The Boxing How To Guide – Left Hook to the Body
This is one of a series of 5 video articles which together constitute a basic ‘Boxing How To’ guide for body punching. There are 4 ‘Boxing How To’ videos on hooks and uppercuts to the body and one on straight shots.
In boxing, most 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 brutally.
If you know how to throw a left hook to the body then what you have in your arsenal is 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 the toughest of opponents helpless.
Even after the initial impact, surge of pain and breathless incapacity, supposing your opponent finds a way to remain upright, their problems are far from over. The residual effects of the shot can 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 boxing match. Basically, a period of ‘body shot fallout’ ensues during which you can build a commanding lead due to your opponent’s relative inactivity.
Before we look at how to throw a left hook to the body, it is worth understanding 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.
Oh yes, knowing how to deliver the perfect left hook to the body of an opponent is boxing gold. Check out the video and then read on to find out more about the mechanics and common faults.
Boxing How To Guide – Mechanics of the Left Hook to the Body
In order 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:
- From the boxing stance, the first action is a bend (or ‘drop’) of the knees. This is covered in the article on ducking.
- As the duck is taking place, there is an explosive thrust from the ball of the front foot. This explosive thrust generates a clockwise rotation of the hips and upper body.
- As the rotation of the hips is taking place, the 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 true close range, then the arm should undertake only minimal movement. If the target is at mid range, then the arm will ‘arc’ more and result in an ‘L’ shape at point of impact.
- The rotation of the 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.
- 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).
Boxing How To Guide – Common Faults if the Left Hook to the Body
There are 3 common faults that you should be aware of.
- There are occasions where 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 threat. However, a general rule of thumb is that you should lower your centre of gravity by bending the knees. This can add power but more importantly reduces the amount of time that your arm is away from the guard position.
- Don’t lean forward as the shot goes. This is a recipe for disaster as a) your body weight moves towards possible incoming shots and b) you will be less able to deliver additional punches after the left hook.
- 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 defences.
There we have it, a ‘boxing how to’ guide to throwing a left hook to the body. There are a number of possible variations in how and when to throw this shot, including the position of the opponent, the stance used (southpaw or orthodox) by the opponent and the physical characteristics of the opponent, 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!
You might be wondering how to defend this shot. Check out the article titles Boxing Tips – Defensive Inside Fighting to find out more.
As always, if you have any questions or observation, please let me know by leaving a comment.