Success secret: Power from the ground up
"One of the biggest mistakes I see in boxing classes are students using only their upper body for punches," says Guillermo Gomez, a fourth-degree black belt, kickboxing instructor, and owner of Martial Fusion. A truly powerful strike requires using your entire body: From a fighting stance, the hips and torso should rotate into the punch, transferring energy from the lower body into the arms. Engaging more muscles from head to toe will boost the intensity as well as the calorie burn of your workout.
Make it work for you: Always keep your knees slightly bent and your back straight during a boxing class, and your body will naturally stay more stable so you can generate more force, Gomez says. While the exact movement will depend on the punch you are using, focus on drawing your power from the ground up by incorporating the feet, legs, and hips into your movement. When it’s time to throw a cross punch, for example, raise the heel of your back foot, rotate the hips and torso into the punch, and exhale as the rear arm punches forward.