Boxing Training Workout Silhouettes

Tips to improve your Boxing Footwork

You find yourself in front of the television, holding a beverage in one hand and a salty snack in the other. You turn your attention to the television and witness two men in a ring trading blows with each other in a frenzy. Then, finally, you can hear the bell. The guys, bleeding, battered, and labouring to catch their breath as they make their way to their respective corners.

You will invariably be able to hear the coaches yelling, "Create angles, create angles", as they run to the side of each different combatant to clean up any blood, cut eyes, and apply a good amount of petroleum jelly. You have likely heard boxers, coaches, and others involved in the sport use this statement at some point, regardless of how long you've been a fan or taken our boxing classes. The question is, to what does it refer?

Boxing Footwork

When most people think of boxing, they picture two combatants standing toe to toe and throwing powerful blows at each other, hoping one of them would land. Extremely infrequently watching or being aware of what the fighter is doing with their feet.

However the significance of boxing footwork is enormous, yet it is sometimes disregarded by fans of the sport and those just beginning their training.

Understanding the significance of proper footwork in boxing for training can be the deciding factor in whether or not you advance to the next level. The difference between success and failure, and sometimes between avoiding a serious injury and suffering.

And if you're a lover of boxing, getting a better understanding of the intricate footwork used in the sport can give you a far deeper appreciation not only for the athletes that compete in it but also for the sport itself.

So, What’s This Footwork All About?

In the following, we will go through the fundamentals of boxing footwork in four easy steps:

  • The Elements That Make Up a Solid Boxing Footwork Routine
  • The Foundations of Boxing Footwork
  • Footwork Techniques Used in Boxing
  • Footwork Drills & Exercises Specific to Boxing

The Importance Of Boxing Footwork

Before delving into how to position yourself with footwork and the drills you can use to enhance your boxing footwork, we will first explain why footwork is such a crucial component of any fighter.

  • Balance
  • Agility
  • Position/distance


The key to good footwork is to keep your balance during the entire battle. In a battle, maintaining superb balance is essential to being effective on both the offensive and defensive sides.

Your blows will have increased power as a direct result of the balance. The force of your punch comes from your lower body, specifically your feet, legs, butt, and hips.

In addition, the degree to which you maintain your equilibrium throughout the conflict will determine how successfully you can defend yourself.

Boxers that compete at a high level will look for even the smallest opportunity to capitalize on.

When you try to throw a right cross, you lean too far forward, which causes your upper body to be off-centre from your lower body. As a result, you leave yourself open to a powerful counterpunch.

You might attempt to move laterally to the left, so your legs might cross. At this stage, your posture is incorrect because you are standing with your back too straight and your legs too close together. If you get punched in the face, you will certainly lose your balance, fall to the canvas, or continue fumbling about the ring.


It should be no surprise that the ability to move swiftly is necessary for boxing. Even the smallest slip-up or inability to avoid a potentially dangerous situation might have catastrophic results.

It will be essential to demonstrate agility when moving laterally and entering and exiting the pocket. Movements that are quick, swift, forceful, and controlled are essential for any boxer who wants to compete at the highest level.

Your ability to get in and out of striking distance will dramatically increase if you improve the basic footwork you use in boxing. It will also make you more agile.


Positioning is more crucial than punching strength when it comes to fighting. Everything else is pointless, after all, if you can't locate a position to strike your opponent or a position to avoid their strikes, and you can't get into a position where you can avoid their strikes.

When striking your opponent, you should always seek opportunities to generate angles. That is to say, striking in a 12-to-6 method is something you should do only sometimes. Fighters who want to protect themselves from a straight strike should constantly keep their hands up and in front of their faces, as this is a fundamental part of boxing defence.

Because of this, establishing angles or pivoting to the left or right enables you to locate a potential hole in the defence utilized by your opponent.

In addition, the phrase "distance" is one that you will hear rather frequently once you start boxing training. As you may have guessed, it relates to the distance between you and the person you are competing against.

On the other hand, every combatant has a unique striking distance and a different rate at which they may close the distance between themselves and their opponent. Therefore, developing your footwork and ability to get into and out of striking distance with your opponent is of the utmost importance.

Boxing Footwork Basics:

Following our discussion on the "why" behind proper boxing footwork, we will move on to the fundamentals of footwork positioning.

First things first assume the correct boxing stance. In an athletic position, your legs should be slightly further apart than the breadth of your shoulders, and you should bend your knees ever-so-slightly.

