How To Throw A Hook (And Land It!)

The sport of boxing is very popular all around the world, with lots of competitions and tournaments, and for good reason. There’s a lot of depth to the sport, with special technique behind every move and punch.

How To Throw A Hook

To that effect, there are a lot of different types of punches that a boxer can use against their opponent. Each has its different benefits and levels of damage, and a hook is one of the most important ones. But how do you throw a hook?

We have the answers for you! In our helpful guide below, you’ll find a detailed breakdown of different methods you can use to throw an effective hook in the boxing ring, as well as information on the type of punch itself. Read on!

What Is A Hook?

To begin with, let’s have a look at defining the hook. A hook is one of the strongest and most powerful punches that a boxer can use.

There are a few variations of hook that you can try, and all are about speed and catching your opponent out, setting them up for a devastating blow.

Hooks are usually directed towards the jaw, a very painful location, but sometimes they are used against parts of the body. A hook can get you a knockout, if it’s used correctly and effectively. 

How To Throw A Hook

Step 1

To begin with, you want to get into your boxing stance. This means that you should put your legs about a shoulder-width spread apart, then reorder them by putting your dominant foot back by half a step.

Your dominant foot is the same side as your dominant hand. Now, you need to turn that back foot around 90 degrees to the side, so that the toes are lined up with where the heel is of your front, non-dominant foot.

That other foot should be angled straight ahead.

Step 2

Next, you want to ensure that you’re assuming a good and stable posture. This means standing up straight and confidently, with your gloves and fists up in front of your nose and mouth, protecting them.

Have your hands balled into fists, and lead with your dominant hand just a little in front. You want to make sure that your hands are not too high!

You need to be able to have a full view of your opponent, so lower the gloves if they’re covering your eyes. You’ll need to monitor them for an opening through which you can throw your hook. 

Another part of posture is bending your knees, which will give you extra mobility for launching the punch. Lowering your knees, make sure that your weight is carried evenly across your two feet, a perfect balance. 

Step 3

Now we’re getting closer to throwing the hook…literally, because you need to move closer!

Hooks only work on the short range, so you need to be close enough that you can deliver power and reduce the chances for your opponent to block.

Then, when you’re up close and personal, have a look at them: which spots aren’t defended? You will want to target unprotected, open parts – such as their chin.

Step 4

It’s time to throw the punch.

First, you will want to pull back your leading arm. This will be with your non-dominant hand, because it’s the arm that matches the foot that you’ve got planted forwards – and, as you know, the dominant foot is placed at the back.

So, pull the arm back, but make sure to keep it in line with the flat of the ground. As you’re pulling back, twist your body along with it, angling it toward the leading arm. 

The speed at which you twist should match the speed you’re pulling, the body becoming a single force of power. Don’t rotate with your shoulders, rather your hips and feet.

Step 5

This should all be very quick. After you rapidly pull back, you want to then rapidly launch the fist back forward, extending the arm with the help of your shoulder.

Try to keep the arm relatively close to your body, keeping it all controlled, small and powerful. As you’re extending, lower your other, dominant hand so that it doesn’t get in the way of your hit.

Below the chin is a good place. At the same time, as you’re completing the hook, lift your back heel and turn your feet to follow your twisting body. When you hit, drop the heel.

As you’re connecting to your opponent, tighten your fist for extra effect. 

Step 6

Once you’ve hit the opponent with the hook, you want to withdraw. This means getting back to your starting boxing stance immediately – that is, unless you’re planning on more punches straight away.

Keep your body upright and balanced to help protect yourself, and turn your body back into the starter stance, with the legs spread and balanced correctly.

Above all, keep your gloves in front of your face, to protect yourself from any immediate comebacks. 

Types Of Hook

Check Hook

This is for stepping around an opponent that’s coming at you. Throw the hook, then quickly  swing your pivoting feet around to face the rival again.

Shovel Hook

This is for getting around an opponent’s defense by going underneath it. When you pull your arm back, do it at 45 degrees instead, so the hook comes up from below to the opponent’s jaw.

Back Step Hook

This gives you more power as you go forward. When the opponent moves, shift your weight onto your front foot by stepping back, then use the front for hook power.

Leaping Lead Hook

Use your front foot to push yourself forward with a hook, while keeping your boxing stance.

Final Thoughts

Hooks are essential for a boxer, so follow our guide carefully!

If you enjoyed this post, you might enjoy our article on ‘Does Punching Your Abs Help?‘.

Christopher Anderson
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