Sitting down on punches....

I hear many boxers using the term "I need to sit down on my punches."

First, what does it mean to sit down on your punches? I know it is supposed to add more power because you are lower to the ground, but you are not punching while in a squat, are you???

Also, if you are lower, isn't it harder to move your hip into the punch? Or, is it that you START lower (sitting) and your body rises up as you punch? Help, I'm CONFUSED...


Think of it as grounding yourself as you finish the punch. This is done by bending your knees while pivoting your torso, and shifting your weight. Visualize corkscrewing yourself into the ground. This doesn't mean to be flat-footed and imobile though. Always stay on the balls of your feet and maintain good balance. Ringside has a product called Power Positioner that is specifically designed to help boxers sit down on their punches.

I made my own much cheaper version of the power positioner. If any one is interested let know and I'll post the directions.

thanks for the reply Ryan. So, in other words, sitting down on the punch means staying lower when I throw the punch? I always thought you rise a little bit when you throw the punch, and the power comes from your gravity being low then raising up to meet the target. (Don't know if that makes sense).

sure, I'd love to know how to make my own Power Positioner.

try this experiment: have a partner stand in front of you. punch without "sitting down on the punch". then punch with the sitting. you will see the transfer of power is more when you sit on the punch. i call it sinking. there seems to be a bounce back of the power transferring back into your arm. but if you sink, the power will properly transfer out into the target instead of bouncing back.

edit: Ryan,

sure, pls post your DIY power positioner. TIA.

so are your feet flat or not?

It seems that I get more power flat footed, but lose mobility and can't move (cicle, forwards or backwards) right after I throw the punch, so if my punch or punches dont land are you then kind of a sitting duck?

Lefthooker's explanation was better than mine. Sitting down on punches is more of a feel thing. That's why the power positioner gadget is so useful.
Here's directions for my homemade PP. If don't already have at least some of these materials it maybe close to same price as buying the Ringside model.

Materials: 2 ankle weights, 2 regular size (24' I think) bungee cords with hooks, and any kind of belt (preferably a weight belt).

Use: Put weights on your ankles and hook a bungee to each one. Put your belt on. If it's a weight belt put it on backwards. Then hook the other ends of the bungee cords onto the belt behind your back. The bungee cords should now be connected to each ankle and the back of your waist. Now go shadow box or hit a heavybag.

From what I understand, your feet are flat at impact.
Just as your fist is loose and tightens right before
you make contact, your center of gravity drops about
an inch and you transition from the balls of your
feet to a planted position.

The three things happen more or less simultaneously.

Another way to think of it is as your hips turn into
the punch, sink your weight down. You'll feel like you
just got screwed into the floor, and kind of heavy in
the thighs and ass (like you're about to sit down).

Thanks for all the replies. So, is your front leg necessarily bent when throwing your right hand?

According to Edwin Haislet ( and Bruce Lee, for that matter) the front leg is straight when throwing the right hand, allowing the right side of the body to swing around, like a door. This doesn't seem to allow one to sit down, however.

Ryan Thatcher, thanks for the description of the Power Positioner.

But here's a question: what if you already fight from a crouch? Does this make it easier to sit down on the shots?


Front leg straight? Now I think it's my turn to not
understand what you mean. Doesn't feel natural, but
then again I stand with my legs pretty bent to begin

nottheface, here's a quote from Boxing, Haislet's book...

"In any power or force blow the bone structure must be aligned so as to form one straight body side or line which enables the bone structure to support the weight of the body, thus freeing the muscles to propel the other side of the body forward and creating terrific force.

One side of the body must always form a straight line. This is accomplished by merely shifting body weight over a straight leg, hinging one side of the body, and freeing the other side for a forceful turn or pivot. If power is desired in a right-hand blow, the weight must be shifted to a straight left leg in order that the right side of the body swing forward. If power is required in a left hook, it is obtained by shifting the weight over a straight left leg and swinging the left side of the body around to the right.

