Vertical punches say the vertical punch is more natural. When you irritate a small child, he or she will ball his or her fist and punch, not with a vertical fist, but with a horizontal fist. It is the way humans are constructed. If you walk up to a random number of people on the street and ask them to extend their arms to the front, how would most of them extend their arms? I have not done this on the street but I have done it with groups of new students. When extending their arms, they all extend their arms with their palms downward, thumbs pointing inward (hands horizontal). This is a natural movement; the arm is relaxed, except for the tension required to hold the arm up. To rotate the hands until the thumbs are pointed upward (hands vertical) requires a conscious effort and requires conscious effort and muscle tension to keep them vertical. If the muscle tension is released, the hands return to a horizontal position.
Holding hand in full pronation (palm downward) or full supination (palm upward) position requires the use of some intrinsic muscles of the forearm known respectively as the pronators and supinators. In the uppercut punch hand position (palm upward), the hand is in full supination, while in the horizontal punch position (palm downward) the hand is in full pronation. Vertical punchers believe that, when the hand is held so the palm is inward, that the two sets of muscles are in a balanced position and thus make a punch more powerful. One example they give to prove that the vertical position of the hand is more natural is that this is the way the hand is positioned when reaching out to shake hands with another person. However, in this example, they confusing cause and effect. They think that the hand position in the handshake (effect) is caused by the way we naturally extend our hand. However, the way we extend our hand for a handshake (effect) is actually caused by the way we must position our hand to shake hands.
- Stand with your arms hanging naturedly at the sides.
- Keeping your hands and wrist motionless and using only your shoulder muscles, raise your arms in front of your body to shoulder height.
- Now close the hands into fists.
What is the position of the fists? They are horizontal. Now rotate them into a vertical position. Notice how this takes a lot of motion and effort.