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Keeping You on Your Feet: Best Balance Exercises For Boxing

Whether you are boxing for exercise or are looking to commit hundreds of hard-working hours trying to make a career in boxing, one of the most important assets to work on is balance. Although most sports require balance, being able to stand on your own two feet and take a few hits is what boxing is all about.
 
With all the skills to learn and techniques you have to master, it’s easy to get a little starstruck and skip over the basics in a rush. However, laying the foundation is one of the most important aspects to take on before you get into the most advanced moves. The first thing you have to learn is how to control your balance.
 
Not only is balance important for defense, it is also important in the attack and counter while you’re fighting. Compromising your position can be a deadly mistake that can be the difference between being knocked out and landing the KO punch with all your power behind it. Learning footwork and how to perfect your stance while you’re training can help you when you’re sparring and eventually when you’re winning your matches.
 
Although we don’t want to necessarily say it’s back to the basics for you, it really is. Finding and maintaining your balance can be the difference and kick that you need to be able to push yourself to more advanced levels when you’re fighting. Even though it seems really routine to train your balance, finding your center of gravity and working on that core can really make a difference.
 
I’ve put together this guide to help give you the best balance exercises for boxing to develop a workout program that can take your boxing to the next level.
 

Defining Your Center of Gravity

 
center-of-gravity
 
Your center of gravity is what you need to find and hold on to when you are finding your balance in the ring. This “magical” center will help keep you grounded and secure the foundation of your balance. Generally, it is in your hips.
 
Your center of gravity shifts and moves depending on how you move. For example, if you can imagine, bending your knees will bring your center of gravity also lower. The center of gravity is also about angles and the geometry of your body structure and how you are placed. The lower your body is, or the lower your center of gravity is, then the harder it will be for your opponent to knock you to the ground.
 
Your boxing balance is one of the most important aspects to develop. However, if you are looking to have a successful fighting career, you need to find your center of gravity and keep it as close to the ground as possible. This is pretty difficult when you’re moving about the ring, getting hit at, and throwing your own punches.
 
Not only do you have to find your center of gravity, you also have to move around the ring along with it opposed to following it or leading with it. This means synchronizing your body with your center of gravity. When you are first starting off, you will be tempted to just throw punches with the skill and power you’re learning but you still have to remind yourself of the basics and always, always, focus on your center of gravity.
 
When you’re in the ring, you want to always keep your upper body over your center of gravity. If you don’t, then you can be easily thrown off balance. I can understand where you see that this can be difficult. How can you throw punches and land them yet still maintain that center of gravity? By keeping your upper body directly above it and moving your core with you wherever you go can help you keep it where it needs to be. If you are ever in doubt, read on ahead for a few tips on how to maintain that balance, even when you’re moving around the ring — because moving around is important! So don’t let trying to maintain your center of gravity compromise your need to move about.
 
Finding your balance is extremely important to boxing. In regard to any type of athletics, it is important to not only have the balance to stay on your feet and not fall to the ground — no matter what action you’re doing but to also have harmony and be connected, from your head to your toes. Balance is also about having harmony throughout your entire body. When you have harmony and balance, you can increase your power through your punch, as well. However, to always have harmony, your balance also counts on your footwork. Boxing footing is just as important as your center of gravity and you can work on it with multiple exercises.
 
Even though there are so many exercises you can do out there, for example, you can easily search “footwork drills boxing” for the best exercise or you can simply keep reading for drills and so many more exercises to help you with your balance. Let me help you be the best boxer you can be. However, before you and I move on, I need to let you know why we’re working on your balance in the first place.
 

How Balance Can Benefit Your Boxing

 
Benefits of Boxing
 
Practicing all the boxing drills in the world won’t help you, even if you are doing boxing footwork drills solo training — if you don’t have the balance behind it. Having a better balance can benefit your boxing game, so it is one thing to really, never overlook. Although you might think balancing exercises are too beginner or beneath you, you should think again. I’m here to tell you: they really are the base, bread, and butter of any boxer. Now that’s a lot of B’s! (But no B.S.)
 
Here are some benefits that balance has for your boxing:
 

1

Increases your defensive abilities when you are under attack and taking hits.

2

Increases your power behind each punch. While you’re moving, your center of gravity has to learn how to move along with you so it can be implemented to add power to your punch.

3

Increases your opportunities to be able to throw a counter punch because since your balance is good, you are not getting knocked off balance.

4

Increases your footwork since you are always on your feet and can move freely around the ring.

5

Overall, it increases your confidence since you are always in a ready position. This means that there are less instances where you seem to be tangled up or out of position.

6

Increases your overall ability so that you are ready for the defense and for the offense.

 

Moving Around the Ring While Maintaining Balance

 
Benefits of Boxing
 
One of the foundations to have while you’re training and boxing is learning how to move around the ring. Although you might think this is a no-brainer, you really have to re-learn everything: from the way you hold yourself to the way you move. Not having the right stance or moving around improperly can cause you to get off balance very easily.
 
