Boxing How To Guide – Left Uppercut Body Punch

by Fran on October 1, 2011

Boxing How to Guide – Left Uppercut Body Punch

Another ‘Boxing How To’ guide on body punching, this time the left uppercut to the body.  Knowing how to defend against this shot is very difficult.  When used alongside hooks to the body it can inflict grievous damage to the toughest of opponents, the slight variations in trajectory proving decisive in the landing of a majorly effective body punch.

Before we get to the mechanics of the boxing how to guide, it is worth understanding that precision is key when looking to land any effective body punch, and particularly this one.  If you want to administer the kind of ‘shock and awe’ that will command respect, then where exactly the punch lands is a major consideration, even more so than any raw power generated.

The ‘prime real estate’ in which to place the left uppercut to the body is the solar plexus, that collection of nerves so important in the correct operation of the organs in the torso.  The solar plexus sits just behind the stomach.  So, find the point at the bottom of your sternum (known as the Xiphoid Process), then take the width of about 3 fingers below this.  That is the ‘sweet spot’.

OK, check out the video then take a look at the mechanics and common faults sections.

Boxing How to Guide – Mechanics

The mechanics of how to land the perfect left uppercut to the body are as follows:

  1. From the boxing stance, the first action is a drop of the knees.  This is a ‘duck’ and more detail may be found in the article on ‘Ducking in Boxing‘.
  2. As the duck is taking place, there is a ‘thrust’ off the ball of the front foot.  This thrust causes a clockwise rotation of the hips.
  3. Late on in the rotation, let the shot go ensuring that the forearm travels along the same vertical plane as the central axis of the opponent, accelerating all the way and targeting the ‘sweet spot’ as described in the introductory paragraphs.
  4. After the shot has landed, return to the boxing stance as quickly as possible.

Boxing How to Guide – Common Faults

  1. As with other uppercuts described on the site, don’t allow the shot to loop too low.  You won’t add power and will only leave a seriously big gap in your defence.  This shot carries risk anyway, so avoid increasing that risk with a poor trajectory.
  2. Make sure that you aim for the ‘sweet spot’.  If the shot lands too low on the abdomen, it is unlikely to have the kind of impact that you would hope for.  This is because when we work the abdomen (crunches, sit ups etc), that area benefits most and can therefore withstand quite a whack.
  3. Don’t lean in or lean forward.  You may find that instead of landing your own uppercut, you take one in return!

There you have it, a boxing how to guide on delivering a proper body punch in the form of the left uppercut.  It’s a slightly awkward shot to throw, but if you do land it correctly then it can end fights in an instant.

Any comments or questions, let me have them below.




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{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

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roland February 11, 2016 at 8:07 am

Hello Fran,
I’ve been making countless attempts in delivering a ‘proper’ vertical left/right uppercut on a normal cylindrical heavy bag for awhile, but the angle just feels so awkward that i often end up executing the punches at an angle that look like hooks (as you’ve stated in another video). what are your suggestions for a lad like me who only has cylindrical heavy bag to work on instead of those teardrop/tapered bags? Thank you again for your time!


Roland March 5, 2016 at 6:12 pm

Hello Fran,
Not sure you’ve received my previous inquiry regarding executing a vertical left/right uppercut on a normal cylindrical heavy bag. Hope you hear from you soon! Or if there’s any folks out there with the same issues, I’d love to hear how you guys manage with the angle and positioning!


Fran March 6, 2016 at 8:15 pm

Hi Roland

Sorry, missed that question. Take the power out of the shot and land almost with the ‘back’ of your fist – not ideal but your options are limited. Obviously mid and longer range uppercuts are more straightforward.

Hope this helps.


Delboy January 26, 2015 at 8:53 pm

Great instructional video Fran, I’ve been looking for a guide on this punch and this is the best one I’ve found on the internet. If I may say so it does look a bit awkward/dangerous to throw on ‘its own’ though. Would I be right in saying that in practice it is mainly going to be thrown after an inside slip/or after throwing the right cross? As that would make it much easier to throw/get power into/avoid a counterpunch? Thanks.


Fran January 29, 2015 at 8:46 pm

Thanks Del

Yes, you need to make the opportunity to land this shot. So a feint, slip, after right cross, angled side step. Create the opening.


Delboy January 31, 2015 at 6:20 am

Thanks Fran. I thought as much. If you just did the punch as demonstrated in the video ‘on its own’ then you’d eat a big right hand everytime I’d imagine!


Fran February 5, 2015 at 8:47 pm



Paul Smith October 11, 2011 at 5:21 pm

Sounds good Fran!



Paul Smith October 10, 2011 at 1:02 pm

I like the feel of this punch more and more when I try it now, but would like to know exactly how and when to set it up?
What type of situatiion must I be in where this punch would be most effective and most likely to hit properly?
I know it would probably be at close range, but what shold I be looking for, as far as an opponent’s defence, or lack thereof?



Fran October 10, 2011 at 9:13 pm

Great question Paul. Have a think about doubling it up with the left hook to the body. So, throw a short left hook first (looking to get around the opponent’s guarding arm. Now, this first shot can almost be seen as a feint, but a physical feint. That is you are landing the shot in order to draw the opponent’s guarding arm back towards the impact point. Instantly deliver the left uppercut, but it has to be quick to take full advantage. The same principle can be used in reverse (uppercut first to draw guarding arm forward).

Whilst this shot works great in isolation, it’s fantastic as an unexpected follow up to the hooks, even the right hook to the head. The last thing that the opponent expects is a shot coming in low and splitting the guard.

Cheers for the question Paul


Ivan October 6, 2011 at 3:37 pm

Hi Fran, it’s only getting better with each new video. You don’t seem to run out of steam or motivation and now that you’ve opened up the bag with tricks, boxing doesn’t feel so simple and natural when you try to do things right.
This is not a simple shot for people who are naturally strong or who believe in their power. It’s precision over power, technique over physical strength, timing over aggression and speed. This is almost like a test – if you can land this punch, you might be on your way of becoming a boxer.


Paul Smith October 3, 2011 at 2:38 am

Good stuff Fran! I can really appreciate the economy of movement approach and the fact that you let us know about the vulnerable nature of the solar plexus. Those uppercuts are very quick and would no doubt hurt a lot.



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