I was working with a boxer tonight, and she was insisting on throwing her hooks with her thumbs vertical upon impact.
I am unsure how this would play into the technique of a hook.
The way I was always told you were supposed to throw a hook was to have your palms parallel to the floor.
Is there any hard and fast lines of logic on this? If you use her method is there more power, or if you use the way I was taught.
Would you be more prone to damaging the wrist if you threw the strike with the thumbs up vs. the palm parallel to the ground?
Different technique is all.
A boxers hook is with your thumbs vertical upon impact, as you said but they also keep the rest of the arm straight in line with the fist. I think this has a greater ko potential since you're able to throw more weight into the other guys face forcing the movement that hopfully rattles his brain.
A MT hook is with your palms parallel to the floor as well as striking with a bit of a downward motion to keep the elbow above the fist, unlike the boxers hook this punch can be turned into an elbow quite easily if needed or desired.
I'd edge towards saying she is right. While other techniques can differ, having your palms parallel to the floor can be dangerous. It's quite common for a hook to be lightly off when you hit. With your hand like that, if you fall short of the target you could catch with just your two end knuckles, which I know from experience can be a nasty injury. With your hand the other way, all knuckles will hit at the same time, regardless of wether or not you fall short, so it distributes the impact much better.
Both ways are perfectly legit. In my opinion, one is better for boxing while the other is better for kickboxing.
My boxing coach insists that you punch with your palm down. This is more solid structurally and gives you a bit more bracing (and consequently, wallop) on short close-quarter hooks.
I'm not a fan of these for kickboxing simply because the battle is fought at a different range. When throwing a hook from within arms reach the angle at which your arm is bent will generally be 90 degrees or less. At this angle, a palm-down hook is SUPER solid and is perfect for the compact realm of boxing.
Once the arm is bent at an angle of greater than 90 degrees, however, the solidity of the structure is lost. Even worse, the thumb becomes exposed. One of my training partners dislocated his thumb by throwing a palm-down hook from too far.
It's for that reason that palm-facing hooks generally suit kickboxing better. Unlike their palm-down counterparts, these punches will align correctly when the arm is open at a wider angle. And even more importantly, the thumb is taken out of the dangerzone.
Experiment on a bag with different ranges and you'll see what I'm saying.
Palm down for me, but then, I like to kick. It makes the most sense for me. I don't see any benefit to sticking the thumb out vertically.
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