View Full Version : Hooks: horizontal or vertical fist?

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12/22/2008 6:08pm,
I ask because I notice that a horizontal fist hook has the same dynamics as a muay thai elbow. And also because I've dislocated my shoulder in the past, and for some odd reason, my shoulder feels more "secure" with a horizontal fist hook than a vertical one.

I'm just wondering if there's a reason why most hooks that I seen thrown are with vertical fists.

12/22/2008 7:00pm,
Knuckles parallel to the floor, this is how I was taught, this is how it is taught at my current school and how I do it.
Why people do it different? Ranges from lazy to "they don't know any better".

12/22/2008 7:03pm,
Wrong forum? But as I understand it, it's easier to find and adjust range with a vertical fist.

12/22/2008 7:30pm,
This topic has been done to death .

You may want to try and search for your answer .

12/22/2008 8:51pm,
Both. High hooks (head) should be horizontal. Low hooks (body) should be vertical. As esoteric as it sounds, the orientation has to do with bone alignment. A high vertical hook causes the two bones in your forearm to cross. A low horizontal hook causes the same problem.

12/22/2008 9:02pm,
Are we talking close range body shots now? Because I tend to even turn more than vertical, so that I am looking right into my palm/fist. But only when I am close (clinch range) so I can also drive them "upwards", a mix of hook and uppercut. But I guess that is a different technqiue than the OP asked for, isn't it? (I am never good with explaing stuff without showing it...*baaaah*)

Uncle Skippy
12/22/2008 10:44pm,
I've been told it is all about the angle of attack.

You don't want your knuckles vertical (thumb up) if your punch will travel parallel to the ground. The tendency there is to make contact with your ring/pinky knuckles and risk a fracture, especially if your elbow is below your shoulder. If you are punching up into something (floating ribs for example), with the thumb up, you can lead with your first 2 knuckles (pointer/middle) and make contact with them first.

I personally throw hooks with knuckles horizontal (thumb pointing towards me) most of the time unless it is a body hook. I'm not sure why most people throw with them with a vertical fist though. I feel like I can get more power from a horizontal fist, but that's just me. :-)

12/22/2008 11:16pm,
I feel fantastically goofy trying to throw a hook with my fist vertical. It's like trying to throw a baseball with my left hand.

Even if there's a reason why it's more efficient or effective, I just can't bring myself to do it because it feels un-natural.

About half the guys I train with like to throw it vertical. They claim they feel the ability to generate more power.

Do what feels right for you. I think we can come to a concensus that there's no true right answer on this one. (I'm probably wrong about that though).

12/22/2008 11:23pm,
Horizontal for head or body shots has always worked for me.

12/23/2008 1:26am,
can someone explain this horizontal/vertical nonsense?

12/23/2008 1:57am,
can someone explain this horizontal/vertical nonsense?

Read the thread moosey.

Look up some video on hook punches.

The reference verticle/horizontal is relative to the hand positioning.

A properly thrown hook punch is with the elbow up, knuckle horizontal to the floor.

Some throw a hook punch with the hand vertical, dependent upon the height of the punch or their training.

Anna Kovacs
12/23/2008 2:02am,
I tend to prefer thumb up. The boxing coach that seems like he wants to adopt me as his fighter and make me a pro boxer seems to prefer horizontal. If he changes my opinion I'll let everyone know but right now I'm calling it a personal preference

12/23/2008 2:07am,
I tend to prefer thumb up. The boxing coach that seems like he wants to adopt me as his fighter and make me a pro boxer seems to prefer horizontal. If he changes my opinion I'll let everyone know but right now I'm calling it a personal preference

Why so with the thumbs down?

Is it your body positioning, or the height which you usually throw the hook?

Is your elbow higher than your hand?

What is your contact area (which knuckles)?


Love your photos.

Anna Kovacs
12/23/2008 2:23am,
My elbow isn't higher then my hand. The contact area varies. If i'm close then it's gonna be the bottom three knuckles. If I'm throwing it from further away it's going to be with the middle knuckles of the whole hand. Or rather, the area of the glove that's covering them. Pretty Sport specific, but I'm ok with that. I'm never going to throw a hook in a street fight.

12/23/2008 5:00am,
Joe why would I elevate the elbow higher than my hand, that does not make any sense to me and also trying it, it feels super stupid. Usually your knuckles, wrist and elbow should be aliened, turn hip and support foot.
And I noticed over the years if you train a lot without gloves you work more on your technique and try to connect with your first two knuckles as much as possible.

12/23/2008 9:33am,
Trying to make contact with some specific set of knuckles is silly. As that assumes that your hand does not deform in the process of punching. It does, all your knuckles will make contact. Aim with the center of your fist. The force of your punch will be distributed through the entirety of your punching area as the delivery of the punch is not an instantaneous event.

As far the orientation of the fist, the simplest way to think about it is to train so that your shoulder joint, your elbow, the first knuckle of your index finger, and the first knuckle of your pinky are always in the same plane.

Edit: It looks like I suck at explanations. The easy explanation: Don't twist your wrist.