How To Punch – The Four Basic Punches

Before you even throw your first punch, you need to know how to punch right?! Punching is a skill and there is skill involved in coordinating each punch you throw. 


Here we have outlined four of the basic boxing punches including the jab, Cross, Uppercut and Hook shot that you need to learn like the back of your hand and what roles they play in your arsenal. 



The boxing jab is the boxer’s most important punch and is usually with the weaker arm and this is a straight shot, it’s one of the best shots as you can sit back and protect with one arm and jab your opponent with the other. It’s very straight and direct. The jab allows a boxer to control an opponent, whether it be on the attack or on the defensive. The Jab provides the main method of commencing an attack and if used appropriately (i.e. fast, accurate and well-timed) can demoralise an opponent.


Cross/ Straight

This shot normally follows on from the jab but can also be thrown in isolation. The power derived from the punch is due to the amount of rotation of the hips via drive from the legs. If not thrown correctly this punch can often lead fighters left vulnerable for a counter punch. 



The hook, sometimes referred to as the ‘money shot’, ‘haymaker’ and/or ‘knockout punch’ is one that capitalises on an opponent’s assumption that the incoming shot will be a straight. The shot arrives at the target at the end of a very gentle arc and is often a loaded punch. Speed and power is generated through the hip, so remember to rotate the hips and pivot off one foot. This knockout shot can be delivered with either left or right handed.



Coming from low, up and through your opponents defence, this shot has a deadly blow when executed in a timely fashion. However, miss time it and you'll be left vulnerable to hits so use this when the opportunity arises as part of a combo.


Quick Note

The ability to manipulate your opponent demands you to learn an array of skills from clever feints, strong well timed attacks and light effective footwork. Learn these punches and some more by practicing the boxing drills you find on this site and others.


The video below perfectly demonstrates how to execute each of these four basic punches. Check it out, excuse the video quality its from 09, the content is on point. Watch it over until you master each one. practice with a friend, in front of a mirror or on a bag.  

Now start using our boxing drills to master your craft.