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Cross

Want to cross your opponent off your list? Throw a cross.

Nailed that pun...

Alright onto the serious business of throwing a perfect cross punch, let's start with a quote:

"Don't you understand anything about commitment, about being a pro, about sticking with what you say you wanna be? You don't just say it when you feel good. You don't just say it when you're not tired. You don't do it just when it's not sunny. You do it every day of your life. When it hurts to do it, you do it when it's the last thing in the world you wanna' do when there are a million reasons not to do it. You do it because you're a professional."

Teddy Atlas

If that doesn’t spark a fire in you, you are in the wrong sport. Boxing demands everything from you and you have to give everything to boxing.

She knows when you aren’t sleeping, she knows when you misbehave, she knows if you trained or not so be good for your own sake.

You can do boxing to be a pro or you can do this as a workout. For those thinking this is just another workout, you are wrong.

Boxing doesn’t care. She demands anybody stepping in her presence to be fully committed even for just an hour.

I love it and so will you, this isn’t for everyone, and rightfully so. You as an individual aren’t made for everyone and that’s what makes you special.

But I will tell you this if you want it bad enough you can do it!

Straight to the point, let’s get into the punch known as the cross!

Cross Punch

A.k.a “The cross” a.k.a “The straight” a.k.a “The 2” a.k.a “momma said knock you out”

What is a cross punch?

Ranked as the number 1 strongest punch, this punch has power.

This punch is thrown with the backhand. Going from behind you, to crossing your body traveling to your target in a straight line.

This is the first power punch you will learn right after the jab. 

This is a long-range power punch that softness up your target to deliver different punches easier like the hook or an uppercut.

How to throw a cross punch

You are going to see these mechanics are for every punch except the jab. 

Start by setting yourself up to your boxing stance. 

  1. Bend the knees
  2. Rotate through your hips
  3. Release
  4. Back to starting position

Bend the knees

The power starts from the ground up, keep your legs bent to generate more power.

Lower your center of gravity.

Your knees will also bend as you do this, make sure your knees do not go too far forward.

Keep your chest up and eyes straight ahead looking at your target.

You should end up with your shins close to vertical and your shoulders over your toes.

How far apart you place your feet will vary between each fighting style.

For more power, get lower with a wider stance and really commit to the punch.

Rotate through your hips

As you keep the momentum of energy transferring up through your body, the next step is the hips.

Either hand you use needs a pivot with some hip rotation, and the opposite foot with the heel in the ground

It can be confusing to understand how to rotate our bodies. Not all of us have full control over our bodies.

We may be looking like we are rotating our body like everyone else but are we doing it efficiently?

People thought about rotation as the twisting of the torso. What we want is the movement of the hips and stability of the lower back.

Injury-free is key, let’s last long in this sport champs!

Rotate your lead shoulder slightly inward. 

The creation of rotation starts with the foot by pivoting. The feet are the drivers of the glutes and help us with core stability from the ground up.

Release

You have one option here, power! 

Your backhand is already wound up behind you. So no need to rotate any further back. 

Keep your elbow tucked by your side and release the hand starting from the cheek. Your palm and forearm will turn inward as you punch. Palm will be facing down and the point of the facing out.

At the end of the punch, you will strike with the first two knuckles.

You throw the strong hand with the opposite hand remaining home protecting the face and the chin tucked hiding behind the relaxed shoulder.

And back to starting position you go!

WHEN TO THROW A CROSS

First, you want to check your distance. Too close or too far and it minimizes the power.

How do you know what the right distance is? Easy! You are able to touch them with your jab fully extended.

That brings us to our next step. Setting up the cross punch. 

Start by using a jab to occupy your opponent. Keeping your jab in their face will blind them from seeing the cross coming.

Common errors

Lifting the back foot, make sure the toes of the back foot never leave the ground. Doing so causes you to lose balance and probably means you are over-extending.

Overextending is common when you are out of range. Make sure you have the proper distance before throwing your punch.

Balance is an issue when you put all your weight on the front foot. You want to be able to come back to your starting position to set up more punches or do a defensive move.

This also causes you to bring that back foot forward to regain balance, and that leads to squaring up your feet and shoulders.

Lastly don’t load up! You are already in the loaded position. Many people including myself at one point cocked back my arm thinking it would give me more power. Wrong!

It only telegraphs the punch, slows it down from reaching its target, and hurts your shoulder if you get jammed up.

Cross punch workouts

Shadowbox

Work on form, break down the movement.

Small weights

Use light weights 2-5lbs to build muscle endurance.

Light bands

Use bands to build speed.

Bags 

Use a bag to build strength.

Extra credit

Here is another fun workout for full upper-body strength to develop that strength.

Conclusion

It takes practice, practice, practice! This is the second punch you learn after the jab.

That’s how important it is. You must master this long-range power punch. 

You won’t learn this overnight but I promise to put in the hours and the reps. You will be a solid threat.

For more tips on different punches and how to increase power through form, follow boxingundefeated for the best content!