Boxing How To Guide – Long Range Body Punches

by Fran on October 11, 2011

Boxing How To Guide – Body Shots at Long Range

When developing ‘Boxing How To’ guides on body punches, I’ll bet that most people will think of hooks and uppercuts. This is quite reasonable. The majority of hurtful body shots tend to be short to mid-range hooks and uppercuts. However, no Boxing How To guide on body punches should exclude straight shots, or any other long range shot for that matter.

This Boxing How To guide has a focus on the straight shots. So, in the video I use the jab and the straight back hand (right cross). I do not go into the mechanics of how to throw the individual punches as they do not differ in technique from those already described on the site. To find out exactly the technique of each punch, check out the links below:

Just before we watch the video and get into the mechanics of how to throw long range body shots, it’s worth bearing one thing in mind. Straight shots to the body are most effective when used against an oncoming opponent. The straight back hand to the body, when timed correctly using the forward momentum of the opponent, has some real stopping power. It’s a punch that is best used in a defensive setting.  Defense and attack being part of a total fighting style. As was said by Napoleon Bonaparte, “Defensive war does not exclude attacking, just as offensive war does not exclude defending…”

Boxing How To Guide – Mechanics

  1. From the boxing stance the first action is a duck.
  2. As you are ducking, fire out the jab, straight back hand or both. The shot(s) should travel along a straight line from the shoulder to the target. The target? The solar plexus, as described in the Boxing How to Guide – Left Uppercut to the Body.
  3. Return to the boxing stance.

Boxing How To Guide – Common Faults

There is only really one fault to be wary of, aside from the faults that may present themselves with the jab and right cross to the head. There is often an urge to be lazy and punch down toward the target. For long range shots this leaves you particularly exposed to incoming punches (especially the very unpleasant uppercut) and using your forward momentum to increase the power of those incoming shots. You are also vulnerable to over-balancing, again not a good place to be.

If you’ve any questions, or would like to make any observations or comments, please do so below.



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{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

Simon August 14, 2014 at 6:34 am

Brilliant. Many thanks for that Fran. I’m actually practicing the above combined with a move forward also, so that’s 3 skills at the same time!

BTW When you throw the jab to the body some people say to move your rear fist forward to cover the front of the chin, is this really necessary , do you think? I’m wondering why this might be needed and what punch this would this protect against?

Simon, Melbourne


Fran August 25, 2014 at 6:44 pm

No problem mate, a pleasure.

On that rear hand thing, there are plenty of boxers who bring that rear hand in front of the face as the jab goes to the head as well as the body. It really defends against straight shots (especially the jab) but can expose you to the left hook at mid-to-long range. My view is to use it, but don’t let it become a habit because a smart opponent will spot it and exploit it!

Cheers mate


Simon August 12, 2014 at 11:33 am

This is the best boxing tuition website on the internet, bar none. Many thanks for that Fran .This section on straight body punching is especially informative to me as I’m tall and skinny and like to practice these shots alot.

One question please Fran. In the videos you say duck first and then throw the shot. I can see why you want to keep things simple for novices like me and not complicate matters. But I’m wondering whether if as you get more proficient you actually initiate the duck and throw the punch at the same time? This would be quicker and so have more chance of landing the shot. Actually I’m studying videos of pros and top amateurs at the moment and they seem to duck and throw the punch at the same time? Or have I got it wrong? Many thanks Fran.

Simon, Melbourne


Fran August 13, 2014 at 10:29 pm

Hey Simon

Thanks for the compliments mate, that’s nice of you.

You’ve got it spot on. We’re combining two skills to form one action, so absolutely initiate at the same time. Make it explosive and don’t lean in, make the most of your height and reach with full rotation when attacking the body from long range.


oded gross May 24, 2014 at 9:30 am

thanks fran for another good detailed guidance movie


Fran May 26, 2014 at 4:30 pm

Cheers Oded, glad you like it.


David Williams May 11, 2013 at 5:24 pm

Hi Fran, I coach kids in halls, so no punch bags, just pads, skipping ropes. I am a tutor, so its all non contact, have you any tips, ideas that I could use to keep sessions fresh. I play games, teach the basics, skip, shadow box and throw in a bit of fitness work. Anything you do with beginners to keep it fun and fresh would be appreciated…


Fran May 17, 2013 at 7:01 pm


Thanks for the questions and well done for spending your time working with the kids!

Obviously keeping the humour front and centre is always good. Pads are great, kids love working with them. Make sure that you check out the series of articles on pad work, you might find some stuff there that you can use. One of the main things I use, with kids and experienced boxers, is Tag Boxing. Here is a link which describes what you need to do.
Thanks again for the comments/question David.


