A boxer that has a good stance will always be able to excel more in the sport of boxing as your stance plays a very crucial part. The status and efficiency of a boxer are determined by how competent and developed their footwork is. Remember that boxing is considered one of the toughest and dangerous kinds of combat sports because of the high possibility of getting injured. Hence a boxer needs to be very quick on their feet while also delivering swift and strong punches.
In this article, we discuss 7 types of exercises that will benefit not only a beginner but also help advance a more accustomed boxer. So get dressed in your workout hoodies and get ready to hit the gym if you’re serious about improving your stance and footwork to excel in boxing!
1. Shadow Boxing
As a beginner it’s always ideal to start from very basic and easy exercises, shadowboxing will allow you to acquire and polish the skill of boxing without intimidating or discouraging you from playing the sport.
Although your boxing gear plays a very crucial part in how well you perform in the ring, practicing shadow boxing does not require any boxing gear in particular and you can very easily do it from the comfort of your home, in the office, in the park, anywhere you prefer wearing just workout sweatshirts. Shadowboxing is considered one the most crucial exercises in the sport of boxing but it allows one to get the feel of boxing without really having to be in the ring with an opponent.
Shadowboxing allows you to work on your footsteps, your hand movement, and your energy levels while punching. It’s an excellent upper body, lower body exercise, and practice especially if you’re a novice at boxing. The best thing about shadow boxing is that you can work on your upper body and lower body movements simultaneously while also improving your hand and eye coordination.
Shadowboxing will also allow you to judge what kind of foot movements fits your form best, taking big steps or small steps; remember taking big steps will drain your energy faster and exhaust you.
2. Boxing at a controlled range
Boxing might seem like a basic sport that only requires you to punch and be able to easily move around; that might be true but many factors determine how well you can play the sport, and that only comes and improves with practice. One of the factors that are quite significant in being able to deliver a punch is at how close range you punch your opponent. You need to be able to determine at what distance you can deliver a punch most efficiently while also being able to dodge a counter-attack from the opponent.
Exploring your potential and ability to move around swiftly only comes with practice and footwork. We suggest practicing as much as possible by hanging a punching bag on a ceiling. Practicing boxing at a controlled range is an excellent exercise, practice session, and also defense technique.
3. Yoga (improves focus, spine straight, and balance)
Yoga is an excellent exercise to do for boxers because it almost helps improve everything important to a professional boxer; stamina, balance, focus, and straightening your back, making your muscles flexible.
Stamina is extremely important for boxers as they have a very limited amount of time to move and deliver punches as fast as possible. If a player starts to run out of their breath then this can put them at a grave disadvantage and the chances that they might get beaten increases. Practicing yoga helps to open and expand your lung capacity and improves your stamina. Since stretching is such an important part of yoga, it also helps to make your muscles more fluid and flexible so you easily move around, twist and turn, dodge and duck whenever you need to; these are all very important when you are in the game of boxing.
Yoga also has certain exercises that help improve balance as well, and since you need to be quick on your feet, hopping from one foot to another while also directing your punches at the opponent, having a good balance is very crucial. We suggest doing the tree pose, eagle pose and one hand tiger pose for improved focus and balance.
Yoga also helps to keep your back straight and posture erected; not many people know this but the straighter your back and posture are the better balance you acquire. This is again extremely important for a boxer because you do not want to land on the ground on the first punch that you receive!
4. Lunges with variations (improves footwork and pivoting)
Lunges are excellent exercises for your legs. Doing lunges at least three times a week will improve your leg muscles, build resistance and increase your muscle strength a lot. One of the most important variations of the lunges that you can do is side lunges; this exercise will help you balance on both feet and help you practice the transition of jumping from one foot to another. This will improve your movement immensely and make you more prone to shifting across the ring efficiently.
Relying on footwork is very important in boxing especially when it comes to pivoting; you need to be quick on your feet while also keeping a close eye on your opponent. Pivoting allows you to keep swinging on your back foot while keeping your front foot stationed in one place, especially if you’re opponent keeps moving or keeps getting closer. The more leg exercises that you do the better you will perform at pivoting.
This might seem like an unconventional suggestion but dancing can help you immensely in the game of boxing, let us explain! Dancing teaches you how to move around on your feet swiftly and smoothly while also bringing more rhythm to your body. Dancing also improves your body fluidity and helps make you more flexible. All these attributes are excellent for a boxer as you want to avoid tripping over especially when maintaining a safe distance from your opponent.
Dancing will also help you to relax and loosen up your upper body. The stiffer your body is the more difficult it will become for you to move around and deliver punches with full strength.
We suggest taking salsa dance classes because it will help your upper body sync with your lower body, you will feel a difference in your footwork after just a few classes!
6. TRX exercises (improves ball and heel movement of the foot)
One of the most common mistakes that a novice at boxing makes is to step forward on their heels rather than just swinging on and moving on the balls of your feet; when you put all your weight on your heels when moving forward you can easily lose balance and trip and this also decreases the speed and swiftness of your movement. That is why it is always suggested that you should always move forward on the balls of your feet, and move backward on the heels of your feet.
As a beginner shifting your weight from the balls of the feet to the heels might be difficult, and you might not also remember; however gradually with practice, you will start moving efficiently without even realizing or having to think about it actively.
Exercising with a TRX will help you to work on the movement of your feet, especially working on shifting your weight from the balls of your feet to the heels. In the beginning, it might feel like your feet are cramping up, but trust us it is all part of the process!
7. Box steps exercises (teaches how to maintain a narrow stance)
It is suggested always to maintain a narrow stance while boxing because it helps you to preserve energy, move around easily, and also take larger steps forward and backward, this movement will further help you in pivoting efficiently. To help you maintain a narrow stance we suggest doing box steps because this exercise will allow you to keep your feet close to one another as you step up and down on an elevated surface.