Three Ways to Throw the Left Hook
The hook is a devastating punch, reputations and careers have been formed on the back of this one punch, Joe Frazier and Tommy Morrison to name but two. The perfect punch was Sugar Ray Robinsons knock out of Gene Fulmer, the punch was a left hook.
One of the reasons the left hook(right hook if you are a southpaw) is so dangerous is because the punch is thrown involving a rotation of the hips, this really allows us to get our bodyweight into the punch and transfer all that power and energy into the punch.
In this article I am going to go over three ways you can throw the left hook, use all three methods to mix up your hooks depending on the situation so be sure to practice them all and work them in to your training.
The Snap Hook
This hook is really used more for speed, you will not follow through but upon impact you will immediately reset and snap the hand back to your chin, think fast out, fast in, or snap out, snap in. The punch is delivered from the chin and the hand then returns back to the chin. Ensure as you deliver the hook you are pivoting your lead leg to quickly allow you to rotate the hips into the punch, the foot also returns to normal position after the hook.
This snap hook is also best used when mixing hooks up, for example, a slow hook followed by a snap hook or a soft tapping hook followed by a hard snappy hook.
The Power Hook
This hook is meant to be hard so in order to do this we are going to use the rear shoulder as a sort of wind up or crank. For orthodox fighters, your right shoulder should lean over your left hook(or right elbow, left knee), this also allows the hips to turn ready to rotate into the hook. From this position you can throw the left hook, the rotation allows your body to coil and act as a spring to deliver power into the hook. As above the left foot will pivot to allow the hips to swing through. Remember to swing more with the body and less with the arm, the real power comes from the hips down.
The Directed Hook
If you want to add direction to your hook, especially the short hook used up close, simply pull your wrist in towards you to give it direction. The palm will be facing you, as it should be for the snap hook and power hook. Pull the wrist in towards you and throw the hook, this also means should you miss with the hook, your elbow follows through and could possibly catch your opponent but that’s not your fault if it does is it…
Freddie Roach, the esteemed boxing trainer of champions such as Manny Pacquiao was also quoted as saying a good left hook follows through with the elbow, if the punch misses the elbow won’t.
There are many ways you can mix multiple hooks in, low, high, slow/fast, tap and whack or at the end of a combination ie jab, cross, hook quickly but lightly at the gloves then immediately follow with the hard hook or by using feints, such as feinting the right hand and throwing the left hook instead or jab, slip inside, left hook to the head or body. Remember to rotate the hips and pivot the leading foot(the motion is similar to stamping out a cigarette butt). Always keep the opposing hand high and protecting the chin when throwing the hooks to prevent getting countered ie if you throw a left hook, keep the right hand high. Hook from the chin and return the hand back to the chin after delivering the hook, try to keep the elbow parallel to the shoulder when throwing the hook(unless it is to the body) as the lower the elbow in relation to the shoulder when throwing the head hook results in more strain and less power.