The Knockout Workout

Four for Fighting

Jul 1, 2005
Outside Magazine

   Photo: Illustrations by Yuko Shimizu

Before you strap on gloves, you'll need to learn the basic boxing stance, the foundation that puts muscle behind every move. Once properly planted, you can start throwing the sport's three basic punches: the overhand, the jab, and the hook.

1.) Basic Stance
Stand almost sideways, relative to your target, with your left foot forward, right foot back, legs slightly more than shoulder width apart, and weight evenly distributed on the balls of your feet. Keep your fists up, in front of your chin, elbows tucked in. This forces you to use your hips, the power source for a well-thrown punch.

2.) Overhand
For the overhand right, start with your right fist almost touching your chin, elbow tucked into the ribs. As you explode the arm straight out, rotate your right hip forward until that leg straightens out, with the ball of your right foot on the floor. Throw the punch and return to stance in one move.

3.) Jab
To throw a smooth jab, fire your left fist out in a straight line, twisting your arm inward until you reach full extension. Then immediately snap your fist back to your chin.

4.) Left Hook
For the left hook, swing your elbow up so that your forearm is parallel to the ground, then punch, using only your body. Twist your torso, from your legs to your shoulder, into the hook.

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