Home: Boxing : Boxing Techniques


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If you are going to take up boxing, you will need to be familiar with boxing techniques. The more you know about good techniques, the better able you will be to put them into play.

There are some great online training programs that can teach you boxing. Here is a breakdown of a few of the techniques you should know.

Generally, boxing techniques fall into three catagories: Stance, Punches and Self-defense. Perfecting these techinques will improve your workout and give you a winning edge in the ring.


The modern boxing stance is what is currently used in professional boxing and adhears to official boxing rules and regulations.

A right-handed boxer stands with legs a shoulder-eidth apart with the right foot a half-step behing the left foot. The left fist is vertically held at eye level about six inches from the front of the face with the right (rear) fist held beside the chin with the elbow tucked against the ribcage which is used to protect the body. To avoid punches to the jaw (a common cause for knockouts), the chin is tucked into the chest.

Many boxers tap their cheeks or foreheads with their fists which is just a remiinder to keep their hands up.

You may also notice boxers "pushing off" with their feet so they move more effectively.

There are forward and rearward motions in stances. In order to excecute a forward motion, lift the lead leg and push with the rear leg. For rearward motion, lift the rear leg and push with the lead leg. Lateral motion happens with the leg in the direction of the movement moves first while the opposite leg provides the force to move the body.


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The next technique you will want to work on is your punch. There are four basic punches in boxing: the Jab, Cross, Hook and Uppercut.

The technique descriptions are for a right-handed fighter who will lead with his left hand whereas a left-handed fighter, or Southpaw, will lead with his right hand.


The jab is a straight punch thrown quickly with the lead hand from the guard position. It is accompanied by a small, clockwise rotation of the hips and torso at the same time the fist rotates 90 degrees and becomes horizontal upon impact.

The lead should is brought up to guard the chin as the punch reaches full extension and the rear hand remains next to the face in order to guard the jaw.

Once contact is made with the target, the lead hand is retracted quickly to resume a guard position in front of the face.

The instructions may be confusing at first but worth learning as the jab is the most important punch for a boxer because it leaves the least space for a counterpunch and it also has the longest reach of any punch.

Furthermore, the jab does not require a large weight transfer. It is great not only for offense but for defense too. A good quick, stiff jab can break a more powerful punch like an uppercut or a hook.


The cross is a powerful straight punch that is thrown with the rear hand. Originating from the guard position, the rear hand is thrown from the chin and crosses the body, traveling toward the target in a straight line as the rear shoulder is moved forward.

The finishing position is just outside the chin. At the same time, the lead hand is retracted and placed across the face, protecting the inside of the chin as the torso and hips are rotated counter-clockwise as the cross is executed.

It is the body rotation and the sudden weight transfer that gives the cross it's power. A half-step forward can even be added.

The cross is also referred to as a "straight" or a "right" and just may be the most powerful punch a boxer can throw.


The hook is a semi-circular punch that is thrown with the lead hand to the side of the target's head. It is executed from the guard position. The elbow is drawn back with a horizontal fist with the elbow bent.

Tucked firmly against the jaw, the rear hand provides protection for the chin. The hips and torso rotate clockwise while the fist propels clockwise in an arc across the front of the body, finally connecting with the target.

The lead foot pivots clockwise at the same time, turning the left heel outwards. Once contact is made, the hook's circling path will abruptly end and the lead hand is pulled back quickly into the guard position.

The hook can also take aim at the lower body like the "Mexican hook to the liver". This is sometimes refered to as the "rip". The hook can be thrown with the rear hand as well.

Though these maneuvers can be tricky until mastered, they are well worth investing the time to learn and perfect.


The uppercut is a rising punch that is thrown verically with the rear hand. The torso shirts a little to the right while in the guard position and the rear hand drops below the opponent's chest.

The knees are bent slightly. The rear hand thrusts upwardly with a rising arc motion toward the target's chin or torso.

Simultaneously, the knees push uickly upwards and the hips and torso rotate counter-clockwise with the rear heel turned outward like a cross movement.

The biggest advantage of the uppercut is the ability to lift the opponent's body which sets them off-balance so you can attack.


These various punches can be combined for optimal effective-ness. Combinations are often called "combos". One of the best combinations is an uppercut followed by a left hook and of course there is the "one two" combo that combines the jab and cross that first blinds the opponent then knocks him out.


Defense techniques are use in order to block or evade punches. There five main basic maneuvers a boxer can use: the Slip, Bob and Weave, Parry/Block, the Cover-Up and the Clinch. There are three main defensive styles.


In the slip, the body slightly rotates so that a punch coming in passes by the head, harmlessly. Just as the punch arrives, the boxer sharply rotates the hips and shoulders which turns the chin sideways, avoiding the punch and letting it slip by.


In the bob and weave, the head moves laterally beneath a punch that is coming in. As it arrives, the boxer quickly bends his legs and, at the same time, shifts the body slightly either to the right or to the left.

Then the boxer weaves back to an upright position once the punch has been evaded and comes back on either the inside or the outside of the opponent's extended arm.

The fighter can "bob to the outside" which is outside the opponent's arm or "bob to the inside" which is inside the arm.


Parrying or blocking is done with the use of the boxer's hands that block or deflect incoming attacks. Just as the punch arrives, the boxer pops a sharp, lateral, open-handed blow to the wrist or forearm of the opponent which redirects te punch.


This is the last chance to avoid a strike that is coming in. The hands are held high to protect the head and chin and the forearms tucked tightly against the torso to combat a body shot.

The boxer then rotates his hips and attempts to let the blows roll off. The boxer presses both fists against the front of his face with his forearms facing out and parellel to avoid punches to his head.

Though this style protects the top of the body, it does little to protect the lower part.


The clinch is when the boxer is in close distance to his opponent and tries to tie up or hold the opponent's hands so he cannot throw hooks or uppercuts.

The boxer loops both hands around the outside of the opponent's shoulders and scoops back under the forearms to clasp the arms against his own body as tightly as possible.

The opponent's arms are thus pinned down and he cannot punch. Clinching must be done ver quickly as the referee will quickly call it otherwise.

As far as the three main defensive positions, they are: the Peek-a-boo, Cross-Armed and the Philly-Shell or Crab. Each have variations and may be executed higher or lower, adapting to the individual situation.


Peek-a-Boo is where the hands are placed in front of the face much like a game of peek-a-boo. It provides protection to the face and even allows for jabbing the opponent's face.


Cross-armed is when the forearms are place on top of each other horzontall and are in front of the face with the glove of one of the arms on top of the elbow of the other arm. It is used to avoid head damage.


In this style, the lead arm is placed across the upper part of the body and the back hand is on the right side of the face. The lead shoulder is tight against the left side of the face.

It is a popular style for fighters who want to counterpunch but is best used by those who are very experienced since it is hard to execute a counterpunch while using this style.

It is good to use when possible because it allows a fighter to slip in punches but the down side is that when the fighter is still and not rotating, he is open to be hit. To learn more aobut boxing techniques visit How To Box.

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