Last Updated on September 28, 2022
Martial arts competitions have seen a remarkable rise in global popularity. Such events are where you will mostly see competitors utilize striking and kicking.
Which is why...
You probably wonder sometimes what punching strength an average person has or if a hard punch can cause severe damage to any human. These punches might be a hobby for others, but they are a form of defense or their bread and butter for some.
So keep reading, find out what makes a person punch harder, and learn more about the human anatomy and what contributes to a powerful punch.
The Human Punch Average Force
How hard can a person punch? It is often a controversial subject and sparks the interest of many. You presumably think that punches might be more than merely thrusting toward a person or object.
A punch is one of the basic attacks in combat, which is why it makes people curious about how much damage it can inflict. But to better understand an average person's punching power, we must first become aware that force and pressure significantly differ.
Punching consists of the force and velocity of the acting arm coming from different body parts.
The force causes acceleration due to a change in the state of motion or direction. On the other hand, pressure is the quantity of force in the contact area.
Knowing how much energy there is in a punch involves understanding that punching speed does not equate to a harder punch. Someone might have the fastest punch, but with no force that comes with speed, you could punch faster with no weight to make it vigorous.
The strength of a punch depends on the execution, like your entire body movements, and of course, employing the proper technique counts. The fist generates forces transmitted to the radius through the third metacarpal bone.
Likewise, you get to deliver superior punching forces when you exhale forcefully. It releases body tension and gives more snap to your punches.
Even a non-professional with no martial arts training can punch with 150 psi pressure and yield more than 750 newtons of force in optimal conditions. By contrast, a professional boxer or mixed martial artist can deliver 5000 newtons and 800 psi in a punch.
The Contributing Factors In A Person's Punching Impact
Many are curious and would love to know an average person's punching force. How hard can a person punch? Some might ask. It's barely possible for this question to have a straightforward answer as the factors influencing a punch's average force can vary.
The following are relevant attributes that influence how much PSI or how much energy a punch can have:
1. Body Mass
Despite the different styles for every individual, the force values in each punch rely on the body's muscle mass and impressive hand speed. The pounds of force and hand speed contribute to an effective punch.
Therefore, behind that fast punch must be an excellent deal of muscle mass, aiming at what you intend to hit to deliver a forceful snap.
Also, a hard punch occurs when you observe precise body movements. However, varying forces are distinct for every martial artist. A boxer, athlete, or martial arts enthusiast typically throws straight punches using the rear hand.
Such a hand has more impact force, while the front hand has maximal velocity being the one that's closest to the target.
Moreover, having the body produce the ideal momentum makes the punching force more significant. Multiplying mass by speed is how you gauge the most appropriate energy an average person can have in a punch.
2. Hand Speed Or Velocity
Your fist's hitting power is inversely proportionate to how fast you apply the force. A punch's strength mainly depends on the speed at which the punch lands.
It is best to work on exerting maximum force and delivering fast punches to achieve an effective strike.
A fast hand, strong chin with weaving movements, and finding the awkward angles often do wonders in a boxing ring. Such is a punching technique that many individuals find handy in executing a powerful strike.
Controlling your punch speed and your footwork pacing will catch your opponent by surprise, giving you the chance to accelerate once you elicit a response.
But to achieve even better results in forceful punches, remember that in any directed attack, timing beats speed. Additionally, let's not forget about the hinge principle and physics of force.
This principle makes us aware that whipping and snapping appropriately at every punch can help improve your range, speed, and power.
3. Punch Angle And Target's Surface Area
A blow's damage depends on body mass and the angle a hit lands. It is best to always stay within your range. Even your most vital hit has the least likelihood of landing if you have fully extended arms.
You have better chances of hitting harder when you obtain a punch slightly shorter than your broad range of motion.
Proper techniques include hitting from various angles to give more force in every punch, more opportunities to strike, and cause more damage and distraction. Misaligned punches reduce the impact, especially if you do not hit from the right angle.
Remember that 45-degree body angles make pressure points highly vulnerable. Try paying more attention to the subtle direction in applying your body weight's force. Observing such will allow you to yield significant power, strength, and speed.