Having a low center of gravity and maintaining balance will put you in a great position to be able to get hit and stay up and also have a quick reaction—counter punching or defending yourself with ease. No matter where you’re moving around in the ring or while training, your core should always be ready, engaged, and low to the ground. Never throw it off or you’ll be thrown to the ground.
 
One thing to practice when you’re maintaining your balance while moving around the ring are boxing agility drills.
 

Here are a few tips to help you get the perfect boxing stance:

 
Boxing Agility Drills
 

Drop Step

When you are moving around and taking a step, you should have your knees bent. This will make your center of gravity lower, which is essential, especially when moving to a new position. Do NOT “uproot” yourself. This means walking normal or lifting your hips and center of gravity as your moving. This makes it the perfect opportunity for your opponent to make his or her move.

Keep Upper Body Over Center of Gravity

Your upper body, arms and all, should be over your core at all times. For this tip, you really have to find your sweet spot. Being too far ahead or behind can be detrimental. It all should be connected. Unless of course, you are dodging or evading a few punches. But then always go back and find the center.

Keep Your Knees Bent

Standing upright will make it really easy for your opponent to be able to push you over. When you’re moving about, think about angles. If you are in a line, it’s easy to fall down. Always keep your knees bent so that you can take an impact easier. Bending your knees will bring your center of gravity closer to the floor, which keeps you literally more grounded.

 
Fighting is not simply just standing in the ring and taking punches, so I’m not just going to teach you how to move around so you don’t fall. You also have to learn how to punch without getting your center of gravity off of its track, as well.
 

Punching Without Compromising Your Balance

 
Boxing Agility Drills
 
Since you might be so focused on the power behind the punch, you might compromise your center of gravity and lose your balance. This might not be a problem if you never throw any punches. However, you NEED to throw punches to win!
 
The comforting thing to know is that you’re not alone. there are so many boxers out there, especially those who are just beginning that don’t know how to make that hit without losing their balance.
 
Not only should advanced boxing footwork drills be an important addition to staying on your feet, there should also be form in your technique to hold you accountable for your punch.
 
To help you out, especially if you’re just getting started or if it seems to be a reoccurring problem for you, here are some basic balancing punching tips to keep your balance yet still deliver a KO-worthy punch:
 

Keep Your Feet Glued to the Ground

Just like in life, keeping your feet firmly on the ground can help you maintain your balance, even when you’re getting hit at. This works the same as when you’re throwing a punch. It increases not only your stability and balance but also your punching power. Although your body’s momentum might want to sway you off one foot, you will throw yourself off balance and distribute your power unevenly.

Keep Your Knees Bent

I cannot stress this enough! Whether you are on defense or on offense, you should never be caught with your legs straight. When your knees are bent, it means that your center of gravity is moving with you. This will help you conserve energy and increase your punching power, as well as maintaining your balance so you can prepare for the counter much quicker.

Keep Your Punches Light

Power isn’t everything. When it comes to punching, conserve your energy. Throwing a fistful, powerful punch every time will not only throw you off balance, it will drain you of energy, increase your recovery time and compromise your defense.

Keep Everything in Motion

Your center of gravity should be on for the ride no matter how you’re moving around. Don’t let just your upper body go for the punch, bring your whole body with you. This will increase power and help you maintain balance.

 
As I mentioned before, you’re not alone. There are a few common mistakes that most boxers make when throwing their punch, which might throw them off balance.
 
If you’re a visual learner, here is a great video from ExpertBoxing.com that can help you see what I’m talking about here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tx9pf3mljdY
 

Mistakes That Can Mess Up Your Mojo

 
Mistakes
 

1

Putting too much power behind a punch

2

Lifting one or both feet too much when throwing a punch

3

Straightening your legs and not keeping them bent

4

Leaning too far forward and not keeping your center of gravity in check.

5

Having your stance too far wide

6

Squatting instead sinking which will throw your bum out and knock off your center

 
Technique isn’t everything. Sometimes you might know the proper form or technique but your execution really can take a hit. Therefore, as the old saying goes, “Practices makes perfect”. To help your balance, I have a list of balance exercises that can help you on your way to being undefeated in the ring.
 

Best Boxing Balance Exercises

 
boxing balance exercise
As I mentioned before, not just for boxers but all athletes, having a list of the best balance exercises for athletes aren’t worth anything if it just sits there. Practice makes perfect.
 
Also, regardless of your age and skill level, you can always work on your balance. Even if you’re not looking to box professionally, having a list of boxing exercises for beginners or the best balance exercises for elderly can be helpful, simply, in general. Having good balance can help prevent a lot of everyday injuries or can help with any sport.
 
Without further ado, here is a list of the best exercises to improve balance or boxing exercises for weight loss:
 

Shadow Boxing

Knowing how to throw a punch without putting yourself off balance is just as important of how to pack power behind it. Shadow boxing opposed to using a heavy bag will prepare you for your punching momentum in congruence with the rest of your body.

