook
3 years 7 months ago

Using your core and getting good hip rotation

19 days 1 hour ago


3 years 7 months ago

punching harder,you need several things to punch harder than you are right now. you need the right technique,speed,strength,power,and snap,but one thing people forget is to relax and have a strong stance, remember to punch harder you need to start with a solid stance and be relaxed if you get to stiff you loose a little. if you get to stiff its like putting the brake and hitting the gas at the same time you get nowhere.the power of your strike starts on the floor than travels up your legs to your waist up to the shoulder then the end of your fist then the last snap and follow through is were you hit hard or harder.iam no expert but from my experience one thing that does help is medicine ball throws,chopping like hitting the tire with a sledge hammer and also using weight you can handle from the ground, if you laydown flat on your back grab a weight bend your elbow hold the weight there and explode strait up like a one handed bench press but straight also need to condition your punching muscles and hit a heavy bag is still a great way to build your punch better than you have now.

3 years 7 months ago

rotational throws with the medball. staying low using the hips and core with full power and speed to increase overall hook power, and the distancing drill because her next opponent is a striker. the inverted rows are for her to have enough strength to keep her hands up the whole fight with the ability to throw hard liver shots & hooks when her opponent over commits, or she is pressing against the cage and using dirty boxing

3 years 7 months ago

Core speed and explosion.

3 years 7 months ago

this is the answer. explosive hip rotation. even for straight punches. another cue for throwing non-telegraphed punches is to explode from a relaxed muscular state with no “wind up”. similar to seated box jumps (only with your hands)

3 years 7 months ago

Your training him to generate as much power as possible thru his transverse(rotational) plane

3 years 7 months ago

the torque in the hip plus the stance she has

3 years 7 months ago

The only thing I can think of is sequenced muscle activation in an explosive way.

John Huff
3 years 7 months ago

It seems that the “loading” is the cue you are using…the slight opposite rotation of the hips, then to explode through and the let the arms follow…rotating the hips as fast as you would throw the ball. Being slightly up on the balls of the feet is important as well…this allows for smoother & more free rotation.

3 years 7 months ago

hitting from the “root to the fruit”!”

3 years 7 months ago


richard bennett
3 years 7 months ago

by twisting her hips and generating more force from her core

3 years 7 months ago

Doing the movement as quickly as possible, both in the load up and throw. Thus going for full explosive movement.

Shawn Lee
3 years 7 months ago

in my observation, the power is generated from the rear leg that push off the ground which transfers the power to the hip, trunks and core that your turn which transfers power to the shoulder and then to the elbow and arm when you extend fully while punching.

2 years 6 months ago

2)Explosive rotation for core generation, and release of the ball excerting additional force.

1) Picking up the ball and setting your legs in a position to generate force to the core…2^^

3) Sparring technique/speed

4) Row demestrates good pull speed