How to Throw A Hook (in Muay Thai) – Fightrr – A Martial Arts Site (2023)

The hook punch is frequently used in Boxing, Muay Thai, and many other martial arts.

The basic mechanics for this punch are the same in most combat arts, however, some fighting styles do have slight variations on the punch.

In this tutorial we’ll be covering just the basic left hook and ignoring many other variations of this punch.

Please note: I’ll be talking from the perspective of a conventional fighter (right handed) in this Muay Thai tutorial. If you’re a southpaw just reverse everything I say.

What is a Left Hook Punch?

Hooks can be used as a starting punch, in the middle of a combination, and as a finishing punch.

The hook can contain as little or as much power as you’d like. Therefore, it can be used to setup a combination or even utilised as a knockout punch.

It’s a universal punch that can be thrown pretty much anywhere and anytime.

Primarily, the hook is aimed at the chin. However, it can also be used to strike the body, namely hitting areas like the liver and stomach – causing nasty effects for your opponent.

A good liver shot will make your enemy feel sick; a good stomach shot will wind your opponent making it difficult for them to breathe.

In Muay Thai, it’s only the left hook that tends to be used by conventional fighters. The opposite is true for Orthodox (southpaw) fighters; for southpaws, it’ll be a right hook.

How to Throw A Hook (in Muay Thai) – Fightrr – A Martial Arts Site (1)
Photo Credit: MAZA FIGHT Flickr via Compfight cc

(Video) How to Throw the Perfect Hook - Muay Thai Champion Technique - Mike Zhang

Why Rear Hooks are Rare

The conventional Thai fighter will rarely use a right hook as the right hand is furthest away from an opponent when fighting. Furthermore, the hook isn’t a ranging shot so it’s difficult to land the right hook without moving forward somehow.

That’s not to say right hands are never used by conventional fighters in Muay Thai, they are. But the right hand must be combined with a forward movement if it’s to stand a chance of making contact.

For example, a right hook might be used as a fighter steps forward into the opposite stance, or it may be thrown when the fighter switches guards into an orthodox stance. Sometimes rights are used when an opponent gets real close (within the guard of a fighter). But outside of these circumstances they’re not used that often.

So, when practisingyour hooks, focus on using your left hand (or your right if you’re southpaw). Because it’ll be your lead hand that’ll be hooking ninety-nine percent of the time.

Why Hooking Punches are Hard to Learn

Many beginners struggle to learn the left hook. It’s more complex to throw than the jab or the straight cross. And the hooks’ motions can seem strange when they’re first attempted. Also, the hook is thrown with a person’s weaker hand.

Like agood right cross, much of the power of a hook comes from the other parts of the body. Having good upper arm strength doesn’t always guarantee you can throw a powerful hook.

So, let’s now discuss how to throw a basic left hook.

How to Throw a Left Hook in Muay Thai

1. The Base

Like all the other punches in Thai Kick Boxing, start with a good base. Your base is the foundation which you build a good punching technique on.

A good base consists of you standing in basic Muay Thai stance, and stood in a neutral position.

Both arms should be up and in a defensive position. This’ll help you deflect any attacks against you.

Keep your elbows tucked in, and try to relax.

(Video) How to throw a left hook in Muay Thai Boxing 🤜🏼

2. Find your range

It’s a good idea to ensure you’re within the range of your opponent before you attempt your hook.

Make sure you can contact your target with something like a jab or a cross before throwing your hook.

One of the easiest punching combinations to throw before a left hook is: left jab, right cross, and then the left hook.

3. Throw your hook

Now we start to throw the hook.

The mechanics of this punch start with the lower body, not your arm.

To start, bend your knees slightly and transfer your weight to lead foot.

Rotate your right shoulder clockwise, whilst simultaneously dipping your left shoulder and left arm slightly.

These motions will help you ‘wind up’ the punch and will give it power and speed.

These moves are only slight at this stage in the punch. Execute these moves with as little movement as possible. The actions should be quick too.

Try not to exaggerate your actions. One bad habit many beginners pick up is to amplify the hooks movements during the starting stages of the punch.

After you move your arm and shoulders, pivot on the ball of your lead foot. As you pivot rotate your hips, and then your shoulders.

(Video) Muay Thai Training: Hook

Now, hook your arm. Your left arm should be locked at an angle around 90°. Your arm should also be parallel to the floor. Your elbows should be up too.

