Your footwork is just as important as your hands in boxing. It’s absolutely crucial that you perform exercises that improve footwork in boxing to better your agility, balance and positioning.
In an actual fight, you need to be able to dart in and out of range quickly and safely. It makes all the difference on whether you’re going dictate the pace of the fight, or your opponent will.
The Advanced Boxing Workshop is a great course that helps people with their boxing footwork. Here are 5 exercises to improve your footwork in boxing.
1) Ladder Drills
Ladder drills is an excellent training method to improve the quickness of your feet. A ladder for exercise purposes is a lightweight equipment placed on the floor to guide you through the movement of your feet.
It’s not an actual ladder but resembles one, and is made out of lightweight material.
There are many drills that you can perform using the ladder. Each way helps with different types of movement such as side to side and backwards and forwards.
It’s a great exercise that other athletes implement such as footballers, rugby players and tennis players among others. The above video shows you different ladder drills you can perform.
2) Box Jumps
Box jumping is a form of plyometric exercise that adds explosiveness to your steps. This means that you’ll when you’re bouncing around your opponent, you’ll have more spring in your bounce. There are a lot of different drills you can perform and in addition, you can raise the height of the platform so that your workout is more intense.
The most common box jump is the marching technique which requires you to put one foot on the platform in front of you, then jump and land with the opposite foot on the box while your other foot lands on the floor. Repeat this as quickly as you can.
Single Step Jumps
This technique adds strength to your legs to improve your bounce / spring. With only one foot, you must use the platform to boost yourself as high as you can and land with the same foot on the platform. After your reps, switch to your other foot and repeat.
Double Feet Jumps
The double feet jump requires you to jump with both feet apart on a platform and land in the same position as you started. When you start getting used to it, you can adjust the height – lower for a faster pace or higher for a slower pace but a more difficult jump.
3) Jump Rope
Every boxing trainer in the world will advise you to do the jump rope. It’s one of the first things you perform when start boxing. This is because the jump rope is so beneficial in so many different ways.
It improves your aerobic endurance while helping you with foot co-ordination. There are lots of fancy techniques that takes a while to master but not only will it improve your balance and movement, but it looks great also.
The easiest technique to start with is jumping with both feet or jogging with your knees up. If you’re having trouble jumping rope, then perform the techniques without the rope to get used to the movement and once you’re ready, all you have to do is time your jumps.
It’s a great way to develop your jump rope skills. Two-time world champion Brian Viloria gives an excellent demonstration.
Shadowboxing is extremely effective for improving your footwork because it allows you to practice your hand and foot movement without having to take punches.
Keep your eyes on your feet and think about how you’ll move around the ring effectively. When you’re backed into the corner or onto the ropes, then practice twisting out the way. How you perform your shadowboxing will show in sparring and in an actual fight so you must continuously practice it.
A completely underrated method of learning footwork is by observing other boxers with excellent footwork. Watch how they get in and out of range, get off the ropes and corners, which ultimately leads to them dictating the pace of the fight. You can never know too much, and by watching others you’ll pick up new ideas.
It’s also a good idea to watch boxers who have bad footwork because you’ll know not to make the same mistakes that they make. Take a look at our video on Boxers With Great Footwork.
To get the most out of your training, I highly recommend the following articles:
► How to Increase Punching Power
► 10 Tips to Improve Boxing Footwork
► Boxing Basics
► Top 10 Best Heavy Punching Bags
► Top 10 Best Boxing Gloves