How to Punch Harder

How to Punch Harder: A Guide to Throw Harder Punches For Muay Thai

Anyone that practices Muay Thai or boxing often wants to know how they can punch harder. It’s not just a natural gift you’re born with but something you can develop over time.

That’s why we’ve put this guide together for how you can learn to punch harder for Muay Thai. Below is a detailed guide on how you can increase your punching power through both technical and physical training

Can You Learn How To Punch Harder? 

The ability to throw a hard punch isn’t just naturally gifted but something you can learn through training. You may not realize it, but your punches will gradually get harder as you put in the time to train. 

How To Punch Harder Through Improving Technique

Nothing will help you develop power other than old-fashion technical training. You may have natural power, but the place you hone it is through hours of technical rounds.

When you go through technical training, remember these details to improve your punching power.

  • Punching Form
  • Punching Through Target
  • Knuckle Placement
Muay Thai Punch

Punching Form

Power is a gift, but proper punching form enables you to focus and unleash it. Remember that the chain of your punching form isn’t just your arm but you’re entire body.

Starting at your feet, your weight shifts, traveling up your core, through your shoulder, and out of your fist. When all of this is connected, you will punch harder.

Punching Through Target 

What many people don’t think about when learning how to punch harder is punching through your target. Lots of boxers don’t understand the science behind a punch.

They aim for the chin but don’t realize that’s where their power is the weakest. Instead, if they aimed for the back of their opponent’s, their punch would be twice as strong. So if you want to know how to punch harder, always punch through your target.

Knuckle Placement

Another important detail to remember when you’re looking into how to punch harder is knuckle placement. Correct knuckle placement can be the difference between a solid punch and a broken hand.

You should always try his with your front two knuckles, which are the biggest and strongest of your four fist knuckles. Built better to absorb contact than your smaller two knuckles.

Muay Thai Fighter Punching

Learning to Punch Harder Through Bag & Pad Work

The part of training where you can develop a harder punch is through bad and pad work. Remember these tips for punching the heavy bag and mitts if you want to know how to punch harder.

Punch Through Bag & Pads 

We mentioned punching through your target in the technical section, but it’s worth repeating. Bag and pad work rounds are perfect for learning how to punch harder.

You can go through proper form and drive your fist through your opponent. Creating harder punches that will knockout an opponent

Short Burst Combos

When you’re learning how to punch harder, you’ll realize that you’ll get the most power in short bursts. That’s why you should focus on throwing short burst combos that are between 1-3 punches.

This will keep you focused on landing your power shots that will transfer to sparring

Push & Pull Drills

There’s a push-and-pulling drill that many coaches implement to teach their students how to punch harder. It has many names, but we’ll call it the push-and-pull drill for this article.

This is a bag drill, where one hand extends and touches the bag while your other fist is chambered. Mimicking the movements of 2 punch combos like a jab-cross or hook-hook, where you’re midways through the combo.

It teaches you how to punch harder by showing you how you create power. We definitely recommend you do this during bag and mitt work.

Female Muay Thai Fighter Punching

How To Punch Harder Through Strength & Conditioning

You can learn not only how to punch harder through technical training but also types of strength and conditioning exercises. Check out some of the ways you can develop more punching power below.


Push-ups are one of the best exercises that you can use when learning how to punch harder. The exercise uses many of the same muscles you use when throwing punches.

There’s also a wide variety of push-ups that you can use to develop more punching power. Anything from basic, fingertip, and knuckle push-ups.

We recommend knuckle push-up variations if you want to increase punching power while conditioning your fists. You’re not only developing more punching power but also conditioning your hands, which also enables you to throw harder punches.

Chin Ups/Pull Ups

Chin-up and pull-up variations have been used by the best Thai boxers in the world to develop punching power. Gripping the bar while pulling yourself over time develops a lot of strength.

You’re not only getting stronger but also developing a harder punch. All of the upper body muscles you use when throwing a punch (including your hands) get worked during pull-ups.

That’s why fighters have used pull-ups and chin-ups for decades to punch harder.


Dumbbells are great pieces of equipment to use if you’re looking at how to punch harder. They can turn your cardio warm-up into a strength workout by adding weight to your combos.

You don’t need a heavy pair of dumbbells to increase your punching power, but more would help. Just don’t use weights that are too heavy and affect your form.

Barbell Exercises

It has been scientifically proven that barbell exercises will increase your power. The power of your punches starts at your legs, so you should focus on squats, deadlifts, and lunges.

Remember, like with punching, your form is everything in these types of exercises. If you want to develop more power, do more low-rep, high-volume work. Also, don’t max out at every lifting session to avoid injuring yourself.

Medicine Ball Exercises 

Medicine balls were made famous by boxers, who used them to develop core strength. They also developed medicine ball exercises that will make you punch harder.

Some of the medicine ball exercises that they do include:

  • Slam Balls(One Hand & Both Hands)
  • One & Two Hand Push Throws
  • Overhead Throws
  • Rotational Throws
  • Russian Twists
  • Weight Sit-Ups
  • Crunches
  • Lunges 
  • Squats
  • Jump Squats

We recommend mixing medicine ball drills that focus on rotational movement and explosion. Two important components to know when learning how to punch harder.

Cable Weight Machine

If you have access to a cable weight machine, they are the best to use for increasing punching power. You can change the angle and grips to mimic the movements of a punch.

This specific training can improve your technique while increasing your strength. You can even do push-pull drills, as we mentioned in the section above.

Train Hard and Punch Harder

If you want to learn how to punch harder, there’s no other way to learn other than through harder training. It takes dedication in your training to develop harder punches. Just remember to train hard and follow these tips.

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