After you put on your hand wraps and boxing gloves the right way and find the perfect boxing stance, the next step is to get your movements down. Boxing head and foot movement to be precise. Today’s lesson in our series of boxing training tips is perfecting the body movement while remaining in your stance. Let’s tackle the head movement first and then we will move on to foot movement.
Boxing Training Tips: Head Movement
There is a misconception that head movement only serves defensive purposes. That is wrong.
The head movement serves a dual purpose;
- You need to move out of your opponent’s hits.
- You get to a position where you can be threat to your opponent.
So don’t get caught up in just dodging because there is more to head movement.
Moving your head in a circle
The first movement that you need to get right is circular head movement. It is easy to learn and when you are in a fight, it can lessen the impact of the hits.
You can divide the circular head movement into four separate movements:
- Top semicircle and bottom semicircle.
- Left semicircle and right semicircle.
The top and bottom movement should be done in unison with the shoulders so you can roll over and under the opponent’s punches.
Boxing training tips
Practice it in the mirror slowly at first;
Top semicircle – start from the left side, bring your head up and going towards the right in a semicircle.
Bottom semicircle – start from the left side, bring your head down and move it towards the right.
Left semicircle – start at the top, move your head down towards the left and then down.
Right semicircle – start at the top, move your head down towards the right and then down.
Different combinations of these movements are also what some would call ‘bob and weave’.
Moving your head at angles, angular movement is more useful than a circular one, as it can surprise your opponent. It is also harder to master. Believe that your head is surrounded by a triangle and you have to move your head in those straight lines, following the angles.
The premise is simple; Start at the center and take your head up or down at an angle in a quick movement. You also have to move the head to the sides with the same speed. Basically, you are ‘slipping’ the hits coming at you using these movements.
Try practicing these movements in the mirror. Start at the bottom or top and move your head towards the left or right slightly. Slowly at first.
Where do you place your hands while moving?
Hand placement becomes very important when you are moving your upper body all over the place; some coaches will tell you to keep your hands near your chin or face, giving you a strong defensive position. But the whole purpose of slipping, bobbing, and weaving is to get into a position where you can throw a counter punch. So lowering your hands from the chin as your stance gives you more speed to counter the opponent. You should learn how to shadow box, it is an activity that helps with head and upper body movements greatly.
Focus pad drills are also essential in the development of effective head movements. Get the right focus pads in your training partner’s hands and practice.
Boxing Training Tips: Foot Movement
Get in your normal stance, keep your back straight, head down and hands over your chin. You have to keep your upper body relaxed and practice your foot movement;
Moving forward and backwards
- Remember the foot placement for the stance, stay on the balls of your feet.
- Push with your back foot and step forward with your lead leg and slide the foot at the back forward.
- Never step forward like you are walking.
- Don’t lift the either feet too far up the ground.
- Always have one foot on the ground, to move quickly and avoid attacks.
- Do the same movement in reverse to move backward.
Moving to the sides
- The same concept applies when you want to move towards your left or right;
- Push with one foot and take a step to your left or right and slide the back foot in the same direction.
- Never shift your weight too much on either foot and never lean.
- Leaning will put you off balance leaving you vulnerable to opponent’s attacks.
- Keep your upper body in place when you are practicing these movements.
- NEVER cross your feet while moving inside the ring.
- You will be off balance when your feet are crossed and you will not be able to change direction quickly.
- Cross your leg and you will be the easiest target for the opponent.
Practice these movements, slowly at first. Shadow boxing can be a great activity to get the movement right. You can try skipping rope to improve your foot speed and build leg strength. Moreover you can do box jumps and ladder drills to improve your footwork even more.
Follow the instructions and practice, practice, and then practice some more. It is only going to make you better with time. Stick with us for more boxing training tips. We will be back with the next post where you can learn how to perfect the most important punch in your arsenal as a boxer.