Fighting. Training. Mindset.

Boxing Drill to Help Keep Your Hands Up and Chin Down

August 24, 2023

"Hands up, chin down."

The one thing that everyone needs to work on when shadow boxing, punching the bag, hitting pads or sparring.

Keeping hands up in fight stance is easy but keeping hands up and chin down when throwing strikes - that's difficult.

I will show you a simple, old school drill for training to keep your hands up and your chin down.

Video Breakdown

The Mistake of Dropping Hands

The first thing you are told is DON'T drop hands when punching - bring them back to your chin.

When throwing jabs, crosses, hooks or uppercuts a lot of people seesaw the hands. They drop their opposite hand down to their chest or ribs, leaving themselves open for a counter to the jaw.

You need to develop the muscle memory to keep your rear hand at your chin when throwing jabs and lead hook.

And bring your opposite hand back to your chin when throwing crosses and rear uppercuts.

Hands Up, Chin Down Drill

Use this old school drill to train keeping your hands up and chin down when striking.

Get a small object like a tennis ball or a hand wrap.

Two ways you will implement this.

One for your lead hand and two for your rear hand.

For the rear hand - take the tennis ball or hand wrap and place it next to your jaw.

Then start drilling lead strikes when shadow boxing. If you drop the tennis ball or hand wrap that means you're dropping your hand. This will train you to be conscious to keep your rear hand glued to your chin while throwing lead strikes.

You can incorporate footwork, head movement while throwing jabs, lead hooks and uppercuts. But do not drop your rear hand away from your chin.

Drilling the rear hand, place a tennis ball or hand wrap between your lead shoulder and chin.

This will simulate tucking your chin into your lead shoulder which you should be doing automatically. And because you have the tennis ball or hand wrap placed, this will remind you to bring your lead hand back to your chin every time you throw rear hand strikes.

Remember, when you are in you are in fighting stance, raise your lead shoulder slightly in order to help protect your chin. There is no tension or effort to do this. No wasted energy. This will provide and additional level of chin protection. More detailed breakdown of the fight stance in the Fundamental Four course.

Begin to drill with the tennis ball or the hand wrap placed in-between your lead shoulder and chin. Make sure to bring your hand back to your chin as the rear strike is delivered. Throw the cross, rear hooks, rear uppercuts, overhands.

You can even incorporate combinations using your lead hand.

These drills work because it is a reminder to keep your hands up and chin down.

Important Reminder: use the tennis ball or hand wraps as training wheels. But it's very important that within the same drilling session you remove these aids and drill without them to finish training. 

Additional Use of a Mirror

In addition to this drill, use a mirror to add additional help spotting making mistakes as you shadow box. This will ensure you are drilling your strikes with correct body mechanics.

Fundamental Four

Take this drill and implement it with the "Fundamental Four" instructional course to help you keep hands up and chin down. The four strikes I cover in the course are your essential punches you have to master if you want to become a fighter.

Fight Training From Home Programs/Courses

Fight Training From Home Programs/Courses

Whether you are a professional or a beginner, you'll be spending majority of your life training solo (from home or on the road). Working on technique, drilling, developing strength and cardio. I've been training all my life. Here are some of the best programs and courses to start or continue fight training from home.


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Fundamental Four: The Essential 4 Punches Every Fighter Needs to Master

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