When it comes to boxing, people often think that it is simply a matter of getting strong hands to deliver powerful punches. Actually boxing training is not only about hands; it is the sport that requires combination of upper body, lower body and cores.
Can you imagine what will happen if a boxer has weak legs and trembling footwork? He may fall on the ring when trying to make a punch. In boxing, the footwork is just as important as the hand training. If you are going to practice boxing and want a right training from the start, pay attention to your footwork, too.
In this article, we will introduce some of best exercises to improve your footwork in boxing.
Practice with Jump Ropes
If you have never heard of this, then jump rope means practicing jumping with the assistance of ropes. Every boxing trainer will recommend you to do this exercise. When you first start with boxing, jump rope will be one of your basic, primary things to work on. The training with jump rope will help you to improve the aerobic endurance as well as enhance your foot co-ordination. Jump rope can be just a simple move, but then can be transformed into more complex movements. There are many techniques to master and you will know how to do fancy moves as you proceed along the training.
Basic techniques of jump rope include jumping with both of your feet or high-knee jogging. Some people may find it hard to do the exercise with the rope right from the start. In this case, the trainer will encourage you to get use to the move without the rope. Once you are familiar with the move, you can perform it more easily with the rope.
Shadow boxing is considered as one of the best ways to improve boxing footwork. It means you practice boxing with an imaginary opponent. When you are practicing shadowboxing, you can enhance your hand and foot movement without taking real punches.
To do shadow boxing, bend your head down and look at your feet. Think about your own way to move around the ring and do it. Imagine that you are being attacked and how you will dodge and take the punch. Imagine that you are attacking your opponent. Watch your feet closely on moving to see if you are making any mistake that can be your disadvantages in actual fights. Force yourself into the corner or into the rope and think of how to twist out. I’d recommend you to practice shadow boxing in front of mirror, because you can watch yourself and spot out the right and wrong of your moves.
Practicing shadow boxing will give you a better, more clever move during sparring. Continuous shadow boxing training will improve your footwork and reflexive movement in general.
Observe How Other Boxers Move
I am not sure what you think about this method, but I actually find it every effective for me to learn by watching boxers with excellent footwork. Even if you do not want to move the same way as them, you can get ideas on how to create your own moves. If you are stuck with your own training, go out and watch a good sparring section of other boxers. Maybe the inspiration for the move of your life is right there.
Even when you watch boxers with bad footwork, it is also the great opportunity to realize what should be avoided. Some people may find this a waste of time. It seems meaningless to spend your time observing bad footwork, doesn’t it? The truth is there is indeed something you can learn from this. You can see the mistakes they make and avoid to make the same ones. If you are still underrating the effectiveness of observation, it is time to give it a try and you will see the difference.
Do the Box Jumping
With boxing jumping, you can add more explosiveness to each step of your feet. When you bounce around your opponent, you will have more energy in each bounce. Box jumping includes many techniques such as:
- Marching: Marching technique is the most common box jump and can be seen very often in any boxing training place. To train the marching technique, you will need to stand behind the platform, place one foot in the platform then jump. After that, you will need to land with your opposite foot placing on the platform and the other on the floor. Repeat the move and try to improve your speed
- Double feet: To do double feet jump, you will need to jump on a platform while your both feet are apart and land without changing position. Keep changing the height and the speed as you train the double feet jump.
- Single step: The single step jump will add more strength to your legs and will make your bounces more energetic. Stand on one foot on the platform and jump. Then land with the same foot. Repeat the move and change to the other leg. Change your height and speed once you have got used to the move.
Practice Ladder Drill
If your boxing trainer think that your foot move is not quick enough, they will very likely to advise you to practice the ladder drill. This exercise is the best way to improve the speed of your feet. Like the name may suggest, to do this exercise you will need a ladder placed on the floor to guide the foot move.
There are ladders specially built for this purpose. They are made from lightweight materials. Go to a sport store to search for one.
You can practice side by side, backwards or forwards moves with the ladder. This video below demonstrates some ladder drills you can self-practice.
Read more: Top 3 Best Budget Friendly Boxing Gloves