Footwork is one of the most important aspects of boxing. While fast feet can be an advantage in boxing, the ability to balance on your feet -- to avoid your opponent's punches and deliver your own punches with precision and power -- is even more vital than overall foot speed. There are several exercises a boxer can do to be his best in the ring.
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Rope jumping is a traditional boxing exercise that helps a fighter increase coordination, timing, balance, endurance and foot quickness. Many boxers jump rope two times or more in a practice session in the gym. Rope jumping at a quick pace builds foot quickness, and is usually done in three-minute increments. This is the same length of time as a round of boxing, which helps a boxer get used to moving at a high rate of speed during the course of a round. Jumping rope on the toes helps a boxer build rhythm and the ability to move back and forth quickly.
Hopping, bounding and jumping exercises build leg strength and help a boxer with his movement in the ring. One of the best exercises a fighter can do is box jumping. Set a 14-inch square box on the floor and stand to the left of it. Jump over it to the right and then bound back over it to the left. Do 10 back-and-forth jumps and then do the same by jumping back-to-front and front-to-back. This builds explosiveness in the legs, giving a boxer more power in his punches and a greater ability to slip punches.
Boxers regularly run 3 to 5 miles three or four times a week when preparing for a fight. Interval training builds explosive leg strength and quicker feet. Go to a high school or college track and sprint distances of 100, 90, 80 and 70 yards in succession. Take no more than a 15-second break between sprints. When you finish the last sprint, take a one-minute break and repeat the set. Do this four times a week to prepare for a fight.