This question couldn’t have been any easier. Boxing is a great workout, perhaps the most challenging of all sports. Requires speed, agility, finesse, power, endurance, and ultimate mental toughness. Boxing pushes you like no other, pitting the finest and highest level athletes against each other. It’s a sweet science but at the same time also a raw and brutal sport.
Boxing is more than just an entertaining sport to watch at the Olympics or on pay-per-view. It’s a great activity for the body and mind that you can do on your own—without having to dodge punches from an opponent. You’ll train for strength, agility, and balance in the process and relieve some serious stress.
Boxing is also aerobic exercise, which can help lower the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes. Additionally, punching targets can improve your hand-eye coordination, and shifting your weight back and forth as you shuffle your feet can improve balance.
More importantly, boxing takes you further than you ever thought possible. Boxing makes you more alive than ever, more humble in defeat, and most glorious in victory. Boxing reveals the true fighter deep inside every single one of us. Boxing may seem demanding, but you don’t need to have Rocky Balboa-level dedication to learn how to box.
Is It For Me?
- There are different weight categories which mean boxing is for everyone.
- You don’t need to get hurt to enjoy boxing. But most people use the sport as a way of fitness rather than getting in the ring and or competing.
- Skipping, hitting the punch bag or pads, and different exercise drills are used in training, and beginners can take it at their own pace.
What To Expect When I Start?
- You don’t need to worry about buying boxing boots or gloves; most gyms will provide you with the equipment needed when you first start.
- Beginners will be taught the basics of footwork how to throw a punch, and you may do some shadow boxing or hit the boxing bag.
- Boxing training can be intense, but it’s a sport that teaches physical and mental discipline.
- The constant moving and throwing of punches mean you give your body a full workout while improving muscle strength.
- It’s also a fun and effective way of developing communication skills and can help people with self-esteem.
- Almost 40% of boxing gyms have classes that specifically cater for women and girls.
- Boxing-related exercises such as Boxercise are a good way to benefit from the fitness side of things.
How To Start Boxing On Your Own
Now I know you probably came here thinking the first thing you would need to do is start learning to box, but if I’m being honest, it’s road work! Running is quite often the first thing lots of beginners completely overlook! It’s no wonder I see so many gases out when they first start training.
As a boxer, you need to have good cardio if you are going to be doing this type of training. So if you are a complete beginner, you need to start slow, but it will gradually build up your endurance the more you do this each day. Ideally, you will get to a stage where you can run 2-3 miles, 4-5 days a week. Remember, start slow and build-up to this.
Learn How To Jump Rope
Another form of cardio training, which pretty much all boxers and boxing gyms will implement. You don’t need to be the world’s greatest skipper, but you must become comfortable with this form of training as almost all boxers know this skill.
Get Used To Basic Exercises And Interval Training
If you are going to the gym right now, sticking to a routine and not putting on sweat, you will need to change this habit to start boxing training! But, first, you need to get used to the basic exercises – press-ups, sit-ups and squats, burpees – you’ll be destroyed in a boxing gym if you can’t do these!
Get Yourself Boxing Gear And Equipment
After getting yourself in good physical condition, you can now get the appropriate boxing equipment and gear to start your training. Now you don’t need to spend hundreds, but it may depend on your circumstances and your budget. I always recommend you get yourself a decent starting pair of gloves, but don’t break the bank as you won’t need something like that at this stage.
Learn The Fundamentals Of Boxing
You may have already watched some professional boxers fight, and you’ve probably even picked up a thing or two from them. However, if it’s your first time training in boxing, you must learn the fundamentals.
This means getting your stance correct, learning how to defend yourself properly and throw basic punches and combinations, learning proper foot movement and so on.
Make these fundamentals a habit. If your favourite fighter drops his hands, don’t try to imitate him as you’ll quickly find out the hard way that it’s not a good thing.
Instead, get the fundamentals right, and with more experience, you’ll begin to develop your style. Then you’ll know what works for you and what doesn’t without picking up too many bad habits along the way.
Why Is Stance Important In Boxing?
Stance is important in boxing because it provides balance. Maintaining balance is at the core of every boxing move, offensive or defensive. Professional fighters know that achieving a solid stance is one of the first steps in advancing all other boxing skills. Likewise, learning boxing footwork for beginners starts with achieving a proper stance.
A correct stance is achieved through body positioning. There are a few different boxing stances to choose from depending on your dominant hand, stature, and training experience. For beginners, it is most important to familiarize yourself with the two most common boxing stances: Orthodox and Southpaw.
ORTHODOX STANCE (RIGHT-HANDED BOXERS)
- Feet slightly further than shoulder distance apart
- Right foot forward, pointing towards the bag
- Left foot back, roughly at a 45-degree angle to the right foot
- Knees soft, slightly bent
- Stand on the balls of your feet, with your weight more on the left (rear) foot
SOUTHPAW (LEFT-HANDED BOXERS)
- Feet slightly further than shoulder distance apart
- Left foot forward, pointing towards the bag
- Right foot back, roughly at a 45-degree angle to the left foot
- Knees soft, slightly bent
- Stand on the balls of your feet, with your weight more on the right (rear) foot
What Are Different Types Of Punches?
