In boxing, your footwork is just as important as your hands. Why? You have to be able to dart in and out of range quickly and safely in a real fight and your footwork will make all the difference in the world. It will determine whether you or your opponent is going to dictate the pace of the fight. Practicing exercises that improve your footwork is positively imperative in boxing in order to develop better balance, positioning and agility.
Now that we understand the why, let’s find out how you can improve your footwork. The HIIT Club provides some great suggestions for exercises and other things you can do to improve your boxing footwork in this article:
Suggestion #1: Observation
Our first suggestions is not a physical exercise, but you can certainly exercise your mind and your observation skills. Observing other boxers with excellent footwork is a method of learning footwork that is unfortunately very underrated, but we can assure you that it is in fact very effective.
There is much that can be learned from boxers with excellent footwork but you can probably learn even more from boxers with bad footwork because as you learn from their mistakes, you can make sure you don’t repeat them. Pay attention at how other boxers get off the ropes and corners and how they get in and out of range. This will ultimately determine who leads and dictates the pace of the fight. Simply observing will allow you to gain knowledge and even pick up new ideas, after all, knowledge is power!
Suggestion #2: Jump Rope
Jumping rope is one of the fundamental exercises of boxing. Just about every boxing trainer will incorporate jump rope training in a boxing fitness training workout simply because jumping rope is so beneficial in so many ways, which includes foot coordination.
In addition to helping you with foot coordination, jumping rope also improves your aerobic endurance. While it may take some time to master the many techniques possible, you will certainly improve your balance and movement in the process.
Jumping rope is easy; start with jumping with both feet or jogging with your knees up. If you struggle with this motion, try practicing the technique without the rope to get used to the movement and once you’re ready, all you have to do is time your jumps.
Suggestion #3: Ladder Drills
If you want to improve the quickness of your feet, we recommend ladder drills, which is a fantastic training method. Now, this is not an actual ladder but instead it resembles one; it is a ladder for exercise purposes which is made out of lightweight material and placed on the floor to guide you through the movement of your feet.
You can perform many drills using the ladder, each drill helps with different types of movement such as forwards and backwards and side to side. This is an excellent exercise not just for boxers but for many other athletes as well (such as tennis players and football players, to name a few).
Suggestion #4: Box Jumps
Box jumps is an awesome form of plyometric exercise. This type of exercise is helpful in developing more spring in your bounce, which comes in handy when you are bouncing around your opponent in the ring. Some of the advantages of this type of workout are they variety of different drills you can execute. You can even increase the intensity and make the workout more challenging by raising the height of the platform!
Here are a few of the techniques you can perform while doing box jumps:
Single Step Jumps
With only one foot, use the box (platform) to boost yourself as high as you can and land with the same foot on the box (platform). Switch to your other foot when you complete your reps and then repeat. This technique adds strength to your legs to improve your bounce/spring.
Double Feet Jumps
This technique requires you to jump with both feet apart on a platform and land in the same position as you started. This technique might take some time to master but once you start getting used to it, you can challenge yourself by adjusting the height (for a past pace, use a lower height and for a slower pace but a much more difficult jump, use a higher height.
The marching technique requires you to put one foot on the platform in front of you and then jump and land with the opposite foot on the box, while your other foot lands on the floor. Repeat this movement as fast as you can. This is the most common box jump.
Suggestion #5: Shadowboxing
Shadowboxing is one of the most important and fundamental exercises in boxing that allows you to practice your hand and foot movements without having to take punches which makes it very effective for improving your footwork.
As you shadowbox, keep your eyes on your feet and think about how you will move around the ring efficiently. Put yourself in the ring, imagine yourself backed into a corner or onto the ropes, now practice twisting out of the way. You must practice your shadowboxing regularly because this skill will be reflected while sparring or in an actual fight.
Boxing is pretty basic and by practicing these simple (yet effective) exercises you will master these moves in no time. Like anything else, practice makes perfect and whether you box as a hobby, and amateur or a professional, you can easily improve your boxing footwork and skills as a boxer by implementing our suggestions into your workout routine. For more information or if you are interested in joining our gym, please contact The HIIT Club!