How to build power of punches with dumbbells?

Eryk

Level 1 Valued Member
Hi! Its good to do 3x5 with 6 kg dumbbell(I want to increase that weight to 30 kg or more after some time) straight punches?​
 

Glen

Level 7 Valued Member
By straight punches you.mean standing punching with the dumbbell?

Direction of force doesn't match the direction of movement IMO

Dumbbell bench press will more closely match the resistance with the required musculature. Use a training load aimed at developing power and you will get more out of it in my opinion
 

Pavel Macek

Level 9 Valued Member
Master Certified Instructor
Hi! Its good to do 3x5 with 6 kg dumbbell(I want to increase that weight to 30 kg or more after some time) straight punches?​
Eryk, no, your punching mechanic would just get worse and worse.

The recommended dumbbell protocol is:

- very light dumbbells (no more than 0,5 kg each) for punches
- heavy dumbbells - dumbbell swings & (push) presses (recommended by old-time strongman and boxer Thomas Inch in his excellent boxing manual)

You can learn the dumbbell swing in my free dumbbell swing tutorial here > SIMPLEXSTRONG |

15740833_1842751975943240_5406477654972306417_n.jpg
 

kennycro@@aol.com

Level 6 Valued Member
Hi! Its good to do 3x5 with 6 kg dumbbell(I want to increase that weight to 30 kg or more after some time) straight punches?

Dumbbells Punches

There are a number of issue with using Dumbbells to increase you're "Punching Power".

1) As Pavel stated, "....Your punching mechanic would just get worse and worse."

a) Your techniques changes as the load increases.

b) Research shows with light loads, power is developed in the first part of the movement. In the final part of the movement you decelerate; learn to decrease your power.

"The National Strength and Conditioning Association's Basic Guidelines for the Resistance Training of Athletes states that "performing speed repetitions as fast as possible with light weights (e.g., 30-45% of 1RM) in exercises in which the bar is held on to and must be decelerated at the end of the joint's range of motion (e.g., bench press) to protect the joint does not produce power or speed training but rather teaches the body how to decelerate, or slow down. Source: Plyometric bench training for 1rm increases

c) As per Glen, "...Direction of force doesn't match the direction of movement... Dumbbell bench press will more closely match..."

As Glen states, the Bench Press is more replicative of Punching than Standing Punches.

However, the Traditional Bench Press, as noted above, teaches you to decrease your Power at the end of the range of the movement.

Bench Press Training Solution

There are two methods that can be used to ensure Power is maintained and developed in the Bench Press through the full range of the movement.

1) Bench Press Throws: This mean going "Ballistic"; a body or objected must become airborne. In plain English, that means in the Bench Press you need to throw the bar up into the air.

Bench Press Throw Training Load should be 10 to 40% of your 1 Repetition Max. That means if your Bench Press Max is 300 lbs, the "Throw Load" should be 30 to 120 lbs.

The safest method is...

Smith Bench Press Throws (Video Demonstration Below)

Bench Press Throws ensure that you continue to accelerate, develop Power, from the start of the movement to the end.

2) Accommodating Resistance Bench Pressing: This means attaching Band or Chains to your Bench Press. This allows you to continue to push as hard as you can to the very end of the movement; Power is maintain and increase at the end of the range of the movement rather than decreased with the Traditional Bench Press.

Accommodating Resistance Bench Press Training does not allow the bar to go airborne; be thrown into the air.

Developing Standing Punching Power

Standing Punching with light dumbbells works to some extent but isn't optimal, for the reason stated above.

The optimal method is to perform Standing Punches with Bands. Band allow you to develop Power through the full ranged of the movement without impeding your technique.

Final Thought

The foundation of Power and Speed is built on Limit Strength (you 1 Repetition Max). The stronger you are the more force (Strength and Power) you are able to produce.

Kenny Croxdale
 
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Alan Mackey

Level 6 Valued Member
Since more than 90% of the power of your punches comes from the legs and hips, with the back acting as a foundation, trying to “press” things is pretty much useless.

