top of page

The Ultimate Strength Training Drills to Boost Your Punching Power

As a martial artist, there are many different aspects of your training that you need to focus on to become the best fighter you can be. One of the most critical areas to focus on is strength training, which can help you increase your punching power and become a more effective fighter overall.

Whether you're a beginner or a seasoned pro, including strength training takes your skills to the next level. In this blog post, we'll explore why strength training is vital for boxers and other martial artists and how you can start your training program today.

Strength Drills for Boosting Punching Power
Boost Punching Power

When it comes to punching, there are several essential muscles that you need to focus on developing to become a more effective fighter. The primary punching muscles include the chest, lats, triceps, shoulders, wrist and core muscles. Incorporating exercises targeting these muscle groups into your strength training routine can increase your punching power and help you become a more well-rounded boxer. Always focus on proper form and gradually increase your workout's weight and intensity.

While several exercises help us build size and strength, here are some specific drills to boost punching power.

Engaging Lats for Punches

Lats, short for Latissimus Dorsi, are the largest muscles in your back. They are responsible for adducting, extending, and internally rotating the arms. They also help to stabilise the spine and maintain good posture. Strengthening your lats can improve your overall upper body strength and help you perform better in pull-ups, push-ups, and rows.

Standing cable (or resistance band) punching is a great way to strengthen these back muscles. One needs to pull in the same form as that of a punch. Breathe in, and punch as fast with proper form, which includes twisting of feet, hip and shoulder. Follow it up with a slow release back to guard. Make it challenging with a progressive weight with reps in the range of 8-10 (failure).

Engaging Chest for Punches

The chest muscles, also known as Pectoral Muscles or "pecs," are located in the front of the chest. They are responsible for movements such as pushing and adducting the arms across the body. Strengthening your chest muscles can improve your upper body strength and help you perform better in push-ups, bench presses, and chest flies.

Standing single arm cable (or resistance band) press strengthens your chest muscles. It works as an inverse of the Lats Punches mentioned above. Start from the extended punch position with feet, hip and shoulder extended. Pull the cable fast till you reach the guard and release slowly to the extended position again. Keep it challenging and progressive similar to the drill mentioned above.

Engaging Wrist for Punches

The Extensor Carpi Radialis Longus muscles are part of the wrist stability muscles located in the forearm. Their primary purpose is stabilising the wrist joint during wrist extension and radial deviation movements. Strengthening these muscles can help prevent wrist injuries and improve overall wrist function.

Holding a kettlebell straight up while resting your elbow and forearm on a bench to isolate the wrist stability muscles is a fantastic drill to strengthen the wrist for powerful punches and reduce the chances of injury.

Challenge yourself with a longer hold time; increase weight only when you can hold for more than 30 seconds at the previous weight to avoid injury.

Engaging Shoulders for Punches

Delts, short for Deltoid Muscles, are located in the shoulders and are responsible for various arm movements, such as lifting the arms to the side or the front. Strengthening these muscles can improve shoulder stability and function.

Weighted unilateral front-hold punches are a great drill to build your shoulders for multiple rounds or fights without forcing you to drop your guard out of fatigue.

Start with a lightweight and hold each punch for 5 to 10 seconds; challenge yourself with around 20 reps each and increase weight progressively.

Watch the video for better understanding.

Strength training is a crucial martial arts component that can help practitioners improve their technique, power, and endurance. By incorporating exercises that target the muscles used in kicking, punching, and grappling, martial artists can develop the explosive strength and stamina needed to perform at their best. In addition to traditional weightlifting, plyometrics, bodyweight exercises, and cable/ resistance band training can all be effective ways to build martial arts-specific strength.

However, it's essential to approach strength training cautiously and work with a qualified trainer to ensure proper form and technique. With consistent training and focus, martial artists can reap the many benefits of strength training and take their skills to the next level.

A Blog by:

Ankit Thakur
A K11 Certified Strength Coach and Personal Trainer with more than five years of experience. Ankit helps warriors achieve their fitness goals and is also a Special Population Coach

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page