You want your legs to be just the right height; keep in mind that maintaining balance is the most important thing here.

If the base of support is too wide or too small, you risk abruptly losing your equilibrium.

Always make sure that both feet point directly at your opponent. It will help you maintain control of your movement and increase your strikes' effectiveness.

It is essential to emphasise the importance of staying on the balls (or tips) of your feet at all times in this context. Your heels will occasionally touch the canvas, as they should, but the ball of your foot should be the one to start each movement you make.

If you stand on your heels, you put yourself in a significantly increased danger of getting pushed off balance. Therefore, it would be best if you always tried to start on your toes or land on them.

It makes you more agile and able to respond more quickly than you would be if you were standing "flat-footed".

It is important to note that different martial arts styles instruct students to stand in different ways. For example, a fighter trained in Muay Thai will stand differently than one trained in kickboxing, who will stand differently than one trained in mixed martial arts (MMA).

Leg kicks are something that competitors in Muay Thai need to watch out for. Because of this, they stand significantly less on their front foot to avoid receiving powerful leg kicks.

MMA fighters must be concerned about being taken down by a wrestler who shoots in from the side. Therefore they may stand much wider and turn their shoulders more so that they are square to their opponent to avoid being taken down.

At this point in the conversation, we will concentrate squarely on the correct stance for boxing.

Boxing Footwork Technique:

We have discussed the reasons behind the significance of boxing footwork and your fundamental stationary boxing stance up until this point. We are going to shift our focus now to some boxing footwork techniques. Fundamental footwork when you are moving to put it another way.

The following three themes are going to be discussed:

  • 45-degree stepping
  • Turning to the side and stepping forward and backward/moving in and out

Girl Boxing Kicking Pad

45-Degree Stepping:

To get started, you must first practice moving or circling your opponent in increments of 45 degrees. Most of the boxing footwork you will teach will be done at distances that are incremented by 45 degrees.

To deliver a counterpunch, you may rotate through 90 degrees and occasionally through 180 degrees (we will get to this in the next section).

You can practice stepping at a 45-degree angle by visualizing the lines or using tape to draw them out on the ground. Either way, this will ensure that you are moving precisely.

Looking at the illustration up top, you can see that each line is drawn out at an angle of around 45 degrees. You might carry on with this pattern and wrap it all the way around to finish the circle.

This stance is appropriate for someone who fights in an "orthodox" fashion. That is to say. Someone who fights in an "orthodox" fashion primarily uses their right hand as a dominating hand. If you write with your left hand most of the time, you should stand with your right leg in front of you and your left leg behind you.

Someone in this position would be right in front of their opponent. If one were to attack from this angle, they would be doing it at a 12-to-6 angle. As was said earlier, this strike comes along quite infrequently. Therefore, protecting this area is the default defensive position that you can take.

Because of this, you will need to go either to the left or the right by around 45 degrees to locate a potential weakness in their defence.

Why 45 Degrees?

Remember that boxing is a game won or lost in milliseconds and split seconds. You can traverse that distance quickly enough to outspeed your opponent, and it's a huge enough space to defend yourself or strike from. Therefore, 45 degrees is the usual rule of thumb regarding angles of attack.

It is vital to draw these lines on the ground because, as any coach will tell you, you should NEVER cross your legs when moving from one angle to another. Drawing out these lines on the ground is essential because of this.

For example, if you wish to shift from position #1 to position #2, you should move your front foot first, and your back foot should follow. It is because the front foot is in a more advantageous position.

Always try to picture a line running between your feet; under no circumstances should you ever cross your legs. It throws you off balance and puts you in a poor position to defend yourself.

It is essential to keep in mind that although the angles at which your body is positioned will change and your back foot will cover a fair amount of ground, the position of your front foot will remain relatively unchanged. It is because your toes will always continue to point in the direction of your opponent.

If you were to rotate your body by 45 degrees and then throw a punch, this would make it possible for you to react very quickly.


The creation of angles is the major objective of the boxing footwork technique known as pivoting.

Pivoting allows you to swiftly adjust your angle and neutralize your opponent's attack if they have you in a terrible position and are overwhelming you with punches. Pivoting can be used when your opponent has you in a bad position.

Similarly, if you and your opponent are going toe-to-toe and your opponent seems to be defending very well, leaving you with no effective striking opportunity, pivoting can significantly increase the number of alternatives available.

