When you think about boxing an image of punching and knockouts pop up in our mind but to win a match you have to know more than what you see with your eyes.
Obviously, hand working is a must but foot working is as much important as handwork. You will not be able to survive in front of your opponent if you did not practice enough footwork. It improves the agility, balance, and positioning of a boxer.
A boxer having good foot working skills can move from one point to another inside the ring fluidly and it is hard for the opponent to guess the next move of the boxer if he is good in footwork.
You can improve your foot working easily if you know some essential hacks of footwork. In today’s article, I will give you some smart tips to improve your boxing footwork.
8 Smart Tips to Improve Your Boxing Footwork
The rule for improving or acquiring any skill is to start from the easier step. At the initial stage focus mainly on the movement of your foot and do shadowbox repeatedly.
At the same time, continue practicing punching or moving the upper part of your body because in the game you have to move both of your upper and lower body simultaneously.
If you just focus on foot working to improve it quickly you have to do double work for learning how to move the upper part and lower part of the body simultaneously.
So, practice by taking small steps while simultaneously punching. This will save your energy and let you practice for more time.
If you do punch and move repeatedly it will improve your improve hand-foot-eye coordination. Shadowboxing is considered a fundamental part of boxing training and you do not any special kind of boxing gear for practicing shadow boxing.
Learn Controlling Range
In boxing, it is very necessary to learn how to control the range. A skilled boxer knows from where he has to hit his opponent so that you can apply the highest force and the opponent cannot hit you back because you are at an optimal distance.
If you do not do enough footwork you cannot maintain this optimal distance i.e. you cannot control the range. To learn how to control the range do practice by hanging a heavy bag from the ceiling. You can also use an outdoor post or a tower fan instead of a heavy bag.
To check where the position of your foot is and where it should be you can use a mirror.
When you will learn to control range you can not only defeat the opponent by applying the highest force but also you can protect yourself from the opponent’s attack. So, it is a defensive technique also.
Pivoting continuously is a very clever technique to defeat a giant opponent and to keep you in the safe zone.
To pivot continuously start moving laterally and create angles. In this way, you can keep the bull off balance.
When you will notice that you are in the close range of your opponent start pivoting on your front foot and swing on your back foot in the same direction so that you can end up at the blind spot of your opponent.
Practice with a Partner
It is difficult to practice all the footwork improving steps by you alone and it is boring too. If you can manage a partner for practice, there will be more fun and you can improve your foot working comparatively easily and quickly.
While practicing with a partner there will be no real footwork against your partner. Your partner will play roles of different boxing styles and you will focus on your style or technique of applying your foot working movement.
Keep Your Spine Straight
One of the main functionalities of the spine is to keep your body straight up. If you keep your spine straight you can do balance easily. But, if you do not keep your spine in a straight position, your possibility of falling down will increase.
A boxer with a straight spine can move or pivot his body easily.
If you notice the boxing style of world’s famous boxer Mohammad Ali, you will notice that he had a very straight and tall spine which allows him to bounce around the ring, jump around and throw deadly punches easily.
Since your spine has a close relationship with your footwork, spine awareness is very necessary to improve your footwork. It is considered as the axis of your movement.
Yes, a straight spine is helpful for improved footwork but that does not mean you always have to keep your spine straight position like an iron rod.
The trick is to straighten the spine during movement and tilting the spine during slipping or punching and then straighten your spine again to move away.
Relax the Upper Part of Your Body
If you stiff the upper part of your body you cannot improve your boxing footwork. Though we divide our whole body into 2 major parts – one is upper body and another is lower body, the whole thing works together
One cannot move his legs powerfully without moving his arms and cannot move his arms powerfully without moving his legs. That means you have to swing your arm slightly while you are moving your foot front or back.
Learn to Use the Ball and Heel of Your Feet
When you keep the balls of your feet first on and off the ground you can quickly have 2 power points on the ground. This can push or pull you again or ground you for punching easily within a short time.
Beginners do a terrible mistake by stepping forward with their heel. You lose your control by using your heel for stepping forward to a significant extent. It also decreases the speed of your movement.
So, use the ball of your feet for stepping forward. And for stepping backward you should use your heel.
Keep Your Stance Narrow
Wide stances need more energy. If you can keep your stances narrow you can take bigger steps using less energy. It also allows you to pivot easily. So, try to keep your stances narrow for improved footwork.
The boxing gear you are using or the costume you are wearing have great impacts on your performance. If you are wearing tennis shoes instead of wearing boxing shoes and cannot pivot easily, the problem is not with your practice or skill, the problem is with your shoes.
If you are a beginner you need to do some warm-up exercise to prepare your feet to practice footwork exercise. Jumping rope can be a good option for you in this situation.
No one becomes a boxing expert or can improve his footwork overnight. You have to cling to practicing for improving your footwork.