T Nation

Practicing Footwork at Home, at Work


I need like three basic drills to help my footwork. I know the circle drill, and the moving in a box drill (to help you practice stepping correctly, ie forwards, backwards, left, right) now I need something else. I have a TON of downtime at work where I just sit around, so I want to work on footwork. Suggestions?


Skipping, you must already do it. But there are different variations of skipping which are meant for footwork and agility. Google it.


Ok thanks, also I should mention I can't jump rope at work.


Oh, Where do you work?


What I do is practice moving on angles. If you've got your basics down, then start throwing punches then immediately stepping off.

For me, I like to throw them and then move off to the right (southpaw), staying away from the other guy's right hand. Or, as I jab, step off slight forward and to the right, taking me away as I hit.

There are a a good amount of videos on youtube that can show you some drills as well. I'll see if I can find them later.


I work at GNC.


gasp EVIL!!!



You cant bust out the agility ladder in the store room?

I kid I kid.



Hahaha! Yeah give me a minute to find it, probably burried behind the over priced whey protein.


What do you guys think?


I'd find this really helpful to. As Newbie boxer who has just started sparring a bit I want to start moving better fast so I can stop eating punches.


I'm surprised no one has mentioned shadow fighting yet.

Things like skipping rope are great for coordination and learning to be light on your feet, and drills like the box and circle footwork drills are good for drilling the basics. But, learning how to put your footwork together with your punches and kicks is really the ultimate goal.

So, practice applying your footwork like you would against a real opponent. Practice setting them up with your footwork; practice different hand/foot combinations in conjunction with the appropriate footwork; practice penetrating their "critical distance" line and then clearing (preferrably at an angle like Irish mentioned), or changing alignment (through turning or slide step footwork) to continue with your attack; and practice against multiple types of opponents (maybe one is really aggressive and keeps pressing forward, maybe one likes to disengage/run, maybe one likes to hold their ground and try to counter attack, etc...).

That said, I really have no idea what types of activities GNC does and does not allow from it's employees while on duty as I've never worked at one myself. So, perhaps this isn't a possibility.


Actually I can pretty much do what I want, as I'm the only one here and I always get my work done first. On to your suggestion.

I would love to practice this, must I don't know where to start. Ultimately I want to be able to do what you suggest, but I'm not at that level yet. I don't know how to effectively get in and move off at an angle, so I need to learn how. I'm pretty much a beginner at striking.


Well then, it's kind of a big topic and not really something that you can learn by reading a thread post (unless maybe you are very, very athletically talented and a very conceptual learner).

If you're really beginner level, then just practice things like:
- being explosive with your footwork (try to go from a dead stop to moving as fast as possible)
- adding your strikes to your footwork (trying to close, maintain, gain distance or change alignment while punching/kicking)
- adding clearing footwork to the above (try to get in, hit, and get back out as fast as possible)
- doing the above but moving off at angles instead of straight back
- adding several strikes to the above rather than just a single attack
- instead of clearing, change the alignment using either pivoting or slide step footwork and continue the attack
- start employing other "ways of attack" (fakes, broken rhythm, trapping, etc...) with your footwork to mimic working against different "types" of opponents

One more thing is that whenever you practice a technique (whether it be footwork, punches, kicks, elbows, knees, whatever) don't practice doing it without having some attribute that you are trying to develop; make each repetition count.

So, say you're working on simply stepping in with a jab and then clearing at an angle.
-maybe first you want to work on your technique, so you perform the skill as slowly as you need to in order to do it perfectly, then gradually increase speed as you become more comfortable/skilled.
-next maybe you want to work on your "initial speed" (how well you can explode), so you perform the skill with the focus on going from a dead stop to moving as fast as possible
-next maybe you want to work on getting your weapon to move before your body, so you perform the skill with that focus
-then maybe using various "ways of attack", so you perform the skill with that focus
-then maybe focusing on your "timing speed" (like imagine your opponent drops his hand, leaving himself open for an attack and you try to respond to that visual cue as quickly as possible)

Really the list can be pretty extensive, and this is only using a single technique and footwork pattern (and could be repeated for any conceivable technique(s) and footwork pattern). Hopefully that'll give you some ideas to work with.


Come on sentoguy! You know I'm all of the above, so why question it!?!?! No but really, I'm a very conceptual learner, and can usually at least find pictures or video on the internet to mimic. Thanks for the advice.


Absolutely. I know the old "Fedor says" bandwagon is getting mighty old now, but he has mentioned several times that he has put in thousands and thousands of hours in shadowboxing/fighting, and most good boxers seem to do a shitload of it too.

Ditto to the rest of your suggestions later on too


Might not be exactly what you're looking for but put a tennis ball on a string, and put a weight inside it like a fishing sinker put the string on the roof somewhere where the ball is level with your face. Swing the ball and dodge it while shaddowboxing.


This guy's video was actually really good at the very basics. Check it out, and the rest of the videos he made. Very good.


Actually that's perfect! Thanks Ash!

Irish, I like those video's, very solid. I think those are the basics I've been missing in Muay Thai, I'll practice them like crazy.


Irish, thanks for the vids man! I've been working this the last 15 or so minutes and I can already see how this will come into play when I spar. This is exactly what I was looking for.