Can You Hit Your Opponents Arms In Boxing?

Written by Alistair Knight | 30 August 2021

Two young men throwing punches at each other in sparring

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As you already know, when you throw a punch, the aim is to hit your opponent’s head, jaw, or liver. But what about the arms? Is it legal to punch arms in boxing?

Punching your opponent’s arms and shoulders in boxing is perfectly legal. The areas of the body that you are unable to hit include: below the belt, neck, kidneys, the back of the head, and the back of the body.

Should You Hit Your Opponent’s Arms in Boxing?

There are no benefits to intentionally hitting your opponent’s arm because you won’t score any more points doing so and it doesn’t hurt your opponent in comparison to connecting with their head, jaw, and liver.

However, the boxer who throws more punches, doesn’t get knocked down, and is the aggressor of the two, will win the round, and therefore the aim shouldn’t be to hit your opponent’s arm, but to hit them where it hurts more often.

Are You Allowed to Block a Punch With Your Arm?

Yes, blocking a punch with your arm is an effective defensive technique.

In fact, there are boxing styles (such as ‘The crab’ and the ‘Philly Shell’) that may block punches more effectively in comparison to the traditional style.

In fact, Floyd Mayweather Sr. trained one of the best fighters in the world (his son) to block via the shoulder roll. Here he is demonstrating the shoulder roll to an amateur:

Look at how masterful this defensive style is:

How Do You Avoid Hitting The Arm When Boxing?

Use combos: By using combinations that integrate jabs, uppercuts, hooks, and cross’, you’ll get a greater chance of hitting your opponent in the head, jaw, or liver.

Train for speed: If you’re too slow, your opponent will see you coming from a mile away and will be able to block your shots.

Work with a trainer: A boxing trainer will show you how to throw punches that land in the areas you want them to land as well as help you combine punches to form combos that allow you to hit without being hit.

Use a target wall punch bag: A target wall punch bag is a brilliant piece of equipment because it forces you to hit a certain target that, in a normal fight, would be the opponents head, jaw, and liver.

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Alistair Knight

Alistair Knight is an amateur athlete in boxing and the founder of Healthy Principles. He spends most of his time practising and learning more about boxing to ensure you get the best experience-based and evidence-based insights to learn. Learn more about Alistair Knight