How to Take blow of a Punch: Jaw and Neck Exercises

Jaw and Neck Exercises

Most people are crazy about the knockout— the last punch or the kick which ends the fight with one thunderous move. But it’s the effort of every single punch & kick that leads to that moment. Everyone focuses on how to throw a good impactful punch, but what about taking one? Regardless of the fact of how good your defensive skills are, you’re gonna get hit during the fight. Even expert defensive boxers take the knockout shots during the fights. However, few things can be done to dramatically decrease the impact of those punches. In this article, we will teach what you can do to reduce the impact of the blows. 

Before we get into that we will throw the light at the most dangerous places to get hit. It’s better to know about them so you can dodge the punching there.

  • Chin: After getting punched hard in the chin, your head will accelerate & decelerate quickly. It will make your brain slam in the skull that can lead to trauma. Severe trauma can cause the loss of consciousness. This is how a knockout blow works. The most dangerous punches to get hit by in the chin are hooks & uppercuts, because of their angles. 
  • Behind your ear: A lot of sensitive nerve spots are present behind your ear. And it’s the thinnest part of the skull. This makes it dangerous to get punched with boxing gloves. It’s one of the common “knockout spots”. Your opponent might try to hit these points by overhand punches, hooks, or straights. 
  • Nose: A hard blow on your nose can make it bleed or even break it. This can lead to different breathing problems while slowing you down. Which will give your rival the chance of pressing forward. Such blows can also blur your vision, running water in the eyes is one of the side effects. It will reduce your visibility, of seeing the coming shots, dangerous blows on the nose are straights. 
  • Liver: The worst you can get hit during a boxing match is your liver. A powerful blow can lead to excruciating pain & knock you down. In severe cases, it can be to overcome leaver hits. In most cases, you won’t be able to continue to fight.

How to Take blow of a Punch like pros

Anticipating the Punch: 

Anticipating a punch can lower its impacts. Because your inbuilt survival instincts prepare you for taking it. The neck muscles tighten, the head comes in a better position & the nervous system prepares itself for taking the blow.

The punches that come as a surprise to you hurts the most & usually, they knock you out. It is necessary to keep your eyes on your rivals during the fight. Practicing this can be hard for beginners especially when your opponent is about to hit you on your face. Certain exercises can train you for this. The most common one is leaning back on the punches. You can practice it by asking your sparring partner to throw moderate blows on your head and you lean back just before the punch hits you. This practice will reduce your fear of getting punched. 

Paying Attention to Your Body Positioning

Do not square up with the rival. Always make sure you are attacking them at a different angle. Practicing this will help in minimizing the impact of their blows. And also keep you on the feet as you get hit. Always keeping the knees bent slightly. Doing this will enable you to instinctively rebound on the feet while absorbing the good portion of a punching impact. Make sure to keep your chin tucked in, it’s one of the most vulnerable parts to get hit. Positioning your body & knowing its impact will help you not to wind up on the ground.

Watch Their Shoulders

The best way of understanding the angle of punch is not observing the fist, but the shoulders. It’s the first that makes the contact point. But by the time you determine where it is going to hit it has already made the contact.

The way your opponent shifts his body can help is by predicting where the punch will strike. If their shoulders are dipped down before throwing the punch, probably they are going for a body shot blow. Conversely, if their shoulders are raised, they are more likely going to hit your head. Mounting your defense will be very easy once you are aware the punch will hit. 

Keep the jaw closed

Getting hit with your mouth wide open, will not only put your jaw in a vulnerable position but increases the probability of getting knocked out. Tightly closed jaw muscles absorb the force of strikes & reduce its impact.

It’s safe and better to keep your jaw closed all the time even when you are throwing punches. 

Most people don’t even realize they are practicing with their jaw open. You can take help from your coach or your sparring partner to let you know whenever you make that mistake. 

Roll With the Punches

Rolling the body with the punches involves rolling the body in a punching direction to minimize the damage. It’s an advanced technique but beginners can learn it too. For observing how this works try it with focus mitts & pad training. 

You can practice it by asking someone in the gym to throw 50-60% power punches at 

You. Assume the strikes are going to hit your left cheekbone and you are unable to defend them, take your time, and for shedding off the impact move your head towards the right & slightly away from the punch. Going with the momentum of the strike helps in minimizing its impact.


Strengthen your neck & jaw muscles 

Your neck & jaw muscles can suppress the head punches. It’s important to strengthen them. Below are a few exercises that will help you with that.

1. Howling at the moon (Jaw and Neck)

It’s a simple exercise, you have to do just what the name states. Stretch the muscles of your neck by looking towards the ceiling & howl. Do not make the sound if you are doing it in the gym, alone making that can be fun. This exercise will target your jaw & neck muscles. This simple and fun activity strengthens your jaw, platysma & sternomastoid. You will feel the neck muscles engaging as you practice it.

2. Neck Bridges

Neck bridge is calisthenics & martial arts workout that targets your neck & to also your abs & hip flexors (to a lesser degree). You will need an exercise mat for doing this exercise.

Start it by laying on your back flat on the ground with the knees up. Then Lift your hips in the air & balance the weight on the toes & top of the head. Then Hold your position without letting the shoulders or your back touch the floor.

These bridges can be very painful & difficult for beginners. Start with holding 5-10 seconds and then keep on increasing gradually. If it’s too hard you can take support of your hands in the start as well.

3. Headstand

This workout is for yoga practitioners. It’s an amazing neck exercise which is a health builder too. This can be performed in just two simple steps.

  • For starting with, place the pillow or a soft cousin next to the door & kneel for putting the head on some pillow.
  • Then swing the legs up against that door & stay in the position. It’s like resting in an upside-down position.

It might be difficult, but it is pretty simple. The tricky thing about this exercise is body balance, and while maintaining its decent shape. Once you’ve mastered this position, you can try more advanced variations.

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