Horizontal Punches vs Vertical Punches

What should I choose: Horizontal Punches vs Vertical Punches?

To be in a sport like boxing means to utilize all your skills such as your physical, mental as well as emotional potentials. It needs you to engage all your capabilities in order to be the best. Most importantly, it requires you to be very vigilant in the techniques you pick and the boxing style you opt to develop. For a boxer, the most important of all is how he punches.

Wondering about your punching technique and style, there are two options. It can either be a horizontal punch or a vertical punch. The choice can be hard because both the techniques have their own advantages and it entirely depends on who you are asking. Some coaches prefer vertical fist punching while some trainers say horizontal fist punch is better. Nowadays, horizontal fist punch is famous among most of the gyms and boxing clubs. We believe that you must know which one is more powerful, faster and better before choosing between two. Therefore, we have compiled some pros and cons to both the punching techniques.

Why prefer Horizontal Punch?

Power to the Punch

While convincing for this punching style, this statement is often used. Before going into details I’d like to mention what makes a punch more powerful is the support of elbow behind the fist. As far as horizontal fist punch is concerned, it activates and gathers energy from the chest and back.

Horizontal punch is preferred as it gains its power from the rotation of elbow rather than the rotation of the fist. Moreover, in a horizontal fist punch, the support to the wrist from elbow comes a little earlier than in a vertical fist punch as the elbow lift up immediately after it rotates, whereas the elbow stays down until the arm is extended straight in a vertical fist punch. Punches land with some degrees of angle, therefore, it lands better in a horizontal fist with a bent elbow. It has been seen that the power output is better in a horizontal fist punch when landed in a very close range.

Undoubtedly, if you use uppercuts a lot you must practice horizontal fist punches as you will be able to utilize your back muscles into your punches even more.

Better to prevent injuries

As mentioned above, in a horizontal fist punch the elbow comes up sooner than in a vertical fist punch, therefore, it has much more overall support which is an important factor as a precaution to prevent injury in the sport.

There are different views regarding the angle at which the punch lands such as some say that it should land on first two knuckles or the middle knuckles and some say that it should land on the last three knuckles. Every statement has its own logic to be right, however, it has been seen that the angle of the fist is not as much important as the angle of the forearm and in this case, the horizontal fist should be preferred. It is because the wrist and the elbow behind the wrist straighten immediately and provide more support to the punch. As a reaction to the rotation of the fist and elbow the shoulders also rotate and save the boxer from a number of expected injuries to the hand, wrist, and chin.

It is better to counter around the opponent with horizontal fist punches

Horizontal fisted punches have proven to be more comfortable when it comes to arc around or over the punches of your opponent. Moreover, overhand right and high left hooks are easier if you use horizontal fist punch and it is again not because of the angle of a fist but the angle of the elbow.

Why prefer a Vertical Punch?

Throwing a Vertical Punch

As a matter of fact, our arms are positioned for the best vertical fist punches naturally as you can observe the position of your arms and fist when you stand straight. Therefore, it is much easier to throw as a vertical fist punch needs much less energy and technique as compared with a horizontal fist punch because it doesn’t take much to lift your fist and launch.

Vertical fist punches are the best for targets at a position lower than your shoulder. Otherwise, a horizontal fist punch may cause bend and pain in such a situation.


As mentioned above vertical fist punches are easier to throw that’s why when you need to be fast vertical punches prove to be best as in such a condition all that you have to do is lift your fist up and punch. A vertical fist punch may not be as powerful as a horizontal one but when you have to throw in combinations you may not like to delay while lifting your elbows high and coordinate. It is said that whipping out the vertical punches and slapping with your fists is one of the best tacts to startle your opponent. Moreover, it is best to launch potshots and shoeshine combinations.

Penetrating the opponent’s guard

Being defensive and being good in attacking is one thing but penetrating your opponent’s guard is a real task. Using a vertical fist punch helps you through it. It has been seen that it is much convenient to curve around for hooking punches, hooking around your opponent’s gloves, to cut straight through the middle between your opponent’s gloves.

Moreover, vertical fist punches hurt less when blocked as it offers the long fleshy side of the wrist to the jab from the opponent, whereas the horizontal fist punch hurts much more when the opponent’s punch strikes the thin boney side of the wrist.

By this discussion, you may be able to figure out that each style has its own advantages, therefore, it cannot be said that you should go either for horizontal or for vertical fisted punch. It is better to learn both types of punches and practice to set your goal and choose what type of punch you should throw accordingly.