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3 Common Punch Mistakes to Fix Today

Whether it’s the heart-pumping workout or potential for a badass Instagram post that draws you to your first class, one thing is for certain: You are about to learn how to throw a punch.

The punch is one of the basic movements in boxing, and according to Rob Piela, owner of New York City’s Gotham Gym and trainer to Gigi Hadid, executing a punch correctly versus incorrectly could be the difference between whether your workout is effective or not.

So, what does a correct punch look like? Piela demonstrates.

correct-punch-1

You may think your punches look just like this, but when you’re midway through class, it’s easy to forget about some of the minor details. And it is, in fact, those minor details that you would need intact to land a punch on an opponent if ever in an actual sparring match.

“Having the correct form will in turn help you to stay balanced and have more endurance in the ring,” says Piela.

With years of coaching experience under his belt, Piela has witnessed all sorts of mistakes.

Here are the most common ones and how each mistake can be fixed.  

Standing incorrectly

incorrect-stance

When thinking of a punch, most people’s minds go right to their fists and hands. But the feet cannot be forgotten!

An incorrect stance can cause you to lose balance and threaten your safety.

“You always want to have balance, especially when you’re going to get hit in return,” says Piela who notes that if you come out of your balanced state, you could easily fall backwards. 

In a real boxing match, falling would give your opponent an opportunity to strike, so it’s important that even when taking a group class where you do not have an opponent, you should focus on mastering this skill.

“The right stance overwhelmingly adds stability,” he continues. “You’re in a much more safe and stable position.

“For ultimate power, twist and pivot through your hips. If your feet are misaligned, you’re not able to do that the right way," Piela adds, demonstrating that correct foot positioning below. 

correct-punch-stance

Telegraphing your punch

telegraphing-punch-incorrect

“Telegraphing a punch would be terrible,” says Piela.

Telegraphing is dropping your fist low or raising your fist high before going in for the punch.  

“If you were to drop your hand a little bit, the opponent would see you’re going to throw the punch.”

As a result, you give away your next move, allowing your opponent to get one step ahead of you.

To avoid that happening, you must first avoid telegraphing when practicing on the punching bag in class.

“You want to use your whole body when going to throw your punch,” says Piela.

Arching your punch

arching-punch-incorrect

“By throwing the wrong punches, you use so much energy,” says Piela.

“It takes a lot more energy to throw an arching punch than a straight punch,” he continues. “If you throw your hand wide, for example, you go from A to B but in the process, you go through C."

Since endurance is key to boxing success, using up excess energy in this way will cause you to get tired faster.

“It needs to be your whole body working to throw the punch as a unit, rather than throwing a bunch of short, choppy punches or loopy punches,” says Piela.

Putting your body’s full weight behind your punch will make it more powerful, thereby lessening the number of punches you need to throw.  

Want to know more expert advice from Piela? Tweet @Reebok to let us know!

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