Develop Knockout Power
Developing Knockout Punching Power
In my experience, kettlebells are by far the most suitable tool for highly specific exercises in order to increase power output in the key movements of a specific sport. Let’s look at punching power.
Punching is a fast ballistic movement. The big kettlebells lifts (swing, clean, snatch, push-press, jerk) teach power generation through fast ballistic movement. No other training method does that nearly as well, except for Olympic weightlifting, but an Olympic bar can only be used in bilateral movements and Punching movements are not bilateral. Kettlebells can be used from a staggered stance and give themselves very well to unilateral and contra-lateral (rotational) movements, such as the ones found in boxing.
Example from Functional Patterns
This video from Functional Patterns is just one great example of how Kettlebells can be used to improve body mechanics for specific movements like punching.
Key Benefits of Kettlebells in developing Punching Power:
- Kettlebells can provide training for the specific type and speed of muscular contractions used in Punching movement, namely starting strength for the upper extremities, accelerating and stretch-shortening strength for the lower body.
- All the kettlebells pulling exercises (swing, high pull, clean snatch) require dynamic hip extension performed repeatedly. Hip extension is the most important component in generating punching power.
- The correct way to grip the kettlebell handle in positions such as the rack or the overhead lockout promotes the correct wrist alignment and the rigidity of the joint that will allow for a full transfer of the power of a punch into the target. During exercises such as the clean and the snatch, a big chunk of cast iron, moving at high speed with significant momentum, has to be stopped at just the right moment in the rack or overhead lockout position, so kettlebells can teach both the correct way and the correct timing of the wrist lock. Performing snatches or presses with a dumbbell won’t help with any of that.
Krav Maga Newcastle Coach Jeff Hollows runs Classes, Seminars and specialised workshops and is available for Personal Training in Krav Maga and performance enhancement specific to Combat Sports.