There are four main punches in boxing:
- Jab – a sudden punch.
- Cross – a straight punch.
- Hook – a short side power punch.
- Uppercut – a short swinging upward power punch.
The jab is the beginner punch that you’ll likely start with practically every boxing class. It’s also referred to as “one” when calling out combos.
- Start in your boxer stance with your hands next to your nose. Your back heel should be lifted ever so slightly off the floor with your fists closed and fingertips facing your chin.
- Keep your hips in place as you punch straight out with your lead hand. As you throw your punch, twist the knuckles of your hand so that when your arm is extended, your fingertips face the floor.
- Be sure to keep your rear hand tight in a tight fist, tucked, and at the ready.
- Immediately return your lead hand to the starting position.
A cross—or a number “two” punch—is a powerful straight punch thrown across the body originating from the dominant hand. The cross is an effective knockout blow that can be utilized in many situations.
- Begin in a boxer stance with the weight mostly in your front foot, and your knees slightly bent. Keep your fists closed with fingertips facing your chin.
- Punch your right hand straight forward. Your fingertips should face the floor when your arm is fully extended. As you throw your punch, pivot on the ball of your back foot and rotate your hips forward.
- Immediately return your right hand and hips to the starting position.
Punches ‘three’ and ‘four’ are typically your right hook and left hook. The hook is arguably one of the most effective punches in the sport of boxing. Below is how to throw a proper left hook:
- Begin in your boxer stance, with your hands close to your nose. Your back heel should be lifted slightly off the floor with the weight mostly in your toes. Have your fists closed tight with your fingertips facing your chin.
- With your elbow bent to 90-degrees, punch with your left hand and bring your forearm completely out in front of you, ending like it’s on a shelf in line with your shoulders. Your knuckles stay up facing the sky, with your fingertips facing the floor. Your hand, feet, and hips should all move as one, and your foot pivots slightly.
- Stop the punch with your fist directly in front of your face, making sure not to twist past it.
- Be sure to keep your back hand in a tight fist, tucked at the ready, underneath your eye.
- Return your hand, hips, and feet to the starting position.
Punches ‘five’ and ‘six’ are also called your left and right uppercuts. In this close range move, imagine you are landing a powerful punch underneath your opponent’s chin.
- Like the other punches, start in your boxer stance, hands right next to your nose. Your back heel should be lifted slightly off the floor, and the weight should be mostly in your front foot with your knees bent. Keep your fists closed with your fingertips facing your chin.
- Pivot on the ball of your back foot, turning your knee and hip forward as your right hand swipes up toward the sky from your hip. Be sure to keep your elbow bent and fingertips facing you as you imagine ending the punch right under the other fighter’s chin.
- Keep your left hand in a tight fist, tucked, and at the ready.
- Return your right hand and hip to the starting position.