What Is Shoulder Pop/Snap In Boxing? Technique Analysis

For those who learn boxing, it is very important to understand the proper striking techniques. It is very important to use your shoulders correctly and to have the perfect stance of your feet and body. This shoulder technique is usually called the “shoulder snap” or “shoulder pop”.

The shoulder pop or snap is a special shoulder technique. It’s commonly used in punches such as the hook or uppercut. The purpose of this technique is to add more power to the punch with a shoulder push. In the final phase of the punch, the relaxed shoulder kind of bounces, which is called a “snap”.

Moreover, it is an advanced punching technique that requires a basic understanding of boxing. It is very important to understand the mechanics of this technique. You also need to learn a few basic exercises. They will help you to keep your shoulders relaxed when you throw a punch.

Key Of Shoulder Pop Technique

The mechanics of this technique is to relax the shoulders and pop them. This technique may seem simple at first, but after boxers try it, they will realize how difficult it is. Many boxers, both beginners and advanced are stiff in their movements.

The whole idea of boxing is to stay relaxed all the time. Muhammad Ali once said – “Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee”. Since speed and power are born of a relaxed state, all your movements must be relaxed.

Why should you relax your shoulders when you punch

If you analyze the perfect punching technique, you can compare it to the mechanics of a weapon. Imagine that your fist is a bullet and your body is a gun. In this weapon, the legs act as a trigger. They trigger a wave of energy that goes through the whole body and causes the arm to fly out in the form of a punch that flies forward.

It seems that the energy wave involves first your shoulder, then your elbow, and at the end, your fist that reaches the target. It looks like the fist plays here a key role. But this is far from being true because in general, the whole body is one continuous mechanics.

All its parts are important in it like for example, in a car. Each part has an important function so that the car can drive, etc.

Shoulder Pop In Straight Punches

But what if I told you that with a straight punch, the shoulder is included at first only half of its amplitude. The second final shoulder part should be included at the end of the punch. It consists of turning the shoulder as close to the chin as possible, which will cause a so-called “pop”.

When this technique is performed correctly, you should feel the shoulder touching hard your jaw. With this pop, you increase the speed and power of the punch, which can knock out your opponent.

Shoulder Pop In Hooks

A similar technique mechanic works inside punches, such as hooks. Here, the shoulder also plays the role of the punch’s finishing movement. When the shoulder touches the jaw, it creates the same pop. When executing a hook correctly, as with a straight punch.

The boxer must turn the shoulder at the end of the punching motion. You must throw the punch so that your shoulder is pressed hard against the side of your jaw.

Shoulder Pop In Uppercuts

In uppercuts, the shoulder doesn’t turn sideways. Here it has to jump up to create a shoulder pop. By doing this, it will raise the arm about one inch higher. This movement, as in other punches, will add speed and knockout power to your uppercut.

But, as I said above, to use this technique correctly, your shoulders must be relaxed as much as possible. I have prepared some good exercises for practicing shoulders relaxation during punching.

Shoulder Relaxation Exercises


The simplest exercise for relaxing the shoulders is to jump in a fighting stance on the spot. The technique is as follows: stand in a fighting stance, so that the legs are not too wide position. Then begin to easily jump from foot to foot, while shaking your relaxed shoulders up and down.

Running on the spot with punching throwing

Once we get used to relaxing our shoulders a bit in a fighting stance, we’ll try to relax them when we throw punches. You will try to throw punches including the shoulders (trying to pop them). Technique: put your feet shoulder-width apart.

They need to be in a position as if they are slightly facing inward as if to create a slight clubfoot.
Next, begin to raise your knees, simulating running, while at the same time throwing punches such as straight or uppercuts to the head. If you do this exercise correctly, your shoulders should touch your chin when you punch.

Body and arm rotations with steps forward

The following exercise is also good for relaxing the shoulders. Technique: stand up straight, feet shoulder-width apart, hands in a natural position. Then take a step forward (for example, with the right foot) and turn the body together with the arms to the side of the stepping foot.

The arms and shoulders should be relaxed as much as possible. A similar movement is done with a step to the left side. This exercise should be performed between 30 and 60 seconds for the best effect on your shoulders. Remember that when throwing your arms out your shoulders should be as relaxed as possible.

You will understand that you are doing the exercise correctly if your arms are dangling like ropes.

Spear throwing

You can also throw your arms out in a fighting stance as if to simulate throwing a spear. This exercise will also help you learn how to relax your shoulders when you improve your punching skills.

Running on the spot with throwing arms up with dumbbells

The next exercise requires a certain strength and endurance of the shoulders. This exercise will be done with weights. The task of the exercise is to train the body to include the shoulders in punches. Technique: put your feet at shoulder width, take light dumbbells in your hands. Dumbbells should weigh about 2 lbs or less. Raise your hands to about 75 degrees.

Next, we start running on the spot raising the knees and straightening the arms up. It is important to note that here we are not throwing punches. Instead, we are twisting our shoulders and elbows to the inside. In this way, we train the inclusion of the shoulder while punching.


In conclusion, I would like to add that there is no magic pill or exercise that will work for everyone. An individual approach is very important here. Choose from these exercises those in which you will feel the snap effect or so-called shoulder pop. Practice these exercises constantly.

Always remember during your training about shoulder relaxation. Then you will feel your punches becoming faster and more powerful. I wish you good luck and success in your boxing journey.

Gregori Povolotski

I have been practicing martial arts since 2007. For as long as I can remember, I have always had a huge passion for combat sports, especially Muay Thai and boxing. Helping people on their martial arts journey is what drives me to keep training and learn new things. Read More About Me

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