In part two
of this three part series, I gave a brief explanation of throwing a straight
right hand punch by explaining the joint actions involved, the sequencing of
their actions, the muscles involved and how they are involved with the lower
body and torso. From the studies
sited in part two, it was shown that the majority of punching force is
developed from the lower body, and then transferred into the torso, and then
into the shoulders and hand. I
believe that it is important to understand how and why these actions occur in
order to recognize how punching forces can be generated and it will allow the
physical preparation coach the ability to use exercises that better transfer to
improving the combat athletes punching forces.
* I would like to note that there are many factors go into throwing a
powerful punch: Timing, footwork, and style of fighter being a few. The explanation that I had given was
director explained the idealistic mechanics for a straight right hand punch by
an orthodox fighter. The same
mechanics & exercises apply for a southpaw throwing a straight left hand
The first action that occurs in
throwing a punch is getting the hips in motion, shifting the weight from the
back leg onto the front. As noted
in the studies done by Filmonov,
the weight shift (“push-off leg extension”) is the main
source of force production. A
general-specific exercise to strengthen this joint action is performing hip
the weight has been shifted, hip rotation occurs around the front leg while
keeping the shoulders side facing.
This separation is important in order to create a powerful “rubber band”
affect with stretching of the oblique’s.
The more separation there is between the hips and shoulders, the
stronger the contraction of the oblique’s wiping the shoulders around. Reverse Trunk Twists are
a great exercise to create flexibility between the hips and shoulders as well
as strength in a full range of motion.
Russian Twist is an exercise that often times gets overlooked for development
of the oblique muscles. Performed
properly on a Glute-Ham-Back machine allows for a full range of motion of the
oblique’s and is done against the direct pull of gravity. Russian Twists have been modified
throughout the years to be preformed in a seated position to make it easier. Executing the exercise this way
shortens up the ROM, and can allow for spine flexion, which combined with
rotation can lead to injury.
Rotational med-ball throws are a
great way to develop rotational speed, power, and strength. There are many different variants of
med ball throws that can be used in the programming for a combat sport athletes
ranging from general to specialized.
The use of specialized exercises is to improve the athlete’s physical
abilities as it relates to technique.
Specialized exercises can be single joint as well as multi-joint
exercises. In order to make
med-ball throw specialized, the lower-body and torso must duplicate how it is
used in throwing a punch. The
overload of the med ball must be such that it does not allow for mechanics over
the lower body and torso to change.
Most often rotational med-ball
throws are performed with a simultaneous weight shift, rotation of the hips and
shoulders. In order to make it
more specialized there must be a sequencing of the joint actions. Otherwise it is best to use these
general med-ball throws with lower level athletes, and or in the general phase
-Figure 1 shows a side facing athlete to his
-Figure 2 shows the athlete shifting his weight
onto his front leg by hip joint abduction
-Figure 3 shows the athlete performing hip joint
axis of his rotation is in his left hip
shoulders remain side facing as his hips reach full rotation
-Figure 4 shows the athlete then coming around
with his shoulders as he releases the ball
The goal of this series was to
point out the short comings of the
original article published by the NSCA, give an explanation of the lower-body
and torso’s role in throwing a punch, as well as give general and specialized
exercise examples for physical preparation coaches. There are many more exercises that can and should be used
both general and specialized for the combat athlete.
When something registers high on my
BS meter, I try and figure out why that is and how to better come up with a
solution. Articles like the one
that I examined leave a bad
taste in my mouth for they are often times are too vague, give science that is
irrelevant, and any of the practical examples given are all general exercises
in nature, meaning they won’t have as high of a transference to improving sport
performance. I am not a scientist;
I am a practitioner. Having an
understanding of the science is important, don’t get me wrong, but knowing what
exercises have a high transference to sport, there timing and dosage is what is
most important to me. I just want
 Filimonov. Means of
Increasing Strength of the Punch.
NSCA Journal. Vol 7, #6
 Verkhoshansky. Filimonov.
The Dynamics of Punching Technique and Speed-Strength in Young Boxers. Soviet Sports Review. Vol. 26, #4
and Kinesiology of Exercise 2nd Edition. Ultimate Athlete Concepts 2013.
Lenetsky. Harris. Brughelli. “Assessment and Contributors of Punching Forces
in Combat Sports Athletes: Implications for Strength and Conditioning. NSCA- Strength and Conditioning
Journal. Vol. 35 #2
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