MORE POWER: #1 TECHNIQUE
|Shadowboxing: Even the pro's do it|
There is a reason that in every gym you step foot in technique will be constantly fine tuned and focused on. With poor technique force generated can be wasted (and thus waste your energy) or never tapped into. Great technique will make you hit harder because all your limbs and even your spine is lined up in such a manner to minimize wasted energy and maximize leverages. As an example if your feet are too close together and you make impact too soon in your punch you will knock yourself off balance and hit before maximum force is generated.
The best way to improve technique is to shadowbox in front of a mirror being a critic of the timing of the twisting motion in your hips, when you turn over your punch, body position, etc. Here is a series of videos that cover technique very well. I suggest shadowboxing every day if only for 3 rounds focusing purely on punching correctly with proper balance and your hands in their place.
MORE POWER: #2 SPEEEED!
Now I know this isn't a physics class and there are other factors into this equation but in physics if you double somethings mass you also double the kinetic force BUT if you double somethings speed you triple its kinetic energy.
A great way to improve speed is to punch with resistance bands or weights. Punching with light weights (1-5lbs) is controversial because some claim it can damage your tendons and ligaments, I however have not experienced any problems but I do heed the warnings and do it at a controlled pace while not over-extending my punches.
I also use this resistance band set up, it's very comfortable and is joint friendly, the only criticism it could possibly get from people looking to nit-pick is that it also pulls down a bit and can supposedly screw up your muscle memory but this is negligible because you would be punching much much more without this so a few punches here and there aren't going to all of a sudden make you punch like garbage. I got mine for 20 bucks at an Xcess cargo. Regular resistance bands will work also but you either have to train one side at a time or they can rub your back and arms and it can get annoying.
MORE POWER #3 CORE STRENGTH
A great exercise for generating the needed force is russian twists, you can do these with or without weight and also on a decline bench. Another exercise for the generation of force in your core is windshield wipers, these however are not as versatile and easy to add weight or difficulty on but is a solid exercise.
To resist rotation a beginners exercise would be the one arm plank, you should begin with a plank before moving to this one, to perform a one arm plank simply follow the advice in this video and remove one arm while keeping your shoulders level. Another great exercise is a one arm pushups, I would say more about this exercise but nick says it all only better, enjoy the video.
MORE POWER: #4 RATE OF FORCE GENERATION
Plyometrics are a popular way to train your body to generate force faster, a great exercise for this is clapping pushups. Clapping pushups can be very challenging especially if you try to clap behind your back, over your head, multiple times in front or even once in front then behind then back in front (my personal best).
Plyometrics for your legs and core are also very important because only part of your punching power comes from your upper body. Squat jumps, lateral jumps, lunge jumps, broad jumps and tuck jumps are all excellent for your legs. Throwing anything is great for your core in any direction but in particular twisting motions, throwing a medicine ball by simply twisting your torso works and also using a resistance band.
MORE POWER: #5 MAXIMAL STRENGTH
I will not get much in depth here because many people know alot already but I will however list my personal favorite exercises for increasing raw strength and a few guidelines. Deadlifts, Romanian Split Squats, One Arm Pushups, Handstand Pushups, Pull-ups (weighted), One-Arm Pullups, Glute Ham Raises and Bodyweight tricep extensions. When training for raw strength keep the reps at 5 or less with an appropriate weight with longer rest periods (2-4 minutes) and the sets around 3-5 per exercise and up to 3 exercises per movement pattern (upper body push, upper pull, lower push, lower pull, etc). Training strength 3 times in a two week period with a full body routine is all that is needed to increase strength while still leaving you energy for conditioning and skill work.