Saturday, January 08, 2011

How to Increase Your Striking Power Using Stairs

Question what’s easier, climbing up a flight of stairs or coming down them?

Obviously coming down the stairs is easier than going up them.

Now why is that? Because coming down the stairs uses less energy due to gravity.

Also the majority of your weight comes forward as you step down and it takes less muscular force to do it with.

In boxing one of the lost arts of the sweet science is “Drop Stepping” with your punches, particularly the lead left, it has become a weak version of its once powerful self.

Sure many will argue, but I step with my jabs all the time when I punch or others will say but if I step with my jab it just slows me down.

Now while all these are legitimate arguments, if you are just stepping you’re only using a fraction of your potential power.

Now there is a big difference between stepping and drop stepping and that difference is like night and day.

It doesn’t matter whether you’re a street fighter, amateur/pro boxer or MMA fighter if you don’t understand how to drop step you’re leaving a large amount of knock out power on the table.

So let me teach you a drill that will help you find that long lost power potential in your strike.

And it all starts with finding a set of stairs to step off of to develop this power.

Drop Step Drill #1

The first thing you’ll need to do is find a platform to stand on, it should be about 6-12 inches high.

A set of books, phone books, mats or stairs will do.

Next stand on the platform, feet parallel to each other, shoulder width apart.

Take a long step (3-4 feet) and slap the ground flat footed with your left foot.

Hold the position for about 5 seconds to stabilize yourself.

You should have the left foot flat on the ground and the right foot still on the platform with the heel raised.

Repeat the drill 5-10 more times before switching to the right foot.

Do this drill everyday for 2 weeks or until it feels natural to you.

Extra Tips

· As you do the drill make sure as you step down you don’t raise your knee upward, just drop forward as if you tripped over something.
· Shift all your weight forward as you step and slap the ground flat footed.
· Breathe out forcefully as you drop step thru your pursed lips, this will brace the abs and lower your center of gravity.
· Stay as relaxed as you can through out the drill.
· Make sure to practice the drill equally with both feet.

Drop Step Drill #2

Once it becomes easy to do the first drill it’s time to move on.

Stand on the flat ground feet parallel to each other, shoulder width apart.

Have a training partner stand behind you, now while staying as relaxed as possible with your eyes closed, and have him push you on the back of your lead or right shoulder.

As you did on the platform, take a long step and slap the ground flat footed with the lead foot.

Hold for a few seconds and repeat, do this for 10 repetitions, then do the other foot.

Extra Tips

· Remember to shift your weight forward as you step.
· Don’t raise your knee; you’re using your hip to step with not your knee.
· When you land bend your knees slightly; you want to feel springy.
· Stay relaxed, the more relaxed you are the quicker your drop step will be.
· Once it starts to feel easy to do start shortening the step to 2-3 feet or less.

Adding the Pow!

Once you get used to drop stepping start adding your straight punches.

The jab, cross and overhand right all work well with the drop step.

Just make sure your strike lands a split second before your foot slaps the ground or you’ll lessen the force of the strike.

Yes the hook and uppercut work well with the drop step, just make sure you learn to shift your weight as you strike.

Use a heavy bag, focus mitts, maize bag, and leather medicine ball to strike on.

Take your time with these pieces of equipment as your fists and body will be striking harder than they ever have.

So they must get used to the impact and concussive shock of your power.

To All The Naysayers Listen Up!

Now while some will say this style of striking is slow, don’t pay attention to them because they’ve never been hit like this before.

You see the force of a drop step punch is so powerful that it can stun and unbalance a person to the point that it freezes them in place like a statue.

They will be literally anchored to the ground and won’t be able counter the punch as easily as they think they can.

Even if they take the hit, they will be so unbalanced and de-stabilized by the strike that their timing and distancing will be off.

I’ve seen people go into a standing fetal position or just stand there frozen in time after being hit by a drop step straight left.

This is something a jab can never do because it wasn’t designed to have any knock out power.

So keep practicing this drill to improve the power of your strikes.

In Conclusion

The drop step drills will help you become a more powerful and dangerous striker just like the great power punches of the past.

Now there is no excuse for you to have a weak punch and not be able to generate enough force to knock someone out.

So find some stairs and get to stepping!

Daniel Sambrano


  1. im wondering when aplying this to a fight i should step foward with my jab, but when im throwing a cross i should switch stance? and step foward with my right foot while punching? guess not right?

    the only problem i see here is that im short im like 1,69m tall so if i drop step i will lose some o reach turning it harder to knock out a taller oponent right?

  2. No,just step out slightly with your lead foot and throw your cross.

    Hit em in the solar plexus,liver,ribs,groin,throat or heart.

    Those areas work very well if you can't reach his face.

  3. Great tutorial, I enjoy reading your blogs.. keep up the great work!
    S. Kingsley, Sudbury, Ontario, Canada

  4. Really nice drill, thanks a lot. I was just wondering how many sets of reps I should do if i wanted to build this over the two week period?
    Richrd Weir

  5. great drill .... i have read jack dempsey's book and i've also watched some videos of drop step but i could not grasp the technique. your explanation and the exercise makes a lot of sense.. thanx