Boxing is a great workout that builds endurance, making the boxers to be well-conditioned. Boxing requires that the boxer moves well and stays strong throughout the workout.

As such, A great boxer understands the importance of landing strong punches and being able to steal chances for the punches to be executed accurately.

If you are new to boxing, you probably have the idea that all punches thrown are the same. Well, tag along and get to learn about the two most coveted punches in boxing; jab vs. hook punches.

What Does Jab Punch Mean?

A jab is a quick, straightforward punch designed to prepare the target for more punches. It is a starter punch for most people, and as such, it is renowned as a beginner punch.

When calling out combos, the jab is referred to as number one.

When delivering the jab, the boxer should be in their usual stance with hands next to the nose, fists closed, and fingertips facing the chin.

Ensure that your back heel is slightly lifted and off the floor while the hips remain fixated as you punch using your lead hand.

The jab is delivered in a manner that the boxer draws his lead hand backward before throwing it to his target’s face, keeping the other hand close to the face.

After delivering the jab, the boxer quickly pulls their lead hand back to the face and assumes a guard position. The jab is a much-coveted punch as it leaves no room for the opponent to counter.

The jab delivers a weaker impact, and as such, it is not ideal for knockdowns. Rather, it is used as a gauge to determine the distance between the boxers.

What Does Hook Punch Mean?

The hook is a close-in punch delivered with the arm bent. The numbers three and four are assigned for the right and left hooks.

Similar to the jab, it is delivered using the lead hand but in a semi-circular motion. As such, the punch curves so that it can land on the opponent’s side of the face.

The elbow is held parallel and at level with the fist as the boxer pulls back the elbow before throwing the punch.

As your lead hand delivers the punch, your rear hand should remain close to the face, in a tight fist, and in a guard position, though ready to land subsequent punches.

From the usual boxer stance, your feet should be slightly off the floor and most weight on the toes. When landing the hook, your feet, arms, and hips all move as one, while your foot slightly offers the pivoting.

After, quickly resume the lead hand position, ready to launch more punches.

Learning how to launch proper hooks gives you an upper hand over your opponent. The hook is lethal, effective, and handy in the event of knockdowns.

Even though it is often used to target an opponent’s side of the face, it can also be delivered to serve as a rip punch, often landing on the opponent’s side of the body.


  • A jab is a quick, straightforward punch, while the hook is a punch delivered with a bent arm
  • The jab is assigned number one during combos, while the hook takes numbers three and four for the left and right hooks.
  • Jabs can be simultaneously through to distract the opponent and get a chance to execute a proper punch. However, a hook is launched with intent and should land the target with accuracy.
  • The jab targets the opponent’s face, whereas the hook aim is on the opponent’s side of the face.
  • The jab does not land powerful punches. On the other hand, the hook is lethal, and well-executed hooks will give you an advantage over your opponent.
  • Since jabs are weak, they cannot be used in knockdowns. Hooks, on the other hand, are a great arsenal during knockdowns and will help land meaningful punches.
Jab PunchHook Punch
Arm UsedEither arm can be usedA dominant arm is used
TechniqueA straight punch A looping punch is thrown with the elbow bent
TargetTypically aimed at the opponent’s head or torsoTypically aimed at the opponent’s head or body, with a focus on the ribs or liver
PowerGenerally less powerful than a hook punchCan be very powerful, especially if the puncher pivots their feet and hips
RangeUsually thrown from a longer rangeUsually thrown from a shorter range
DefenseOften used as a defensive or probing punchMore difficult to defend against due to its curved trajectory
Follow-upOften used to set up other punchesOften used as a finishing punch or to counter an opponent’s attack
ExampleUsed frequently in boxing and other martial artsUsed frequently in boxing and other martial arts


  • Both are essential boxing punches
  • Both the jab and hook are launched using the lead hand

What type of punch performs best according to different circumstances?

While both jabs and hook punches are essential boxing tools, hooks are more effective and help you take out your opponent with ease.

They are effective for knockdowns and can be landed with either right or left hands. As such, it is better to analyze your situation to see what type of punch will work best against the opponent.

If the opponent seems so focused, some initial jabs to distract them as you prepare to land your perfect punch will do.

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