You may of heard people talking about boxers and saying “He has great footwork” and thought why is the footwork in boxing so important? In boxing or kickboxing every move needs to be perfect but the footwork is considered more important than the punches themselves. It may seem crazy but with every punch or movement the feet will come into play.
What will the footwork improve in boxing?
Positioning your feet shoulder width apart and slightly bending your knees in the guard position will give you great balance that would make it very difficult for you to come off guard. When you box you should always remain in this position and only moving one foot at a time.
Distancing and speed
This is were the footwork will really plays it’s part. When you see the world’s best boxers at work, they can move forward and back and side to side so effortlessly that the can hit their opponent and move out the way quick enough not to get hit themselves.
You may wonder why you feet could give you more power in your punches but it has a huge impact. Many people believe that it is the size or the weight of the boxer that produces the most power. Of course it probably won’t feel too nice being hit off heavyweights likes Anthony Joshua or the legendary Mike Tyson but you just need to see featherweight, Prince Nassem Hamed’s record to see he also was a knockout artist due to the fact of his technique and footwork. When the cross is thrown you need to twist on to the ball of the back foot, allowing all you weight and energy to come to the fist. The same applies for uppercut and hooks, a hook you will need to twist from the hip to release a power punch and an uppercut you need to bend you knees to get really low to bring all the force back up to the punch.
If your timing is out, you may move in to attack at the wrong time and get caught yourself. Also with inaccurate timing your punches will not have as much power.
How can I practise and improve my footwork?
This can be very easy even to do at home without any boxing or kickboxing equipment. Get in your stance with your guard and just practise moving forward with the lead leg, following with the back foot. Do the same moving side to side, move the leg the way you are moving first to prevent crossing your legs. When you progress start to incorporate your punches as you move.