When people join my Fitness Boxing classes, many wonder if boxing is a good leg workout. So I show them what a great leg workout boxing is – when you do it right. Here are 5 quick tips you can include during your home or gym boxing workouts to get a better leg workout. Notice these are all authentic boxing moves – not star jumps, squats or “filler.”
1 – Float like a butterfly
The great man said it, but what does it mean? For fitness boxing it means getting up on your toes and moving in and away. Here’s how. Get into your boxer’s stance, side on, guard up, left foot forward (for right handers). Then lift the heels and go in and away, in and away – on the balls of the feet. Do this between combinations, so you are always moving, or floating. This will give you a much better leg workout.
2 – Feel the ground through your feet
One of my early coaches used to tell me the power comes “from the center of the earth.” He would tell me to connect with the ground, by really feeling the ground through the balls of my feet. Too many people punch on their tippy toes – but it is that connection to the ground that is the first step to engaging your legs in every punch.
3 – Drop, then drive
Before throwing a punch bend your legs. Simply squat down a little, keeping your back straight, like you are about to pick up a box of groceries. This forces you to engage your thighs and will create a much better punch with more leg muscles involved.
4 – Put out the cigarette
This tip is not about smoking – it’s about punching with your legs. A good punch has leg drive behind it. You want to get your whole body in shape right? Then use it! Here’s how. When you throw a left jab PUSH off the ball of the back the foot. When you throw a right cross TWIST the right foot until it points at the target (punch mitt or punching bag) – like you are putting out a cigarette. For the hook, twist the ball of the foot so it points in the direction of the target. If it’s a left jab, twist your left foot to the right.
5. Try the North, South, West, East, footwork drill
This is a great warm up drill. Get into your boxers stance. Start floating like a butterfly (tip #1). Go Forward (North), Back (South), Left (West), Right (East) and repeat for one minute. This is a tricky drill to try to explain in a written article, however, I hope you get the idea. It’s just like a dance – so try it to music if it helps. Make it a double step in each direction, as though it’s a double bounce on the balls of the feet. If you’d like a demo, email me and I’ll send you a video clip.
May you get fighting fit.
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