- The Jab: The jab is intended to be a quick movement with your front, non-dominant fist. It can gauge the distance between you and your opponent and help close that distance. Keeping your head straight and chin tucked, extend your leading arm and land the hit with your index and middle knuckles anywhere from nose to chest height.
- The Cross: The cross is a hit you land with your dominant hand or the one farther away from your opponent. From your starting stance, pivot into your lead shoulder and extend your dominant hand from behind, straight forward. Make sure to keep your weight centred and be prepared to keep moving as you retract your arm.
- The Hook: The hook is one of the more difficult moves to master but can also be one of the most powerful. The hook is thrown with your arm parallel to the floor from the outside in. A lead, or front, a hook is thrown with your leading arm. Shift your weight into your leading leg and follow through with your leading arm. The rear or back hook is thrown from behind, pivoting your body to land the punch with more force from your dominant fist.
- The Uppercut: The uppercut is all about leg power. To throw this punch, get low into a staggered-stance squat position, keep either arm at a 90-degree angle to your body, drive upward (as if you were aiming for a chin).
These foundational moves are broken down into an easy punch number system at the core of all boxing punches and combinations.
1 = The Jab
2 = The Cross
3 = The Lead Hook
4 = The Rear Hook
5 = The Lead Uppercut
6 = The Rear Uppercut
How Are Punches Numbered?
The way these punches are numbered is by design. However, there is a formula to boxing punch numbers 1-6 that makes them easier to remember and helps create winning punch combinations.
This punch number system is based on an Orthodox boxing stance and is broken down like this:
- All even-numbered punches are right-hand punches
- All odd-numbered punches are left-hand punches
Boxing workouts often use punch combinations to identify drills using the punch count numbers. Here are a few of the basic combinations using the numbering system:
- 1 - 2 = Jab – Cross
- 3 - 4 = Lead Hook – Rear Hook
- 5 - 6 = Lead Uppercut – Rear Uppercut
Beginners should memorize these numbers and be comfortable with these punch combinations as they will be used frequently throughout boxing training and drills. In addition, boxing punch numbers make it easy for trainers to call out combinations during a workout.
How Do You Do Basic Punches In Boxing?
- Start in your boxer stance with your hands next to your nose. Your back heel should be lifted ever so slightly off the floor with your fists closed and fingertips facing your chin.
- Keep your hips in place as you punch straight out with your lead hand. As you throw your punch, twist the knuckles of your hand so that when your arm is extended, your fingertips face the floor.
- Be sure to keep your rear hand tight in a tight fist, tucked, and at the ready.
- Immediately return your lead hand to the starting position.
- Begin in a boxer stance with the weight mostly in your front foot and your knees slightly bent. Keep your fists closed with fingertips facing your chin.
- Punch your right hand straight forward. Your fingertips should face the floor when your arm is fully extended as you throw your punch, pivot on the ball of your back foot and rotate your hips forward.
- Immediately return your right hand and hips to the starting position.
- Begin in your boxer stance, with your hands close to your nose. Your back heel should be lifted slightly off the floor, with the weight mostly in your toes. Have your fists closed tight with your fingertips facing your chin?
- With your elbow bent to 90-degrees, punch with your left hand and bring your forearm completely out in front of you, ending like it’s on a shelf in line with your shoulders. Your knuckles stay up facing the sky, with your fingertips facing the floor. Your hand, feet, and hips should all move as one, and your foot pivots slightly.
- Stop the punch with your fist directly in front of your face, making sure not to twist past it.
- Be sure to keep your backhand in a tight fist, tucked at the ready, underneath your eye.
- Return your hand, hips, and feet to the starting position.
- Like the other punches, start in your boxer stance, hands next to your nose. Your back heel should be lifted slightly off the floor, and the weight should be mostly in your front foot with your knees bent. Keep your fists closed with your fingertips facing your chin.
- Pivot on the ball of your back foot, turning your knee and hip forward as your right-hand swipes up toward the sky from your hip. Be sure to keep your elbow bent and fingertips facing you as you imagine ending the punch right under the other fighter’s chin.
- Keep your left hand in a tight fist, tucked, and at the ready.
- Return your right hand and hip to the starting position.
Why Is Footwork Important In Boxing?
Like your stance, boxing footwork helps fighters maintain balance. However, it is also crucial to deliver effective punch combinations, improve accuracy with every hit, and set boxers up for offensive moves.
Excellent footwork is often credited to the success of champion boxers. The ability to move around one’s opponent swiftly while staying balanced is essential in real-life fight scenarios. Learning boxing footwork fundamentals is key in helping beginners quickly amp up their game to the next level.
