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HomeBoxingBoxing Combinations: 24 Powerful Boxing Combos Explained

Boxing Combinations: 24 Powerful Boxing Combos Explained

Boxing Combinations

I’m a huge advocate of boxing drills, not only is knowing how to throw a punch correctly great incase you find yourself in an altercation it’s also fantastic for relieving stress, improving coordination and building a fantastic base of cardiovascular fitness.
Hell, I know a number of boxers that do extremely little in terms of running, opting to spend their time performing heavy bag drills, focus mitt drills and live sparring rounds that can comfortably beat self-proclaimed runners over 5km and 10km distances.

The thing is most guys that haven’t grown up performing a variation of martial arts or attended a number of boxing classes are usually pretty stuck for boxing combinations when it comes to hitting the pads with their training partner.
There’s nothing wrong with focusing on jabs and jab cross combos (these basic straight punches have taken many professional boxers to the top of their sport and have earned them colossal amounts of money) however if you’re looking to mix it up with different boxing combinations I’ve got you covered.

Below you’ll find 24 boxing combinations along with a explaination of each combo, a breakdown of how to throw each punch as well as a short video of me performing the combo on the mitts.

But first…

How To Throw Each Punch Correctly… 

The Jab

The jab is without a doubt the most crucial punch to master, yet remains most neglected.
Your jab should be straight and fast… no looping or winding up required.

  • Begin with your gloves tucked in front of your face, elbows pointing down.
  • Drive through your hips as you twist them while extending your lead (left) 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 jab connects with the focus mitt or heavy bag bring it back in front of your face and return to your elbows tucked in position.
See also
5 Boxing Combos For Beginners

Common mistakes made with the jab include:

Transferring Too Much Weight Forward 

When in your boxing stance your weight should remain primarily on your rear leg, when throwing a jab 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 jab 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 jab with a powerful cross as you won’t be ‘planted’ on the ground to throw your next punch.

Dropping Your Right Hand

The majority of guys drop their opposite hand when throwing a punch, if your adversary sees your jab 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.

The 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.

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.
See also
How To Throw A Cross (Straight Right) Correctly

Common mistakes with the cross include:

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.

See also
4 Focus Mitt Drills For Killer Cardio & Conditioning

The Hook

The left hook (or lead hook) is a brutal power punch and is a key component to any focus mitt drills or heavy bag workouts you add into your regime.
Why throw padwork into your regime? It’s great for building cardio and conditioning.

Once you’ve got your jab and straight right down pat it’s time to master the left hook – you must learn these two punches first to grasp hip rotation.

Read and utilize the technique below and record yourself perform your left hook, although it may feel right it’s not until you review your tape that you pick up on many of the little mistakes I’ll discuss below.

  • Begin with your gloves tucked in front of your face, elbows pointing down.
  • Drive through your hips as you twist them to the right while pivoting on your front (left) foot.
  • Your left glove should not drop down at all, in one fluid horizontal motion your left glove should fire from your chin to the side of your opponents chin as you maintain a slight bend in your elbow.
  • Strike the mitt or heavy bag with either your knuckles parallel to the floor or horizontal to the floor (personal preference)
  • As soon as your left hook connects with the focus mitt, opponent or heavy bag bring it back in front of your face and return to your elbows tucked in position.

Common mistakes when it comes to the hook include:

Failing To Pivot On Your Left Foot

As you rotate your hips to the right while firing the hook with your left hand you must pivot on your front foot in order to maintain your balance and channel your power into your left hook.

A wild left hook thrown from the arm without any hip rotation or front foot pivot will not only lack the power that a solid left hook is notorious for, but you’re also likely going to end off balance – particularly if you miss the pad or mitt.

See also
Cross Jab: A Simple Sneaky Boxing Combo

Winding Up Your Hook

Your left hand should go straight from your chin to either the opponents chin or your heavy bag/mitts…

Your punches should not be telegraphed (aka. your adversary should not see them coming). The #1 way to telegraph a lead hook is to move your glove out to the side to wind it up – this clearly shows what you’re about to do and will likely result in you eating a counter punch (a right hand over the top for example).

