Firstly genetic and anatomical factors are involved in punching power. These are inherent and not modifiable through exercise. They are biomechanical factors such as lever length and muscle insertion points as well as the muscle fibre grades in the key areas of the body.
Someone may follow all the advice to improve their punching power and still not be able to punch as hard as someone who does very little training. Its much the same as sprinting. Some people are naturally faster than others due to genetic muscle type composition.
However, with the correct training you can learn to maximise your own physical potential. You can run faster and jump higher than you previously did and likewise you can improve your punching power to compete better in the ring.
POWER TRAINING FOR POWER PUNCHING
You’ll be glad to hear this is because certain factors can be modified. You can develop your neuromuscular system in a variety of ways.
Although you can’t change the distribution and proportion of fibre type in your body, you can recruit more of the dormant motor units you have that you are not currently able to utilise. They fail to activate when not used for a long time. Power training will engage more motor units in the contraction of a muscle and therefore activate more muscle fibres creating a bigger force.
If your not doing any power training then you are not maximising the number of your type IIb muscle fibres that are firing. Type IIb fibres are the fibres that known as fast twitch and are only recruited during muscular contractions that are high intensity. Effective power training could take you up from 60% engagement to 75-80% type II engagement.
A second benefit of neuromuscular conditioning is that you can develop greater synchronisation or timing of neural impulses across motor units. Muscles are made up of motor pools which contain multiple motor units. Each motor unit contains a number of muscle fibres. With training you can get these units to fire together at precisely the same time.
When a collection of motor units known as a motor pool fire in unison there are two major benefits. The force produced by the whole muscle is much greater and the movement is smoother and more accurate. So power training may not only see you hitting harder and faster but also striking with more precision.
And theres more. You can also increase the number of nervous impulses that you send to a contracting muscle. As the rate of impulses delivered to each motor unit increases, the force production goes up because the next impulse will launch additional contractions prior to the tension from the first contraction depleting.
So now your sold on the benefits and importance of power training to increase your punching power. Now you need to know what exercises are good for your power training, how to perform them and what intensity and loads to use. Stay tuned for the next article.