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

232 Comments on "How to Punch Harder"

1 hour 53 minutes ago

Hip rotation and pelvic thrust

9 hours 38 minutes ago

the secret is hip movement and a pivot on the balls of your feet so as you throw the punch the hip and foot turn into the punch

16 days 9 hours ago

Body rotation based on obliques — their strength and speed — is essential for punching power.

Gabriel Gonzalez
19 days 19 hours ago

It’s all about the rotation of the core!

1 month 7 days ago

Timing and switching energy systems in a way that you can keep moving before and after snap?

1 month 11 days ago

Power comes from the ground

najmo okash
1 month 12 days ago

This has helped me a lot thx

2 months 19 days ago

Fast hip rotation.

James Mohler
3 months 10 days ago

the (cue) to punching harder is your rotating the hips, so you need strong core.

Michael English
3 months 14 days ago

The “Cue” to Punch Harder is the explosive rotational movement when throwing the medicine ball against the wall.

3 months 14 days ago

Rotating hips transferring energy from the rear foot/leg through to the shoulder and then arm then fist

3 months 19 days ago

I think that flexibility and strength in the hips and core is whats needed

Joe Thompson
4 months 4 days ago

Power equals speed times mass. Rotational force provides the most mass. It appears that primarily you’re working to expand rotation strength and speed.

4 months 4 days ago

1. You were trying to get him to understand how to generate the maximal amount of torque by properly using his feet, legs, hips, waiste, and shoulders in the proper sequence in order to optimize biomechanics. 2. I believe that you were cueing him or helping him to identify the weakest link(s) on the sequence chain involved during the punch delivery. 3. You were also making him aware as to when his body was under tension and when it was relaxed in order to maximize speed and power. Being able to distinguish between tension and relaxation will cue the puncher as to when he or she will be able to deliver the maximal amount of power behind that hard punch.

4 months 4 days ago

Load it up as fast and you throw it.

Andy A
4 months 7 days ago

You’re cueing him on hip rotation also you’re doing this in a manner which is simultaneously strengthening his core and developing explosive power. This will improve power for crosses and hooks. To improve power for a straight lead hand I start my hand forward and then step behind it (hands before feet) I time it so my hand hits my opponent a split second before my foot hit the ground. This way I am using my legs to explode towards the target and connecting with my full weight behind the punch..

Wayne wilson
4 months 9 days ago

Core and hip

Elizabeth M Alexander
4 months 19 days ago

Use your core, load it up from the ground

4 months 27 days ago

You’re training the athlete to develop torque at the hips and then integrating that immediately into fight-related movement. I’m guessing this is to hardwire the body to activate the hips and core whenever the athlete is in a fight stance/fight movement.

Gill higney
5 months 5 days ago

Core strength and hip rotation

Joey M.
5 months 6 days ago

power generates from the floor up, so i think legs, hips and core.

5 months 20 days ago

hip rotation and core movement. being explosive as well.

Gus Monge
5 months 23 days ago

Explosive hip/core rotation & weight dropping.

6 months 13 hours ago

you have to have core strength first then it is speed i was once told by a world rated old fighter speed i was puzzled and he said what would hirt more a car at 20 miles an hour or one at 100 miles an hour in a word speed

6 months 25 days ago

Correct stance and then technique and speed/power of hip rotation, shoulder thrust and correct delivery of fist.

7 months 2 days ago

powerful rotation

7 months 28 days ago

Hip Rotation

Mike Drake
8 months 2 hours ago

For me, I’d always thought punching power came from: strong shoulders, quick speed, leaning, twisting the waist, and putting some weight behind your punch. Though, I have to say, this video has shown me a couple new exercises to try.

Brandon Gaitor
8 months 1 day ago

Speed and fast twitch muscles in the core

Floyd Young
8 months 12 days ago

Hip rotation, legs, foot position, core.

Gill higney
8 months 12 days ago

Punching power comes rom hip rotation

8 months 14 days ago

Power is generated from abs and hips. Shoulders and pectorals also need to be worked out. Proper technique is important to learn because with proper technique the force of your whole body weight can be placed behind the punch. Rotation is really the key part of the technique that generates most power of the punch

8 months 15 days ago


8 months 18 days ago

load up your lats and push with feet

9 months 16 days ago

I believe the key is having Albanian blood line if you ever been hit by an Albanian you will get knocked out

10 months 18 hours ago

The stable quick rotation of the hips.