The hook and jab punches are excellent for developing power, precision, and multi-angled hits, while downward punches decrease the force and make a poor defensive stance. Meanwhile, excellent footwork creates angles, contributing to landing those winning punches.
Likewise, you may try improving velocity by utilizing your upper body parts, like rotating your shoulders when throwing a punch. Bending the knees is also proven effective in adding more power to your hits.
4. Punch Reaching Maximum Kinetic Energy
A sizable individual's blow can have more mass, but it only linearly enhances the kinetic energy. Even if you're small but have rapid movements, you have better chances of increasing the force of your punch. Remember, energy transfers to your entire body with fast, volatile movements.
If you wonder how many pounds of kinetic energy a blow can have, it can generally be around 300 joules at the point of impact.
Nevertheless, that specific number can still vary depending on the individual. Karate experts' hits can range from 15o to 450 joules, while elite boxers can be somewhere between 700 to 1000 joules. Comparatively, newbies might only come up with 37.5 joules of energy.
Hitting an immobile head means the momentum goes to that stationary target. Speed changes lead to an impact that is proportional to time. The faster the hit lands, the more likely you can cause more effect to the target.
Punching techniques include observing the speed instead of merely focusing on power, which most professionals always keep in mind. These professionals know that it is one of the many factors necessary to develop a battle-ending blow.
For this reason, an average person aiming to deliver a powerful strike must utilize the entire kinetic chain with the proper techniques more effectively.
5. Cushioning Effect
The preference of many athletes to train in a natural environment makes it challenging to incorporate equipment. But what most newbies are unaware of, boxing gloves can add mass to their punches.
Imagine a person hitting at 2,150 PSI with a glove's impact area of about four square inches; that person can deliver an 8,600-pound punch.
Boxing gloves create a cushion effect that also influences how the energy transfers. Thus, such equipment is a staple for any fighter. And contrary to the misconception of many, using gloves does not reduce the impact of your hits. It only minimizes the possible risk of incurring injuries.
The weight of the fists and gloves, the punch speed, and how you hold your wrist affect how energy transfers from your hit to the target. More importantly, several individuals can attest noticeable momentum that comes with using boxing gloves.
6. Genetic Predisposition
Some boxers have a genetic inclination to deliver an exceptional power punch. But in case you're not one of those, that still makes no excuse because you can always train further to improve your blows.
We may not be able to change genetics, but we can at least push towards achieving the genetic ceiling of many successful athletes.
Lacking the genes that make one person athletically gifted should not leave anyone in despair. Environmental factors are also at play in helping someone acquire that sucker punch.
So, don't worry if you feel like you don't have the genetic predisposition of Mike Tyson or George Foreman. Apart from the advantage of genetics, range and timing are also crucial factors that you should not dare to miss.
Some people may have impressive physical features but punching hard begins with the utmost desire of wanting to deliver powerful hits. Once you have that desire, you can now work on balance and timing, and of course, hand speeds matter.
The calves and the leg muscles are the power sources; learn to use that to your advantage and train in throwing the right punches. Lastly, do not forget to stay in shape, fortify your core muscles, and you are halfway through your goal.
7. Emotional State
One might think that being enraged makes them more powerful because it may often seem that way. On the contrary, that rage can also consume your adrenaline and cause you to behave irrationally.
As such, the psychological state of an individual is highly important when training for powerful hits!
Integrating the proper discipline into your regimen more than utilizing the force alone pays off. It means observing appropriate conduct, whether inside or outside the boxing ring.
It serves your best interest to observe a proper diet, get enough sleep, exercise regularly, and keep your emotions in check. People who are not as gifted as the others can always train harder and ensure self-discipline to improve muscular build and achieve forceful punches.
8. Optimal Conditioning
You improve your chances of achieving peak performance in throwing punches by ensuring proper body conditioning. Many athletes rely on mental alertness, speed, and methodology, and those things are good.
Nevertheless, you can make your hits even better by training correctly.
Resistance and endurance training are vital in achieving the strength necessary to deliver a forceful blow. Your muscles become stronger as you train, allowing rapid movements and improving your hitting power.
