The Perfect Boxing Stance – Boxing Basics
February 5, 2021
February 5, 2021
Perfecting the Boxing Stance
When boxing, establishing the perfect stance is one of the most crucial aspects to becoming fluent in the sport. In this article, I’m going to cover everything that you need to know in order to be comfortable in your stance, and dominate one of the most fun workouts you’ll ever have.
Boxing Stance Fundamentals
Although there are numerous stances and variations, the two most common stances in boxing are orthodox and southpaw. I recommend starting with one of these if you’re a beginner, but once a little more advanced, you can vary your stance for what’s most optimal for you. You can’t beat the basics of a perfect boxing stance!
Orthodox is typically for someone who is right-hand dominant. To set up in this stance, your left foot will be leading, with your right foot behind you.
Southpaw is usually utilized by left-handed individuals. This stance is a mirror image of Orthodox, except we’re just flipping it around. Here, you’ll lead with your right foot, and your left foot will be the trailing foot.
Most people feel comfortable with their given stance based on hand dominance, but use whichever feels most comfortable to you!
Feet should be about shoulder width apart, and in a triangle stance; angled open towards the direction they’re facing (see diagrams below). Make sure your bodyweight is dispersed equally over both feet (don’t lean forward, or back).
Good foot placement allows for both solid balance and mobility. You’ll have great power and reach with both hands without leaving yourself too easily exposed for your opponent.
- A stance that is too forward will provide less power and mobility, all while leaving you head and body more exposed
- Too square of a stance will leave the head and body exposed in the center, have less reach on your jab, give you poor mobility, and make it easier to fall backwards
- A stance that is too straight will make it easy for you to be pushed off balance, and limit your reach with your cross
- Too wide of a stance will make it easier for you to be pushed off balance, give you poor mobility, and limit your reach with your cross.
Lower Body Position
There should be a slight bend in your knees with your weight equally dispersed between both feet. The heel of your rear foot should be lifted slightly, and especially when moving around, you should be on the ball of your foot (area just below the toes, but towards the forward portion of foot).
This stance is optimal by allowing for quicker movement on both offense and defense. As long as you’re not moving, the lead foot can be planted flat on the ground.
- Knees too bent
- Not enough bend in knees
- Feet too wide, square, straight or forwards (shown above).
Upper Body Position
Your torso should remain upright, and your head should not be over or past your front knee. Relax your shoulders, pull them down and back, and keep your elbows tucked in at your sides. Your elbows are actually your protection for your ribs, so make sure they stay in tight.
Keep your chin tucked down towards your chest and not sticking out. The chin is something you do not want to leave open and accessible to your opponent.
Position your hands up in front of your chin, with your lead hand (jab hand) 6-8 inches out in front. This is so it doesn’t block your vision, allows for quick jabs, as well as blocks to your opponent’s rear hand.
The rear hand (cross hand) should be directly on the chin. This hand will be responsible for parrying jabs, and blocking hooks from the opponent.
- Leaning too far forward/backward (throws off balance)
- Leaving your lead hand too low (leaves your head vulnerable, unless used as a decoy)
- Dropping your rear guard hand (leaves head very vulnerable)
Benefits of This Stance
This is the perfect boxing stance that allows you to move quickly to attack, as well as to get into a defensive position if necessary. You’ll have great mobility, and be able to move well around your opponent without sacrificing from the defensive side.
It also gives you the ability to fire out punches quickly, but also with great power. Being in this ideal stance also allows for proper balance. You don’t want to get knocked backwards or fall forward if you miss a punch!
The boxing stance is essential to becoming a great boxer, and is the first thing you should get down if you’d like to improve your craft. All of the greatest boxers have spent countless hours mastering their positioning before working on punching harder, defending better, etc. It’s the foundation to dominating your opponent. And here at Hybrid, to dominating the heavy bags while being one of the most fun, high energy workout classes around.
Check out our article on how to properly wrap your wrists for boxing:
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Mike grew up as a multi-sport athlete and received his Bachelors in Kinesiology (Exercise Science) and also received his Personal Training Certification from the American Council of Sports Medicine.
Mike has worked with a wide range of ages and abilities and is an expert at working around injuries and helping those individuals reach their health goals.
In his time in college, he also worked with D1 Athletes (specifically the UMASS Amherst Men and Women’s Basketball teams) helping them get stronger, faster, and more athletic.