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Beginner Punching Tips (Part 3/4): Lead Hook (Fundamental Four)

Fighting, Training
September 05, 2023

The third punch in the fundamental four is a lead hook.

There are four essential strikes that you need to master as a beginner and strikes you forever come back to as you get more experienced.

You never stop drilling these four.

The fundamental four are:

In this 4-part series you will learn how to execute and throw each of these four strikes correctly.

Make sure you watch all videos in order first. The knowledge of each strike is layered from one to another, methodically. Then you can re-watch the videos in any order.

Video Breakdown

Fundamental Four Course

Remember that this series is just the beginning. If you want a deep dive and complete breakdown of how to master each of the 4 punches, 4 essential combinations and much more - you'll need the Fundamental Four instructional course.

Throwing the Lead Hook

You have two punches which are straight shots - jab and cross. The lead hook is your angled power strike.

There are many variations of the lead hook such as throwing it as a power shot or as a flash hook.

Flash hook is a quick, snapping hook thrown without power in order to disrupt an aggressive opponent or set up another power shot. In this posts we'll focus on the lead power hook.

Here is what the power lead hook should look like when thrown:

The lead power hook will be usually thrown off of another strike, such as a jab, cross or uppercut. But this is when it comes to setting up the lead hook or throwing combinations.

In the context of drilling the lead hook, focus on throwing it individually to get familiar with body mechanics. Then add in the setups and combinations.

Important: generally you want to avoid throwing a lead power hook by itself in sparring or fighting as they are easy to time and counter.

With the lead hook you have to be closer to your opponent or punching bag than you would be with a jab or cross.

Generating Power from the Lead Hook

Throw the lead hook right from your fight stance and it is important to NOT load up and telegraph the delivery.

Usually you will be throwing the lead hook off of another strike such as a cross, so your body will naturally be chambered to throw the lead hook with power. But when drilling or throwing individual hooks, you do not want to draw your hand back and wind up.

Remember: loading up opens you up.

The power for the lead hook comes from the same place as for all other strikes. From the legs, hips and body torque and rotation. The hand is just the delivery mechanism.

Now due to the rotational power you need to generate on the lead hook, you may slightly shift your body and lean to open up to deliver the individual lead hook.

When you start throwing hooks within the combination, some strikes will naturally position you into this position.

When you deliver the lead hook, rotate the entire body into the hook. Legs, hips and body are all rotated with the fist following the torque.

Rear foot is placed flat on the floor and lead foot's heal is off the ground, rotated on its toes:

Body drives the lead hook through your target.

Arm Position on the Lead Hook

Your fist should be vertical with palm and knuckles facing you.

There is a hook where you throw with the fist horizontally - fingers and palm facing down to the ground. But that's a variation of the hook and not a fundamental hook.

Your elbow should be in alignment with your shoulder and your fist.

Your elbow should be at 90 degree angle when the hook is at the end position.

When throwing the lead hook, the end position of the fist on delivery should never go past your nose. Otherwise you overextend, go out of balance and open yourself to counters.

As soon as your knuckles hit the center line of your nose and chin, the body comes rotation and torque comes in and drives through to finish the hook. This is how you use the body in a lead hook to generate power.

Keep Rear Hand by Your Chin

Keep your rear hand by your chin when delivering a lead hook. Do not drop your hand.

Drilling the Lead Hook

As with the jab and the cross, begin drilling the lead hook 3 different ways. You do this in shadow boxing, on punching bag or on the mitts.

  • Slow: you throw very slow at snail pace and often leaving your strikes out there to check body mechanics. Every strike is thrown slow to make your body used to the movement.
  • Flow: you throw with various speed but no snap, whip or power. You just flow through the movement to train your muscle memory.
  • High Pace: you throw all punches with various speed, snap, whip and power as if you are sparring or fighting.

As you drill, remember to keep all the important body mechanicis in mind. Rotate your body to generate power, keep the rear hand up by your chin, do not overextend.

You can drill all 3 (slow, flow and high pace) in the same training session or split it up between different days. All depends on what you wanting to work on and improve.

Fundamental Four Course

These are just few of the tips and important points to keep in mind when throwing the lead hook. But there is a lot more to cover.

Take a deep-dive into the complete Fundamental Four instructional course.

You'll learn how to throw all 4 fundamental punches every fighter needs to master. As well as 4 essential combinations.

Get the Course...

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