Make sure your wrist is straight otherwise you run the risk of hurting yourself.

As the rest of your body rotates, your arm should follow in a horizontal plane.

4. Hit Your Target

Rotate on your lead foot, and finish the punch with your body facing your right. The idea is to put your whole body behind the power of the punch.

Your left shoulder should be up and your chin should be tucked behind it. You’re right and should be guarding the opposite side of your chin should be tucked tightly against your body. This will prevent you from being hit when you’re in mid-motion when throwing this punch.

Make contact with your target. Try not to push through the target; a snapping motion is preferred. A snapping punch contacts the target for no longer than it needs to. Snapping punches hit harder and are more devastating.

When hitting your target, you can either have your fist and fingers facing the floor, or it can be rotated upwards (with your fingers facing you). It doesn’t really matter which one you do, just pick whichever feels most comfortable.

Lastly, always remember to breathe when throwing any punching. It’s always best to exhale just before your punch hits you target.

5. Return

Once you’ve hit your target bring your arm back.

Always come back to your guard. That means hands up and either side of your face, protecting your chin and upper body. Just because you’ve thrown a killer hook doesn’t mean your opponent can’t quickly counter attack you. So, get into the habit of always returning to your guard once you finish a move.

Further Advice

Now that we have covered the basics of throwing this punch, let’s now look at how to fine-tune it.

(Video) North American Muay Thai Champion Teaches How to Throw a Hook Punch in Boxing

Don’t lift your rear leg when throwing this punch. Your rear leg should be grounded.

Try not to telegraph your hook. Telegraphing a punch is where you wind it back and exaggerate its movements in an attempt to add power. Below is a good video explaining what I mean:

Telegraphing any punch will warn your opponent about what’s coming next. Your opponent will simply block up; or worse, counter your attack. The less your opponent knows about what’s coming next the better.

You don’t need to be strong or heavy to throw a mean left hook. The bulk of the power of this punch comes from good technique, not just brute force. Your body movements are probably more important than sheer arm strength alone. It’s the legs, body, arm movements and your timing that’ll give you a killer hook.

When throwing this punch to the body, don’t lean over to throw it. You will leave yourself wide open to a counter-attack and even a kick. When throwing a body shot you should always dip your legs and face upwards as you can still block and protect yourself.

However, I wouldn’t worry about throwing body hooks until you have mastered the basic mechanics of a normal left hook. Get that right first before you move on to anything else.

Wrapping It Up

The best way to improve your left hook is practice, practice and practice.

Try watching some YouTube videos on hooking techniques. Then get yourself in the mirror and start shadow boxing.

Look at your movements, try to copy the professionals you see in the videos. These things will help you steadily improve your technique.

Also, try combining your hook with other basic punching combinations.

(Video) 5 Common Lead Hook Mistakes: Get More Knockouts!

The left hook in Muay Thai similar to the one used in boxing. Therefore, it can help to watch boxing videos covering this basic punch.

Lastly, get some Thai Boxing lessons and get a qualified instructor to watch your technique. Learning any martial arts from books, the Internet, and online videos is okay, but nothing compares with the feedback that you’ll get from an actual instructor. This is the best and quickest way to improve.

Do you have any tips or tricks? Care to share the any advice that helped you master the hook? If you have some useful information share it in the comments below.


How to Throw A Hook (in Muay Thai) – Fightrr – A Martial Arts Site? ›

The hook is one of the most commonly used striking techniques in many forms of martial arts, including Muay Thai. While its basic techniques are generally the same for most of the combat arts, some of them do have slight variations on how to throw it.

Are there hooks in Muay Thai? ›

The hook is one of the most commonly used striking techniques in many forms of martial arts, including Muay Thai. While its basic techniques are generally the same for most of the combat arts, some of them do have slight variations on how to throw it.

How do you give a perfect hook? ›

7 Tips for Writing a Great Hook
  1. Your title is your first hook. ...
  2. Drop your readers into the middle of the action. ...
  3. Form an emotional connection. ...
  4. Make a surprising statement. ...
  5. Leave your reader with questions. ...
  6. Stay away from description. ...
  7. Once you have your reader's attention, keep it.
Sep 1, 2021

Can you grapple in Muay Thai? ›

Muay Thai is a traditional Thai striking martial art and sport that originated in Thailand centuries ago. It is known for its use of stand-up striking, as well as grappling, knees, and elbows and set rounds.

