4 Basic Types of Boxing Punches: Everything You Need to Know

Techniques and styles have evolved to various degrees throughout the history of gloved boxing. The tactics and techniques used have shifted due to ring conditions, promoter expectations, teaching techniques, and the impact of successful fighters of the sport.

We’ve previously discussed the primary styles of boxing and in this article we’re going to be looking at the four basic types of boxing punches every boxer should know no matter their style of choice.

The jab, cross, hook, and uppercut are the four fundamental punches in contemporary boxing. We’re sure you’ve heard of them or you already box, nonetheless let’s take a deeper dive:

4 Type of Boxing Punches


From the guard position, a rapid, straight punch launched with the lead hand. The jab usually comes from the side of the body and does not go past it. It’s accompanied by a minor clockwise movement of the torso and hips, as well as a 90-degree rotation of the fist, which then becomes horizontal upon contact. The lead shoulder raised up to defend the chin as the strike reaches full extension. To protect the jaw, the back hand remains close to the face. The lead hand swiftly withdrawn after making contact with the target, returning to a guard position in front of the face.

The jab is the most essential punch in a boxer’s repertoire since it gives a good deal of cover while also leaving the least amount of room for the opponent to counterpunch. It has the longest range of any punch and does not need major weight shifts or commitment. The jab frequently used to measure distances, probe an opponent’s defenses, and set up larger, more forceful punches to its comparatively modest strength. For increased power, a half-step added, bringing the full body into the boxing punches. Despite its lack of strength, the jab is the most essential punch in boxing. It used for both offence and defense, since a good rapid, stiff jab disrupt a much more powerful blow, such as a hook or uppercut.


A hard and powerful straight punch delivered with the rear hand. The punch is launched from the chin, crossing the body and straight towards the target from the guard position. The back shoulder pushed forward till it just touches the chin on the outside. In order to protect the inside of the chin, the lead hand is retracted and tucked against the face. As the cross is thrown, the body and hips are turned counterclockwise for more force. Weight also transmitted from the back foot to the front foot. That causing the rear heel to move outwards because it serves as a fulcrum for the weight transfer. A half-step forward, similar to the jab, can be added. The hand is immediately withdrawn once the cross is thrown, and the guard position is resumed. A “cross” is when the same punch is used to counter a jab and is aimed towards the opponent’s head. The straight provides a good foundation for the lead hook. The Cross may also be used in conjunction with a jab to create the traditional “one-two combo.”


In this style of boxing punches, a semi-circular punch thrown to the side of the opponent’s head using the lead hand. The elbow bent and brought back with a horizontal fist (knuckles pointing ahead) from the guard position. To protect the chin, the back hand tightly pressed against the jaw. The torso and hips twist clockwise, pushing the fist across the front of the body in a tight, clockwise arc and striking the target.

The lead foot pivots clockwise at the same time, moving the left heel outwards. The circular route of the hook immediately terminates upon contact, and the lead hand rapidly brought back into the guard position. To distinguish it from the traditional hook to the skull, a hook can alternatively target the lower body (the classic Mexican hook to the liver). This method frequently referred to as the “rip.” The back hand also used to throw the hook.


A near vertical, ascending punch delivered by the back hand. The body moves slightly to the right from the guard position, the back hand descends below the level of the opponent’s chest, and the knees slightly bent. The back hand thrown forward in a rising arc towards the opponent’s chin or body from this posture. Simulating the body action of the cross, the knees swiftly push upwards, the chest and hips spin counterclockwise, and the back heel rotates outward. The uppercut’s strategic value is based on its ability to “lift” the opponent’s body. And this causing it to become off-balance and vulnerable to subsequent strikes.

If you’re looking to perfect your punching technique or would like to take up boxing professionally or even just to add to your training regimen, you’ll need a pair of sturdy boxing gloves and a punching bag to start you off.

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