Get yourself in front of a heavy bag and hit it, trying not to use anything but your shoulders, pecs and triceps (no trunk rotation, no weight shuffling...). I can assure you, the bag will barely move (much less bend and crack, which should be the desirable outcome).

Then, hit again the bag with your arm dead hanging by your side and your shoulder acting as the impact point (no shoulder extension, pec or triceps involvement at all). Just using the power generated by your legs, hips and transferred by your back, you will no doubt “crack” the bag no problem.

Improving your upper body extensor muscles is not going to have any perceivable effect at all (pretty much like doing a ton of calf raises to improve your vertical jump).

To improve your punching power, you need to punch a lot. And I mean A LOT. Then, if your really feel the need to go that extra mile, you would better served doing front squats, power cleans and push presses (all three movements involve the correct use of the hips, which is the true foundation of power). But never at the expense of loooooooooong hours hitting the heavy bag and pads.

Just remember you could surely outweigh and outlift Manny Pacquiao. But, if you were to trade punches, who could hit harder, despite you respective limit strength and body mass?
 
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the hansenator

Level 6 Valued Member
Thinking back to my martial arts days - Generally, the hardest punchers had a heavy diet of shadow boxing, impact training (heavy bag, mitts, pads), and some basic strength training.

I've also found that strong wrists and core are helpful.
 

WhatWouldHulkDo

Level 6 Valued Member
I think swings are great for developing the body drive you need to throw a hard punch.

But after that, I'm with @Alan Mackey , the only way to build punching power is to punch things hard, a lot. Doesn't matter how strong you are if you body knows that you'll break your wrist when you try to put it all behind a punch - it'll put the brakes on.
 

dc

Level 6 Valued Member
If you want to increase your punching power then improve your punching technique.
Then I’d recommend increasing your grip strength, from my experience stronger hands, wrists & forearms hit harder when all else is equal.
 

kennycro@@aol.com

Level 6 Valued Member
If you want to increase your punching power then improve your punching technique.
Technique Does Not Equate to Power

Great technique does not equate to Power. Techniques is the development of the skill, the efficient biomechanics of a movement..

Power

Power = Strength X Speed.

See Saw Analogy

Think of Limit Strength, Power and Speed as being on a See Saw.

Limit Strength is one one end of the See Saw.

Speed is on the opposite side of the See Saw.

Power is in the middle of the See Saw.

The Foundation of Power and Speed

Initially, an increase in Limit Strength (1 Repetition Max) will increase Power and Speed. However, if you only only performing Strength Training, you become slow.

So, there is some validity to the old adage that, "Lifting weight makes you slow."

Conjugate Training

This simply means combining different type of Strength Training into one program.

Combing different types of Strength Training into a well written and executed (Limit Strength, Power, Speed, Hypertrophy) into a training program elicits a synergistic effect. It amount to 2 + 2 being 5 rather than 4.

Olympic Lifter are the Poster Children for Power; combining Limits Strength, Power and Speed Training into their program.

Summary

1) Technique virtually does little to increase Limit Strength, Power or Speed. The objective is to improve you skill.

2) Power is developed when you increase Limit Strength; then by implementing a Conjugate Program that incorporates exercise that promote and develops Power an Speed.

3) Alan Mackey post is on the money. Punching Power comes from the hips and legs

Kenny Croxdale
 

Harry Westgate

Level 6 Valued Member
I've only skim read this thread, but I think Steve said it best. Get good punching technique - this is most important - and get stronger and fitter via your chosen modality (I like kettlebells and bodyweight). When I was boxing competitively, I did S&S almost daily alongside almost daily boxing sessions. I was told countless times by my coaches that I was very strong for a novice (less than 10 contests) 64kg boxer. Having said that, I was also told that I hit pretty hard, though I never hurt anyone significantly.