Can you do hook kicks in Muay Thai? ›

It's an advanced move in muay Thai, but intermediate in Korean systems. You are better off learning reverse hook kick (aka spin hook kick) as it's a bit faster, does the same job, and has enough power to get a result because since it's faster it should connect before they start to block.

What are the 5 types of hooks? ›

5 examples of essay hooks
  • 1 Statistic hook.
  • 2 Quotation hook.
  • 3 Anecdotal hook.
  • 4 Question hook.
  • 5 Statement hook.
Jan 14, 2021

What is a powerful hook sentence? ›

A strong statement hook is a sentence that makes an assertive claim about your topic. It connects to the thesis statement and shows the importance of your essay or paper. A strong statement is a great technique because it doesn't matter if your reader agrees or disagrees with your statement.

What questions to use for a hook? ›

Hooks that create questions in the reader's mind are the easiest kind to come up with. Does what you've written make the reader ask: who, how, what, where, why, or what's going on?

Is the hook the hardest punch? ›

The hook punch is extremely versatile and has one of the highest chances of making contact compared to other hand strikes. However, it is not the most powerful. That distinction belongs to the straight punch.

What is a common mistake made when throwing the hook punch? ›

A common mistake is that people throw the Hook with the elbow extended too far – this creates a big wide hook that is too easily perceived by your opponent. As well, you'll wind up hitting the target with your door knocker knuckles (the knuckles you knock on a door with) instead of the primary knuckles of your fist.

What can you not do in Muay Thai? ›

  • No strikes are allowed to the groin or joints of the leg.
  • Elbow Strikes are allowed but OPTIONAL in IKF PRO Muay Thai Bouts. ...
  • Fighters may strike with Punches, Kicks, Knees and SOMETIMES ELBOWS; ...
  • Clinching is allowed as long as 1 fighter is ACTIVE WITHIN the clinch.

Where can you not hit in Muay Thai? ›

Legal techniques in Muay Thai include punches, elbows, knees, kicks, sweeps, and throws. Strikes can be made to any part of the body except the groin.

Can you hand trap in Muay Thai? ›

This technique can also be modified and used in MMA, Muay Thai and Kickboxing. It has in fact been used in kickboxing for years, as the main thing that is needed to set up a hand trap is for your opponent to have a high tight double block guard, which is a staple of the kickboxing style.

What is a Russian hook? ›

Description. Seemingly just a hook punch with a long, haymaker-like windup to increase the impact force.

How do you start a hook? ›

A hook is an opening statement (which is usually the first sentence) in an essay that attempts to grab the reader's attention so that they want to read on. It can be done by using a few different types of hooks, which are a question, quote, statistic, or anecdote.

What is a hook punch? ›

A hook is a punch in boxing. It is performed by turning the core muscles and back, thereby swinging the arm, which is bent at an angle near or at 90 degrees, in a horizontal arc into the opponent. A hook is usually aimed at the jaw, but it can also be used for body shots, especially to the liver.

What makes a hook catchy? ›

A hook is usually centred around a killer melody on top of great chords. There may be additional harmonies and counter-melodies, but the bit that makes it catchy is the bit we all hum along to long after the song has finished. It's the main melody.

What is a hero hook sentence? ›

Your hero essay introduction should include three main components: A hook: The hook is the first sentence or two of your introduction and is what grabs your reader's attention.

What is a simple sentence for hook? ›

One of his jackets hung from a hook. He felt a fish pull at his hook. Paul hooked his tractor to the car and pulled it to safety. She latched on to his arm, hooking her other arm around a tree.

What is the best hook to use? ›

The most popular hook is an EWG Worm Hook, and the most common sizes range in 2/0-4/0. Use a 3/0 EWG Worm Hook for the majority of soft plastic Bass baits. Round Bend Worm Hooks are also a popular option and are often used in more finesse situations rigged with slender plastic worms.

What is a good hook attention grabber? ›

The attention grabber, also known as a “hook”, is the first sentence that the reader will see, and its purpose is to grab the reader's attention. A few common attention grabbers are: - A short, meaningful quote that relates to your topic. - Think of a quote that interested you during your research.

Should a hook be one sentence? ›

It can be one sentence long, often for shorter pieces, or composed of several lines - usually for larger pieces. Making the reader want to keep reading is what an essay hook accomplishes for your paper, just as an intriguing introduction does for any piece.

