The hallmark of a talented boxer isn't all about punching power, but it's always advantageous to pack a wallop.If you think toned arms and a shredded upper body are the main components to delivering a powerful punch, you haven't scratched the tip of the iceberg. To deliver a stronger punch, you need to develop your entire body and get comfortable with striking mechanics. Resistance bands with gloves can help with punching power, but they aren't an ideal method of training.
Resistance bands offer versatile ways to train for upper-body strength, helping to tone arms and build muscular endurance through repetition. For boxing-specific resistance band training, you can purchase a pair of gloves with tubes attached to them, allowing for exhaustive punching workouts. Punching with the bands will increase the strength in your arms, shoulders, core and back -- key components to delivering a powerful punch.
Upper-body strength is useful, but if that's all you're looking for to develop punching power, you're only scratching the surface. To throw powerful punches, you need to develop your legs, back, core and upper body, training to twist and pivot into each technique for maximum efficiency. Resistance bands restrict your movement, making it difficult to train in realistic boxing patterns. Bands also emphasize the push portion of the punch, neglecting the retraction, which is equally important. You want to draw your hand back as quickly as possible after throwing a punch to develop good habits.
Bodyweight exercises are ideal for developing punching power because they work your entire body as a singular unit. Think of a punch as a chain reaction that starts at your feet. If one link in the chain is weak, the end result will be weakened. Squats, ab work, pullups, pushups and other conditioning workouts will pay dividends in the long run. Punching in water offers resistance to increase both extension and retraction speed.
Don't get too hung up on developing your musculature before you get a solid grasp on the fundamentals of boxing technique. You can be the most ripped girl in the gym, but if it's your first time strapping on the gloves, you're likely to get worked over by more experienced boxers. Boxing is often called the "sweet science" because it emphasizes finesse over raw power. A powerful punch means nothing if you can't land it in the first place.
Steven Kelliher is an experienced sports writer, technical writer, proofreader and editor based out of the Greater Boston Area. His main area of expertise is in combat sports, as he is a lifelong competitor and active voice in the industry. His interviews with some of the sport's biggest names have appeared on large industry sites such as ESPN.com, as well as his own personal blog.