How to Throw a Cross Punch

The cross, also known as the straight, is a power punch thrown with the dominant hand (right straight for orthodox and left for southpaws). It’s a longer range power punch with knockout potential.

How to Throw a Cross for Boxing, Muay Thai, Kickboxing, and MMA

  1. It starts with rotation

    In your stance, with your palm towards your face begin rotating your hips, core, and shoulders, shifting your weight. That’s right, the cross is a whole body punch that requires a lot of leg and hip drive.

  2. Drive your hand forward

    Shoot your punching hand directly into the target. Make it straight.

  3. Add torque and connect

    Twist your wrist near the end of your punch so that you hit your target with you palm facing the floor, hitting with the first two knuckles and dropping your weight slightly. At the end of your cross, your shoulder should be up, protecting your chin.

  4. Snap and recoil

    Immediately bring your hand back to the starting position. Pulling your hand back makes your punches snap. Think snap, not push.

Cross Tips

Do not load up or cock your punching hand. It telegraphs your punch and makes you vulnerable to a hook.

Do not punch flat footed. You will need to pivot off of the balls of your feet to generate power.

Keep your non-punching hand up and protecting your face. This also means you’ll be ready to follow up with the non-punching hand.

Practice pulling your left shoulder back. This helps develop the twist that’s so important with the cross.

Hopefully, this has been helpful and you learned something new. Check out more techniques here and get back to training!