The Basics of Boxing Footwork
Get the Right Shoes
A good pair of boxing shoes will lay the foundation for some fancy footwork. You want to choose the lightest pair possible not to feel weighed down or impeded by your shoes. Your shoes should provide plenty of traction but leave you free to move freely across the canvas.
Perfect Your Stance
You’ve got your shoes. Now it’s time to perfect your stance. This is the foundation upon which all boxing footwork is built and, if you don’t have it down pat, you won’t go far with your footwork drills. First, make sure your stance is strong and stable, with your feet slightly more than shoulder-width apart. At this width, your stance is narrow enough to preserve energy and extend your range of motion while still being wide enough to provide balance and stability.
Stay on the Balls of Your Feet
Float like a butterfly… Moving from the balls of your feet helps you stay fast and responsive as you move through the match. Equally, distribute your body weight between both feet and get into a rhythm moving in a forward and back motion. This will allow you to shift in any direction in a split second easily.
Start from the Ground Up
It is tempting to jump straight into shadow boxing or hitting the bag. But it does help if you focus on training your feet first. Again, your feet and legs serve as the foundation of everything you do in this sport. Strength and agility there will translate to power and efficiency everywhere else.
Here Are 4 Boxing Footwork Drills
FOOTWORK DRILL 1 – SLIP > PIVOT
Starting in an orthodox boxing stance, slip your head to the left to dodge a right hand. As you bring your head back to the centre, pivot clockwise around your front foot, bring your back foot around behind you.
This should change your stance approximately 90 degrees. Be sure to keep your right hand high while you slip to the left and finish with your hands up, protecting your jaw at the end of the movement.
FOOTWORK DRILL 2 – STEP + SLIP > PIVOT
Starting again in an orthodox boxing stance, slip your head left to dodge the imaginary right punch.
This time as you slip, step your lead foot to the left simultaneously. This little step will put you further away from an opponent and give you more room to throw punches. Finish with the same pivot used in footwork drill 1, turning 90 degrees clockwise.
FOOTWORK DRILL 3 – STEP + SLIP > HOOK + PIVOT
This drill is the same as footwork drill 2, only this time, and you will throw a left hook as you pivot clockwise. Again, you may want to practice throwing hooks and straight left punches, as you will have to adapt the punch depending on what your opponent does, but don’t concern yourself with this too much.
Again, we are practising the footwork and balance; the punches are easily adapted if the feet are correct.
FOOTWORK DRILL 4 STEP + SLIP > HOOK + PIVOT > CROSS
In the final drill, you will add to the sequence used in footwork drill 3, throwing a straight right punch on the end. The pivot performed during the hook will set up the shoulders for w straight right hand and allow you to create a plyometric effect on your right foot.
This plyometric effect can help you generate power through the right cross by pushing off the ground transferring your weight back through the punch. If you struggle to stay balanced, step the right foot up underneath your body as you land the punch to help stop you from falling forward.
What Is The Strongest Punch Technique?
What is the strongest punch technique? The strongest punch you can throw is an uppercut, but it works best when a jab and cross set it up. So learn the jab and cross first before progressing to an uppercut — get your body used to the motions you’ll be using for more advanced moves.
What Is The Most Painful Punch In Boxing?
A liver shot or liver punch is a punch, kick, or knee strike to the right side of the ribcage that damages the liver. Blunt force to the liver can be excruciatingly painful, and an especially effective shot will incapacitate a person instantly.
What Punches Are Illegal In Boxing?
You cannot hit your head, shoulder, forearm, or elbow. You cannot hit with an open glove, the inside of the glove, the wrist, the backhand, or the side of the hand. You cannot punch your opponent’s back, or the back of his head or neck (rabbit punch), or on the kidneys (kidney punch).
What Is The Strongest Boxing Style?
Pressure fighting is a highly effective style that is perhaps the most common in boxing. Well-known boxers in the sport's history who were pressure fighters include Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao, Roberto Duran, and Julio Cesar Chavez.
What Is Body Type Best For Boxing?
No single body type indicates a competitor will be successful in boxing. The sport's history shows great success for tall boxers with long arms, shorter boxers with more powerful physiques and athletic boxers who can generate speed and power.
- Find a gym. Boxing gyms aren't typically found in the yellow pages, but there are resources on the internet that can lead you in the right direction. ...
- Be sure the gym is within striking distance. ...
- Be open-minded. ...
- Choose your coach carefully. ...
- Do judge the gym by its cover.
So, can boxing be self-taught? Boxing can be self-taught but it's not the quickest and most effective way to become better at the sport because you aren't able to tap into the knowledge of a boxing coach who would be able to help you one to one.
Best Age to Start
Specialists in sports medicine believe that boxing classes are better to start from 9-10 years. Starting too early could result in putting the student off, as boxing is hard work and not always as fun as team sports, such as football or rugby.