Last year we discussed the anatomy of a strong jab—creating a solid stance and setting the foundation for powerful punches when practicing with the mitts. The next essential punch to explore is the straight right hand, also known as the right cross.

As an offensive punch, the straight right hand is a powerful weapon that should be used to do some damage! You’ll need to use the momentum of your entire body to generate the energy you need.

To throw the straight right hand properly, you’ll need to position yourself in the basic stance we discussed last week. Then—just like the jab—begin the right cross with rotation in your back leg. The goal is to ensure that the rotation of your foot travels through each joint in the knee, hip, and shoulder, building more and more momentum until it explodes forward from your body.

The movement in your foot should feel like you’re squashing a grape under your rear toe, all while turning the knee and hip towards your opponent. The rotation continues through your upper body and into the arm, turning the knuckles over 180° as you move towards your opponent. Just remember to keep your left hand at your chin for consistent defense!

The straight right hand should be used sparingly—like a secret weapon. When it does make an appearance in a fight, it should be used with bad intentions!

Since this punch is such a powerful tool, it can lead to injury if not used correctly. When thrown improperly, the biggest danger in the right cross is overextension. This occurs when you throw the straight right hand with too much force and upset the balance of your stance. Too much weight shifts towards the front leg, leaving you exposed to counter attacks and too slow to defend yourself. A balanced center of mass will allow you to throw punch after punch with devastating accuracy and efficiency.

Now, you’ve learned the anatomy of throwing a straight right hand! To perfect this punch, work on maintaining your balance by shifting the focal point of power from your arms to your torso, which will keep your center of mass beneath you.

Stay tuned as we explore the left hook in next week’s post.