When it comes to the worlds of both amateur and professional boxing, knowing about proper stance and footwork can really change your game altogether.
The way that you use both of these techniques can really make or break the way that you are in the boxing ring, depending on whether or not you do them correctly.
These have the ability to affect everything from the strength of your offensive moves to the successfulness of your defensive moves, as well as how much of your body you expose to your opponent when moving.
Perfect Fighting Stance
There is no one ‘correct’ boxing stance, as there are dozens and dozens of different stances that can be found out there in both the amateur and professional worlds.
Each one of these stances is built using the same core principles, yet each one works in a different way.
It would be impossible to say which stance would be right for you, as the right stance for you is the one that efficiently maximizes all of your strengths in the ring while also minimizing your weaknesses.
What can the right stance give you?
The right stance will give you the balance that you need to do everything that you want to do, as well as numerous other attributes.
Like the concept of Ying and Yang, your body will be working in perfect harmony.
You will be able to put a lot of power into your punches, but you will also be able to be defensive when you need to.
You will have the range that you need to reach your opponent, but you will also have enough balance to not be knocked off by your own range.
You will also have both flexibility and security, as well as stability and mobility.
These polar opposites work together perfectly in the ring when you are using the right stance.
Each one defending the other.
While being stable enough to plant your feet on the ground and stay still, you will also be mobile enough to move every time that you need to without exposing your body.
The right stance allows you to flow evenly between both of the two traits, while the wrong stance would be one that left you closer to one side of each pair than the other.
Is foot placement important when it comes to the right boxing stance?
Before you even begin to learn anything about the principles of different boxing stances, you have to spend some time learning about foot placement.
The core principles of boxing all start from the ground up, if you never know where your feet are then you will never be able to utilize a boxing stance and use it to your own advantage.
One thing that you should always remember is the general principles of toe-heel alignment.
Your feet should be approximately a shoulder-width distance away from each other, no further.
You should make sure that your body is never too squared and never too sideways, like a balancing act, as too much of either would leave you too exposed and vulnerable.
Getting the balancing act right is the key to ensuring that you have perfect balance in the ring, as well as the ability to move fluidly as you need to.
The right stance should never ever result in you sacrificing your mobility.
This is a topic that you should research thoroughly, as a lot of boxers fail with their stance because they do not understand their own anatomy.
If you end up placing both of your feet too far forward, you will be sacrificing both your own power and mobility while doing so.
If you end up squaring your feet and your body off too much, then you will be unintentionally exposing your own head and body to your opponent’s punches.
This will also affect your general mobility and the amount of reach that each of your arms has.
It is worth noting that some professional boxers who have a professional background in martial arts can often utilize this technique well.
What position should your body be in?
Your body can be broken down into sections when you start to consider different positions, but you have to remember that your body has to work as a whole.
Knowing how to move your lower body correctly and how to move your upper body correctly is not the same as knowing how to move your entire body correctly.
If one part of your body doesn’t move right, then your stance will not keep everything in check.
Start off by focusing on your feet. Naturally, one of your feet will be further back than the other.
You should ensure that the heel of your back foot is lifted up so that all of your weight is on the ball.
This is because the ball of your foot offers you a lot more mobility than the heel would, allowing you to quickly move and pivot without error.
The position that you hold your front foot in should be slightly different. It should be planted firmly on the floor most of the time.
But, you should still try to keep most of your weight on the ball of your front foot opposed to on the heel.
This makes it much easier to move around the ring if you need to.
Your knees should always be bent slightly and you should avoid straightening them out whenever possible.
This promotes both power and balance, as well as the mobility that you need to move quickly.
Your hips should be relaxed and heavy, as this also promotes power and balance.
This can be affected when boxers tighten their upper body, as it makes them carry most of their weight on their hips.
If you notice your opponent doing this, then you should attempt to knock them off balance.
The way that you distribute your own body weight should also be considered.
Most professionals recommend that you distribute your weight 50/50 through your legs, but you can often put slightly more weight on your back leg.
You should never put more than 50% of your body weight on your front leg, as this can make it difficult to move away from your opponent if you need to.
Most boxers will already be familiar with the fact that they should try to keep their shoulders and arms relaxed as often as they can.
