When you start training for boxing, you don’t just go punching bags, you need to maintain a good stance. The boxing stance is the posture of the boxer before and after throwing punches. The stance depends on whether you’re left or right-handed.
To do the proper boxing stance (right handed):
- Start by standing straight with feet shoulder-width apart.
- Put your left foot a step in front of your right foot. Check that the right heel is slightly raised, left foot should be flat with toes pointing in front.
- Now slightly bend your knees. Make sure your weight is balanced evenly and comfortably.
- Place your left fist in front of your head, in the same distance as your left foot. Keep your elbows close to your body.
- Put your right fist also at head height, but closer to your chin to guard it.
- Lean your upper body forward slightly and your head at eye level.
This is your offensive and defensive position after throwing punches. You can move forward and backwards while maintaining this stance. If you want to move forward, do this with your left foot first followed by the right. When moving back, the right foot goes backward first followed by the left. If you want to move sideways, right foot goes first when moving to the right and vice versa.
While moving, never forget to keep your guard up with elbows close to your body. A lot of boxers forget this during a fight and get knocked out because of this lapse.
A left jab can be used for both defensive and offensive actions. You start by pushing your left as fast and as hard as you can forward. Your bodyweight will be supported by your left foot temporarily as you extend your arm forward in a straight line. After throwing the punch, quickly withdraw and return to original stance for defense. Keep your right fist in front of your chin while doing this.
Now, the straight right, a.k.a. the punching hand: this is the hand that gets someone knocked out because your right hand (assuming you’re a right-handed person) can throw a blow with considerable force. You do this by moving your right arm forward from your chin towards your opponent or target. Let the ball of your right foot push further to give your punch more power.
Once you’ve mastered the left jab and the straight right, you can move on to the hooks. From the original stance, turn your left shoulder quickly and move your elbow up to the height of your shoulder. Your left fist moves in a circular motion, palm facing down with elbow kept bent, as it approaches the target. Rotate your hip and body while your left foot presses down for added power. Keep the back of your left hand pointing up and in a straight line with your lower left arm.
Finally, the uppercut: to do the right uppercut, drop your right fist until your lower arm is at right angle with your upper arm. With the back of your right fist pointing away from you, punch your right fist upward towards your target. Uppercut power comes from your legs and torso.
When you possess an arsenal of punches that can be thrown effectively in combination with one another, you have yourself a good boxing offense. In training, it is difficult to shout out the full names of each punch when doing combinations, so punches have been assigned with numbers instead:
- Straight Right
- Left Hook
- Right Hook
- Left Uppercut
- Right Uppercut
When your coach says 1-2, that means he wants you to throw a left jab and a straight right. If he says 1-2-3, it means a left jab, straight right followed by a left hook. Here are the most used punch combinations in boxing:
1-1 and 1-1-1: double and the triple jabs, thrown to maximize power.
1-2: left jab then straight right. The jab forces your opponent to lift the chin, in preparation for your powerful straight right punch.
1-2-3: after the 1-2 combo, the left hook should rock your opponent to a finish.
2-3-2: straight right, left hook, then another straight right is one of the most popular power-punching combos.
3-2-3: left hook, straight right, then another left hook. This is another difficult yet power-packed punch combo.
If you train twice a week for a period of one month (assuming of course you stick to a healthy diet) you will start to notice a change in weight and muscle tone. Devote one session a week for cardio exercises for faster results.
Getting enough rest is just as important as training regularly, so don’t fall into the trap of overtraining. Your body needs time to recuperate and recharge for it to perform properly during training. Alternate days of training and rest and limit your visit to the gym to a maximum of three times a week.