7 Tips to Perfect Your Elbow

By: Ronnie Najjar

7 Tips to Perfect Your Elbow

By: Ronnie Najjar

Little tweaks make all the difference in the quality of your technique. Try these gems out:

1# Don’t focus on Power- Focus on Accuracy.

A common mistake is trying to elbow with power. Trying too hard to generate power tends to telegraph your shots. Focus on accuracy, landing a well placed and well timed elbow. It doesn’t have to be hard to cut your opponent, it just has to land in the right spot with the bone of your elbow.

2# Connect with the POINT of your Elbow, not the Forearm

Pay attention which part of your elbow you’re connecting with during training. The forearm is the softer part- you want to connect with the tip of your elbow to actually cut your opponent.

3# Generate Power through your LEGS and body weight, not ARMS

Just like punching, kicking and kneeing, initiate the movement with your feet then hips then finally the arm is last. You get the power from you’re your legs and torso, not from your light arms.

Shadow the complete elbow technique in slow motion and feel the chain movement. Feet pivot, knee turns, hip twists, shoulders turn then BAM elbow. Then speed it up. You’ll double your power and it will be much less telegraphed.

4# Don’t wind up. Initiate your Elbow from a High Guard

Where you start your elbow matters. If your guard is low, the elbow will have to travel further to reach its target. High guard means its already in a good position to land- a good position meaning closer.

Think about it: When in high guard, the point of your elbows are high and facing your opponent- a good starting position. Don’t wind up and swing yor elbow out trying to generate power. Like I said above, power comes from legs- keep elbows tight.

5# Set Up your Elbow- don’t throw it Cold

We don’t train elbows as much as everything else at the gym. That’s because they’re dangerous to spar with. We mainly practice them on pads and bags. But you can throw/ simulate them in clinching by connecting with your forearm which is safe enough, as long as you’re not reckless. Anyway, to throw an elbows cold is really hard to land.

Either fake to get in- then elbow. Or while you’re in the clinch, that’s your cue- you’re in good range to elbow. Sometimes when doing a short range punch combination, meaning hooks and uppercuts, you can replace a punch with an elbow. Not Jabs and straights, as you’ll be way too far. Elbows are very short range weapons so you really have to be super close to land.

A good rule of thumb: if you’re close enough where you’re touching your opponent, you’re close enough to elbow. That means usually in the clinch. If you want to elbow, get in range first.

6# Get in range FIRST- then Elbow!

Don’t throw elbows and miss. Get in range first- either punch, slide in for short range weapons like hooks, uppercuts and elbows. When you’re close enough, i.e. Right in their face, then let the elbows go if there is an opening. Focus on getting in range first before you think of elbows.

A good step one will set you up for a good step two. Get step one right first- getting in range to set up the elbow.

7# For a shorter and sharper Elbow, Tuck in your Wrist

This is especially important when wearing boxing gloves. Tuck your wrist in by trying to get your palm to touch your wrist, keeping your hand open. Your knuckles should touch your opposite chest when you elbow, and palm facing out. When you elbow with a glove, its easier to get an extra inch of range of motion in an elbow when you tuck your wrist in. It will shorten your elbow by an inch, which will keep it tight and sharp.


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