Time to read: 2 mins
Carlos Andrade is a senior Boxing Trainer at the prestigious KX gym in Chelsea. Carlos has been training in martial arts, boxing and fitness disciplines for nearly two decades.
He is a very accomplished fighter and trainer who to date, has acquired British and European titles in both kickboxing and martial arts. His greatest achievement was winning the WKA light-heavyweight European kickboxing title. He gives us a run-down on how to own the ring with 4 different types of devastating left hooks.
"I’ve worked with enough boxers to know a thing or two about throwing a punch! I’ve found over the years that throwing the left hook is a difficult punch to master for some boxers and an easy punch to master for others. Like running or dancing, some people are born with great rhythm and body mechanics. Natural athletes are very efficient and there body’s move in way that can appear quite artful or balletic some might say. While others (the unfortunate motor morons of the world) seem rigid and robotic and can’t get the motion to feel right. There is however good news, as the left hook is a skill that can be taught and mastered!"
4 Different Types of Left Hooks
Many people don’t realise this but there are many types of left hooks. Some left hooks will be easier to pick up than others. I recommend that you learn all of them and to use that to your advantage. Although the key to success is PRACTICE, PRACTICE, and more PRACTICE!
1. Power Left Hook
As you punch lean into it and pull your head out and to the side (head movement is key), move your whole body into it to transfer your weight to the back foot and right hand. I call this a power left hook.
Iron Mike demonstrating to devastating effect below:
2. Digging Left Hook
Again, you lean your head into the hook but you only rotate your body leaving your head in close to the other boxer’s body as you punch them.
Boxers will use this left hook to try and hammer to the body as they leave their head in close so that it’s hard to counter them. The digging left hook is also good for allowing you to throw multiple left hooks in combination, since your body doesn’t move too far out of position, it quick and easy to recoil and throw again (some people also throw this punch in a ‘hookercut’ manner, meaning a left hook and left uppercut hybrid).
Triple G throwing a few good ones in this clip:
3. Pivoting Left Hook
This kind of left hook obviously involves a pivot or a turn and can sometimes be referred to as a turning left hook. In this punch, the boxer rotates on their left foot and swings their body out of the way of the opponent as they throw the left hook.
This can be a very powerful left hook but also moves your body out of harm’s way so that you don’t get countered. It’s works very well as a counter punch and allow you to keep circling your opponent.
Executed to perfection by the man Money Mayweather below:
4. Lunging Left Hook
In this punch, you lunge forward and stretch your body towards your opponent as you throw your left hand in a looping motion. The left hand starts very close to your face and then you quickly bring it out to the left and then quickly shoot it towards your opponent’s face.
This left hook is very different since your left arm will extend out as straight as possible to get more reach towards your opponent. It’s more of a tricky left cross than a left hook. Some people will lean forward and use their back as a spring when they throw this punch.
This punch is one of those punches you weren’t supposed to be taught in the gym but with proper timing, it’s still very dangerous and effective.
None more so dangerous than when Mayweather executes it to perfection:
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