Ever since Mike Tyson came out of retirement last year, the boxing world has been reflecting on the heavyweight champion’s infamous punching power. In a new video on his YouTube channel, professional kickboxer Gabriel Varga shares some insight into the techniques that enable Tyson to hit so hard.
Firstly, Varga highlights how Tyson ducks his head from side to side as he advances, creating a moving target for his opponent, distracting them. “You’re always chasing where the head is going to be… always trying to find that target, until Mike Tyson explodes on you.” This movement should not come from the upper body, Varga advises, but from the legs, shifting your weight from one to the other: “When I shift to my right leg, my left arm is going to be weak, but my right arm is going to have loads of power.”
Something else Tyson does, as he loads that arm, is draw it back and lead with his other shoulder. That rotational movement as he pushes off the back leg and into the punch will add even more power.
Varga then goes on to demonstrate how to start incorporating these techniques into your own boxing training, using a string or rope: by tying the cord between two objects at around head height, you can practice the ducking and rotating drills. “It just becomes muscle memory as you drop your weight from side to side,” he says. “Your body rotates, you bend through the correct leg. That means any time you go to slip a punch, you’re always going to be loading your weight, generating that extra power.”
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