What punch is most likely to knock out? ›

The first and most obvious knockout punch is the cross. If you're standing in the orthodox stance, the right cross is likely your most powerful punch. It's the punch that generates the most power from the base, is launched straight down the middle, and lands square on the chin.

Is A jab stronger than a hook? ›

As the hook is a very powerful punch, it is responsible for more knockdowns than the cross punch and the jab. The uppercut is aimed towards the opponent's chin, and is thrown by the rear hand instead of the lead hand.

What is the hardest punch to land? ›

Ngannou holds the record for the hardest punch ever landed at 129,161 units, with Dana White putting that figure into real-life situations.

How do you throw a hook without hurting your shoulder? ›

Leading with the shoulder when punching will only leave your shoulder in a vulnerable position and make it susceptible to injury. It's imperative that you're leading with your hand when you're punching. Leading with your hand will make your shoulder safe and you'll be able to throw a much more powerful punch.

What muscles are used in a hook? ›

The obliques are an important muscle group for rotation of the torso during the punching action, particularly during hooks and uppercuts.

Why is the left hook so devastating? ›

The left hook is one of the most powerful punches in a contender's arsenal. This is a high-risk, high-reward punch because of the weight and momentum behind it. When you land one in the right place, the chances of dealing massive damage are very high.

Is A Cross stronger than a hook? ›

A cross straightens out and is thrown over the centre of the body line. In boxing, which is a stronger punch generally, a hook or an uppercut, and why? The hook is usually more powerful & is definitely responsible for more knockouts than the uppercut ( from the same fighter).

Why do you twist at the end of a punch? ›

The corkscrew punch will allow your elbow to go from being point downwards (for defense) to quickly lift upwards and rotate into your punch for maximum power. NOTE: another benefit of the corkscrew punch is that it activates your shoulder and rotates to protect your chin as you punch.

Who has the best hook in boxing history? ›

Cotto's left hook to the body is widely considered one of the most powerful weapons in the history of boxing. It has been responsible for crumpling many opponents to the canvas, sucking the wind out of men with well-placed shots to the liver, kidney, or ribs.

How strong was Tyson's hook? ›

The unit which was used in the study was joules, which is the unit of energy. Moreover, Iron Mike is estimated to have a punch power of up to 1,600 joules. This beat one of the hardest punchers, Rocky Marciano's record of 1,256 joules.

Who used the gazelle punch? ›

The “Gazelle Punch” sounds more like a fantasy move you would find in a popular Japanese manga, but it was legendary heavyweight Floyd Patterson's signature punch. Patterson was and still is one of the most underappreciated heavyweight world champions in history.

What is a hook punch called? ›

Also known as the “Mexican uppercut,” the shovel hook is one of the most devastating power punches used in boxing when done correctly. The technique creates an awkward angle many boxers aren't used to seeing or defending against, increasing the odds of the punch getting past their guard.

How do you hit harder in Muay Thai? ›

Clap pushups, medicine ball throws, box jumps and other plyometric exercises are great ways to add explosive strength and power to all of your strikes. Learn as many plyometric exercises as you can and begin implementing them into your boxing, mma or muay thai training!

How do you fight with a hook? ›

When throwing a hook, the puncher shifts his body weight to the lead foot, allowing him to pivot his lead foot and generate kinetic energy through the hip, torso, and shoulder, swinging his lead fist horizontally toward the opponent.

Can you headbutt in Muay Thai? ›

Even though headbutts are allowed in Lethwei, they are banned from most other combat sports including mixed martial arts, kickboxing, and Muay Thai.

Can Muay Thai get you jacked? ›

The short answer is yes; Muay Thai can help you build muscle. But it's not just the physical activity that will help you achieve your fitness goals; the discipline and focus required to train in this martial art can also play a role.


1. How to Throw a Hook | MMA Fighting
2. Muay Thai | How To Throw An Effective Hook And Low Kick Combination
(Evolve Mixed Martial Arts)
3. Muay Thai | How To Execute A Guard Pull Hook
(Evolve Mixed Martial Arts)
4. Try this Fake Kick to Hook 💥 #shorts #martialarts #muaythai
(Ironboy Experience)
5. Hook punch: instructional video
6. Muay Thai | How To Throw a Lead Hook
(Evolve Mixed Martial Arts)


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