by Bryanna “Pink Ranger” Fissori
The term “sitting on your punches” generally refers to a fighter focusing their weight downward and firmly into the balls of their feet when punching. This helps generate power and stability.
It is not uncommon for many boxers to rise up or “get tall” when they punch. This is especially true for those new to boxing or concerned about getting hit. Boxers who stand up a little taller are generally fast and mobile but may lose power. Those concerned about getting hit after they punch may rise up when they punch, thus losing power.
Another concern with staying tall is that it causes the boxer to be less balanced and easier to push around if force is applied. Against another boxer who stays tall, this may not be a big concern. But against someone who is powerful or likes to be a bully and play at close range, this could cause problems.
As described, sitting on your punches requires firm stabilization into the ground. This means that you will need to drop your level, placing a deeper bend in the knees as opposed to leaning over. All basic punching mechanics still apply.
Sitting on your punches is best practices when shadowboxing and then transitioned to the heavy bag before progressing to focus mitts and sparring.
One of the best ways to think about the technique of sitting on punches is to shadowbox like you are throwing hard power shots. Throwing hard could also cause you to get off balance, so posture is important. Do not overextend and make sure to bring your hands back to where you got them.
Evaluate if you could remain in that posture if someone was to push you. You may opt to have a partner do just that. Not super hard and maybe with a pillow or kick shield. If you can hold your ground under the impact, you sat correctly.
Likewise on a heavy bag, when you make contact with a hard shot, you should not get pushed backward. You should be doing the pushing. If you can’t keep your powerful stance when hitting a heavy bag, a person swinging back at you is going to be a big challenge.