|Good footwork is
essential in any sport. It helps you maintain balance, center of
gravity and prevent unlikely injuries due to overstraining. With
boxing training, one of the most common mistakes when working the
heavy bag is using poor footwork. Training on the heavy bag requires
you to be light on your feet, allowing for quickness, balance and
proper placement of the feet for stability and power. Powerful
punches start with good foot placement. A punch starts at your feet,
moves up through your legs and hips following through to your back,
shoulders and finally arms. When shifting on the balls of your feet,
circling the bag, make sure your feet are placed solidly on the
ground before you throw the punch. This will increase your punching
power to 60% or more. Ensure the foot placement duplicates the
classic boxing stance, the body and core is strong, shoulders
relaxed, permitting an easy flow. Smooth footwork combined with
sharp punches makes for a dynamic training session on the heavy bag.
When moving like a boxer, start from the basic
boxer's stance, lead with the foot closest to the direction you want
to head. If you are moving left, lead with your left foot and slide
the right foot over. If you are moving right, lead with your right
foot and slide the left foot over. If you want to move backwards,
lead with your back foot and slide your front one back. Keep your
knees flexible. Stay in the basic boxer's stance. Shadow boxing in
front of a mirror is a great way to practice and improve footwork.
REMEMBER, NEVER CROSS YOUR FEET!
Here is a footwork drill to practice with a
partner or two:
Partner Footwork Drill: This drill works
best with two people or more and lots of room to move.
Equipment: One medicine ball, 6-8 pounds. A
heavier ball will provide more challenge but make sure everyone in
the group can handle the chosen weight.
Start with everyone standing in a circle facing
one another. Imagine you are in the ring facing an opponent; keep
your hands up and stay in the basic boxer stance. Begin moving in
one direction (left or right) using proper foot placement. As you
move around in a circle, toss the medicine ball back and forth to
your partners using a chest pass. Keep the circle tight and pass the
ball with enough momentum to reach your partner, but not too hard.
Focus on moving your feet smoothly across the floor surface. Once
you have thrown the ball, get back in your boxer stance. Have one
partner call out "Switch" every 15 to 20 seconds.
At that time, everyone switches direction. Continue to pass the ball
as you move in a circle. Make sure your footwork stays smooth, that
you lead with the proper foot and don't cross your feet. Maintain
your balance as you catch and throw the medicine ball. Try this for
a 2 minute round, eventually working up to a full 3 minute round.
You can add other calls such as "Back" - to have
everyone practice moving back and "Front" to work
on stepping forward. As you get used to the proper foot placements,
increase the speed of movement and the distance apart from each