Clint D Rogers
11 months 1 day ago

I think its the coming up in a twisting motion from the core.

allan schneider
11 months 10 days ago

I think they’re working on core strength and recovery

D G Bell
11 months 30 days ago


Tafari(cash stack ) McKenzie
1 year 14 days ago

I think that he had to pivot tuning his hip and pivoting his foot exscuse my simpleness I’m 12

1 year 1 month ago

the leverage from the floor directly linked through the leg and hip in an explosive kinetic chain

1 year 2 months ago

Explosive power trained with plyometric exercises. Core and back strength

1 year 3 months ago

Core strength and upper body plymetrics

1 year 3 months ago

Rotation…..keeping your feet grounded…using your whole body

1 year 4 months ago

I think your working on how to move your hips, speed, leg positioning, how to deliver energy from your body to your arms and how to move your arms.

10 months 25 days ago

I think it is activating the posterior chain from the ground up, driving that towards the target rather than upwards by rotating and driving weight into the strike. How it feels to me anyway

1 year 4 months ago

Generating power from your hips

1 year 4 months ago

Power is produced by Snapping your punches…

1 year 5 months ago

Power is generated from the ground up.

1 year 5 months ago

weight and time of release

Harvey Dickstein
1 year 5 months ago

Load up then rotate.

Ray Bullus
1 year 6 months ago

Twisting your hips and using the power of your hips.

1 year 7 months ago


1 year 7 months ago

Combined Hip and Core rotation

1 year 7 months ago

back and leg musceles

1 year 8 months ago

The power generated from the winding up of the boby, and twisting from the torso feet ankles knees
Everything working as a unit to generate speed to the delivery.power in motion, not force of arm.

1 year 8 months ago

I think throwing the balls practices building power for the punch and by him avoiding you he practices moving around with a real opponent

1 year 8 months ago

1. Learn Technique

2. Hit that mofo called “bag” until 1. is perfect, speed is maxed, and power the result of both.

Note: The recoil tension from the bag will help strengthen those many other factors such as wrist solidity and so on.

1 year 8 months ago

Hip movement

Rob Green
1 year 9 months ago

the power is definitely shown here. its like a spring coil that starts at her feet. watch her back foot. everything is relaxed… and her energy just moves up her legs into her core

Rob Green
1 year 9 months ago

the power is definitely shown here. its like a spring coil that starts at her feet. watch her back foot.

1 year 9 months ago

Still without the proper strength to stabilize your arm, when you punch you could have amazing hip power and throw alot of power into that punch but if your arm crumples at the power of your hip your punching strength gets reduced dramatically.

1 year 9 months ago

It looks like rotational power generated from the torque pf the hips.

1 year 9 months ago

more on back and hips

1 year 9 months ago

Actually, triceps do deal with punch power because no matter how powerful your hips are, if your arm isn’t strong enough to withstand that force your potential punching power decreases drastically. Now I am not saying go build huge triceps just your going to get a more solid blow with strong triceps

Richard Forte
1 year 9 months ago

tells her to put her core into it

1 year 10 months ago

It starts from th feet. The first muscles to activate are your calves then up ggfrom there.

1 year 10 months ago

Punching Power relates to the kinetic flow of energy through a punchers body.
It starts at the ground and consists of proper foot placement and anchoring.

Next rotational / torsional force are developed from both knees counter moving (Pushing/Pulling),
And assisting hip, abdominal / core, and shoulder rotation.

Arm Movements involve the linear movement of the elbow forward while staying down to protect the rib cage area. A twisting of the wrist between 75 to 90 % of full arm extension should be incorporated.

Power comes from hip /core rotation and proper body mechanics.

Chrissi godesberg
1 year 10 months ago

The power and speed of the twist! The right rotation of the hips…the power comes from the core

1 year 11 months ago

Loading up rear Leg and twisting hips quickly while driving rear leg towards target

Blake Duhon
1 year 11 months ago

Momentum and movement of hips, rotation of the hips, and the momentum of your body rotating and extending arm out at the same time.

1 year 11 months ago

maximum speed

1 year 11 months ago

sudden stop of the hip movement

2 years 7 days ago

Rotational form of a swing agility and power from inverted rows

2 years 11 days ago

Core rotation and speed of core rotation?