The need to wind up a hook to gain more power is also a result of incorrect punching technique too, as above you must pivot on your lead leg as you rotate your hips to draw power into your hook – you will NEVER be able to match the power your whole body can generate by winding up your arm to throw an arm based punch.

The Uppercut

The uppercut (both lead and rear) is a brutal power punch and is a key component to any focus mitt drills or heavy bag workouts you add into your regime.
Why throw padwork into your regime? It’s great for building cardio and conditioning.

Once you’ve got your jab, straight right and left hook down pat it’s time to learn how to throw an uppercut – you must learn these three punches first to grasp hip rotation.

Read and utilize the technique below and record yourself performing uppercuts, although it may feel right it’s not until you review your tape that you pick up on many of the little mistakes I’ll discuss below.

In terms of transferring weight, rotating the hips and pivoting your feet the left (lead) uppercut resembles the left (lead) hook. The right (rear) uppercut resembles your right cross.
The arm movement to throw the punch is the only aspect that differs.

The Lead (Left) Uppercut

  • Begin with your gloves tucked in front of your face, elbows pointing down.
  • Drop your left shoulder slightly as you drive through your hips as you twist them to the right while pivoting on your front (left) foot.
  • Your left glove should drop down a couple of inches your before firing to your adversaries chin or your training partners focus mitt.
  • As soon as your lead uppercut connects with the focus mitt, opponent or heavy bag loop it back immediately and return in front of your face with elbows tucked in position.
See also
5 Big Benefits of Boxing Training: Why You Need To Start Boxing

The Rear (Right) Uppercut

  • Begin with your gloves tucked in front of your face, elbows pointing down.
  • Pivot on your rear foot as you drop your right shoulder slightly and drive through your hips.
  • Your right glove should drop down a couple of inches your before firing to your adversaries chin or your training partners focus mitt.
  • Ensure your left glove is guarding firmly positioned against your cheek to protect yourself in case of a counter.
  • As soon as your rear uppercut connects with the focus mitt, opponent or heavy bag loop it back immediately and return in front of your face with elbows tucked in position.

Common uppercut mistakes include:

Lowering Your Hand Excessively Before Throwing The Uppercut

Your shoulder and glove should only drop ever so slightly before powering through with your uppercut as the power is coming through your body… not your arm.
This is the most common mistake I see when guys are throwing both single shots and combos with uppercuts – they drop there glove down as low as they can and try and explode up from there.

The need to wind up an uppercut excessively to gain more power is also a result of incorrect punching technique too, as above you must pivot on your lead leg (for a lead uppercut) or rear leg (for a rear uppercut) as you rotate your hips to draw power into uppercut – you will NEVER be able to match the power your whole body can generate by winding up your arm to throw an arm based punch.

See also
Double Jab Right Hook Boxing Combination

Your punches should not be telegraphed (aka. your adversary should not see them coming). The #1 way to telegraph an uppercut is to drop your glove down in preparation – this clearly shows what you’re about to do and will likely result in you eating a counter punch (a right hand over the top for example).

Failing To Pivot For Power

As you rotate your hips to the right while firing the lead uppercut with your left hand you must pivot on your front foot in order to maintain your balance and channel your power into your left hook.

A wild lead uppercut thrown from the arm without any hip rotation or front foot pivot will not only lack the power that the uppercut is notorious for, but you’re also likely going to end off balance – particularly if you miss the pad or mitt.

Warm Up


Performing winging hard punches at the focus mitts or heavy bag I highly recommend you perform the following warm up drill at an absolute minimum.
Ideally though you’d perform some shoulder disolocations, jump rope and perhaps a bit of trigger point therapy on your deltoids and lats if you feel necessary.

