If you want to speed up your punch, what you don’t need are dumbbells or jugs of water. They put too much strain on your shoulders and encourage you to overextend your elbows on a punch. Elastic bands provide dynamic as well as constant resistance throughout your arm’s entire range of movement. If your muscle can lengthen rapidly via natural body motion, it will exert more tension. By working with resistance bands, you’re using plyometric, or stretch-shortening, training of your muscles.
Attach one end of the band to a stationary object or have a partner hold the other end of the band behind you. Position the band so it’s at shoulder height. Make sure you will have enough room to punch straight ahead.
Wrap the other end of the band around your wrist or hold it in your fist if the band has a handle.
Assume a fighting stance in which your lead foot is forward and positioned at a 45-degree angle away from your back foot. Hold your fist in guard position by your face.
Thrust your fist forward through the resistance as you extend into a cross punch or a jab.
Pull your fist back slowly from its peak position, continuing to resist the band.
Repeat the exercise with your other arm to build punching speed for both left and right sides.
- Have a partner hold a focus pad that you can punch while using the resistance band.
- Do an adequate warm-up before performing punching drills with an elastic band. If you start to lose your form during the drill, stop the exercise. If you do an intense workout, allow your muscles to recover for one or two days between sessions.
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.