A Boxing How To Guide – The Left Hook to the Body, A Body Punch Nuclear Winter!

This is one of a series of articles which together constitute a basic ‘Boxing How To’ guide for body punching. In basic terms we can break body shots down into 5 basic punches; there are 4 boxing how guides on hooks and uppercuts (2 each for left and right) to the body and one on straight shots.

In boxing, fighters really enjoy the left hook to the body. Let me rephrase that. Most boxers really enjoy throwing the left hook to the body, none enjoy taking one. Knowing how to throw this shot properly will really broaden your boxing horizons and may well lead to an increase in your capability to end a confrontation quickly and with great savagery.

Knowing how to throw a left hook to the body gives you a punch that can end a boxing match with startling abruptness. Knowing how to deliver the shot to the perfect spot, just below the bottom rib into the liver, and knowing how to deliver power to the target at the same time can leave even the toughest opposition helpless, with the initial impact causing an inability of the fighter to even draw breath!

Even after the initial impact, surge of pain and breathless incapacity, even your opponent finds a way to remain upright their problems are far from over. The after-effects of the shot continue to be felt for a considerable period of time, hampering the efforts of the opponent who is desperately searching for ways how to get themselves back into the fight. A period of ‘body punch fallout’ ensues during which you can build a commanding lead due to your opponent’s relative inactivity. It’s a hell of a trump card to have in your pocket and you can see why a boxing how to guide on the left hook to the body could be so helpful.

Before we examine how to throw the left hook to the body, it’s worth appreciating one thing. When throwing a left hook to the body, we will use the short range left hook. This is true even when we are at ‘mid-range’. Rather than ‘turn the fist over’ to produce a true mid-range left hook, it is far better to extend the length of the short range left hook and use this instead.

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Boxing How To Guide – Mechanics of the Left Hook to the Body

To learn how to deliver a left hook to the body, we need to know how combine 2 boxing skills; the duck and the short range left hook. The steps in the process are:

  1. From the boxing stance, the first action is a bend (or ‘drop’) of the knees. Make sure that your back remains straight throughout.
  2. As the duck is taking place, generate an explosive thrust from the ball of the front foot. This explosive thrust creates a clockwise rotation of the hips and upper body.
  3. As the rotation of the hips is progressing, the fist of your lead arm is accelerated toward the target. The arm should hold a given form depending upon how far the fist must travel to the target. So, if the target is at close range, then your arm should undertake only minimal movement. If the target is at mid range, then your arm should ‘arc’ more and result in an ‘L’ shape at the point of impact.
  4. The rotation of your upper body must deliver plenty of torque to direct the most power possible to the target whilst remaining totally in control. At the end of the rotation the fist clenches and impacts the target.
  5. After the shot has landed, the arm returns to the guard position and the boxing stance is returned to normal (rising from the ‘duck’ position).
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Boxing How To Guide – Common Faults if the Left Hook to the Body

There are 3 common faults to be aware of.

  1. On occasion you may not duck when throwing the left hook to the body, for example when an opponent is leaning forward with their head down and is providing no significant threat. However, as a general rule you should lower your centre of gravity by bending the knees. This adds power but more importantly reduces the amount of time that your arm is away from the guard position. This approach considerably reduces your risk of taking an incoming shot.
  2. Don’t lean forward as you throw the punch. This is a recipe for disaster because your body weight moves towards possible incoming shots and you will be less able to deliver additional punches after the left hook or indeed use effective defense against shots coming your way.
  3. Don’t ‘arc’ the shot too much, especially when up close. This is a real waste of energy and leaves a major gap in your own defenses.

There we have it, a ‘boxing how to’ guide to throwing a left hook to the body. There are a number of variations in how and when to use this punch, including the position of the opponent, the stance used by the opponent and their physical characteristics, for example their height. To prepare for all eventualities though, this method will give you a good baseline to continue your education in how to throw the perfect left hook to the body. Boxing gold!

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by Fran Sands