The Boxing Details that Make You Look Like a Pro
By Bryanna Fissori
When watching people hit the heavy bag there are a couple of factors that determine who looks like they know what they are doing and who does not. Details are crucial! Here are a few boxing details you can use to clean up your technique and box like a pro.
No Chicken Wings!
It is important to keep your elbows from flaring out when you punch. It is common for beginners to start their punches by lifting the elbow. Doing this leaves you vulnerable to body punches and takes longer for your punch to reach its destination. There are several ways to correct this using some serious mental focus.
- Imagine you are throwing your elbow rather than your fist. This boxing detail should help propel your elbow forward rather than to the side.
- Focus on pinching your elbows to your sides until the last second of your punch.
- Pretend you are Superman and someone tries to attack you in your phone booth (There is a chance you may be too young to know what a phone booth is). The space is too small to flare your elbows. Focus on punching the bad guy straight ahead of you in your limited space.
You are high class and that includes in boxing. Sophisticated people drink tea with their pinky finger up. When you punch, keep your fist closed, but angle that pinky finger up like you are sipping a cup of tea. This will help straighten out your punches and allow you to connect with your first and second knuckles, which is ideal. This angling of the wrist also assists in splitting someone’s guard (punching between their gloves). This technique may also help correct the chicken winging because if you were to bring your elbow out before throwing with the pinky up, it is going to feel kinda weird.
Keep Your Hands Up
The number one sign of a newbie is that their hands do not return to their face after each punch. It is an EXTREMELY obvious indicator of inexperience and not difficult to correct. There should never be a time when one of your gloves is not touching your face. This would mean that you were punching with both hands at the same time. That’s a no-no. Please don’t do that. As far as boxing details go, this might be the most important.
Keeping your hands up is not only crucial for defense, but also for proper punching technique. Your punches should never start from your hip. (Yes, there are exceptions to this, but until you can move like Floyd Mayweather you better keep your hands on your face!). Your punch should initiate from the defensive position against your cheek, extend out to your opponent and then come right back. A punch is a great toy to play with, but we have to put our toys back where we got them.
In order to generate power, you have to be able to engage your hips and core while maintaining stability. Standing with both feet parallel to the heavy bag is going to leave you powerless and off balance. In a fight, it will get you knocked out faster than you can say “jab-cross!”
Your specific stance will strongly depend on whether you are right-handed or left-handed. If you are right handed you will generally stand with your left foot forward. This is an “orthodox” stance. Left-handed people generally stand with the right foot forward and this is called the “southpaw” stance. The front leg should be facing forward and the rear leg angled slightly (45 degrees or so) to the outside. Your weight should be on the balls of your feet for ease of movement.
An easy way to check your stance and balance is to have a training partner push you (not hard) from each side, as well as front and back. You should be able to easily adjust to not fall over or stumble.