First things first, you have to master your stance and on-guard positions in the ring before you can even try boxing. The basics of these are the most important tools you will apply throughout your boxing life. In boxing, you have to be in shape, be able to balance perfectly and have top-notch mobility too.
Learning just how important it is to have the proper stance will help you horn your skills in the ring. This includes developing the best punching and footwork techniques. Stances are divided into two types that are southpaw and orthodox. This all boils down to which side of your hands and feet are dominant.
A southpaw boxer has his/her left side as dominant while an orthodox boxer has his/her right-side as dominant. Getting to master the perfect boxing stance is largely determined by which stance best shines a spotlight on your strengths while dimming it on your weaknesses. The best stance for you is determined by the way your boxing style, how capable you are, and the skills you have mastered.
There are different stances and what suits one boxer may not suit another. Still when starting in boxing, there is the basic beginners’ stance that your trainer will introduce you to. This stance is the best because you learn how to attack and defend yourself while moving fast on the ring. Start by mastering this basic stance and as you gain more experience, learn the other types too.
The Benefits of a Proper Boxing Stance
The best boxing stance for you is the one that makes you feel stable while on the ring facing your opponent. When you are stable, you are focused more on your opponent rather than being uncomfortable. Stability helps you choose the right strategy for the bout.
You have to be able to perform a proper stance on the ring. This stance should leave you flexible enough to move at a moment’s notice to either attack your opponent or defend yourself. A complex stance that limits your movements will only see you get punched or worse still knocked-out.
With the perfect stance, you can perform a range of different punches from that position. The stance you make should not limit the range of the technique you have chosen to apply to the ring.
Select the best stance that allows you to be flexible while facing your opponent. Be it a full-on competition or a sparring match, you have to be flexible. Being flexible helps you perform different combinations in your technique with ease.
Master the right stance to defend yourself properly on the ring. The wrong stance leaves you vulnerable to attacks from your opponent. You must be able to hold your own and defend yourself on the stance that you have selected. As a beginner, train by heart the beginner stance before you move on to other types available.
The stance you choose determines how powerful your punches are. If you are comfortable in it, you will easily reign down powerful punches on your opponent. If your stance is not right, they’ll easily reign down powerful punches on you.
Factors to Consider While Doing a Proper Stance
1. Centralize the Weight of your Body
To make the proper stance, you must learn to centralize your body weight and avoid leaning forward. Let your weight either remain central or on the back of your legs. This helps you when you have to keep your hands up to either attack your opponent or defend yourself.
2. Align your Shoulders
A general rule of boxing is your shoulders should both align to face the direction of your opponent. This not only helps you throw more effective punches for your attack strategy but also reduces the chances of your opponent hitting you with their attack strategy.
3. Keep your Hands Up
In a proper stance, your hands should be at cheek level all the time you are not throwing a punch or defending yourself. Draw a fist with your palms but make it a relaxed fist. Refrain from clenching your palms.
4. Rest on the Balls of your Feet
You risk limiting your mobility severely when you let your feet go flat. You must remain on the balls of your feet with slightly bent and relaxed knees. You must be in a position to move at a moment’s notice.
The Proper Beginner’s Stance
As a beginner, it is important you first learn the basic beginner stance by heart before advancing to other types.
To master this stance, first and foremost learn how to place your feet. This is done by learning the proper toe-heel line. Your feet should be placed at a distance apart similar to that of your shoulders. This is done by placing them on the alignment line on the ring. This distance in between will help you be stable and mobile.
This toe-heel alignment, when done properly, helps you position your body correctly for attack and defense at a moment’s notice. When your toe-heel alignment is too forward, it leaves the rest of your body completely exposed for an easy attack from your opponent. Getting it right is a matter of ‘life and death’ on the ring. When your stance is too forward, it limits your ability to move backward which tampers with your balance.
Sometimes you may make a stance that appears too wide. This will only land you in trouble when it comes to your ability to move and general balance too. You should not go with the notion that a wide stance gives you a better balance. That simply is not true. A wide balance makes it easier for your opponent to push you off balance easily.
Some boxers have a stance that is too straight. This stance leaves you vulnerable to being pushed off balance by your opponent every time they come at you with a left-hook. It also makes it hard to do your first combination of 1-2 because you are too far.
Different Types of Stances in Boxing
a) Orthodox Stance
This stance is taken up by a boxer who is dominant on the right side of their body or is right-handed. The majority of people in the world are right-handed and the same is true for boxers.
b) Upright Stance
This works well for right-handed boxers who can take up an orthodox stance. After taking the orthodox stance, point your toes inward slightly and raise your back heel about 2-3 inches from the ground. Your right fist should be next to your chin while your left fist is 5-6 inches in front of your left eye. Keep your chin lowered too.
c) Crouching Stance
With this stance, you do a full or a semi-couch instead of remaining upright. You have to completely bend your knees, lean forward a little, and reduce the distance between your feet. This helps you remain properly balanced.
d) Southpaw Stance
This stance works well with boxers who are dominant on the left side of their bodies (left-handed). You simply mirror the orthodox stance but now the left-side leads.
How to do a More Effective Stance
By now you know of the importance of a proper boxing stance. It will determine whether you succeed or fail on the ring. There are certain tips that you can keep in mind as you learn the proper boxing stance that will benefit you immensely.
- Remember to always properly place your arms. Master where to position your arms throughout according to the stance you have mastered. The positioning of your raised arms will give you the best chance to attack and properly defend yourself from an attack too.
- Learn the correct positioning of your feet for every stance you choose. Proper footwork determines your mobility and flexibility on the ring. You have to move at a moment’s notice with minimal difficulty.
- Properly position your head while on the stance you have selected. Baldly positioning your head leaves you vulnerable to attacks from your opponent that can lead to knock-out and injuries. Always keep your chin down and hands up. Never let your arms fall while facing an opponent.
- Tense your abdominal area during your stance. Can you imagine getting punched repeatedly on a relaxed stomach? That will simply knock the wind from you. Tense your abdominal area and hold it until the round is complete.
There is no proper stance that fits all. You must master the right stance that suits your strengths and talents. As a beginner, learn and use the basic stance first. As you gain more experience, try out different stances and see which best fits your technique. The stance you choose must help you emit the most power and force on the ring.
The proper stance will not guarantee you a win on the ring, but it will give you a fighting chance. You are more confident and balanced with the correct stance leaving little room to be easily distracted. Your stance will become something you can do in your sleep as you become a more experienced boxer.
Learn to practice your stance as often as you can. Ask your trainer to observe you often and help you refine it. This will add to the confidence you need to feel in the ring.