Boxing How To – The Left Hook


Boxing How To -The Left Hook

The Left Hook(or Right hook if you happen to be a southpaw) is arguably the most difficult of Boxing’s punches to master. Primarily because it is a power shot thrown with your ‘weaker’ hand, so it can take time for the power and form to catch up with your right hand which comes more naturally to you if you are an orthodox Boxer. But just as it may be the most difficult punch to learn, it can also end up being your most dangerous weapon. Boxers such as the great Heavyweight Champion Joe Frazier practically made a living out of the left hook and knocking out opponents with it, indeed many other Boxer’s have built a fearsome reputation on this punch alone, Heavyweights Tommy Morrison, David Tua, Joe Louis all had great left hooks, and of course all time greats Sugar Ray Robinson and Roy Jones Jnr were capable of delivering successive power left hook’s one after the other.

There are a few tips and techniques I like when teaching how to throw the left hook to the head. The first is elbow placement, I like to have the elbows parallel with the shoulder, this is because if the elbows are lower, you increase the chance of injury whilst decreasing the power. I would advise that your palm is facing you, this is because with the palm facing you, you can throw a short hook, a medium hook or a long range hook. For short hooks, pull your wrist in towards you, this will give your hook direction and added power. You can throw the hook with your palms facing down but this is really only used in close, you cannot throw a medium or long range hook effectively with your palm facing down.

For a snappy left hook, reset back into position after throwing the left hook. Else for power, when throwing the left hook drive through your target, for example, when punching the bag, your hook lands on the left side but actually focus on reaching the right side of the bag, punch through the target. Pivot your lead foot clockwise when throwing the hook to increase hip rotation which leads to better power. Lean into your hook, that means slightly forward, do not get into the habit of pulling back with your head or body when throwing the hook.

When throwing left hooks to the body, you must get in lower, so if it is set up with the right cross, ensure your legs are bent allowing you to get low enough, your head should be level with your opponents chest when aiming to throw the left hook to the body. You should also tilt your head slightly forward when throwing the left hook to the body to prevent your opponent countering you flush on the chin, with the head tilting forward you will be presenting more of your crown rather than your face, so you’re almost headbutting your opponent if they try to counter you. Always keep your non punching hand(in this case the right hand) high when throwing the hook, the most common counter to a left hook is a left hook, if your right hand is down, you are going to get caught out, so always ensure you have one hand protecting you.

These are the basics of the hook, there are other types of hooks you can throw, such as a pivot hook, shovel hook or a leaping hook but master the basic hook to the head and body before you move onto those. Good luck! You can also view the video How To Throw The Lead Left Hook


Arm should come parallel to the floor.
The elbow should be in line with the wrist on contact with a 90 degree bend in the elbow.
As soon as the hand comes to make contact with the target, it needs to circle back in to the chin.
Whilst the lead arm rotates to the contact point the dominant shoulder needs to be taken back.
To add more power the lead heel should come off the ground and rotate the hips.
The hook is best used in combinations and works well after a cross.
The cross can add as a load up for the hook or as a feint for the hook.



About the author 


Boxing Coach
Strength and Conditioning Coach
Boxing Author of:

The Boxing Cheat Sheet - Your Ultimate Guide to Ring Survival

Strength and Conditioning for Boxing - Work out Hits to get you Fighting Fit!

Forgotten Legends of the Ring - Ten Past Masters of the Squared Circle

*Any videos or images used on this site to support my articles that are copyrighted are used for educational purposes and in accordance to the fair use act and are not my own - all credit is due to the respective owners. No copyright infringement intended.


david tua, joe frazier, joe louis, roy jones jnr, sugar ray robinson, The Left Hook, tommy morrison

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