Beginner’s Guide to Right & Left Hook Punches

Hook punches are the most powerful and perhaps the most commonly used punches in boxing. When training hook shots, the first thing to remember is to make sure you are hitting at the correct distance. Since hook punches are punched with a bent arm, it goes without saying that the distance between the trainees should be much smaller than for straight punches. The hook punch can be used effectively in both outside fightings, inside fighting, and hand-to-hand combat, which necessarily involves bending the arm to different degrees.

How to throw the left hook (lead hook)

Starting from the boxing stance, step forward-left with the left foot. Turn from right to left with hips released from the torso. Weight is placed on the left leg bent at the knee. From here, start the rotation. The body lifts from the waist and pivots from left to the right, and the bodyweight shifts to the right leg. In the end position, the left leg is extended with the heel in the direction of impact, and the right leg slightly bent at the knee. The left arm is flexed and horizontal. The right fist is at the chin angle, and the right forearm is protecting the body.

Make sure that the punch reaches the target in the shortest possible path, do not drive wide, and do not pull the elbow back before the punch.

In addition to the basic left hook, several variations can be taught to develop versatile training and creative application skills.

Here are a few left hook variations.

  • With the weight of the body distributed to both legs.
  • Left hook with the weight of the body on the right leg.
  • With left step.
  • With right step.

The technical execution of the lead hook to the body is hardly different from the left hook to the head. There are only two significant differences. During the direct impact movement, the body does not rise from the torso, and the elbow of the left arm does not rise during the impact but remains next to the body.

How to throw the right hook punch (rear hook)

It is used to exploit an already prepared attack with a decisive blow.

Execution of the right hook technique.

The right foot is launched with the left foot stepping forward. Simultaneously, the torso is turned to the left from the right hip and shoulder. The fist of the right arm, bent at the correct angle, is directed towards the target. In the end position, the bodyweight is on the slightly bent left leg, right leg extended, right heel in the direction of impact. Right elbow horizontal and striking fist facing down. The left arm is next to the body. The fist is protecting the chin.

Of course, there are some variations for the rear hook:

  • With the weight of the body on the left leg.
  • Placing the weight of the body on the right leg.
  • Right hook by stepping to the left.
  • With right foot stepping forward.
  • With left foot stepping back.
  • With right foot stepping back with bodyweight on the left foot.

The technical execution of the right hook to the body is hardly different from the technique of the right hook to the head. There are only two significant differences. During the execution of the punch, the body is bent from the waist. And, the elbow remains next to the body.

Why are hook punches significant in boxing?

Boxing hooks are among the most effective punches. Among all the punches in the sport, the lead hook is known as one of the most powerful. Hook’s effectiveness comes from the fact that it travels the shortest distance between launch and target.

There’s a lot of power in this punch, but only when it’s adequately thrown. Despite how simple it looks, the mechanics of a punch involve quite a bit. Practice is key to throwing a proper hook. But once you get the hook down, you’ve got a powerful offensive tool against your opponent.

Don’t believe it? Here some of the best hook knock outs by Mike Tyson

Key considerations when practicing the hooks

  • The elbow of the arm rises and follows the plane of the stroke only during the actual strike.
  • The forearm should follow the striking surface of the fist perpendicularly so that the punch is clean, hard, and effective.
  • The dynamic movement of the body weight to maintain balance requires a coordinated and disciplined work of the upper body.

To improve hook force and speed, develop technique, plus rotational strength and the stretch-shortening cycle of the hips and core. Ice Skaters, Landmine Rotations and Lateral Med Ball Throws are great specific exercises which can develop these qualities.

The most common execution errors in the performance of punches

  • The elbow does not rise to the plane of the stroke.
  • Lack of coordination of hip, trunk, and shoulder action involved in the hitting process.
  • Lack of protection of the non-striking hand.
  • Execution of an indicative movement before the punch is delivered.
  • Inadequate transfer of the center of gravity.
  • The direction of movement of the body mass is different from that resulting from the line of force of the impact.


Are hooks more powerful than straight punches?

Hook punches are not stronger than the cross but more powerful than the jab. Straight punches (cross) are the strongest punches that the human body can deliver. However, we are more likely to see knockouts with the hook and the uppercut because they appear from an angle that is difficult to see (for the opponent).

How can you block a hook punch?

You should place your hand on the back of your head and raise your elbow in the same way you would brush your hair. Put your chin in, and make sure you keep your arm close to your head. The temple, the ears, and the chin are all protected by this.

By doing so, you achieve a few things. You can take the strike better, using simple biomechanics since your head’s leaning towards the strike. Plus, the only exposed part of your body is your skull.

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There is no better fitness system than boxing. Your muscles grow, your endurance improves, your heart gets stronger and you're more energetic. Since boxing uses practically your entire body, you'll burn tons of calories. Because I love boxing so much, I started this blog to help others get started.