Footwork in boxing
Boxing is a sport of many nuanced skills, where discipline and dedication are merely two of the requirements to make it to the top. One often overlooked facet of the greatest boxers of all time is their footwork. The timing, judgement of distance, and ability to find angles and exploit an opponent’s weaknesses stems from sound fundamentals and a solid, confident stance.
Boxers with clumsy footwork struggle at the highest level. Those who naturally place their feet when punching, dipping in and out of range by the finest of margins, have often been practicing their footwork for hours and hours.
Good footwork is key for balance and power. Knowing where to place your feet in and around your opponent’s feet -depending on their style and whether their stance is orthodox or southpaw- is a vital attribute. Jabbing and throwing combinations with poor or loose footwork can leave a boxer open and vulnerable to counter punches.
Legendary heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko would reportedly move around the ring for an extended period before each training session, just setting his feet and making sure his movements were ingrained and precise.
Another Ukrainian, Vasyl Lomachenko, is referred to as “The Matrix” such is his supreme footwork. This is mostly down to the fact that his father Anatoly sent Vasyl to dance lessons when he was younger to improve his footwork, speed and agility.
Shadowboxing is a great way to improve footwork. Some boxers work their moves with explosive bursts, while others relax and gather pace with a gentle rhythm. If you are not sure where to start, using a boxing app with footwork exercises can be a good option.
Shadowboxing allows the feet to pivot off in different directions, move naturally and flow. This is beneficial because in a fight situation the feet know where to move and when – and the movements come easily.