How to Increase Punching Power With Medicine Balls

by Kay Tang, Demand Media

    When you perform a punch, you have to move several parts of your body at the same time in a coordinated sequence. You need strong abdominals, hips and legs to wind up your torso before you even pull the punch. Boxers and martial artists not only focus on building their arms and shoulders, they also do a lot of other training to achieve a powerful punch. One thing they use is a medicine ball.

    Items you will need

    • Medicine ball

    Step 1

    Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Hold the medicine ball on your chest. Contract your abdominals and raise your head. Bring your chin toward your chest until you can just peek over your knees. Lift your upper back and shoulders up and off the floor. Keep your lower back pressed to the floor. Use slow and controlled motion so you don't strain your neck. Perform 10 to 15 reps. To boost the intensity of the exercise, hold the medicine ball on your forehead, the top of your head or slightly above your head.

    Step 2

    Assume a standing position and hold the ball at chest height. Throw the ball to a partner. Have your partner throw the ball back to you. Extend your hands to catch the ball, bringing the ball back to your chest and absorbing the force with fluid motion. Vary the heights at which you throw the ball to a partner. Focus on speed, direction and power before you increase the weight of the ball or the throwing distance. To boost the difficulty of this exercise, sit on the floor with your feet hip-width apart and knees bent. Lean back slightly to engage your abs and repeat the chest pass exercise. Perform 10 to 20 passes.

    Step 3

    Hold the medicine ball at chin height. Lower yourself into a squat. Rise and toss the ball straight over your head. Aim to throw the ball as high as possible. Extend your arms to catch the ball and then bend your arms to bring the ball back to the starting position. Keep your gaze locked on the ball. To vary the exercise, throw the ball up against a wall. Aim for 10 to 20 throws.

    Step 4

    Execute a small jump and simultaneously raise the ball overhead. Slam the ball on the floor as you land on your feet. Bounce the ball as a pass to yourself or a partner. Scoop the ball with your hands if the ball is too heavy for an adequate bound. Complete 10 to 20 passes.

    Tip

    • As you grow stronger, introduce instability into throwing exercises, which will boost the difficulty. For example, perform throws while standing on one leg or on a wobble board.

    Warning

    • Select a ball weight that is appropriate for your strength so you can focus on correct form. If the weight of the ball is compromising your technique or range of movement or causing strain, use a lighter ball.

    About the Author

    Kay Tang is a journalist who has been writing since 1990. She previously covered developments in theater for the "Dramatists Guild Quarterly." Tang graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in economics and political science from Yale University and completed a Master of Professional Studies in interactive telecommunications at New York University.