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Currently, I am looking to increase the power of my left-hook. From my understanding, force is generated from the ground and delivered with a powerful rotation of the spine up through the arm as a power delivery mechanism.

My questions:

  1. What types of exercises are recommended to improve form and power?
  2. Are there any compound/functional workouts that would increase the power that I can generate?

Current Training:

I am doing a lot of exercises that consist of rotating/stretching the hips and core with cables. Typically I do about three to four cycles. In addition, I also stand to the left hand side of a heavy bag and throw left-hooks for 2 rounds while facing myself in the mirror.

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    Just throwing in something (as I am not proficient in boxing styles) from a bodymechanical standpoint: I would consider using the hip and the stretching of the back (both two main sources of power in general) - rather than mere rotation - as important. Jan 21, 2017 at 23:01
  • So one of the main exercises I am doing already involves lots of cycles consisting of rotational movements that involve core/hip muscle development. I will add those details into the post! Thank you for your reply.
    – Badlarry
    Jan 21, 2017 at 23:03
  • What is your stance? Orthodox or Southpaw? Jan 23, 2017 at 3:21
  • @SahanDeSilva Hey Sahan, thank you for your response. I am an orthodox stance.
    – Badlarry
    Jan 23, 2017 at 5:11
  • I have a little knowledge on boxing, so am not gonna put an answer, but I guess, your front leg (left leg) and turning your hip clockwise should generate enough power to throw a powerful left hook. Jan 24, 2017 at 4:20

2 Answers 2

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One way to increase your power is through isometric tension. In the case of the left hook, use a wall that has a corner, where you can stand so that if you threw a left hook, you'd punch the wall. For the isometric tension exercise, act as if your throwing that left hook at the wall, keeping your body position when your fist touches the wall, as you keep your fist on the wall, tense your whole body as you push into the wall for at least thirty seconds each time, your whole body should shake. Do this at different distances and heights, relaxing your body on your inhale breathing, tensing on the exhale. Do this for at least twenty minutes, working your left and right sides. I hope my description isn't confusing, it's one of those things that's easier to show.

Also, as you pointed out, the power comes from the bottom of your feet and travels up as you involve more and more muscles and inertia. I have always thrown my hooks by throwing them from the hip (like swing a baseball bat), and aiming for the kidneys for the greatest effect.

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  • I tried this routine yesterday, I already started feeling a good difference in my hook. Thanks a lot Tom.
    – Badlarry
    Jan 22, 2017 at 15:47
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`In 1950´s T. Hettinger and E. Muller (1953, 1955) established that a daily effort of 2/3 maximum, for a period of six seconds, would increase strength by approximately 5% per week.

One reason for such improvements is the enhanced activation of motor units during an isometric muscle action. One can recruit almost all motor units during a maximal isometric contraction. As stated by sports scientist Yuri Verkhoshansky, "each 6-second isometric contraction is in effect equal to many dynamic contractions (ballistic type) in which maximal force is of a duration no more than 0.1 seconds" (1977). Recent studies however suggest that strength increases over a range of 15 to 20 degrees on either side of the training angle. This potential limitation is easily overcome by training several angles (ex. starting point, mid-point, end-point) of a specific movement.

Verkhoshansky listed the following negative aspects of isometric training:

  1. Isometrics fatigue the nervous system
  2. Isometrics have a harmful influence on the cardiovascular system
  3. Isometrics decrease coordination and speed of movement

The development of absolute strength however has a negative influence on speed. For this reason, we must focus our attention towards explosive strength. When training explosive strength, tension should be generated with maximum speed (Verkhoshansky, 1977).

Shorter sequences (ex. 3 to 6 seconds) are also recommended when training for explosive strength. Longer sequences are commonly used when training for muscle mass increases. For example, it is common for individuals to hold isometric positions for 30 to 60 seconds when training for size. The increased time under tension is thought to produce greater mass gains. And with proper sequencing of work and rest, coupled with time for breathing, relaxation, and stretching, one can eliminate all negative effects.` From: Infinite intensity by http://www.rossboxing.com/thegym/thegym25.htm

Adding hooks with bands would be a great addition or as combination with the iso holds at different ranges to improve speed.

As the hook is involving the stretch reflex of the pecks and shoulders (stretch by the initial torque/hip rotation prior to the fist and arm beginning to travel), adding some heavy bench pressing would have an additional impact - no bulking just some dense muscles with high sets and low reps.

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  • Downvoting without mentioning why makes sense!
    – mitro
    Jan 23, 2017 at 13:02
  • Hey Mitro not sure who down voted. I would like to see an explanation as well.
    – Badlarry
    Jan 23, 2017 at 19:40
  • Hey I meant I'd like to see why you got down voted. Not sure why you did.
    – Badlarry
    Jan 23, 2017 at 19:46
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    And now we have a good answer. Thank you. Jan 24, 2017 at 10:21

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