2 years 23 days ago

The muscle your athletes using during the medicine ball toss is meant to increase rotational power by strengthening the external obliques get the lats firing as well. The rep range of 3 powerful reps is essential in stimulating the nervous system without over fatiguing it. The second exercise is the horizontal row on the TRX which focuses on the upper back musculature such as rhomboids, traps and lats. In punching the rhomboids act as a breakpad that decelerate the punch, so the faster these muscles can brake, Conidering that power =massx acceleration is exactly what your client is doing with the throwing and explosive rowing. Its quite ingenious to combine the two exercises to really join and train the body to fire the core quickly, as well as the back muscles to teach the body’s nervous system to fire faster and allow the athlete to punch harder.

2 years 29 days ago

Using the legs

2 years 1 month ago

I think that the key concept is getting the trainee to turn his hips and “swing” in to the punch.

Mr. Davis
2 years 1 month ago

keep the back foot planted shoot from the hips and always incorporate the core.

2 years 1 month ago

Ace every time you remind him about his hips a core

Malik aka Taz
2 years 1 month ago

Will doing isometric punches with a resistance band (working the pull back motion too) followed plyometric punches help me to punch faster and harder? And what exercises are the best for superior punching speed and one punch ko power?

2 years 2 months ago

In my opinion to maximize your punching power, one must let energy go though the entire body in this pattern; Calves and Quads moving forward (make it as intense as possible), abdomen (moving to a slanted position forward), shoulders ( primarily the front delts to maximize the force ), triceps, forearm ( no power just to perfectly divert your punch). This movement is best used after deflecting an attack.

2 years 2 months ago

Dropping energy like Jack Dempsey and Muhammad Ali used…but even harder:

Jim Kim
2 years 2 months ago

Torque in hips

2 years 2 months ago

kinetic linking

2 years 2 months ago

The movement of using the twisting of your hips to throw your shoulder/upper body around brings the speed & momentum around with your punch, because asentually you are using your whole upper body to swing into your punch..!
U will get more force twisting/swinging your entire upper body into the punch then you will by leaning into, & pushing out with just your shoulder/arms..! It’s about speed & momentum
By doing this exercise it is building the strength of your core/body which will cause u to gain more speed & force with this movement which will result in more speed & force into your punch.!

2 years 2 months ago

“hips and core straight from the ground” is your cue that closets relates to how a punch is actually thrown

2 years 2 months ago

I believe you are trying emphasize the combination of leg stability, and torso/arm momentum equates an effective punch.

Pierre Belanote
2 years 4 months ago

It’s a simple exercise using a hole body rotation where as at the beggining you’re like jelly and when you throw the ball you tighten the muscles.

2 years 4 months ago

center of gravity, dropping hips and turning into…the exercise scoop/toss would make you a stronger puncher.

2 years 4 months ago

The scoop toss is developing all the main muscles as those used in punching by twisting through the hips and core. By throwing the ball as hard and fast as she can, those genetic components mentioned above (i.e. recruitment of muscle fibres and increasing the speed at which neuromuscular transmitters are firing) are being trained and therefore improved upon, increasing punching power. The quicker these big muscles are able to fire off, the harder and quicker the punch will be.

2 years 5 months ago

hip rotation

2 years 6 months ago


2 years 6 months ago

the rotation of the hips and core also the placement of the feet help deliever a stronger punch

Chann OBrien
2 years 7 months ago

From the floor up through your legs butt hips and core then released . A bit lime a coil or lol if you remember the he man figures from back in the day . One thing for sure i wouldnt lime to be on the end of the young girls hook ouch (sorry if it wasnt a girl/lady).

2 years 7 months ago

Well, thanks brother for the efforts the cue to punching power are the hips and core that give explosive power to the punch added to the movement of the legs
What do you think?

2 years 7 months ago

I think the medicine ball throws help punching power the most. Throwing the medicine ball like that uses the stomach more than the arms. Your would wear out your arms quickly if you initiated the the entire punch with them, but if you use your stomach more muscles are activated giving you a stronger punch.

2 years 7 months ago

power for your punches travels from your legs to your trunk and transfers to your shoulders and arms. the rotational forces in the mb throws works the hips and core as well as arm power and the inverted rows works the upper back and scaps for more compact and harder punches.

2 years 7 months ago

The swinging your hips, and the way you pivot your body.

2 years 7 months ago

i think its to work on your core and arms equally they both are needed for a great punch the ball twist is for a strong core and help get use to throwing your body into swing ( punch) and the sit ups tighten core as you work on arms for both the moving after each is to keep your body use to the difference so you can keep moving in a fight? am i right? i feel like i’m missing a piece….

2 years 8 months ago

do the twist? ^^