Marco October 17, 2012 at 8:27 pm

Hi Fran,

About the straight body shots, a number of people have advised me to move my head off the centre line when changing levels (using the duck) and throwing straight body shots to prevent the easy counter shot. Do different situations require me to use head movement with the straight body shot? i find sometime it takes me off balance and is slower compared to just changing levels and throwing. How should i train to use the straight body shots with or without head movement?

Thanks always Fran


Fran October 18, 2012 at 8:42 pm

Marco. I wouldn’t worry. When you throw your straight right hand to the body your head moves very off the centre line anyway. Not much, but enough for an incoming straight shot to slide by the side of your head. If you are truly going to try and combine a slip with a straight punch, then you will sacrifice straight line power. But if it lands then it still scores.

Hope this helps.


alex aka banjobilly June 15, 2012 at 11:19 am

Fran, I dig yer lessons. You are simultaneously concise and detailed … A great 1,2 !

Now … Query: In regards to the 1,2 to the body, it appears the jab is an arm punch. I’ve tried throwing the punch from bent knees, and find it awkward when I try to keep the form as in a standing jab (the torque from front foot). Please advice.


Fran June 16, 2012 at 7:20 pm

Cheers Alex

Think about combining the jab with the move in, this can help. However, as it is really a shot that simply creates and opening or helps find range, then allowing it to be just an arm-shot is not such a bad thing. Keep working on it though, well worth getting right.


Osiell April 22, 2012 at 10:22 pm

Hi Fran,
Great instructional video, very precise and technical.
Body shots are starting to make sense, but what if you are receiving body shots, and your mental state fail because you are concern about getting hit again. How can you convince yourself to forget about the damage and continue performing?
From what i know its a draining experience.
Any advice or opinion would be appreciated.
Thank you.


Fran April 23, 2012 at 8:57 pm

Hey Osiell

Nice to hear from you.

Basically, you just have to learn to deal with shots coming your way. The simple fact is that you will take punches, and some of those punches will hit your body, and a good number of them will hurt. The trick is to minimize those punches landing whilst still fulfilling your objective. That is to win the fight. Skills improve and therefore so will defense. Give it time.

In a practical sense, make sure that you are using your body shot defences properly, especially those blocks to the hooks.

Hope this helps Osiell. Take care.


Chase November 11, 2011 at 8:46 am

Great video man!

Semi-related (I think?) I injured my right index finger when sparring bare-fist and it has been a couple of months since then and it’s recovering kind of slowly, I can clench and all, but it hurts when I apply pressure to it.

Is there anyway I can help accelerate it’s healing?

Thanks in advance.


Fran November 14, 2011 at 9:26 pm

Hey Chase, sorry for the delay.

Unfortunately, I think time is what it’s gonna take. Having broken a finger taking boxers on pads, I can testify that it’s an annoying injury. Don’t rush things though.

On another matter, maybe avoid bare-knuckle sparring in future? All I can see is further injuries mate, for little (if any) benefit. Wrap up, glove up, and protect those highly valued assets that are attached to the end of your arms. 😉


Andy October 18, 2011 at 8:20 am

thanks for the advice Fran, its greatly appretiated as always.

On an unrelated note, i injured my shoulder 2 weeks ago, and although its getting better, its still quite painfull and ive been out of training.
Appart from applying cold compression when it first happens, do you have any advice on recovering from injuries faster?
Thank you


Fran October 18, 2011 at 7:56 pm

Hey Andy

No problem mate, always welcome.

This may not come as a surprise, but quality of rest is what matter for now. The ice helps in the immediate aftermath to reduce bruising and swelling. From there on it’s about rest.

The site below is worth checking out, some really sensible advice around management of sports injuries and specifically combat sports injuries. Hope you find some stuff to help:

Cheers Andy


Andy October 14, 2011 at 7:12 am

Another great video.

I guess it would be very effective against an agressive fighter who advances while throwing big shots (i spar against a few like this) as they come in with a hook or cross, you duck underneath the shot and fire out a big right to the sola plexus, they wouldnt know what hit them!
One general question, im reasonabley tall (6’2″) and usually spar with shorter, but bigger guys. is it wise for me to try and duck under their punches, or am i getting myself into a bad position? would it be better to block and/or use the lay back?
cheers Fran


Fran October 14, 2011 at 8:57 pm

Hey Andy. Yeah, it’s a cool shot and is ideal to use against on-rushing opponents.

On your particular issue, being taller than an opponent you are going to by and large keep them on the end of your long range shots, and the vast majority of the time you are going target the head. This is just common sense. You know what though, if you can get the opponent to the point of making reckless attacks then go ahead and target the body with this long range backhand, especially if he’s a ‘head hunter.’ I guess as long as you don’t end up in a close range battle for prolonged periods, then you hold the advantages. Hope this helps Andy.


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