Fundamentals of Throwing a Right Cross
If you’re a southpaw boxer, then this will be a left cross, but we’ll stay consistent and discuss the fundamentals in terms of a conventional stance. The right cross is, in my opinion, the most fun punch to throw because you can really load it up. If you want to be able to last any amount of rounds, you won’t throw this as a power shot every time, but it can certainly be devastating.
Many people think the bigger you are, or the more you can lift, the stronger your punch will be. This isn’t always the case, and technique actually has a greater influence on your punching power than shear strength. We highly recommend learning the proper technique before putting 100% into a power shot on the heavy bag, both for safety and making sure you don’t subconsciously develop bad technique habits. Whenever you are learning new punches, we suggest having boxing gloves that provide substantial padding and wrist support. Click here for our guide to the boxing gloves for your particular needs.
Lower Body Mechanics are Important
As with anything in boxing, learning how to throw a right cross will require being in the proper stance, on an angle, hands up, and elbows in. A lot of people underestimate the power that can be generated by your lower body when throwing a punch. This is even more important with a power shot like the right cross hand, and will also allow you to be adequately protected throughout the motion of your punch.
Basically, you should initiate the punching motion with a twisting, or “whip”, of your hips. As your hips turn so that your right side is moving towards your opponent, you will simultaneously throw the right cross so that when your arm is fully extended your right hip will be in line with, or even in front of, your left hip. Practice this slowly at first.
Keep the Elbow in Mind
I always found it extremely difficult to keep track of my elbows throughout a bag workout, pad work, sparring, anything really. However, it’s crucial you try and keep them in, especially when you’re learning, as fundamentals are necessary for stout defense. It’s easy for your elbow to wing out away from your body when throwing a right cross, especially the longer the round has gone on.
This may feel awkward at first, but try starting out slow. As you twist your hips, simultaneously throw the right cross, turning your fist over throughout the punch so that your palm ends up facing the floor. Try and retrace the exact same motion on the way back so that your elbow comes to rest by your side again.
Use Your Shoulder for Protection
As you throw this punch, you don’t want to become too vulnerable to your opponents punches at the same time. Therefore, as you being to extend your arm, keep in mind that you will want to keep your chin tucked in and your shoulder up, so that your right shoulder protects the right side of your chin. This may not initially seem like a lot of protection, but if your left hand is still protecting the left side and/or front of your head, the added chin protection on the right side will leave very little for your opponent to choose from. Plus, even if you are a little more open near the top of your head on the right side, chances are they will struggle landing a clean punch, as your shoulder should deflect some of the blow, even if it is simply the glove grazing off your shoulder.
Keeping Defense in Mind Helps Lead to Proper Technique
This can be confusing and difficult to learn at first. If there’s one tip I would offer, it’s to always keep protection in mind. This isn’t just a generic safety warning, but fundamentals are designed just as much around defense as striking, if not more. By thinking about where you might be open throughout a punch, you are always keeping technique in mind. Once you establish the fundamentals, you can begin refining your technique with a trainer to allow for maximum punching power.
Once you feel good about the right cross, add it on to the jab for a 1-2 combo. Practice this enough until you have proper technique with both. Before you know it, this simple combo will feel as natural as walking, and then following up with a left hook will be the next step!
Right Cross Tutorial Video
Check out this video for some additional pointers and a visual demonstration of throwing a right cross.