One way to think of pivoting is as a race around a round track. When the other player starts to sprint around the track, you may easily cut across the middle of the field to get to the opposite side. You choose to go around it. You make a slant or angle.

You can take a quick, direct shortcut to another angle by pivoting, which saves you a great deal of time compared to other possible routes, such as going around in a circle or taking a side step.

"What Are The Basics Of Pivoting?"

In a nutshell, pivoting refers to the movement of your rear foot while keeping your front foot still and moving either to the left or the right.

The 45-degree step was covered in the part that came before this one. The fundamentals are the same for pivoting; the only difference is that you keep your front foot planted throughout the movement.

Remember that regardless of whether you pivot tiny (between 45 and 90 degrees) or large (between 90 and 180 degrees), your toes should always point in the direction of your opponent.

Having a good pair of boxing shoes might come in helpful.

When practising pivoting with typical running or gym shoes, you may find it difficult since the sole of the shoe may have too much traction. Therefore, getting a good hold of the ground would be best. On the other hand, you should keep your front foot planted and slide rather than elevate it.

When you pivot, you want to push off with the ball of your rear foot to maintain your balance. Your back foot should be sliding or very slightly coming off the canvas as you move forward. While keeping your front foot planted on the ground, you should rotate your foot to a new angle directed toward your opponent.

Side Stepping/Moving In And Out

Creating angles while staying in the pocket to deliver strikes was the primary focus of 45-degree stepping and pivoting. The primary purpose of sidestepping, as opposed to the primary purpose of angle-stepping, which is to generate an angle, is to step away from an opponent to avoid getting punched or out of the pocket.

The footwork movements will be very similar to stepping at a 45-degree angle. The fundamental ideas will remain the same. You should always keep your weight on the balls of your feet and make sure to avoid crossing your legs at any time.

The difference is that when you step at 45 degrees, you move circularly to achieve a better angle than when you step at 90 degrees. Sidestepping is a type of movement involving moving laterally or from side to side, not always circular.

Because you should strive to keep yourself in a position that allows you to strike at all times, you should direct your toes toward the person you are fighting against.

Keep in mind that you should never cross your legs.

When going from the centre to the right, you should push off the foot that is in front of you and move the foot that is behind you first.

When shifting from the centre to the left, you should push off your back foot and move your front foot over first. It will allow you to maintain your balance.

It will prevent your legs from crossing each other and keep you balanced.

Moving in and out of the 'pocket' is treated similarly here.

The pocket is a term used in boxing to describe where a fighter is located within the hitting zone of their opponent. You are not at the edge of the fighter's reach; you are closer to them at a somewhat shorter range.

The ability to enter and exit the pocket with speed and efficiency, and at the appropriate moment, can decide whether a player wins or loses.

In most situations, you want to punch your way into the pocket. That is, you want to deliver offensive punches as you make your way into your opponent's striking zone so that they cannot hit you easily as you make your way in. In addition, it will prevent your opponent from being in a position to attack you easily as you make your way in.

Boxing Footwork And Exercises:

You should practice the boxing footwork skills described before, in addition to the footwork drills and workouts listed below. You are practising these while shadow boxing, a fantastic method to become more accustomed to making your angles and turning them into something that comes naturally to you.

It is necessary to practice your footwork and go through drills to develop both muscle memory and stamina. Footwork must be performed as quickly, precisely, and effectively as possible.

Here are some boxing footwork routines that are appropriate for both beginners and advanced boxers:

  • Squat jumps
  • Resistance bands
  • Ladder exercises
  • Jumping rope

Jumping Rope:

It is a tried-and-true kind of exercise that never goes out of style. You've probably noticed the jumping rope being used by every professional boxer whose training you've watched on television, and there's a solid reason for that.

Jumping rope is not only an excellent way to get your muscles ready for a strenuous workout, but it also helps strengthen your cardiovascular endurance. In addition, it makes a considerable improvement to your footwork.

Remember that all your footwork originates from your feet' balls (or toes) and that agility is necessary.

It's important to keep your feet moving and engaged during a battle. It would be best to avoid being taken off guard at all costs.

When you watch professional fighters, you'll notice that they constantly bounce, hop, or move position in little quick bursts. It is a common tactic that they use.

Jumping rope is an absolute must if you want to improve your footwork.

The movement of a boxer during a fight is quite similar to the movement of someone jumping rope; they are light on their feet, hopping around, and are on the balls of their feet.

You must make sure you spend at least fifteen minutes per day jumping rope. It will help you grow these muscles to their full potential and boost your agility.