The technique of the straight right is just this: Assume the fundamental position. Shift the weight forward until it is directly over the left leg. This allows the bones of the left side of the body to form a straight line, and all muscular power used to turn the body in order to create force. Turn the right hip and shoulder through to the center line and drive the right hand into complete extension." Boxing, by Edwin Haislet p.18.

I try to keep my legs bent too ( I try to box out of a crouch).

This quote is why I am confused about the whole sitting thing...Not disagreeing with anyone, just trying to understand.

Sitting down isnt hitting flat footed. It is shifting maximum weight to the leverage foot. Like when you throw a right cross you put ALL your weight on the lead leg and when you throw the left hook you put ALL the weight on the back foot as you pivot hard on the left. The description you have there is closest to what "sitting down" is. It limits your reaction time and fleetness of foot after a blow, but hits much harder. Some really quick guys get into the habit of always trying to hit with fast flurries and moving about thereafter. If they keep a 50/50 weight distribution this is easy to do. But they dont really start "sitting down" after they start scoring. This is where a smart trainer tell them to change gears and start sitting down on the punches.

As for the straightening the lead leg on the right you DO hit harder when you straighten it. You are also more susceptible to counters because you are more grounded for an instant. Most guys look for middle ground though, not too much crouch, and not too straight up. Europeans used to always fight straight up for max power. But it makes for lesser head movement and stiffer footwork. In short there is a time and place to start teeing off like that, it isnt a way to always hit.

A pro I train with told me once that the secret that most people never learn about boxing is this: we dont hit 100% hardly at all. Most punches are 70-75% and in combination. A good fighter sneaks a 100% shot into a combination once he starts scoring. That way the guy gets shellshocked, has heavy psychological pressure(from the speed of lighter shots), and isnt able to watch out for the "bombs". A 75% shot if you are in shape can be thrown all night long and if its clean will stun an opponent, allowing for a 100% follow to finish. Throw 100% all the time and you wont go 3 rounds even if in great shape.

great post stlnl

Awesome post stlnl. I have one question though. You wrote:

"Europeans used to always fight straight up for max power."

I thought fighting from a crouch would have more power, as you are starting low and ending up higher, thus adding power from the rise in level as well as the twist of the hips. Am I wrong?

Just curious. Thanks.

Seems to me the crouch would have more power...Naseem Hamed uses this all the time..he bends down low, then comes up when he hits. Also, one of the greatest hitters of all time, Rocky Marciano used a crouch.

One of my trainers in Japan (the famous Wantanabe) had me throw overhand elbows in order to get me to "sit down," more on my right cross. The rear overhand elbow comes in on a high arc and you really have to twist your hips and "sit" in order to generate force. Wantanabe had me throw these with my crosses alternatively. This method helped me out a lot.



No crouching depends largely on the punch you are throwing. If you are throwing an overhand right you will sink some to get the fist down harder, and you may START a punch in a crouch. Depends alot on the punch, i was referring mainly to crosses and hooks. The fact is a head level punch is most powerful when the shoulder and fist line up straight in line to the target. But it also makes you easier to get countered. If you are hitting to the body then it will be a harder shot with a tad of crouch. US boxers are big on fighting from a crouch because it is easier to keep the legs flexed and be ready to move. This makes a mobile, aggressive defense. Euros used to either be on offense or defense, with head movement it is easier to counter.

Think like this, when a batter swings at a baseball as he twists his front leg will lock straight to create rotational force in his hips. Same with a right cross. But locking the leg wont make you hit harder in a noticeable sense;not enough IMHO to make up for lack do D; putting all the weight on the lead leg WILL.

As for Marciano, he had FREAKISH power to spare and had to fight low because everyone he fought was quite a bit bigger. The "prince" is a freak period and I think he could knock someone out sitting in a chair, so I wouldnt base fundamentals on what he does. But most all boxers do fight with some flex in the legs, this is more for mobility than power.

Personally I dont straighten my lead leg out on the cross; not enough power return for the lack of defense.


Stickgrappler, can you archive this?