About the Angled Side Step in Boxing
I’ve said very often on the site, in articles, in the videos, that developing superb boxing footwork is an absolute requirement of reaching the pinnacle of your fighting capabilities. I’m not talking here about dancing around, trying to look good for anyone who’s watching. I’m actually talking about remaining a constant threat to the well-being and state of consciousness of your opponent, a threat for every second of every round. To constitute that level of threat it is critical that you are able to keep your opponent fixed firmly in your crosshairs. This video will provide you with a boxing footwork drill that will enable you to do exactly that.
The Angled Side Step is a variation of the conventional side step (there is a link at the end of this article so that you can see that move). The key difference is that where the conventional side step is a an aspect of boxing footwork that may or may not be coupled with a punch. The angled side step is an aspect of boxing footwork that absolutely should be coupled with a punch. It is very much an offensive boxing footwork skill that enables you to keep your opponent squarely in the firing line. By practising this drill you will inject a real dynamism into your offensive boxing style.
The Mechanics of the Angled Side Step in Boxing
As with all moves, stay relaxed! Don’t tense-up.
The Angled Side-Step to the Right (assuming orthodox stance)
- From the boxing stance , the first action is a push from the front foot. The push should be ‘sharp’, and aimed at providing the drive to thrust the body to the right.
- The back foot lifts very slightly from the floor, allowing the power generated from the push from the front foot to shift the body in a straight line to the right. The back foot should ‘glide’ as opposed to stepping.
- Allow the front foot to follow it’s course, catching up with the back foot in order to restore the stance. The key difference to the starting position is that the line constituting the stance is at an angle pointing toward the position of the opponent.
The Angled Side-Step to the Left
Pretty much the reverse of the side step right:
- From the boxing stance, the first action is a push from the back foot. The push should be ‘sharp’, and aimed at providing the drive to thrust the body to the left.
- The front foot lifts very slightly from the floor, allowing the power generated from the push from the back foot to shift the body in a straight line to the left. The front foot should ‘glide’ as opposed to stepping.
- Allow the back foot to follow it’s course, catching up with the front foot in order to restore the stance in the same way as described.
Common Faults With the Angled Side Step in Boxing
The following problems can occur when performing the angled side step:
- The boxer ‘steps and drags’ rather than using a sharp ‘push and glide’. For example, when shifting to the right, the back foot (right leg) will step across and the front foot is dragged across to the right. This approach does not offer the same speed capability as the push and glide (as described in the ‘Mechanics’ section).
- The boxer may sometimes become ‘flat-footed’. This again will result in a very ‘clunky’, almost robotic action. Remain on the balls of your feet and stay relaxed.
- The legs may ‘cross’. For example, when moving right, the front leg (left) will step across to the right, thus ‘crossing’ the line from the back foot (think boxing stance). Following this the back leg will also step across. The same problem can occur when side-stepping either left or right. It really is a bad mistake to make and leaves you susceptible to a massive loss of balance in the event of receiving a punch.
The angled side step, whilst slightly more complex than the conventional boxing side step, is still a simple boxing footwork skill. Spend time drilling and mastering the footwork, it’s so very important to a workable boxing style. Any spare moment can be taken to get in your stance and spend time moving around. The conventional activities of shadow boxing and bag work can always incorporate footwork specific phases to build ‘muscle memory’ and improve your balance and confidence.
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