How to Increase Punching Speed and Hand Endurance?

  • 12 August 2020
  • Read more 7 minutes

Punch speed and hand endurance play a key role in almost all types of martial arts, such as boxing, muay thai, kickboxing or MMA. Speed qualities can be naturally given to a learner, in which case it only needs to be developed correctly. On the other hand, they can also be developed. This article will discuss how to increase the impact speed with legs and arms.

How to develop your punching speed?

Speed corresponds to performing body movements (punches and kicks) in the shortest time possible. This aspect in martial arts can be divided in two types:

  • Movement speed
  • Reaction speed

Practicing both types of speed is extremely important in martial arts. Movement speed can be developed by repeating various striking exercises with extreme speed. On the other hand, reaction speed can be developed by working with fast-moving projectiles, such as a small tennis ball. On average, the reaction speed to blows automatically develops when sparring practice begins.

The main ways to increase punch speed include:

  • Increase muscle strength by performing strength training
  • Work with a punching bag or fight ball
  • Striking with weights in hand
  • Shadow boxing

To increase the striking speed, you need to regularly practice them at maximum speed on objects and in the air. When training in a sack, it is recommended to hit at full speed for 10-15 seconds, and then rest for 30-40 seconds. The same applies when working in the air. For example, 10-15 hits should be made at maximum speed, and then rest for 10-15 seconds. Each of these series should be repeated 4-6 times with short rest intervals.

For developing striking speed with legs and arms, it is important that the resting time is about 3-4 times longer than the active working time. If the resting time is shorter than the working time, then muscular endurance is trained, which is another story. To better understand how to develop speed qualities, it is worth considering each method more closely.

Increased muscle strength

The effectiveness of the blow depends on the force that is put into it. The impulse used to hit comes from the legs and center of the body, not from the arms of legs. Of course, you can hit using only the strength of the limb, but such a blow will be weak and will not cause serious harm to the opponent. Rows, squats, and quick push-ups are good ways to strengthen your chest and tendons, as well as your upper spine, which is heavily involved in the striking action.

Work with gym equipment and sparring

Punching bag training is great for developing punching power and accuracy, but it is too predictable and does not contain the same psychological effect as training with a real opponent. That is why working with punching bags should be combined with sparring, where not only the speed of the blow is trained, but also the reaction speed, defense technique, and mobility on the legs are developed. Sparring will help to improve reflexes, speed, and accuracy of a hit.


Practicing punches in front of a mirror helps to work out the striking technique, develop movement speed, and increase muscle endurance. The emphasis is on serial work, with a lot of repetitions of the same actions. This develops muscle memory, which in sparring will help to make quick and correct punches. Resistance training will strengthen the muscles in the arms and shoulders, which are especially prone to fatigue during combat. It is better to use weights in both hands and feet.

Stretching is required after training, the purpose of which is to relax the muscles and speed up the recovery process in order to avoid the onset of muscle soreness. Of course, after the first active workouts, soreness is inevitable, but if you perform the exercises correctly, then it will be mild and pass quickly. That is why it is important to start developing the punching speed in boxing or other martial arts under the guidance of a trainer, who will help to develop the punching technique, select the necessary exercises, and monitor the correctness of their implementation.

Sign up for martial arts training at the Parimatch Fight Academy, and train under the supervision of experienced coaches.

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