How To Do The Cable Rotation To Punch

David Haye performing the cable rotation to punch
(Image credit: Future)

Boxers swear by this shoulder-strengthener, which is worth adding to your next upper-body workout

Boxers can get hurt during fights. That’s unlikely to come as a surprise – getting hit a lot does tend to cause injuries – but what might be surprising is that boxers often get hurt when throwing a punch too.

That’s exactly why former heavyweight champ David Haye likes to do the cable rotation to punch exercise during his workouts.

“This targets the shoulder rotator cuff,” says Haye. “You often rotate your shoulder in a punch, and if it’s not strong enough you can injure it.”

The cable rotation to punch is one of the moves in this gym workout Haye would do when he was at the peak of his pugilist powers. Even if you’re not a boxer we reckon it’s a move to add to your workouts to increase your shoulder resilience and core strength, although you’ll find less taxing moves to start with in this guide to the best rotator cuff exercises.

Benefits Of The Cable Rotation To Punch

As Haye says, the move strengthens the shoulder rotator cuff, which is an injury-prone part of the body. If you’re doing frequent heavy lifts involving the shoulder muscles, strengthening the cuff is essential to reduce the risk of mishaps. Also consider the fact that one day you might end up in a situation where you have to punch someone in real life, and the last thing you need in such a situation is a torn rotator cuff.

The cable rotation to punch also increases the power you will put into your punches, which again is highly beneficial for boxers but useful for everyone else too. The move engages your core as you rotate through the punch, and rotational strength like this is vital for powerful strikes.

How To Do The Cable Rotation To Punch

David Haye doing the cable rotation to punch

(Image credit: Future)

Adopt a boxing stance, with one foot forward, while standing in front of a cable machine with your back to it. The handle should be attached to the high pulley on the cable machine.

Grab the handle with the hand that’s on the same side as your back leg. Start with your forearm held vertically. Drive your fist forwards into a punch, pulling the handle until your arm is fully extended in front of you. Shift your weight forwards during the move so your core rotates with the punch. Draw the hand slowly back to the starting position.

Nick Harris-Fry
Senior writer

Nick Harris-Fry is a journalist who has been covering health and fitness since 2015. Nick is an avid runner, covering 70-110km a week, which gives him ample opportunity to test a wide range of running shoes and running gear. He is also the chief tester for fitness trackers and running watches, treadmills and exercise bikes, and workout headphones.