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How to Improve Head Movement in Boxing

author image William Machin
William Machin began work in construction at the age of 15, while still in high school. In 35 years, he's gained expertise in all phases of residential construction, retrofit and remodeling. His hobbies include horses, motorcycles, road racing and sport fishing. He studied architecture at Taft Junior College.
How to Improve Head Movement in Boxing
Avoid jabs by quickly moving your head and upper body as a unit. Photo Credit: TongRo Images/TongRo Images/Getty Images

Moving your head in boxing is a defensive tactic and technique used to set up a punch. Legendary boxing trainer Cus D’Amato once said, “When you can hit your opponent but he can't hit you, that’s when you are a fighter.” Boxers train to slip, or dodge, punches by quickly moving their head to one side, then back to center. To deliver a power shot, first move your head to the side of your power hand, then uncoil as you deliver the punch. You can become a better boxer with drills that improve the defensive and offensive techniques of moving your head.

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Slipping Punches

Step 1

Place two standing mirrors side by side. Assume your boxing stance 3 feet in front of the mirrors. Adjust your position so that, from your perspective, your nose is directly in line with the vertical seam between the mirrors while in your stance.

Step 2

Begin shadowboxing as your normally do, but keep your lower body completely still instead of moving your feet. Maintain your head centered with your chin tucked in.

Step 3

Move your upper body quickly to the left so the reflection of your right ear is past the seam of the mirrors, as if avoiding a jab. Quickly move your head back to center so your nose is in line with the seam. Move your upper body quickly to the right so your left ear passes the seam, then move back to center, bringing your nose back in line with the seam.

Step 4

Continue to shadowbox and slip punches each way as you keep your lower body and legs still. Roll under an imaginary punch after each left-right evasive maneuver. Always return to the starting position with the reflection of your nose aligned with the seam between the mirrors. Repeat the defensive technique for three minutes without stopping.

Power Shots

Step 1

Assume your boxing stance at arm’s length in front of a heavy bag. Begin throwing jabs as you normally do when boxing, but keep your lower body still instead of moving your feet.

Step 2

Set up a power shot by dropping that shoulder and moving your head to that side as you deliver a jab with your other hand.

Step 3

Bring the jab back quickly and, at the same time, uncoil your upper body and bring your head back to center as you throw the punch with your power hand.

Step 4

Continue to practice setting up power shots off the jab. Target the midsection of the bag as if delivering a body shot and the upper section of the bag as if delivering a knockout punch. Practice throwing power shots with your jab hand using the same technique of dropping your shoulder and head to that side after throwing a punch with your other hand.

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