Rope Skipping

Resistance Bands:

After wrapping resistance bands around your ankles, move laterally, also known as sidestepping, in short, controlled bursts.

Your hips, knees, and ankles will get a good workout. In addition, you will become a far more agile fighter if you incorporate resistance training into your lateral movements.

You will see a considerable improvement in your agility and power when moving laterally, enabling you to improve your pivoting and 45-degree stepping.


Boxing footwork drills can benefit greatly from being performed on a ladder. Ladder exercises come in various formats and can be done by many people. But on the other hand, each one of them is effective in increasing both strength and agility.

Because of the importance of agility in their position, running backs in the NFL are frequently seen engaging in ladder drills. In addition, a running back needs to make powerful lateral movements quickly.

Footwork that demonstrates agility and quickness of reaction will serve you well here. In addition, your footwork will improve in direct proportion to the speed with which you can ascend and descend each rung of the ladder.

Imagine climbing a ladder and having to step in and out of each rung. You put one foot in and the other out of the "pocket."

You might even want to shadow the box while you go through this exercise to get a better feel for how the real thing will play out.

These ladders are normally constructed out of plastic and rope, and you can find them for sale at most sporting goods stores in your area.


As was said previously, the force in your punches is derived from the strength in your lower body as well as the alignment of your footwork. A healthy lower body that can effortlessly support and move your upper body contributes significantly to your overall sense of balance.

To have a strong and healthy lower body, your glutes, often known as your butt, are essential.

One example of a complex exercise is the squat. It means that it trains more than just one muscle at a time. Squatting is excellent for developing balance and power, as it engages almost all your lower body muscles.

You have the option of doing them with or without the use of weights. Make sure that your legs are slightly further apart than the breadth of your shoulders, that your toes are pointed slightly outward, and that your back is kept straight.

Boxing's explosive lateral movement relies heavily on squatting as a fundamental movement pattern. In addition, you need to engage your glutes and quads to pivot and create angles, both of which are challenging activities.

Time To Put Knowledge To Action!

After going through the fundamentals of boxing footwork in this lesson, it's time to get in the ring and practice what you've learned. When it comes to boxing footwork, all you need to do is remember some of the most important principles.


Boxing footwork is centred on maintaining a balanced body during the fight. You need to take care of your lower body if you want to be successful, and whether you are playing offence or defence, your ability to maintain your balance will be critical.

Create Angles:

Footwork is extremely important in boxing because it allows you to generate angles against your opponent. It is more important to create tips and put yourself in the ideal position, either offensively or defensively, than to hit harder or perfect your left hook.

After all, a battle will be difficult for whoever cannot attack their opponent or avoid being hit themselves.

Balls Of Your Feet:

You should try to keep your weight on the balls of your feet at all times, even if you will occasionally have to bring your heels down to the ground. The balls of your feet should be the origin of whatever movement you make. Standing on the balls of your feet allows you to make the quickest and most controlled movements, putting you in a better position to defend yourself or attack an opponent.

Never Cross Your Feet:

It does not matter if you change direction by pivoting, sidestepping, or establishing an angle with a step at a 45-degree angle; you should always keep your legs from crossing each other!

It will require a lot of practice. For example, if you travel to the right, you can push off with your front foot, and your back foot will move into place first if you are moving in that direction. On the other hand, if you go to your right, you will push off with your back foot, and your front foot will get into position first. It will happen if you move to your right.

Getting good at this takes time, and for it to become automatic for you, you need to practice it frequently.

Practice, Practice, Practice:

Your boxing footwork will only improve if you practice it and execute exercises designed to develop the specific motions you need to improve. So focus on exercises that will help you become more agile and powerful in your lower body!

How can utilise my opponent's power against him to improve boxing footwork?

You can use your opponent’s strength against himself by using his momentum against him and stepping out of the way of his punches.

Why is shadowboxing important for improving?

Shadowboxing is important for improving footwork in boxing because it allows you to work on subtle small steps and pivoting while simultaneously punching or moving your upper body.

How might switching stances help my boxing footwork?

You can switch stances to improve your footwork in boxing by practising switching from an orthodox stance to a southpaw stance and vice versa.

Can I regulate range to enhance boxing footwork?

Keep your opponent at the end of your blows and use your jab to manage range to enhance your boxing footwork.

How can I improve my boxing footwork?

Focusing on form and technique, practising often, and taking risks can improve boxing footwork.

Frequenly Asked Questions about boxing footwork

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