The sport of boxing in essence when being played correctly is a game of hitting your opponent without getting hit. Now, although that may sound simple, those who have trained in boxing know that this is far from the truth. There are many factors that leave a technician at an advantage or disadvantage over their opponent in the ring. However, two of the most important aspects are movement and power. These can be improved with boxing footwork drills.
Don’t take our word for it. We just need to look at the famous saying by one of the greatest boxers to ever grace the ring, Muhammad Ali.
In this article, we are going to share with you 3 ways to supplement your training so that you can start moving more fluidly, punch more powerfully and fundamentally level up your game.
They sound fancy, but they’re really quite simple.
What are plyometrics
Plyos for Power
Plyometrics are exercises designed specifically to improve an athlete’s power. The vast majority of plyometrics are jump based and require very little if no equipment at all to perform! This makes them especially handy for those of you looking to improve your ring game while travelling away from your gym.
What is a great Plyometric workout for boxers
Pinpoint your needs
You’ll find athletes from all sorts of sports using plyometric exercises to increase their explosive power. However, the more specific we get with the drills, the better results we can see in our given sport. We’ve brought to you an instructional video by Phil Daru, created specifically to help those interested in becoming more explosive boxers. Daru is one of the most well-respected Boxing & MMA strength & conditioning coaches in the world, with many champions and contenders utilising his experience to get into optimal shape.
You’ve likely done it before, now it’s time to bring it back.
Reintroducing an old friend
For many of our new students, the last time they skipped was at school. They’ll be no hopscotch this time round, but you will notice a dramatic improvement in your timing and footwork the better you get with these boxing footwork drills. Not enough can be said about the importance of staying light on your feet when in the ring. The ability to get into advantageous positions while being able to slip out of range on the counter not only allows you to be more effective in the ring, it saves you from unnecessary head trauma.
The legends swore by it, their contemporaries still do
The floating like a butterfly that Ali alluded to, is specifically what is gained through exercises such as skipping. Not convinced that skipping improves your boxing? Hear what Bernard Hopkins, a former Middleweight champion that amassed 19 defences in a row has to say on the topic.
Bernard Hopkins opinion on skipping:
How to skip
You’ll find videos all over the internet of professional boxers doing all sorts of crazy skipping rope exercises to show off their skills. It’s worth remembering that they’ve been practising for years upon years, so don’t worry about trying to look anything like them yet! If you’ve not skipped in a long time, go easy on reintroducing your body to the activity. There is no rush, give your body the chance to reacclimatise to the pressure an activity like skipping puts on the body.
The main thing is that you are making the decision to introduce this activity to your strength and conditioning training. Forming the habit is far more important than being able to perform the actual activity in an impressive fashion.
Start with this video if you want to learn how to skip properly:
Already know how to skip and want a boxing specific workout?
Boxing specific routine:
You won’t be climbing buildings with these ladders, just your level in the game.
The pros are onto something
Either in person or while watching a professional condition their body for competition, you’ve likely seen ladders being used as part of a strength and conditioning routine before. Why are they so popular? Because leaving them out of your training can leave you at a significant disadvantage against your opponent.
At its core, ladder drill exercises help you improve 3 key areas. Speed. Quickness. Agility. As you can imagine, developing these areas can be the difference between landing that crucial shot or avoiding the blow coming your way with KO potential.
How to use a ladder
Keep it simple
Thankfully most boxing footwork drills require very little equipment and the equipment that it does require is often relatively cheap. You can pick up a ladder from Amazon for around the $25 mark. If you have a ladder and aren’t sure how to get started, we suggest you first start by following the instructional video below.
Let’s get specific
Ready to move onto something fighting specific? Shane Fazen from FightTIPS does an excellent job of introducing beginners to ladder agility drills, specifically 3 that will get you seeing gains in your game.
Cutting off the ring
Reducing your opponent’s options in the ring allows for multiple benefits. Not only does it psychologically put them in a defensive state of mind, it physically reduces the options they have to be effective against you. Some of the best fighters in the world utilise this technique to devastating effect.
How G.G.G cuts off the ring
How you can start cutting off the ring
In this bonus video, we share with you an awesome instructional on cutting off the ring, marking the end of our boxing footwork drills.
Levelling up your game
We hope you’ve found lots of new ideas to improve your game in this article. Remember, you only get out as much as you put in. Start easy and build up your ability over time, consistency is king.
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