In boxing, everything stems from the feet; this is your foundation. Good footwork is crucial for any fighter to earn success in the ring, being a fundamental aspect of the sport that can be improved to reach an elite level.
Overall skills can only be progressed when footwork is developed through training; one of the most important elements of 'The Sweet Science'.
Solid footwork will help a boxer land punches more cleanly and effectively from the proper distance in attacking positions, while making it easier to avoid being hit to boost defence too.
BOXRAW outline five training drills that can help to improve footwork for boxing and advance a fighter’s movement, defence and attacking position in the ring.
Line Step Overs
Beginning with a drill that can be done anywhere to help get your legs moving faster and keeping them in sync with your arms too. This will also keep a high intensity as part of a workout to improve fitness and prepare you for fast bursts that occur in a fight scenario.
The drill: Find a horizontal line on the floor to use as your starting point. Bring your left foot forward over the line first, followed by your right foot. Then bring your left foot back over the line along with your right foot. Engage your core and use your arms as leverage while finding your rhythm as you continue the step overs at a fast pace.
Staying in the same position but changing the direction of your feet next. This time moving your legs horizontally in a crossover motion but keeping the same intensity and working on your balance as well.
The drill: This time pick a vertical line on the floor as your starting point. Cross your feet over that chosen line with your left foot in front of your right. Bring your feet back to their starting position then cross over again but this time with your left foot at the back. Again, it’s important to use your upper body as leverage and for balance throughout the drill.
Double Leg Step Jumps
Leg strength is an important factor when it comes to improving overall footwork; this is what will help carry you through the rounds in a tough fight.
The drill: Begin by standing over the stepper with one leg at each side and parallel to it. Use both legs to jump on to the stepper and quickly place your feet down on it before jumping back into your original position. Try to maintain a fast pace throughout your chosen set and make sure to use your upper body and core again as assistance.
Skipping is one of the best forms of training for boxing; it requires every part of your body to perform. General skipping helps build leg strength and improves overall coordination and rhythm. But upping the intensity will also develop footwork for stepping into the ring.
The drill: Starting with a normal skip, once you’ve got your rhythm, begin to double up. Keep both feet together when jumping at the right height to allow time for two motions with your rope. This will help improve your timing and rhythm with your feet, while strengthening your leg muscles.
Single Leg Step Overs
Working on combining both footwork speed and leg strength next. This also brings an element of upper body movement too, once again helping with your synchronisation between hands and feet.
The drill: Start with your left foot on the stepper and your right foot planted on the floor to the right side. Jump to your left and bring your left foot to the floor and place your right foot on the stepper. Then return to your initial position in the opposite direction. Use the momentum from each of your side jumps to propel the next as quickly as possible.