It’s All About the Snap!

Joshua has forced his way to the forefront of world boxing with his devastating power, leaving us all with no choice but to take him very seriously! But how can boxers emulate Joshua and become more powerful?

For any boxing related queries there is only one man to go to, Danny Wilson from Boxing Science who told me this…

Some people in boxing say that speed kills… but there are many boxers with fast hands that lack the knockout punch.

This may be due to a lack of SNAP in the punch.

Delivering Hard Punches Requires….

  • Developing large magnitudes of force in short periods of time
  • The momentum of the punching arm is important and has been demonstrated to be a key variable contributing to the impulsiveness of a punch
  • A second pulse in muscle activation is required on impact and has been defined as “stiffening” to create “effective mass”

So tell us Danny, how can you increase the ‘SNAP’ with Effective Mass??

“Effective mass is a term given to the ‘snap’ of a punch. This requires the whole body to stiffen up upon impact.

The snap requires whole body tension, however the main contributors are the arms, shoulder joint and the core.

This is mostly dependant on skill. The ability to tense upon impact takes years and years of practice.

However, it’s much easier and quicker to make physical adaptations to help improve punch force. Changing someone’s technique may take time, and sometimes hamper a boxer’s progress, especially for more experienced boxers.”

Ok, that makes sense so far, but how could you improve ‘Effective Mass’??

“Effective Mass can be improved through general strength and conditioning methods, such as heavy compound lifts, Olympic lifting and core training.

There are some specific exercises that can be used for boxers focussing on developing ‘effective mass’

 Pads and Heavy Bags – Pads and bags are something that most boxers do anyway, but this can be really beneficial for effective mass. However, a lot of boxers see these as conditioning or speed drills.

Instead of aimlessly smashing the bags for cardio, look to sink in your shots and look for quality, forceful punches with added snap! Coaches can use cues such as ‘Stiffen’ the arm or ‘Pop’ the hips.

Isometric Trunk Training – Trunk training can also be used as means to facilitate improvements in the generation of ‘effective mass’. Overloading the trunk with heavy, stability exercises such as farmer holds (pictured above) can increase the isometric force production (bracing) at impact.

 End Range Stiffening – When particularly targeting the development of effective mass in boxing, we use specific exercises that encourage whole body tension at various stages of a punch. The main exercise we use is the ‘Landmine punch with isometric hold’ (pictured above). This encourages the stiffening upon impact when throwing straight shots and connecting with your opponent towards the end range of a punch.

 Try Out This ‘Effective Snap’ Superset – Check out the video below with an effective superset to help you increase the ‘snap’ in your punch. Perform 2-3 sets of each exercise, progressively increasing the load each week as part of a structured strength and conditioning program.

Great stuff as always from Danny and the team at Boxing Science. If you work with fighters, then there will be loads you can take away from this to help them. If you are planning on watching the Joshua fight, then don’t be surprised if it doesn’t go the full distance as AJ has one hell of a snap…