In boxing, it is commonly said that the most effective tool for a fighter. It definitely is the most used, so wouldn’t every boxer want to develop a killer jab?
Following our 10 week training cluster, our experts found a 11% increase in estimated P4P punch force for the left punch, used as a jab for our orthodox fighters.
This resulted in a 16% reduction in punch imbalance. In a separate comparison, a professional boxer showed a massive 32% reduction between left and right punches.
Our boxers become more balanced and throwing bigger punches with both hands.
This article will
- Science behind the jab
- Physical implications of the jab
- Methods to develop it
The jab is the most often used punch in boxing.
The jab is thrown at a higher speed than a backhand shot. Although hand speed is the biggest contributor to punch force, the jab is found to produce less punching force than the back hand.
This is due to less rotation of the body, therefore less contribution from hip and torso rotation.
The Imbalanced Boxer
Due to this altered movement pattern being repeated thousands of times a week, a boxer can suffer from mobility and strength imbalances.
A functional movement screen (FMS) of 10 amateur boxers showed tighter left hips and shoulders than their right hand side.
Balancing the boxer
In the summer of 2014, Combat Conditioning delivered a movement clinic at Sheffield City ABC. Following 8 weeks of movement training, mean overall FMS scores increased by 9%. Standout improvements were seen in overhead squat (2.1 vs 2.6 out of 3) left shoulder mobility (1.62 vs 2.8 out of 3) (pre vs post).
There are a number of ways we use to get a boxer moving better. We use flexibility and mobility isolating certain areas of the body, particularly the hips and shoulders. However, we feel that developing and ingraining better movement patterns are beneficial in improving mobility for athletes.
We integrate dynamic, unilateral exercises that involve both lower and upper body movements (e.g. lunge and single arm shoulder press). This challenges something called the myo-facial system that has a big influence on the kinetic chain, muscular contraction and imbalances.
To develop rotational mobility, the boxers perform exercises that separate lower and upper body movements. This develops trunk rotation for both left and right sides, likely to improve the role of the core during jab punches.
These exercises are highly important to us, so we will share the exercise used in most of our programs – Lunge and Rotate.
It is movement week at Boxing Science, so keep an eye out for more posts to get you moving better and punching harder.