Boxing footwork is a vital skill that must be mastered by any boxer. Good boxing footwork can increase the speed at which you move around the ring, increase your ability to evade punches on defense and give you the ability to attack from a number of angles. Boxing footwork training requires you to develop speed and power, as well as the skills and techniques of boxing.
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Speed is a vital aspect of boxing footwork training. "Quick feet never get beat" is a phrase used by boxing trainers, and all-time greats such as Muhammad Ali are remembered for their quick and nimble movement. Speed is crucial to avoid attacks and counter quickly enough to land blows. Boxing footwork training that involves speed work should include sprinting and the use of quick-feet agility ladders. Sprints -- 30 meter -- can also be used as a form of speed training. Time your sprints and monitor improvements in speed over time.
The power and dynamic movement required in boxing footwork training can be developed through plyometric training. Plyometric training consists of bounding, jumping and hopping exercises. Plyometric training can develop the explosive power and speed required by a boxer. The Brain Mac website suggests these exercises should be performed in sets of 10 to 20 repetitions, and to perform one to four sets. Plyometric exercises can be squat jumps, A-skips, jumping on to a higher surface and bounding steps. Plyometric training twice a week is recommended as part of a boxer’s training regime.
Skipping with a jump rope develops quick feet, footwork and agility in boxing. Jump rope requires coordination and rhythm and gets you used to placing your weight on the balls of your feet, an optimal position for quick movement. Boxing trainer Ross Enamait recommends incorporating six sets of constant jump rope training lasting three minutes. Running in place and hopping on one foot are ways to vary jump-rope training.
Boxing footwork training must cover the fundamental skills of boxing. Pivots and movement required during a fight are best practiced in a ring. A boxing trainer can move around the ring, with the boxer aiming to follow the movements while demonstrating fundamentally sound footwork. Pivots, side-to-side movement and front-to-back movement should all be simulated during ring work. A footwork clock drill is a good way to simulate pivot movement. A boxer stands in a fighting stance in the center of an imaginary circle. Directly in front is 12 o’clock, and the trainer shouts out points of the clock, the boxer spins to face that position, then quickly back again.
Boxing footwork training should progress to actual punches being thrown. Plant your back foot to add power to your punches and practice throwing punches and quickly moving afterward. Standing still after you throw your punches will lead to you being caught on the counterattack.