How To Throw A Cross
The cross or right hand as it’s often called is your power punch.
The primary purpose of your jab, be it on the focus mitts, the heavy bag or against your opponent in the ring is to ‘set up’ your power shot, aka. the right hand.
Before We Delve Straight Into The Mechanics Of The Cross…
You Must Stay Loose
Your muscle mass can work for you or it can work against you when it comes to boxing, particularly in sparring.
Staying tense and stiff in your movements will cause you to fatigue extremely quick, even if you’re throwing minimal punches!
On the other hand if you relax and focus on staying loose and free-flowing in your movement your muscles will remain relaxed to an extent, allowing you to implement your fast footwork and explosive attacks without fear of running out of gas.
You Can’t Afford To Neglect Lower Body Mobility
Boxing is a game of footwork, with constant movement in and out, pivots, slips, rolls and cutting off of the ring you need to ensure your lower body flexibility and mobility are sufficient.
If your calves, quads and hamstrings are overly tight you’ll find your movement extremely limiting.
At the same time, if your hip flexors are overly tight from working an office job and neglecting your mobility work you’ll likely find your power is lacking too.
Your power comes through the hip rotation as you extend your arm, not through your arm itself.
Loose hips = better rotation. Better rotation = increased power.
The #1 key when it comes to throwing a cross is to remember that the power comes through the lower body and hip rotation, the power does not come directly from the arm… as such if your stance, footwork or pivot are incorrect then your power punch is going to lack power!
- Begin with your gloves tucked in front of your face, elbows pointing down.
- Pivot on your rear foot as you drive through your hips while extending your rear (right) hand outward to punch – your punch should go straight out from your chin level – no dropping of the hand.
- Just before your glove makes contact with the focus mitt or heavy bag rotate your fist (often calling ‘turning it over) so your knuckles are horizontal to the floor as your glove hits.
- As soon as your right hand connects with the focus mitt or heavy bag bring it back in front of your face and return to your elbows tucked in position.
Common Mistakes When Throwing The Cross
Transferring Too Much Weight Forward
When in your boxing stance your weight should remain primarily on your rear leg, when throwing a cross if you’re transferring too much weight onto your front foot you’ll overbalance and fall forward.
This mistake can be extremely costly, particularly in the ring – if your cross misses and you’re off balance you’re wide open to be hit – not to mention you’ll miss the opportunity to follow up your cross with a powerful lead hook as you won’t be ‘planted’ on the ground to throw your next punch.
Dropping Your Left Hand
The majority of guys drop their opposite hand when throwing a punch, if your adversary sees your cross coming and counters with a jab or cross of their own your chin is exposed – not good.
Ensure your opposite hand is always touching your cheek when throwing a punch.
Failing To Turn Over Your Hand & ‘Snap’ The Punch
You must turn your punch over, rotate your wrist so your knuckles are horizontal to the ground just before your punch lands.
Many guys fail to rotate their punches and take too long to return the punch to their guard… the result? The punch turns out to be more of a push than a snapping, powerful attack.