Trainer Talk: On Your Toes or Off?

By Al Alvir

Being on your toes can be a waste of energy depending on the individual style.  Footwork should always change in a fight – going from bouncing to toes to flat feet throughout a fight.  Being on the toes, otherwise known as bouncing, is a boxer’s rhythm, and it has only two uses:  to change rhythm confusing the opponent, or to be quick to advance or retreat.

When someone says you should “always be on your toes,” it’s a misnomer that means to be on the move.  Otherwise, it’s misinformation if it was meant literally, even if it is meant “to be on the balls of your feet.”  Being on your toes throughout a fight can be just as bad as being on your heels for an entire fight; if it’s predictable, if the other guy gets used to it, or if it impedes your offense, it’s bad.  And a person always moves to the toes, even if the step is on the heel first.  There is nothing wrong with stepping on your heel.  You aren’t supposed to tiptoe to have good movement.  That’s just not economical.  It would be a waste of energy and could take away from your power.  Remember, when you throw a punch, your weight must shift and one heel has to go down.

Where’s your weight?

Fighting with the rear heel up is also known as fighting off the front foot.  This is generally a defensive posture.  This is how the Mayweathers teach their boxers.  You could throw rear punches quicker this way, but generally with not as much explosiveness and power.  A balanced stance with slightly more weight on the rear leg is conventional or some would say “old school.”  Old timers fought this way so they could explode forward with punches.  This posture is more fit for mma, too, due to shoots and kicks and the front leg not being so vulnerable.

Still, whether you’re pivoting or your rear heal is up or not, it’s all just “indication of where the weight is.”  You can pick your heel up and have most of your weight on the ball of that foot, but there would be no reason to do that.  And when you punch, pivoting is only an indication that your hip is coming out properly and that most of your weight should be shifting off the pivoting foot depending on how hard the punch is thrown.

Just like everything else, mix it up and don’t get stuck on one set way for your footwork.

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9 responses to “Trainer Talk: On Your Toes or Off?

  1. Specialist_101

    What it comes down to is distance. The further you are from engagement the more on your toes you are, the more square you are toe to toe the more shuffle and digging into the canvas. At closer range shuffle and evasive body work makes a large difference in a matter of inches.

  2. DONT MEANS NUTHIN WITHOUT A CHIN TO BACK IT UP

  3. teaching a goilla to box, i like teaching a dog sign language. if it aint’t the the right mentality or natural skill, everything else is conjecture and useless.
    but i gotta say it was an entertaing read though. (keep it up.)

  4. you touch on something, but it think its a little more personal than proffesional when it comes to a fighters inadequacies to read the shot or draw the defense to cover for proper position to make the hit stick.

  5. on point.

  6. Hathae Mummfried

    crass. what’s your pedigree anyway. i’m always sick and tired of these fly by nite boxing fans turn trainer affacinado. from a proffesional trainer’s point of view… if you got something to say, say it.
    don’t blame the stupid for not catching on. or your inabiltiy to focus your fighter as a problem he has to handle. there’s no sub for experience.
    and if you got it? id like to see it or just stay home on your soapbox, kiddo.

  7. evantheconqueror

    just startin out in the golden gloves this year, and i thought i’d comment. its such closedin community its nice to be able to see things real starting out boxers like me can get some honest insights from a proffession of things we all think about. i have got a pretty decent highschool record and am undefeated in my first year in college. some times i log on in to the coaches corner and i feel like he’s reading my mind.
    from someone thats starting out, i hope this site never goes away.

  8. CAMOSFLAKILLER

    ITS GOOD TO READ ABOUT , AND SEE POEPLE TALKING ABOUT THIS STUFF. ITS STRAIGHT OUT USEFULL. IT NICE TO SEE A SITE THAT FOLLOWS WITH SOME INGERITY IN THEIR LOVE OF THE SWEET SCIENCE. KEEP IT UP FELLAS!!

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