Are you leaving something on the table? You could really start kicking some serious butt.
Did you just walk into a gym or watch a video, learning how to throw a left hook without really learning how to throw it and when to use it.
More times than not when we get taught how to do something fast, we want to learn as fast as we can without learning all the variables.
Leaving important details on the table for later to revisit.
We learn the end product first and then later ask ourselves am I doing this right?
Well no more! Without having to go all the way back to find out what you missed, I give you a short intro into the left hook that gives some key points to remember.
“Perfectly balanced as all things should be.” -Thanos
What Is The Left Hook?
First, what is the hook?
A hook ranks as the 2nd most destructive punch in boxing!
Primarily a short-range punch, used in compact spacing with an opponent or a bag, your choice of what you feel like hitting that day.
With that same concept, the left hook, if orthodox will be your lead hand, and southpaws will be your backhand.
I am an orthodox fighter so I will be talking from my point of view.
The left hook is primarily used as a check hook, this means it’s short, crisp, and to the point, like this article.
But before we get into the different ways to throw it let’s master one.
Which One Am I Talking About?
There are many ways to throw a left hook, and they are not all equal in strength or speed.
These are all situational as well, you cannot throw them at just anytime and expect them to be effective.
You got the check hook, wind up hook, a long hook, a tight hook, and traditional.
I’m talking about the traditional left hook.
Let’s keep it simple.
How To Throw It?
It’s roll call time for my warriors, set up in your boxing stance.
With your lead foot, drive the toes into the ground slightly lifting your heel. Pivot on the balls of your foot inward.
You should feel your whole left side of your body locked moving in concert.
If not, think about as you drive those toes into the ground forces will shoot up your leg causing you to tighten your butt cheek.
The force doesn’t stop there, next your obliques and abdominals should tighten up as well.
What this allows you to do is bring your body weight around on the punch with proper form and mechanics.
So you learned how to move your body but the punch is what we are after. And we want to make it count.
Imagine you are stirring a big pot of soup with your left hand. Take a moment and go make some soup or act it out doesn’t really matter.
You have this circular motion and your movement is fluid. This is how I want you to think of hooking. I want you to change keeping that shoulder loose to tightening it up. Solid!
Our punch shouldn’t be behind us when we connect, your elbow should be in front of your shoulder when you punch, we want to minimize injuries.
Now, lastly, what do we do with that energy transferring up from our feet? Let’s imagine we can harness that energy and it leaves our body through our fist.
Connecting at 100%
That face though...
How To Use It?
After learning how to throw it, when to use it is just as important.
In a fight, there are three zones you can be in. Red, yellow, and green. Depending on what zone you are in determines the way you throw the hook.
What do these zones indicate? Our distance from our opponent.
Red zone, like a traffic light it means stopped, there is no action going on here and the reason for this is because you are too far out of range to do anything but catch your breath.
Yellow zone, yielding but the foot is ready to push on the gas in case you see an opening. Here you have your hands up ready for action. The right hook is a long-distance punch at this range.
You may extend your arm farther out to reach, but keep aim with your knuckles and not your palms.
No slap fights here.
The best option is to aim for the body, there is a better chance you hit a bigger target compare to the smaller target their head.
Green Zone, it’s go time you are in the mix! Hands pasted on the face, elbows tight, this zone is recommended for some prime-time hooks, putting water in the basement, or catching an opening upstairs.
After your done with your attack dip out or slip to a side and re-adjust your angle to avoid their counter.
When To Use It?
The best time to use it is when you are in the yellow zone. Why? Because the best left hook, you can choose to throw is most likely a check left hook.
Ryan Garcia has made a living off this punch watch any of his fights. Its stops your opponent from coming in and you get to keep your distance.
But let’s say we are always in close that’s our fighting style. Can we still use it?
Yes, this is the next best time to start using that left hook. You are close and hooks are a prime-time punch when you are inside fighting.
Canelo Alvarez and Mike Tyson are brutal body punchers and their weapon of choice is the left hook, fighting on the inside.
Thumb Up or Down?
The last thing you will want to know Is your thumb up or down when you punch.
Personally, I like my thumb up using a long-range shot, and thumb down when I’m looking for more snap on my punch on the inside.
Gennady Golovkin has his thumb down and Canelo Alvarez has his thumb up. Both effective and respectable fighters.
It’s up to you.
That’s how you throw a left hook, know how to use it, and when to use it.
Practice shadow boxing, on a bag, then mitts, partner drills, and eventually take that lesson into the ring and see what you are made of!
Be strategic, know your zones, and take past experiences of what worked and what can be improved. “You are not the only one cursed with knowledge” -Thanos
So use it wisely!
Thanks for tolerating my Thanos quotes, it seemed like the perfect time to let you know I’m one of Thanos’s children.
I’m just a fan of his work lol.