If you practice your punching technique more often and consistently, then you will become better. For example, Manny Pacquiao's coach prepares him to fight by swinging a baseball bat against a heavy bag.
Depending on what martial art you're training for, you will rarely yield high energy levels in one go. Most experts recommend learning from a martial arts class versus a one-on-one session to expose you to different stances, strength levels, body types, and punching styles.
If you are not well-trained, you might achieve the punching skills you dream of but only for a couple of rounds. You get exhausted more easily and risk exposing yourself to more injuries than someone well-conditioned for a sport that utilizes a significant force.
Medicine ball exercises are one of the most famous ways to improve your punches. Such training has been in use by many professional athletes for years, and you have two methods to execute it.
Lay flat on your back, then use both hands to push a medicine ball forward from your chest and throw it as high as possible. Another way to do it is to use a medium-weight ball -- throw the ball forward as hard as possible while standing upright.
You can throw the ball against the wall if you're not training with anyone who can catch and throw it back at you. Throw with as much force as possible, and push the ball forward energetically like you are throwing a punch.
These methods provide optimal arm training that increases the power from your punching muscle fibers. You will notice a considerable increase in your hitting power if you try to do this training more frequently.
Take a look at this short video to have a better idea of what exercises you can try to increase your power:
How To Measure Punching Force
Most theories claim that a powerful punch is heavy and fast, but the truth is not as simple as many people perceive. To understand how much force is a human punch capable of, know that a hard punch involves impact force and its effect.
Generally, pounds per square inch or PSI is how most people measure punching force. When experts study the average punching power, much of the emphasis is on force than pressure.
The velocity is an essential parameter influencing the speed behind the punch. Pressure, on the other hand, is a kinematic parameter affecting the force behind the punch.
A study comparing the human punch of elite-level fighters versus well-trained boxing juniors shows that the medalists have more punching power at a higher velocity.
The experts asked all boxers to perform three standard punches during the study, including cross, hook, and uppercut. According to further analysis, professional and amateur boxers make different joint contributions.
The juniors display a significant shoulder contribution for all three punch types. Meanwhile, all boxers show ground reaction force imbalance in cross punching, but only in the front and rear foot.
Knock-Out Point: Reach is probably the most important factor to consider when knocking out an opponent. Unless you fight like Rocky Marciano or Muhammad Ali, having a lengthy arm is your most potent weapon to have. Here is our article explaining why -- How To Measure Boxing Reach.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much force is a human punch?
Many are curious and would love to know the average punching force for every human. But just how hard can a person punch in reality? The answer to this common question about striking power is never straightforward. The factors influencing the average force of a human punch can vary.
Who Has the strongest punch in history?
I cannot imagine how standing in front of someone with remarkable hand speed and punch force can make anyone fight without any worry! At present, Francis Ngannou continues to hold the world record of having the strongest punch worldwide.
He broke Deontay Wilder's previous record for throwing the hardest punch, with an impressive punching power of 129,161 units. Ngannou's punches even have more force than a skilled boxer, Mike Tyson.
What is the most significant contributor to powerful punches?
What makes a person punch harder depends on several factors. Some would think it mainly depends on muscular strength.
Punching consists of movements from the upper and lower body framework. As most of us already know, based on Newton's second law of motion, significant force and velocity increases are vital contributors that make someone punch harder.
How fast is the speed of a human punch?
On average, you can expect professional martial artists to deliver punches with a top speed of 25 mph. Ironically, smaller-sized normal people punch with a remarkable hand speed between 30 to 35 mph!
Nevertheless, as documented by Guinness World Records, the fastest punch in combat sports history worldwide has a speed of 43.3 mph or 19 MPs.
People who have experienced being in an actual fight can tell that methodology alone is not enough. Fighting systems are typically similar, offering lead hand punches, reverse punches, hooks, and uppercuts.
But compared to average humans, professionals, such as martial artists, have the strongest punch capable of causing severe damage to the human body. The punch force of most heavyweights often makes history, even breaking records with their PSI numbers.
If you train your body to perform as a single unit and incorporate an effective punching technique, then you're more likely to throw the hardest punch. This also includes mastering an excellent fighting stance and footwork during a fight!