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How To Throw a Jab in Boxing

The jab is the most basic and frequently thrown punch in boxing. Learn to perform it correctly, and it will be an invaluable part of your boxing arsenal.


  • TIP: Tuck your chin in behind the shoulder of your lead arm as you straighten it to protect yourself from a possible counterattack.
  • Step 1: As soon as you've finished throwing the jab, retract your lead hand, shift your body weight back to your non-lead foot, and return to your initial stance. Even if you are throwing multiple jabs, retract your hand between each one. Prepare to defend yourself—a punch is likely on its way.
  • FACT: In his heyday in the 1970s and '80s, boxing legend Sugar Ray Leonard trained by running in combat boots. He said he picked up the habit from his idol, Muhammad Ali.
  • Step 2: Aim to land the punch on your opponent's face or chin, keeping your eyes on him at all times. At the end of the punch, rotate your fist so that your palm is facing down as your hand strikes the target.
  • TIP: Use your judgment when jabbing. Shifting your body weight forward gives your punch more power, but it also takes you out of your boxing stance, which can leave you more vulnerable to a counter-punch.
  • Step 3: Start in a boxer's stance: Stand at an angle to your opponent, with your lead foot forward, your lead hand protecting your face, and your non-lead hand further back, protecting your chin. Keep your arms close to your sides to protect your body, your hands up, and your chin down. Stand on the balls of your feet, with your weight on your back foot.
  • TIP: In the common boxing stance, the left hand and foot lead. If you’re left-handed, you may want to reverse this stance.
  • Step 4: Keeping both feet on the ground, push off your back foot and shift your weight to your lead foot, thrusting your body forward. At the same time, punch your lead fist forward toward your target, extending your arm so that it is straight out on impact.
  • : Boxing is a dangerous sport that you should only attempt with proper training and supervision. Consult a doctor before beginning any exercise program.

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