Sequence of forces
IntroA list of the primary parts of the body used in a punch from the beginning to the end of the punching motion is as follows: the legs, the torso, the arm, and finally—the fist. For a punch to impact with maximum power, all the forces the body can generate must reach their maximum at the same time. Power is lost if the additional applications of force by the different body parts are not applied in sequence.
Sequence of forcesFor all the forces involved in a punch to add their power to a punch, each force must be added at a time when it can increase the power of the punch not hinder it. All the muscles cannot fire at the same instant or some of the muscles will not have time to generate their forces and reach their maximum. Therefore, the slower muscles must move first and the faster ones must move last. Of course, all this action, from the legs push off the floor to the fist impacting the target, takes place in just a few milliseconds.
Some of the muscles in the body are larger in size and have more mass to move in generating their power. The fist’s mass is the least of all the body parts in the sequence power generation, so it moves the quickest, driven by the muscles of the arm. The legs must move their mass and all the body mass they support. If the fist is the first body part to move in a punch, it will reach the target before the forces generated by the legs can be added to the power of the punch.
So basically, a punch starts with a push against the floor and ends at impact with the target.