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Foot Work

Boxing, much like any sport requires practice, disciple, proper form, and quick on your feet reactions. Today we're going to talk about the foot work side of things! Good footwork is how boxers can get their punches to move properly—with force, power, speed, balance, and accuracy. And when you stand in a proper boxing stance, there are many subtle changes that immediately make it easier to find a stable fighting position and lengthen your throws.

One of the first rules of boxing if finding a good stance. Some tips to find yours:

  • Stand up straight and place your feet shoulder width apart.
  • Relaxing of muscles
  • Shift one of your feet slightly in front of the other, keeping them mostly parallel to each other. Your lead foot should be far enough ahead of your back foot that you can shift your weight when throwing a punch but close enough to maintain your balance. Your lead foot will be on the same side as the hand you use to throw a jab. In most cases, it will be your left foot.
  • Plant your lead flat on the floor and raise the heel of your back foot slightly off the ground with your toes planted and ready to pivot.
  • Bring both hands up just above chin height. Make fists, keeping your thumb outside and beneath your knuckles. In your boxing stance, your knuckles should be facing the sky. Keep your hands level and your elbows tucked in to your sides. After you throw a punch, your hands should return to this guard position immediately for a strong defensive stance that keeps your head safe from an opponent's punches.
  • Slightly bend your knees as if you are going to squat.
  • Balance your weight equally between the front and back leg. You should feel level but ready to move.

  • The foot you place in front will change depending on whether you are right or left handed—in boxing terminology: Orthodox (right handed) or Southpaw (left handed). Right handed fighters should place their left foot in front, while left handed fighters should place their right foot in front. You'll always lead with the foot that is the opposite of your dominate hand.

    Movements like stepping forward, backward, side to side, or even in a circular motion are all important and used to deflect, throw, and maintain stable punches. In your boxing stance, keep your lead foot slightly ahead of your back foot. The heel of your back foot should be raised, with your weight resting on your toes and the ball of your foot. As you throw a punch, your back foot should twist as though you're crushing a particularly nasty bug between your shoe. Rotating your foot is key to the throw of the punch and the source of your force.

    When it comes to deflecting your opponent, speed and cardio come to play. A boxer must shuffle their feet either side-to-side in a motion that doesn't allow the feet to get too close to one another or touch. Another defense tactic is dipping at the knees to bob and weave.

    Practicing these movements and incorporating HIT (High Intensity Intervals) workouts to develop fast twitch muscles are key to having quick feet! Learn more useful workouts in one of Level Red's sessions with our hands-on trainers! They'll teach you the ways and lead you into a sweat inducing workout!

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