Do Pull-Ups And Bench Presses Increase Punching Power?

You certainly don’t need to be a veteran in any combat sports to know that having superior punching power is crucial in determining the outcome of any fight.

You could be losing a fight by a landslide, and one clean powerful punch would change the fight in your favour.

To this effect, we’re going to be looking at two of the exercises rumoured to improve punching power and analyse their efficiency, or otherwise.

1. Pull-ups

Commonly confused with “chin-ups”, the pull-up is an exercise that is designed to strengthen the upper body by suspending your body on a bar and using your hands and back muscles to lift your body.

Due to the limited equipment required to perform the exercise, it is one of the most common among athletes and even bodybuilders.

Now you might be wondering; “how does this improve punching power”?

Well, it’s pretty simple.

A lot of the punching power comes from the hip and then to the lats, then to the arms.

The lats exist on both sides of the back and are responsible for transferring the power from the hips, straight to the arms.

This means that if the lats muscles are weak, a fighter’s ability to generate power in his punch is highly compromised.

And one of the best ways of improving the lats muscle is through pull-ups.

Pull-ups tend to target the back muscles primarily, and in essence, your lats, which invariably will lead to an increase in punching power.

2. Bench press

Otherwise known as the “chest press”, bench pressing involves a person pressing or moving a weight upward and downward while lying down on a weight training bench.

It is one of the most effective upper body and strength training exercise, as it targets the arms, chest muscles and even the back muscles.

So, does bench pressing increase punching power?

Well, the answer could be both yes and no.

It is certainly true that any activity targeted at making you stronger will improve your ability to hit harder, but when it isn’t applied correctly, it could have the opposite effect.

While bench pressing will increase strength in the arms, and chest muscles, making the athlete more powerful.

When it is overdone, it could lead to the fighter becoming much slower because of the overweight, thereby reducing the kinetic energy in punches.


While both the pull-up and the bench press are important exercises for athletes looking to increase their punching power, the pull-ups definitely stand out.

There are a lot more risks and dangers involved with bench pressing, and if not done properly, it could lead to the opposite effect.

There are also a lot more exercises that can improve punching power.

The Medicine ball throw, Plyometric push-ups or the chin-ups, are all excellent ways by which athletes can improve their ability to punch harder.