How to punch harder – The Kettlebell Swing
The kettlebell is a great piece of equipment to help you with your conditioning for boxing. There are various lifts you can use with the kettlebell which will aid your boxing. In this article I am going to look at one of those movements, which will guarantee an increase in your punching power – the two handed kettlebell swing.
Why is this movement so good for boxing? Well any fighter knows, that true power comes from the lower body, so your legs, hips and core are essential in delivering force, whether that is a big hard power shot, or a quicker more explosive punch. These parts of the body must be sufficiently trained if you want to hit both harder and more explosively.
I also like the kettlebell swing because it closely replicates the movement of the uppercut and utilises the all important hip hinge thereby forcing you to involve hip action into your punches, when you can put the hips into your punches you will notice your punches are crisper, cleaner and harder.
Going over how one would throw the uppercut, ‘drop’ your weight onto your knees, imagine slightly bending your knees and having a little bounce as you do, that’s dropping the weight onto your knees. As you throw the uppercut, pull your opposite shoulder back, so if you are an orthodox boxer throwing the rear uppercut, snap your left back as you deliver the uppercut with your right hand. The kettlebell swing will also aid flexibility in the hips and will help punches such as the shovel hook to the body.
HOW TO PERFORM THE KETTLEBELL SWING
To perform the movement position a kettlebell about a foot in front of you, grab the kettlebell with both hands, slightly bending the knees and hips, let the kettlebell swing between your legs and then swing the kettlebell forward to just above chest level, the important part here is to use a hip thrust or hip snap as you swing the kettlebell up, this is key and is where the power comes from. Let the kettlebell drop back down between your legs and again swing it back up using the hip hinge and hip thrust motion. I would recommend you use a heavy enough weight for this exercise as the benefit comes in part to this, using a lighter weight will not generate enough hip thrust. Be sure to keep your back straight, push the shoulders back and your glutes tight throughout this exercise, your heels should be down and also keep your core tight. To have a strong punch you must have strong hips and a strong core.
I would recommend using the kettlebell swing on the same day you have performed the deadlift, another exercise which is great for increasing punching power. If you are using your session for conditioning, then combine the two. One set of speed deadlifts followed immediately by one set of two handed kettlebell swings. If you are having a strength training day, then complete your sets of deadlifts before you commence your set of kettlebell swings.
For Strength Training:
Work up to heavy sets of 3 so progressively add weight to the bar and do 3×3 with the top weight. Deadlifts are great for developing strength and power all over your body.
Explosive Movement – Kettlebell Swing(due to its utilisation of the hip hinge) 3×5
If you are using the kettlebell swing instead of weight training, then increase the number of reps, so it would be 3 sets of 10 reps. The same can be said if you are using the kettlebell swing as a finisher exercise to end the workout.
For more info on how you can become faster, stronger, more explosive and powerful in the ring, then read my book Strength and Conditioning for Boxing, available for download on Amazon.