While the majority of focus in boxing lies in its punching and combinations, other factors like defense, head movement, and footwork are just as important.
Footwork is one of the basics that are so often overlooked. So, check out the following tips to master your boxing footwork.
Basic Footwork Patterns
Footwork in boxing isn’t just about getting your way around the ring to keep away from your opponent’s punches.
It’s more about knowing how to have the right stance in order for you to throw your punches up.
In fact, footwork is what makes remarkable boxers stand out from the rest of the boxers.
Here are the three basic footwork patterns all beginners in boxing should be practicing:
It’s easy to move backwards and forwards especially when you’re just starting out.
However, moving side to side is something you should put into practice.
Do this when on the punch bag and when you’re shadow boxing so you’ll become comfortable with the movement.
Side to side movement is also perfect when you find yourself on the ropes and you need to escape.
Knowing how to move backwards at 45 degree angles is vital. You don’t want to get stuck in the ring with an aggressive opponent.
Don’t be a one-dimensional mover.
If you keep backing-off in a straight line, you’ll always end up on the ropes. On the ropes is unerringly where your opponent wants you.
On the other hand, using your angles will make you become a much harder target to corner.
Doing the 45-degree stepping will also let you create your own angles for better attacks.
A gutsier approach like moving forwards and slipping, then moving close with a 45-degree step is a great technique.
Though this is hard to master, with constant practice, you can pull it off. This technique will set you up in the perfect position to throw in a body hook.
So, next time you smash a combination into your punching bag, move using your angles instead of just moving straight back.
Another fundamental boxing movement is pivoting. Pivoting is moving with a change in the axis of the hips.
To pivot, move one leg while keeping your other leg as the center of rotation. Your pivot foot will serve as the center of rotation.
The heel of that foot must come off slightly on the floor. So, your pivot is on the ball of the foot.
No matter how strong or big you think you are, you can only give so much speed and power from moving your arms.
Pivoting is great for constructing different angles of attack on your opponent.
Also Read: Guide To Best Boxing Shoes
Four Exercises to Help You Improve Your Footwork
In boxing, your footwork is just as vital as your hands.
Performing drills or exercises to improve your footwork in boxing is necessary in improving your balance as well as your positioning.
In a boxing fight, you should be able to quickly and safely move in and out of range.
1. Jumping Rope
Every boxing trainer will tell you to do the jumping rope drill. This is a basic exercise you need to perform when you start boxing.
Never underestimate jumping rope. It’s very beneficial in many ways.
Aside from improving your aerobic endurance, it helps you with your foot coordination. Incorporating several tricks into your jumping rope routine will up its intensity.
2. Box Jumping
This is a form of plyometric exercise that increases explosiveness to your steps. This exercise will train you to swiftly bounce around your opponent.
And you’ll also have more spring in your bounce.
There are different box jumping drills you can perform such as the Marching Technique, Single Step Jumps, and Double Feet Jumps.
The most frequently used box jump is the marching technique.
Marching implicates putting one foot on the platform in front of you, and then jumping and landing with the opposite foot on the box whilst your other foot lands on the floor.
Do this as quickly as you can.
- Single Step
The Single Step Jump is done with just one foot. Use the platform and boost yourself as high as you can, then land with the same foot on the platform.
After your repetitions, switch to your other foot and do the same thing.
- Double Feet
The double feet jump involves jumping with both feet apart on the platform and then landing on the same position.
When you start getting used to it, you can adjust the height of the box. Go lower for a faster pace and then higher for a slower yet more difficult jump.
3. Ladder Drills
This drill will help you improve the speediness of your feet. Ladder-like equipment for this exercise is made of lightweight material.
It is positioned on the floor to steer you through the movement of your feet. You can perform several kinds of drills using the ladder.
Each kind aids with different types of movement like backwards and forwards and side to side.
Shadowboxing is not just an exercise to improve your footwork. It is a fundamental part of boxing training.
Avoid long and wide movements, and try working on subtle small steps and pivoting while moving your upper body or punching.
Constantly practice moving and punching at the same time. This will help you improve your hand-foot-eye coordination.
You can also read this in-depth review on the Adidas Box Hog, that would help any fighters looking for a good pair of boxing boots.
Fighting against a bigger opponent who’s physically stronger can be daunting. To win over an opponent like this, follow the tips to master your boxing footwork discussed above.
Create angles like lateral movements to keep your opponent off balance.
When in close range, pivot on your front foot and swing your back foot in the same direction. This way, you’ll end up at the opponent’s blind spot.
Practice moving backwards at 45 degree angles. This will make you a much harder target to pin down.
Lastly, constantly perform footwork exercises to help improve your balance, positioning, and your agility.