Learning to fight is like learning to lift weights – starting with the basics are best. One of those basics in the fighting game is the left hook. Kickboxing great and coach Derek Panza shared time to offer tips on how to properly throw the left hook, which he described as his “personal favorite punch.”

“I fight out of a conventional fighting stance, which means my left side is forward,” explained Panza. He did mention that he is naturally left-handed, which makes that punch better for him.

“It’s kinda cheating with the left hook.”

There are two proper ways to throw the left hook. Some trainers teach their fighters to throw the punch with the palm facing down. Others advocate for the palm facing you when you throw the punch. Which is best? Panza actually likes both positions, but the one he uses will depend on the distance he is from the opponent.

“If I’m in close or middle distance, or mid-range, my left hook position is palm facing in,” said the three-time world kickboxing champion. He went on to explain that his forearm is flexed in that position, which serves him well.

“My hand is more stable.”

The palm down punch is more beneficial for Panza when he has to throw a looping left hook from a longer distance. At the end of the day, he suggested trying both and finding out what would make you most comfortable, but the palms facing in may be best for new students and athletes unfamiliar with the punch.

“In the beginning, I would suggest starting with the palm facing you because it’s more stable.”

Regardless of which position you work with, Panza also emphasized using a stationary target such as a wall bag when learning the punch.

“The timing and distance is the complex part. The simple part is just training you,” Panza said. Watch the entire video to learn more about the left hook and how to throw it properly. To see all of Panza’s Ten Minute Technique lessons, subscribe to the Muscle & Fitness YouTube channel.