Learning how to punch faster is the key to winning more rounds and becoming a better fighter. Imagine if you could double your speed, and get twice as many shots in the same timeframe?
A lot of fighters make the mistake of thinking that to increase their punch speed, they need to get stronger and put more effort into their throws - this is actually not the case. You’ll just end up more winded.
There’s actually ways you can train the punching motion itself that will increase your efficiency, allowing you to get more shots in the same amount of time.
With that said - physical training is only part of the equation. You also need to program your brain to punch faster - as your reaction time & mind-muscle connection matters too.
By the end of this article, you’ll be equipped with the information you need to start punching quicker and doing more damage in the ring, the cage, or the gym! We’re going to start with what we don’t recommend.
Punching Faster Doesn’t Mean Punching Harder
One of the biggest mistakes athletes make when they decide to increase their punching speed is just battering the bag harder.
We want to make one thing very clear right off the bat - you don’t need to apply any additional force with your punches in order to increase your speed.
Sure - training power is just as important as speed. We’re all chasing that knockout punch. But these are two different areas you need to train, and you’ll need to train each one differently. We’ll teach you how to build power another day.
But for today, we’re here to explain how to punch faster. Because combat sports require so much mental strength and clarity, we want to start with training your brain.
Start With Teaching Your Brain How To Punch Faster
What happens when you throw a punch? Novices don’t really put any thought into this - they just throw the punch.
But when we break it down, the entire punch starts in your mind. Your eyes recognize an opportunity and spot the target. From there, your brain tells your arm/upper body that it’s time to connect your hand with the target - thus you throw a punch.
So, before you begin physically training your punches to be quicker, train your mind to recognize targets faster, and send the signals to get the punch itself off quicker.
This sounds like it’d be really complicated, and require special equipment and virtual reality technology. But there are all sorts of cool ways you can improve eye speed and tracking.
Your Attitude Matters More Than You Think
One last thing we want to touch on with the mental side of learning how to punch faster is your attitude towards your punch, and your opponent.
A lot of novice fighters try to kill their opponents with one punch - you’re treating each punch you throw like a knockout punch.
This desire to produce peak power in each punch you throw creates a ton of tension. The more tense you are, the slower your reflexes are - and the slower you’ll punch.
The more relaxed you can be in your fight, the quicker you’ll punch. You’ll also be more fluid, and be able to bob and weave better.
Faster Breathing Means Faster Punches
Another important mental tweak to start punching faster is in your breathing. The quicker breaths you take, the quicker movements you’re able to make. This is a science.
Our bodies movements are tied directly to our breathing. Don’t believe us? Try punching quickly while breathing slowly.
When it comes to throwing high volume combos, such as five strikes - you should exhale 5 quick breaths with each throw. Training your breathing is another piece of the puzzle as it pertains to fast punches. But now - let’s get into some of the physical training.
How To Punch Faster With Physical Training
Once you feel that you can quickly locate, track, and execute a punch mentally - then comes learning how to punch faster through actual physical training. This is the fun part, and there are tons of different ways you can get started. We’ll start with one of the easiest - the speed bag.
Using A Speed Bag (Or Better Yet - The Boxaball)
But the trusty old speed bag is a great tool to increase your ability to track a target and get your punches off quickly.
Because the speed bag bounces around so crazy, you can’t afford to be lackadaisical when using it.
Spending some time with it daily forces you to punch faster. But, you also need to translate this speedbag speed over to an actual bag - and later on, an actual opponent. Because the speed bag is a relatively stationary piece of equipment (it bounces all over the place, but you really don’t need to move your body like you would in a competition).
That’s why we recommend training with the Boxaball boxing reflex ball. It’s pretty similar, but attaches to your head.
The manner in which it works forces you to move around with the ball, and allows you to rotate your body and walk around - getting you closer to training with a real opponent than a typical speed bag.
Add Some Resistance To Your Shadow Boxing
Shadow boxing is a great way to work on punch speed, as you can just focus and get into a flow state where you’re pairing quick breathing with quick punches.
To take your shadow boxing to the next level, you can add some resistance - either with wrist weights, or better yet, with the Power Punch Pro.
This is a full body resistance trainer, and can help you develop not just speed - but more explosive power and strength - the combination you need to win more fights.
You’ll find that when you shadow box with resistance, it’s tough! It’s similar to running in sand, your movements just feel slow.
That’s the goal - you train yourself to throw quickly with the resistance, and you’ll be amazed at how much faster you punch when you take the resistance away.
By incorporating everything we’ve mentioned above, you’ll be well on your way to landing more punches in shorter time frames. Getting this volume in is going to win you more decisions, and win you more knockouts, as you batter your opponent down over the course of a round! Invest in your record today, you’ll be glad you did.