Here is a video to help you learn how to shadow box for beginners or a few details for those who think they know it all: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yPm3x62dhr8

Footwork Drills

Moving your feet about as if you were in the ring and learning how to keep your center of gravity in the right place is just as important as learning punching techniques.

Here is a video with a few footwork drills to help you improve your footwork game, even if you are already a professional: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0EeT7OvkDn8

Using a Swiss Ball

Bring all those core and balance exercises to a new level by incorporating a Swiss Ball or Bosu Ball into the routine. If you find that most exercises are too easy for you, instead of adding additional time, add a ball.

Here are a few challenging core exercises using a Swiss Ball: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l7KZBP03OQI

If you want to challenge yourself on a Bosu Ball, here are some exercises that you can do to see where you are at with your core: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pTH8QHmpoNA

Work on Your Core

This means side plank, regular plank, and crunches.

All of these can be done with a Swiss Ball and a Bosu Ball to increase difficulty and increase your strength.

All of these exercise target your core muscles, and like the side plank, work on muscles like the quadratus lumborum and your obliques, which really will help you strengthen your center of gravity.

Whether done on a flat surface, an inclined surface or a ball, this exercise works wonders for your core, which is essential in boxing.

Get on a Balance Beam

You heard me correctly. Using the same apparatus that gymnasts use can improve your balance. It makes sense. Simply walking on the balance beam can improve your balance and coordination. Which is exactly what you need for your body to move fluidly and connected.

You don’t have to find a balance beam. Something like it that is on the ground works just fine — and you don’t have to worry about hurting yourself when you fall!

Here are a couple exercises you can do on the “balance beam”:

Beam Lunges

Performing lunges backwards and forwards will help you with your balance. Maintaining your balance while performing lunges on steady ground already works on your balance, so imagine doing so on a beam! It works your core immensely.

Beam Squats

When you perform these, make sure your back is kept straight and you go down until just a 90-degree angle. This will help you work on keeping your center of gravity underneath you and finding where it goes when you move. This is very important when you’re in the ring.

Start Climbing Up Ropes

This is an effective exercise to not only work on your core and overall, your whole body but also to work on body awareness. This exercise gets your body working as one unit and helps give other benefits that help in boxing as well: like a good grip and forearm strength.

Get Unilateral

These exercises help you focus solely on one part of the body. You can either use these exercises to help train your weaker side or you can simply work both sides — but one at a time.

Unilateral exercises correct balance and identify a strength difference from one side to another. Having one side that is stronger than the other is completely normal. However, in boxing, it is ineffective in the ring. To get these sides both up to par, you can practice unilateral exercises which gets rid of the possibility that your stronger side will compensate for the other.

These exercises include a unilateral bench press, shoulder press, and squat, just to name a few. It works fully on improving spinal asymmetry, muscle imbalances between the two sides, and balance, in general.

Resistance Bands

Especially if you’re not into lifting heavy, resistance bands can be the perfect option for you. There are various bands that dictate certain weightsor resistance levels. The further a band is stretch, the more it resists and the harder the exercise becomes.

These resistance bands, opposed to weights fire up different stabilization muscles instead of simply focusing on the strength and force it takes to lift a certain weight. It triggers your core and forces your body to work as one movement.

Air Squat and Hold

Instead of racking on the weights, use your body weight to increase your core strength and your endurance. These air squats strengthen your leg muscles and also work on your core stability, which is important when it comes to maintaining your center of gravity.

To perform this exercise, squat with your arms extended in front of you or clasp your hands in front of you and hold the position. Of course, depending on your exercise level, you can hold for 10, 15, 30 seconds or one minute, (or more!). Challenge yourself. The lower you hold your squat, the harder it gets.

Although you might have seen this on a wall (wall sits), getting off the wall and performing an air squat really works on your balance and core.

If this is too easy for you, you can add free weights to each hand or even balance things on your knees and try to let them not fall.

 
There are countless exercises out there to help improve your balance. Also, with each exercise, although you may think that you are too advanced, there are ways to improve your level of difficulty and make the exercise harder. That means, when you think you’ve mastered something, think again. No matter what level you are at, there are always ways to challenge yourself and make the exercise harder on your body.
 
When it comes to being the best boxer or the best boxer you can be, having boxing exercises for beginners in your back pocket can be helpful. However, you always should pair it with core or balance exercises. Having this as a foundation can help set you up for getting better, easier. Having good balance is essential, no matter what your sport may be — or if you even have a sport.
 
Improving your balance is one of the key principles of becoming a good boxer, so make sure you focus on finding your center.
 
I hope that this guide has helped you pick up a few tricks and drills to work with, whether you’re on your own or with a trainer. Always remember to consult your doctor to see if you are healthy enough to engage in boxing — it is a grueling sport with excessive training. Even if you are just doing it leisurely, it can be dangerous..but fun!

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