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Aside from improvements in technique, conditioning the body to be able to punch harder requires the development of certain key muscles. It is very important to develop strong legs, core muscles, chest, and arm muscles.
When throwing a powerful punch it is important to have a strong foundation to insure that your power is translated to your opponent. Strong legs also help in providing balance as well as a solid base of support in a sport where your ability to maintain these is constantly challenged. The following exercise will help develop strong legs and good balance.
Multi Direction Lunges
1. Start from a standing position with your feet together, hand on your hips, your navel pulled in toward your spine and your shoulders back. While maintaning your body alignment, step forward and lunge down, bending at the hip knee and ankle. Make sure that the shin of the front leg is perpendicular to the floor (not at an angle). Push yourself back up to the starting position of having the feet together.
2. Then perform a lunge to the side making sure to keep the knee directly above the foot and the opposite leg straight.
3. Finally, lunge backwards with the same leg used to lunge forward and to the side. Maintain proper spinal alignment and push yourself back to the starting position. You've just completed one repetition. Do 5 to 10 reps on each leg.
Exercise Ball Knuckle Push-Ups
Powerful Pecs will also be an asset to throwing a strong punch. An appropriate exercise for developing strong chest, shoulder and arm muscles is the Knuckle Push-up with feet on a ball and arms close to the side.
1. To begin this exercise, assume the push up position with your feet on a stability ball, your hands in fists on the floor, and your body as stiff as a board. This requires the activation and holding of many of the core muscles so that your body doesn't bend down towards the floor during the exercise.
The movement requires slowly lowering yourself towards the floor while keeping the arms close to the sides of the body instead of out to the side. This type of movement closer mimics that of punching fr0m an "arms tucked in" position.
2. Push yourself back up to the starting position and repeat. It is imperative that you keep your core muscles tight, maintain the alignment o fthe spine and keep your body stiff.
When you throw a punch, your elbow is extending or straightening from a bent position. Your elbow extender muscles are your triceps. You can exercise them to ecome stronger by performing the following exercise.
Lying Triceps Extensions on Exercise Ball
1. Start by lying on top of an exercise ball on your back with your head and upper shoulders supported by the ball. Your feet should be flat on the floor, your knees should be bent and your body should be parallel with the floor and as stiff as a table. Hold a dumbbell in each hand and begin with your arms extended straight up.
2. While maintaining your spinal alignment, slowly lower the dumbbells to the sides of your head by bending the elbows.
3. It is important to control the dumbbells and to keep the upper arms parallel to each other and still. Push the dumbbells back up to the starting position with the arms straight and repeat. Perform 10 to 15 repetitions.
The author of the article, David Robinson, is a Certified Personal Fitness Trainer with over 15 years of experience. You can visit his website at: www.workoutwithdave.com.