Your elbows should always be tucked in close to your body, with your hands up in the air and your chin pointing downwards, towards your chest.
You should only ever turn your shoulders slightly towards the direction of your opponent.
This is a really important thing to remember, because if you do turn your shoulders too much and end up squaring your body up, then your opponent will be able to easily access your vulnerable stomach.
You should try to use your front arm as a barrier, protecting as much of your body as possible.
You should keep your rear hand at either cheek or eyebrow level, as it will be responsible for protecting your body from any straight left jabs or left hooks that your opponent could throw.
Remember to keep your hand in a position that is approximately one foot away from your chin.
It should be high enough to cover your chin, while also being low enough so that it does not impact your visibility.
It is really important to keep your chin tucked down towards your chest at all times. This is actually for an anatomical reason.
If you run your hand just above your own jaw, then you will probably be able to feel a type of body ridge.
This ridge is responsible for protecting a large number of the nerves that are present in your face.
If your opponent does manage to strike this area, then you could quickly begin to experience symptoms like disorientation and a lack of coordination. A literal nightmare in a boxing ring.
Different Types of Boxing Styles
Remember that all of the stances that you see amateur and professional boxers use are based on the same set of core principles that you have read about in the section above.
Skilled boxers differ their stances to suit the way that they behave in the ring, some key differences can include:
- Where do you position your hands?
- Where do you place your feet?
- What angle do you hold your body at?
A lot the time, the position of your hands should actually be based on whether or not you need to be on the offence or the defense during the fight.
Your foot placement should determine the position of the rest of your body and the punches that you need to throw.
If you are a boxer and you are not familiar with different types of footwork, then don’t worry.
Most boxers are actually known to have terrible footwork while they are in the ring, even at a professional level.
This is because footwork has absolutely nothing to do with your skill level or the amount of time that you spend training.
Good footwork comes down to your own knowledge of the human anatomy, something that a lot of people know nothing about.
The Importance of Short Strides
Even in the professional world, most boxers take steps in the ring that are actually much larger than they should.
The reality is that taking small steps is really important, as the best boxing footwork requires you to cover a minimal amount of distance.
You should spend more time and energy focusing on your hands than moving your feet, as bigger steps do not need to be taken.
Smaller steps offer you a lot more control over your own movements, meaning that your opponent is unlikely to see you exposing your body the way that you would with wide strides.
You should never ever be caught out in the ring wearing standard shoes or trainers. Boxing shoes have been designed for a purpose and they are important.
They enable you to transfer more power through your feet.
They also feature incredibly thin soles that allow you to feel your way around the boxing ring.
When you come to trying on a new pair of boxing shoes, you should always focus on their soles.
You should feel as though you can both grip the boxing ring and change directions as often as you need to.
Standard shoes do not enable you to do this because they have been designed specifically for absorbing shock, not feeling your way around a ring.
In the right shoes, you should be able to pivot on the balls of your feet without sliding.
You will never be able to anchor your body to the ground if you feel as though you could slip at any moment.
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Use Exercise to Train your Feet
The concept of jumping rope is something that all boxers should be familiar with.
This stem exercise creates a concept of balance and footwork, while also working on your punching power, your overall endurance and the condition of your muscles.
There is no way to not improve your foot coordination while jumping rope, as you will never clear the rope unless you pay attention.
Never Tense your Upper Body
Remember that you should never view your body as two completely separate sections, as a movement in one area of your body can directly affect a movement in another area.
The reality is that all of your powerful movements and punches need to come from the core of your body.
No power can ever be truly generated without moving your body as a whole to get the best reaction from your core.
You also have to consider the fact that tightening your upper body by tensing directly affects the weight distribution on your hips, something that can leave you unbalanced.
Your boxing stance and footwork literally are the be all and end all of great boxing, as they directly affect everything that you do in the ring.
You need to see your body as a harmonious machine, with each single movement affecting another.
Great stances and footwork enable you to change direction at your own will without having an effect on your balance, as well as allowing you to switch between being offensive and defensive whenever you want to.
Everything is tied in with your boxing stance and footwork, so you should spend a lot of time working on them both.