1. Double Jab

The double jab is a great range finder, used to establish your distance before setting up a big right hand.
Once you’ve pumped out the first jab bring your hand about half way back to your face before snapping it out and hitting your target again, ensure your right hand remains tucked closely to your cheek while popping that jab.
When used in combat your opponent is likely expecting a cross to follow your first jab and as such you’ve got a fairly solid chance of actually landing that second snapping jab.

2. Jab Cross


The jab cross is your bread and butter, the jab should be quick and snappy – this is merely the range finder for the powerful right hand that proceeds it.
Ensure you’re pivoting your hips and stepping through on the right hand to get your power into the shot.

See also
5 Boxing Combos For Killer Cardio Conditioning

3. Cross Jab


A deceiving combination designed to catch your opponent off guard, I very rarely see anyone use this.
As we’re throwing the right hand (cross) first back the power off of it and essentially use it as if it were a jab – your sticking it out there into your opponents face before following it up with a snapping jab.

4. Jab Cross Hook

https://youtu.be/KScM9qlveR4

Building off of our jab cross combination we’re going to throw a lead (left for orthodox stance) hook after our cross.
Ensure your right hand is up high by your cheek as you throw your left hook. When throwing the left hook pivot on your left (lead) foot as you generate power for your left hook.

5. Jab Cross Uppercut


Throw your snapping jab followed by a strong right cross, if you’re throwing your right hand correctly your hips will be loaded in position to pivot and drive your left hand upwards for a powerful uppercut.
No need to drop your left hand down to generate power for the uppercut – all of your power will come through the pivot of your hips.

6. Double Jab Right Hook


Double jab while stepping to the side of your opponent before pivoting your hips as you throw a powerful right hook to the body.
This combination might feel a little odd at first but after a bit of repetition you’ll find that side stepping right hook to the body to be one of your most powerful punches without a doubt.

7. Right Uppercut Left Hook

https://youtu.be/yfT3VKXcNfM

The right uppercut left hook combination is excellent when fighting in close with your opponent – imagine you’ve got a guy backed up on the ropes in the ring, if you’re in close there’s zero space to throw straight punches as you can’t extend your arms to get any power into your shots – that’s where this powerful close range combo comes in.
Load your hips up to get some power into your right uppercut before pivoting into a short (keep your left hand in reasonably close, don’t throw it out wide) left hook.

See also
Jab Cross Hook Boxing Combination Guide

8. Four Straight


The four straight drill works well as a warm up combination or just to mix things up a bit between your hook and uppecut based combos.
Throw four light straight punches to the pads, no need to load your hips up until the fifth punch which is to be a powerful straight right hand.

9. Right Uppercut Straight Right


A powerful rear hand combination.
Begin by throwing a right uppercut, ensuring you’re loading up your hips to generate power – as soon as you’ve returned your right hand to the chin load up your hips again as your pivot to extend a powerful straight right hand.

10. Jab Right Hook Left Hook


Begin by throwing a snapping jab with your lead (left) hand before pivoting and throwing a right hook – ensuring your left hand is up high guarding your cheek while doing so.
From here keep your hips loaded as you unleash a powerful lead (left) hook while your right hand guards your chin.

11. Jab Cross Hook Cross


A popular four punch combination – snap your jab out, pivot through your hips to generate power for your right hand, while maintaining your right hand close to your chin whip your left (lead) hook and pivot back while your hips remain loaded to throw a powerful straight cross to finish the combo.

12. Jab Cross Hook Uppercut


Identical in terms of footwork and loading of the hips to the combination listed above, however instead of throwing a straight right to finish the combination you’ll opt to throw a powerful uppercut to the chin.

13. Jab Cross Hook To The Body


In live sparring the hook to the body in this combination is the money shot, as by throwing your jab and cross your opponent will keep their hands up high – expecting a head hook or perhaps an uppercut to come next – this is where we mix up our levels and dig that left hook into the body while your opponent leaves this shot wide open. In terms of the pivot through the hips etc. everything remains the same as if you were throwing a regular head hook – however we’re aiming our punch at the body instead.

