The cross. It strikes, it bites, and (hopefully) it gets you some knockouts.
Below I’m going to break down how to throw one like a pro, illustrated in the video as well, so you can perfect this essential while also avoiding some common mistakes.
Let’s fire up that cross.
Throwing a Cross Like a Pro: Movement Breakdown
Here I’ll break down in step-by-step instructions on how to throw a winning cross, followed by a video version so you can get a full visual.
1. Determine Your Power Hand.
First things first: before setting up your cross stance, determine your power hand. This is usually the hand you lead with, so if you’re a righty, it’s your right hand, and if you’re southpaw (a lefty) it’s your left hand. When learning proper technique, it always helps to learn via your dominant side first.
If your power hand is your right hand, you want that hand back behind your left hand, with your left foot leading and right foot staggered behind. Don’t line up your legs: be sure to keep them shoulder-width apart and always have a slight bend in your knees, so you’re ready to move.
3. Hands, Head, and Elbows.
You want to keep your head down, hands up beside your face at all times (when you throw your cross, keep that left hand up), and your elbows in at all times, tight to your body.
4. Weight and Hip Rotation.
To execute the cross, remember that the majority of your power comes from the ground up, through your hips. When striking, place your weight on your left leg and rotate your hips from the ball of your foot into the cross, with your knee rotating in and down toward the ground, which provides momentum to the movement.
Aim to strike with your two large knuckles – this will have a harder impact and help avoid injury of the tinier knuckles. You want to do this by rotating your wrist down at the last moment before striking. The reason you want to wait until the last moment is if you do it too early, your elbow will flare out and you’ll lose cover, power, and may alert your opponent to the cross.
Nothing beats practice drills when it comes to deeply ingrain a movement. To practice cross form, you’ll want to find a space (or get outside) that has enough room to step into your cross. You can see this in action in the video below, but in essence, you’ll want to start on your dominant side and repeat your cross as you step across the mat.
Think: Step forward, back leg in and rotate, cross. Step forward, back leg in and rotate, cross. Once you’re comfortable here, move to your less dominant side and repeat.
WATCH: How to Throw a Cross Like a Pro
Watch the full video tutorial so you can visually see what throwing an effective cross looks like. Subscribe to the channel to grab more weekly free video tutorials like this as well.
Keep reading below for mistakes to watch for when executing across.
Throwing a Cross: Watch For These Mistakes
A few quick tips to keep in mind when you’re working on your cross-form:
1. Don’t forget your foot and hip work. Power and speed come from your stance and rotation of your feet as you propel into your cross. Be careful not to put too much weight on your front foot.
2. Make sure your first two knuckles are aligned with your forearm bones as you punch to avoid injury.
3. Don’t flare your elbows when you punch – this gives your opponent a heads up when you’re about to toss one. Also, when you keep your elbows far away from your body, it would be easier for your opponent to land punches on your body.
4. Don’t hold your breath. This can limit a powerful execution. Instead, focus on powerful exhales as you punch.
5. Don’t overextend your stance. If you step forward on your front foot without bringing in the back leg, you’ll overextend on your cross and it will diminish your power, as well as take longer to bring your hand back to your face.
Practice cross drills until the movement becomes reflexive and you’ll have yourself a dangerous arm. Also, if you want more videos like these then don’t forget to sign up for me FREE Trial of the fit & Fight ready course!