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Why do boxers breathe out when they punch

Apart from the loud thuds of punches hitting the punching bag, one of the iconic sounds in any boxing gym is the “Hiss” sound boxers make while throwing a punch. This sound is made when boxers breathe out through their mouthguard.

Like any sport, it is important to breathe properly in boxing. Many beginners make the mistake of breathing too much, or too little, both of which can make you tired quicker. Some beginners may also breathe with their mouth open, which is also a bad habit that may even lead to you getting knocked out.

So, breathing is an essential aspect of boxing, and this post will tell you all about breathing and boxing.

Why do boxers breathe out when they punch?

If you’re not breathing right, you can gas out really quick while boxing. You lose the power in your punches, and your defense also takes a hit. However, there is a difference between breathing during normal exercise and boxing.

Boxers exhale fast, through their mouthguard. They keep their mouths closed and try to sync their punches with their breathing. They do so to extend their cardio, moreover, improper breathing could also help boxers absorb incoming shots better.

Does breathing out make you punch harder?

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Well, proper breathing won’t make your punches more powerful, but it will make them more effective. It is important to understand that accuracy, and timing is more important than power, and proper breathing can be quite helpful in improving your rhythm.

Cardio also plays an essential role in punching power. As it is common with most power-punching boxers, they are more dangerous in the first half of the fight, when their cardio isn’t lost. When you’re not breathing properly, your blood circulation isn’t efficient either, which can increase the build-up of lactic acid in your arms, making them feel heavy. Therefore, proper breathing allows you to stay fresh and reserve your cardio so that you can punch hard and fast consistently throughout the fight.

Proper breathing technique also makes your punches faster and more “snappy”, all of which works towards increasing your effective power.

Why is it important to have proper breathing techniques when boxing?

Proper breathing is a fundamental part of boxing, and it is important for several reasons;

Firstly, as mentioned before, propper rhythmic breathing as you throw your punches helps you maintain your cardio and stay fresh.

Secondly, it helps you increase your punching power

And lastly, proper breathing helps you absorb strikes better. You see, as a boxer, you are going to get punched, both in the face and the body. There is simply no way around it, and knowing how to take a punch is as important as knowing how to throw one.

While boxing, fighters breathe with their mouths closed. They breathe through their teeth and mouthguard, which creates the “hiss” sound. This helps them take a shot, as the jaw and head are joined and a single solid target. As opposed to this, if your mouth is open then you get hit with a punch, you can easily get knocked out and even dislocate or break your jaw.

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When you breathe out quickly while throwing a punch, your abdominal muscles also constrict, which can help if your opponent throws a counter strike to the body.

Therefore, proper breathing technique is essential for longevity, effectiveness, explosiveness, and your overall boxing rhythm.

Best breathing techniques to use:

Basically, there are three types of breathing you do in the fight, one when you are in the pocket, second when you are not engaging, and third when you are in your corner between rounds. It is important to transition between them smoothly.

● Slow breathing:

When you are outside the pocket, and moving around, it is better to breathe slowly. This is a good time to catch your breath and lower your heart rate. You should preferably breathe through your nose, and keep your breaths relatively short.

The idea is to try and relax to regain your composure after an exchange in the pocket.

● Fast breathing:

When you are in the pocket, you need to breathe fast. Fast breathing isn’t “IN-OUT”, rather it is more like “IN-out out out”. You breathe in once, and out with every movement in the pocket, whether it is a punch, slip, parry, or block.

For fast breathing, it is important to train your mind and body, until breathing with your combination becomes instinctive. When you are thinking about throwing a longer combination, you need to let out less air with each movement, and the opposite for short combinations.

Therefore, make sure to breathe properly while practicing your combinations, so that breathing becomes a habit.

● Breathing in the corner:

When you are in the corner, between rounds, your entire focus should be on lowering your heart rate. This means deep breaths through your nose, and slowly exhaling through your mouth. This allows you to relax, and regain your composure.


In conclusion, Proper breathing is one of the most fundamental aspects of boxing, and every beginner needs to learn it before any other complicated movements, slips, and other techniques. Proper breathing helps you in training, and in the ring, and it can make you a better boxer and athlete.

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