How to Find a Proper Boxing Stance
There are multiple ways to stand in boxing; however, you cannot box well without getting your stance just right.
It's a hard concept for many new contenders to process. How can your feet impact how you punch? How can something as seemingly simple as finding the perfect boxing stance be such and important, foundational aspect of boxing? Not only boxing, but other martial arts and fighting sports as well: muay thai, ju jitsu, and karate.
While the way you stand is dependent on your posture and strength, working to reach a proper boxing stance can immediately improve your stability, power, balance, and speed. If you want to learn more about how the perfect boxing stance can help you when facing an opponent-- even if that opponent is yourself-- read on for technique tips and tricks from the talented coaches at Gloveworx.
The Benefits of a Strong Boxing Stance
When you stand in a proper boxing stance, there are many subtle changes that immediately make it easier to find a stable fighting position. Your punches reach farther without forcing you to overextend your lead foot into a vulnerable position. You’re also less likely to lose your balance when you have to react quickly, pivot away from an attack or extend onto your toes during a one-two combo. A good stance allows you to throw a wider variety of punches without leaving you too exposed.
You’ll have more power, balance, and mobility the moment you find your stance. Of course, a stance that works for one contender may not work for another. Everything from your height to your mobility will have an impact on your stance. The thing to remember is that you're finding the stance that allows you to use your body efficiently. That being said, there are some key aspects of a proper boxing stance that remain the same regardless of your build.
While each stance will vary based on your personal structure, finding a good boxing stance—one that is suitable for you—still necessitates following some basic guidelines. Follow our coaching tips below:
- Stand up straight and place your feet shoulder width apart.
- Shift one of your feet slightly in front of the other, keeping them mostly parallel to each other. Your lead foot should be far enough ahead of your back foot that you can shift your weight when throwing a punch but close enough to maintain your balance. Your lead foot will be on the same side as the hand you use to throw a jab. In most cases, it will be your left foot.
- Plant your lead flat on the floor and raise the heel of your back foot slightly off the ground with your toes planted and ready to pivot. At Gloveworx, we call this movement "crushing grapes".
- Bring both hands up just above chin height. Make fists, keeping your thumb outside and beneath your knuckles. In your boxing stance, your knuckles should be facing the sky. Keep your hands level and your elbows tucked in to your sides. After you throw a punch, your hands should return to this guard position immediately for a strong defensive stance that keeps your head safe from an opponent's punches.
- Slightly bend your knees as if you are going to squat.
- Balance your weight 50/50 between the front and back leg. You should feel level but ready to move.
The foot you place in front will change depending on whether you are right or left handed—Orthodox (right handed) or Southpaw (left handed). Orthodox fighters should place their left foot in front, while Southpaw fighters should place their right foot in front. In other words, your lead foot is the opposite of your dominate hand.
Taking Your Time
Finding the proper boxing stance takes time and a little bit of trial and error in training, but if you follow these steps, you’re heading in the right direction. Remember, all power in boxing comes from the ground up: throwing powerful punches and recovering into a defensive position takes balance and movement, so your stance is a critical component to get right.
If you’re not sure about your stance, grab a coach next time you’re at Gloveworx and ask them to help!