Punching power is in my opinion a frustrating thing, the harder you try to hit hard, the less hard you may hit. You must relax and let it flow. Overthinking it may cause you to tense up and pull your punches unintentionally. I learned this pretty early on, and so I just stopped bothering trying to hit hard, and I think this had a positive impact on my boxing.

A final note - one of my first coaches said that once people have technique solidified, everyone punches hard, it's just that some people punch harder than others. His point was that even a "soft" punch in the face is unpleasant for the person on the receiving end.
 
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North Coast Miller

Level 7 Valued Member
You cannot improve punching power significantly by using dumbbells to mimic the movement. They come in handy for conditioning the hands to stay up in a cover mode even with much fatigue, and some very slow punching out and back will teach you to not drop your hands on the return.

But punches are based on technique and to some extent the amount of mass being propelled, none of which is really helped by weighted punching. Caveat - small steel slugs or a roll of quarters held in the hand while working the bag can be of help, but even this is dubious and really only serves to teach you to relax into the strike once its in motion. This is better learned with just the hand and some wraps.

As @ Harry Westgate mentions you need to be loose to fire a punch with maximum power and speed (speed being key here). A good punch is like a ball on a chain, strength is only needed to get it moving and to lock up at moment of impact, and most of that strength is from overall body mechanics and clench strength.
 

kennycro@@aol.com

Level 6 Valued Member
I've only skim read this thread,
Alan Mackey's Post

Alan's post provided the best information on increasing Punching Power.

...One of my first coaches said that once people have technique solidified, everyone punches hard, it's just that some people punch harder than others.
Not Quite

Having good technique doesn't carry over that much to punching harder or with more power. That statement makes little sense.

Athletes with bad to little to technique who posses incredibly strength and power are superior to weaker individual with great technique.

Kenny Croxdale
...
 

Pavel Macek

Level 9 Valued Member
Master Certified Instructor
Gentlemen, it is not A or B - it is A+B.

As @Steve Freides wrote:

Train strength as general physical preparation, train your sport by practicing your sport.
Hence, good GPP program (speaking of dumbbells mentioned in the original question, e.g. Inch's Program Minimum: swing and [push] press) + mitts & heavy bag = success!
 

the hansenator

Level 6 Valued Member
Athletes with bad to little to technique who posses incredibly strength and power are superior to weaker individual with great technique.

Kenny Croxdale
...
I'd guess that those individuals would also have a high degree of athleticism which allows them to express their strength.

I've trained with power lifters who couldn't hit very hard and little skinny guys who hit surprisingly hard. The difference is the skinny guys had the form and body mechanics which allowed them to put everything they have into it.

The hardest hitter by far that I trained with was lean, muscular, and athletic in addition to having excellent form and body mechanics. The power he could generate actually frightened me and holding the pads for him was an experience I'll always treasure.
 

North Coast Miller

Level 7 Valued Member
One of the hardest hitting guys I trained with was about 20-30 lbs overweight and seldom did any supplemental exercise other than some calisthenics. He had been in superb shape when younger, but far and away his technique allowed him to generate tremendous power.

He could execute the Bruce Lee 1" punch, and his regular strikes would tear the focus mitts out of your hands.

The second hardest puncher I trained with was about 150 lbs 5'8" who would leave your hands literally twitching after 10 minutes of focus mitt work. No amount of strength can overcome poor form - no matter how strong, you will only hit so hard if using poor technique and the rest will all be pushing, and more importantly you will be slow and telegraph.
 

Shahaf Levin

Level 5 Valued Member
Athletes with bad to little to technique who posses incredibly strength and power are superior to weaker individual with great technique.
While might be true in some sports its definitly not a true statement. This just comeletely wrong in the sport of beach volleyball, and probably all other sports that call for object manipulation. In bouldering this statement is problematic as well.

Gentlemen, it is not A or B - it is A+B.
If we use math I would revise it to A * B... Zero technique would yield zero results. :)
 
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