Hand Speed

Hand speed is something that every fighter or boxer needs to have in order to be successful. After all, a powerful punch isn't much good if it's so slow that the opponent can easily see and deflect or dodge it. Hand speed is something which takes plenty of time and effort to obtain and increase. However, it is well worth it in the end when you have a blazing fast jab! Here is how to get hand speed.

Step 1-Hit a speed bag daily. The speed bag is probably the best known tool for getting and increasing hand speed. It forces the striker to be quick as well as hone his hand-eye coordination. One must also learn how to be controlled in his punching when hitting the speed bag.

Step 2-Look into the mirror and shadow box. This is a way to give you hand speed and teach you the proper way to throw a jab. When performing this exercise, simply pretend that your face is your opponent. Practice snapping the jab, first with one hand and then the other. Remember that you shouldn't throw the punch with too much force. Your punches should “pop” without you straining your arm to being completely stretched out. See how many punches you can throw in one minute and then try to increase that number daily.

Step 3-Train with a heavy bag. Most people utilize these bags to gain power to their punch but they can also be used for gaining speed. To do this, use some tape to make small “X” marks on one side of the bag. Stand far enough away so you can jab the bag and try to hit the "X" marks with a quick, popping jab. Remember that you shouldn't be trying to hit the bag with all of your power as that is not the point of the exercise. Throw different punch combinations by hitting the "X" marks in different sequences. This will quicken your hand speed and thus quicken your punch combinations.

Step 4-Have a partner or trainer wear boxing mitts and perform striking drills by hitting the mitts. This, like the power bag, will help to improve the speed of your punching combinations. Your partner or trainer should position the mitts differently throughout the drill. He should also try to pull the mitts back occasionally as a way to “dodge” the incoming punch. You will notice that your hand speed will increase after awhile and that you will be able to catch up to the mitt before it can be pulled away.

Step 5-Shadow box with hand weights. Ever wonder why a batter practices with weights on his bat when he's in the on deck circle? It's because the bat he will be using at the plate will be lighter than the one he was just swinging with, thus giving his swing at the plate more force. This is the same thing with shadow boxing while using hand weights. Begin small, perhaps with 3-lb. weights, and perform a 3-minute round of shadow boxing. Set the weights down and perform a minute or two of the same routine. You'll notice that your hand speed will have increased. Eventually, move up in weight. Be careful, though, to not use too much weight as you can hurt your shoulders, arms or wrists. Ten pounds should be the absolute limit when performing this exercise.