Many boxers focus their training on boosting the power and speed of their punches, neglecting footwork in favor of using the punching bag or weights. However, agile footwork helps boxers move effectively in the ring, land clean punches and dodge incoming punches. Agility drills for boxers build this skill using jump ropes and agility ladders.
Fast Feet Drills
This drill boosts agility and increases foot control for boxers. Lay the agility ladder down, then jump with one foot into the first square. Your other foot should quickly follow. Advance to the second square with your first foot, following it quickly with the second foot. Repeat this movement through the entire ladder, forward and backward.
Running in Place
Using a jump rope makes running in place more challenging because a misstep could cause tripping and falling. Boxers use running in place to build agility and become more aware of their foot movements.
Lateral Up and Back
Boxers use the lateral up and back agility ladder drill to mimic the footwork done for feints and jab steps. The drill improves agility in all directions. Lay the agility ladder down and stand to one side of it. The majority of the ladder should be on your left. Pointing the toes toward the ladder, jump into the first square with your left foot. Follow with the right foot, then jump out of the ladder with your left foot followed quickly by the right foot. From the starting position, jump into the second square with the left foot followed by the right. Continue this pattern up and down the ladder until each square has been worked, then repeat using the other foot first.
This jump rope exercise improves agility and balance on the feet. During the drill, the rope makes two complete turns per single jump. The feet should be kept together throughout the drill. Proficiency at running in place is recommended before doing this drill, and the double under can be added slowly to the running in place drill. For example, boxers can run in place for 20 rope rotations, then add one or two double unders before resuming running in place again.
This popular children's game can be mimicked on an agility ladder to improve agility. Stand behind the ladder with the feet together. Separate the feet and jump so your feet land on the sides of the ladder and the torso is over the ladder's center. Jump again, bringing the feet together as you land in the first square. Repeat this sequence of jumping outside and inside each square until you reach the ladder's end.
Poppy Carpenter graduated from the University of Missouri School of Journalism. In addition to teaching journalism to junior high students, she also covers health and fitness for "PUSH Monthly" and Angie's List.