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Top / Blog / How to have a quick Jab?

Having a quick jab is very beneficial for boxing.

The jab is the most important punch in this sport, as it is used to dictate pace and authority, and to set up stronger blows. Therefore, it is imperative that your jab is not only accurate, but also fast.

However, many new boxers find it difficult to throw a jab with proper speed and technique. This often results in a slow or very telegraphic jab.

As with anything, the main ingredient to having a quick jab is practice. But making sure you have the fundamental technique from the beginning is the best starting point. Think of the jab like playing pool or fencing. It's all about efficiency and covering distance, simply throwing the jab from the correct position can greatly reduce the time between throwing a jab and it landing. From there, you can work independently to improve your hand speed and have a fast, fluid jab.


Relax Your Shoulders and Focus on the Jab Technique


This is the starting point if you have problems with the speed of your jab. It's very easy to get stiff when you try to exert force in a particular way. But when you're stiff, even if your jab movement is relatively fast, your posture will likely deteriorate during the movement leaving you exposed. Also, the entire movement could still be very slow due to telegraphy and trying to charge the hit.

The best way to work on the jab is to get into your stance, keep your guard, and relax your shoulders. Make sure your hand position is correct and your chin is tucked in. Once the starting position is established, throw the jab slowly and smoothly. Visualize connecting with your opponent and make sure your knuckles are turned so they are flat when connecting.

You should also make sure your front shoulder protects your chin when you throw the jab. If when you throw the jab, your chin comes out and is exposed, you are throwing the jab too quickly. Think about the Navy SEAL mantra: “Slow is smooth, and smooth is fast.” Simply throwing the shot with the correct form will be very beneficial for speed in the future.

To be fast, you must first be smooth and precise.


Practice makes a master


Once you have established the technical aspect of the jab, you can begin to increase the speed. You can do this with shadow, hitting the mitts or hitting the bag. In general, having some resistance is good as it allows you to gauge distance and develop an intuition about how long it will take for your shot to land.

This takes a while, but you literally have to throw your jab thousands of times to develop this speed. The small muscles in your body that are activated during this movement will get stronger over time, and as the movement feels more natural, they will be able to contract faster and harder.

At this point, you want your jab to have a snap. It must sound like a whip. This means adding a little power behind the punch to make it hurt. The goal is not to develop it into a power jab, which is something completely different.

Our goal is to have a jab that stuns your opponent. To get this effect, you need to make sure you get full extension with the jab and pull it back quickly once it hits. Now that you have the move mastered, you can focus on adding a little more poison to the blow. This slight addition of power combined with the improved speed and technique will add that snap to your jab.


Add Jab Variations


Another incredibly important aspect of having a quick jab is being able to throw it with the same tenacity from various angles and positions. There is no point in being a robot and throwing the same punch repeatedly, as a smart boxer will understand this and adapt.

You need to create some variation in your jab attacks for the speed to be truly effective. Once you've mastered the basic jab, it's worth adding a few of these variations to your arsenal as it will keep your opponent guessing what's coming next. Then, you should start from the beginning for each iteration of the jab, initially focusing on form and accuracy, and then increasing speed from there.

  • Step Jab: The step jab is an effective way to close the distance and hit. When you throw the jab, you want to step forward with your front leg while ensuring your shoulder continues to protect you. When the jab lands, you want your back foot to come forward so you can then assume a normal position.
  • Spinning Jab: Using the spinning jab is one of my favorite methods of breaking up the rhythm. It's almost a mix between a jab and an uppercut. You want to punch with a rotated fist and deliver the jab the same way, focusing on maximum extension and torque. This is a fairly unconventional punch and is not usually taught in boxing gyms.
  • Body Jab: The body jab is another method of disrupting your opponent's rhythm. It is particularly good at making your opponent lower their hands if they have a very high guard. However, when you jab to the body, it is important to make sure that your head and shoulders change level so that your face is not exposed to a counterpunch.


Strength and Conditioning Exercises for Jab Speed


Having a fast and strong jab is all about explosiveness and sometimes you need to focus on athleticism along with technique. Listed below are some exercises that are good for improving the speed and explosiveness of your jab.

  • Resistance Bands
  • Medicine Ball Throws
  • Plyometric Pushups
  • Hit the Heavy Bag
  • Shadow Boxing
  • Strikes with Landmine


Best Jabs in Boxing History


One of the best ways to improve your technique and learn new tricks in boxing is by watching recordings of high-level professionals from the past. Try to pick up the nuances of his style and see if there is anything you can implement to improve your jab.

I'm not saying copy them, but observe, and if there's something you notice that can be practically implemented, then it's worth considering. Below are some of the boxers with the best jabs in boxing history:

  • Larry Holmes
  • Lennox Lewis
  • Joe Louis
  • Sugar Ray Robinson
  • Muhammad Ali
  • Tommy Hearns
  • Sonny Liston
  • Marvin Hagler
  • Wladimir Klitschko
  • Sugar Ray Leonard


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