It can be common for a beginner boxer to neglect footwork or get it wrong and make movement mistakes. Feet or boxing footwork tend not to be glamorous or attract the attention, effort and time that punches do. And that can be detrimental to a boxer’s progress. Movement with purpose is essential for a boxer to succeed and be the best that he / she can be. Think of it this way. Do boxers stay still during a fight? Obviously the answer is no. When you consider boxing greats, two names spring to mind. Muhammad Ali and Sugar Ray Leonard. Here were two fighters that constantly moved to avoid getting hit and to find a more advantageous position to attack. So, aside from his brain and associated thought processing, the most important part of a boxer’s anatomy is arguably his / her feet. Boxing starts downstairs.
At TotalFighter fit, we pay strict attention to footwork. The number one component of a sport where the end result can be a devastating knockout isn’t the fists. No, look down instead. Understand, that your feet control position, distance and punch power. A boxer ain’t complete if he loses connection and ignores his feet.
Boxers use footwork to gain a positional advantage and to maximise their punching power through hip rotation. The positional advantage can be defensive or offensive. Think flight or fight. Footwork with a purpose. On the balls of each foot, light and nimble. Ready and waiting. Ready to move decisively and ready to punch.
Things to Avoid
- crossing feet over
- big steps
Correct Footwork: Stand On the Balls of Your Feet
Standing on the balls of your feet will best position you to move decisively and with haste. A flat-footed fighter tends to have ponderous and slowly reacting feet. Additionally, standing on the toes isn’t recommended for this can shift your weight too far forward and throw you off balance. Best to be on the balls of your feet.
Forward and Backward Little Steps
Footwork starts with understanding how to move forward and backward. If a boxer wishes to move forward, the lead foot will move first and he/she will push off the back foot. Conversely, if a boxer needs to move back, it’s the opposite. The rear foot will move first and he/she will push off the front foot. Importantly, when moving try to maintain your fight stance, don’t cross the feet over (especially when learning. Be aware, there’s advanced footwork moves that involve crossing the feet but that’s for more experienced boxers) and don’t slide. Stepping little steps is quicker. Every millisecond counts when retreating from an oncoming gloved missile or looking to advance your position to land a strike of your own. So, step don’t slide. And move in rapid little steps.
Sideways (left and right for an orthodox or right hander)
If a boxer wishes to move to the left, the lead foot will move first and he/she will push sideways off the back foot. Conversely, if a boxer needs to move to the right, it’s the opposite. The rear foot will move first and he/she will push sideways off the front foot.
Boxing footwork is the foundation to generating striking power and is the key to ring manoeuvring. To maximise your boxing performance, attention (and lots of it) must been given to what’s happening at ground level. “Think” with your feet.
Yours in Boxing,