One of the very first boxing techniques that any budding fighter should focus on mastering is a standard boxing stance. It seems so basic of a skill to master, so simple, but it is something that many still can’t quite get right.
The way you stand in the ring is the foundation of everything. It will determine your power, the way you move, and how well you remain balanced throughout a fight. The wrong stance can take you out in seconds.
Of course, there is no one perfect way to stand in the ring. Many fighters have adopted variations once they have grown comfortable with a particular style. Still, before you can think about switching things up, there is a standard, strong stance that everyone should learn at the beginning of their training in order to build that sturdy foundation.
Before we dive into some of our tips to help you improve your stance, we need to touch on exactly what the basic stance is. Once you understand it, it is very straightforward.
To repeat, what we have here is a simple breakdown of the most basic, yet effective, stance that anyone can take on. If you master this one first, you should be able to adapt to new boxing techniques that incorporate different stances with little trouble.
As we touched on a bit before, a good stance can help with your mobility, strength, and your overall balance in the ring.
Let us address balance first. Through utilizing the standard stance, you are assisting your body with gaining incredible stability. Stability is of utmost importance as the more stable you are, the more you lower your risks of going down from a hit.
In terms of strength and power, making good use of this type of stance will help you generate some fast strikes. If you are not looking for those speedy hits, then this stance will also place you in a prime position to release a slower, yet more powerful blow.
Lastly, this standard stance remarkably improves your movement skills. You are able to get better footwork this way, your arms are raised at a good level, and your body is turned ever so slightly. Combining all of this together makes for excellent defensive and offensive maneuvers. It helps you move in quickly and get out just as fast if things get too hot.
Now that we have the basis of the standard stance out of the way and the benefits of using it, we can focus on what is truly important here: how you can improve it.
It may very well take you some time to get as comfortable as you like, especially for those of you who are just starting out. Even so, there are some ways that you can see immediate improvement in the way you stand in the ring. Take a look below at five of some of the best ways you can better your stance.
Falling into a “flat-footed” stance is never an ideal situation in boxing. It is a way of standing that increases the chances of you being knocked off-guard with little effort.
By lifting up off of your heels, you are given a greater amount of mobility and power. Doing this will also improve your pivoting skills. You are in a better position of pivoting away from incoming strikes or swiftly taking advantage of an opponent’s opening to land a good hit.
It is a given that you want to avoid letting your opponent rush in close enough to land that dreaded hard hit. The proper stance comes into play here, of course. You can create a smaller target area, making things much harder for your opponent and benefiting in other ways.
Do not stand before an opponent with your shoulders or chest too squared off. This will give you a “box-like” appearance and your opponent a much larger striking area. It will also negatively impact your entire stance as it turns you inward facing your opponent full-on. Your hips, legs, and feet can be thrown off if you don’t make a smaller target area.
With a turn to the side, that target area shrinks dramatically. By doing this boxing technique, you are also hindering your opponent’s reach capabilities.
This may seem like the oddest of tips at first glance, but we assure you that it will be worthwhile. Walking into the ring and walking in your everyday life are completely different things. It is all-too-easy to fall into the trap of squaring off your feet similar to how you may square off your shoulders or chest. This can also lead to you narrowing that gap between your feet. All of this leads to the perfect opportunity for your opponent to land some devastating blows.
Always remember to not walk as you normally would. Keep your feet turned at that angle and never cross them. Focus on moving your feet by dragging and stepping in and out quickly. This will keep up your momentum and ensure that your stance remains firm.
If you feel as though your stance is lacking anywhere, check to make sure that you are not leaning forward or backward too much. It is best to keep the weight between your front and back legs evenly distributed. Allowing yourself to move too far back or forward runs the chance of you dampening your power and movement. It also throws your entire stance out of whack.
There are times, however, when you may want to add a hint of more weight to the lead leg in the event of wanting to quickly deliver a powerful blow to your opponent. This should only be done with the utmost caution though as too much of it can make you susceptible to a prompt counterattack.
That age-old saying of “practice makes perfect” is insanely popular for a good reason. We know that it can be frustrating when you are not getting the hang of such a standard stance. However, you cannot accomplish anything if you fail to practice at it. Nothing happens overnight.
You may be asking: why shadowboxing and not sparring? Sparring is all well and good, but it is easy to become more attentive to landing blows or avoiding strikes in order to win. Placing attention on boxing techniques alone can sometimes get lost. With shadowboxing, there is no one coming after you. Your full focus can be placed only on yourself and your skills, which is all you need if you want to just devote time to your stance.
Try this out with a large enough mirror present. Using a mirror with shadowboxing gives you a clearer picture of what you are doing right and what areas still need working on. Do so with gloves as well so your body gets better used to how it will really feel in the ring.
Without having a solid boxing stance, you are setting yourself up for future, unnecessary difficulties. The power, mobility, and speed behind each attack start up in your core and your lower body. It is why having a good stance is so necessary. So, it is our hope that if you are still struggling with all of this, you can use some of the above tips to improve the way you stand.
Jason Maine is the founder of FullContactWay, a blog dedicated to provide best martial arts advice and information. Jason helps his readers with martial arts training by sharing personal tips and thorough research.
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