See also
Punch Paddles: Efficient Boxing Training Without The Injuries

14. Jab Head Jab Body

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_l25cd-F_C4&feature=youtu.be

After throwing your regular snapping jab immediately throw another jab, however aim for the torso.
When it comes to implementing this combo in sparring and live drills the intention isn’t to so much land the initial jab – it’s merely to get your opponents hands up high as they anticipate another jab up high or potentially a right hand – instead we opt to land a jab on their wide open torso.

15. Body Hook Uppercut Head Hook

https://youtu.be/VHreB-n79mE

A Mike Tyson inspired combo! Perfect for close quarters combat.
Ensure you’re pivoting through your hips to draw power in for each of these shots.

16. Jab Cross Slip Cross

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dHQwDAnjOIc&feature=youtu.be

A basic combination incorporating a small slip to the inside (right).
Begin by throwing a quick jab cross combo, immediately pivot to the inside (right) while loading your hips and returning with a powerful right hand – this combo emulates throwing a combo, evading your opponents counter before throwing your own counter right hand.

17. Jab Cross Hook Slip Hook

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZnLBNQjqBFM&feature=youtu.be

Begin by throwing your snapping jab, pivoting your hips to unload a powerful straight right hand, keep your right hand glued to your chin as you pivot on your front foot to throw a powerful lead (left) hook before slipping to the outside (left) leaving your hips loaded in the perfect position to throw another powerful lead hook.

18. Double Jab Body Hook

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=akO7cfhzpUY&feature=youtu.be

Begin by popping out your double jab while moving to the left hand side of your opponent – load your hips up and unleash a powerful right hook to the body.

See also
4 Focus Mitt Drills For Power And Speed

19. Right Body Hook Right Uppercut

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y-yeN4UU7tc&feature=youtu.be

An excellent rear hand combination to perform while your opponent is in close range or backed up against the ropes. No need to rush this one – ensure you’re throwing the right uppercut with power through your hips after your right body hook.

20. Jab Cross Uppercut Hook


A quick four punch combo, take notice in the video how I take my time after the uppercut to ensure I’m positioned correctly to unleash a powerful left hook.
Most guys rush the last two punches of this combo with their lead hand – slow it down and get that final hook correct before speeding it up.

21. Left Body Hook Left Uppercut Left Hook

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mO7QEE5tBqs&feature=youtu.be

A three punch lead hand combo! A personal favorite of mine.
As above, take your time and ensure your body is in the correct position for the proceeding punch while your right hand remains tightly glued to your chin.

22. Jab Cross Hook Weave Hook

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8GiGXFUpuNw&feature=youtu.be

Throw your jab cross hook three punch combination before weaving under a shot from your pad holder, after coming up from the weave your hips should be loaded to the left side – ready to unwind as you pivot on your lead (left) foot and throw your hook.

23. Double Jab Cross


Throw your double jab out as a means of ensuring you’ve got your distance between yourself and your opponent (or pad holder!) correct before unleashing a powerful right hand.

24. Jab Cross Hook Cross Left Body Hook

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZYRsj27Hk1w&feature=youtu.be

A sneaky body shot addition to our four punch jab cross hook cross combo – adding in a left body hook after focusing on four head height punches.

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What’s Your Take On These Boxing Combinations? Let Me Know Below!

Scott J.
Scott J.https://ignorelimits.com
I’m SJ. I’m a fitness enthusiast and published author. I transformed my body from a skinny fat 135lbs with 18% body fat to a solid 192lbs at 8% body fat. I became qualified in a field I was passionate about. I founded several online businesses that allow me to pursue ideas and projects in my life that I am passionate about without having to constantly worry about money. I published several eBooks explaining the training and dieting techniques I used to achieve the body I have today. I learnt a plethora of new information on dieting and fitness by reading and applying what I read, to find out what does work and what doesn’t work, because as I’m sure you’ve noticed the health and fitness industry is full of non-sense claims and BS. I found out what was true and what worked for me and applied that knowledge. And you bet I had fun during the whole process.

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