How to Do Boxing Footwork

Though seems like your hands are more important, your feet and footwork are perhaps the most crucial things to focus on when learning to box. Moving your feet correctly gives you the balance and stability that allows you to defend quickly and attack with power. That power does not come through your arms — it comes from your legs.

Step your lead foot (the foot you are most comfortable having in front) roughly 6-8″ in front of you. Your back foot is slightly behind you, toe to your side. Slightly bend both knees, with your weight evenly distributed over your hips. Keep your shoulders loose and relaxed, roughly over your knees.

Your feet are slightly greater than shoulder-width apart.

Rest your chin on your chest and look forward through your eyebrows.

Your back should not be bent forward or backwards, but directly upwards. Your weight will be well distributed so that your nose never leans past your front knee. Many beginners will sink the front knee too much, causing them to bend and lean forward. Keep yourself upright.

This is what people mean when they say “always be on your toes.” You can move much quicker from the balls of your feet, the small knobs right before your toes begin. Your back heel, in particular, should never touch the ground.If you were to draw a line from you straight in front of you, your front foot would be at a 45-degree angle. Your back foot should be almost 90-degrees.

With every movement, always land and push off starting from the balls of your feet.

Push off your back foot and step forward with the lead foot. As you do, slide your back foot along so that you return to your athletic stance. Neither foot should ever come very far off the ground.Keeping one foot on the mat at all times allows you to spring, counterattack, and pivot quickly in a fight.

Reverse this motion to move backwards — stepping with the back foot and sliding the lead foot backwards to follow.

If you’re going left, step with the left foot while sliding the right to follow. You want a big, explosive push off your first step. Think of the second foot as gliding, not stepping. Just reverse it to go the opposite direction. If you’re an orthodox boxer (right-handed, left-foot forward), your back foot moves first when going to the right.Focus on keeping your spine straight while moving. Don’t lean wildly or take yourself off balance — your opponent will capitalize on your loss of balance in a fight.

Tensing up will make it harder to pivot, turn, or move smoothly. Keep your shoulders loose and your hands free by your sides. Just focus on not tensing and contracting your muscles. Instead, try to feel smooth and fluid as you move — you’ll feel the difference in your legs as well.You don’t have to drop your hands to relax your upper body. Let your arms sway a bit, as if you were walking.

There is an imaginary line between your right and left foot that should not be bent or crossed.Crossing your feet takes your off balance and makes it hard to change directions — making you an easy target for opponents. Keep this invisible line between your feet solid to keep your footwork solid.

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