Boxing Footwork – Diagonal Movement – Get Smart!

by Fran on July 29, 2010

Boxing Footwork Diagonal Movement to the Left

Moving in straight lines, forward and backwards and left to right is all well and good, but to really open up new horizons it is vital that footwork in boxing incorporates diagonal movment.  If a boxer moves in straight lines, then that boxer is much easier to target by an opponent of even a moderate skill level.  An opponent can take an educated guess as to where you will be and will fire fast, hard counter punches after every attack you make.  Getting hit with shots in this way is unsustainable and unenjoyable!  So what can we do?  Easy, combine diagonal boxing footwork movement with slips, rolls and shots and your ability to hit and not be hit is greatly increased!

Take a look at the video, read on about the mechanics and then as always, leave your comments!  Can you think of ways in which to combine the other skills mentioned with this one?

The Mechanics of Diagonal Left Movement

As with all moves, stay relaxed!  Don’t tense-up.

Boxing Footwork – Moving Diagonally Left (Forward)

  1. 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.  After the push from the back foot, the front foot glides.
  2. As mentioned in the video, if we imagine a compass on the ground with north being straight ahead, we are aiming to move north-west.
  3. Be economical and aim only for a short movement.  If you imagine that a straight shot is travelling toward your head, the diagonal movement should be enough to take you slightly to the left of this incoming shot.

Boxing Footwork – Moving Diagonally Left (Backward)

As explained in the video, it’s quite awkward as an orthodox boxer to move diagonally backwards and left (to the south-west to extend the compass analogy.)  In order to overcome this difficulty, be practical and move just behind left (west)…simplicity wins out!  This being said, this is still quite an intricate skill to master.

  1. 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.
  2. The front foot provides a very slight ‘brake’ (to enable the backwards momentum) and then lifts and glides.

Common Faults When Moving Diagonally Left

As with any footwork skill, boxers need to avoid i) stepping and dragging and ii) crossing the legs (i.e. losing the imaginary line from the toe on the front foot to the heel on the back foot.)

Boxing footwork is the most important skill set to any boxer, so take time to practice and perfect your mobility. Leave a comment, in particular if you have any difficulty with the diagonal movement backwards, I’d be really interested to hear your experiences.



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{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Simon June 11, 2015 at 5:39 pm

Hello Fran,
My best friend started training me in boxing last year and it helped me deal with depression about divorce but I developed a lot of bad habits… your video articles are like steroids for my skill development… sometimes I feel like I’m a baby learning how to walk… sometimes one little insight changes everything makes me feel like life was just breathed into my body for the first time… like last night I really started applying constant footwork and it was the first time I ever felt like a real boxer… I’m gonna see if I got paid so I can order your downloadable training… you’re a blessing to a great many people. Thank you. -Simon


Fran June 14, 2015 at 1:10 pm

Hey Simon

That’s really uplifting, thank you for taking the time to write.

Consistency in practice is key pal. Repetition and discipline. it sounds to me like you have the right attitude, keep up with that.

Any help I can be then let me know.


Tom June 7, 2015 at 5:48 am

very well explained
helps a lot


Fran June 9, 2015 at 7:34 pm

Cheers Tom


Sultan August 7, 2012 at 12:43 pm

503: Service Temporarily Unavailable
Too many IP addresses accessing one secure area!
Please contact Support if you require assistance.

Still the same problem I can not access my account please
Help me I missed 3 days of training and I get frustrated


Fran August 7, 2012 at 3:20 pm

I’ve reset the logs again Sultan. We will see how you go. If you have any more problems just email me.


Kane March 17, 2012 at 12:38 am

Man ive been going to boxing/mma gyms for a long time now you explain everything in such better detail than ive ever seen love the videos man i’ve personaly learned a lot being a southpaw i try and pick 1 or 2 videos each day and practice them and then put it together in the gym and my fights(3-0) (MMA)so far so good thanks again man!


Fran March 17, 2012 at 2:03 pm

You’re very welcome and I’m glad that the site content is working for you.

Thanks for the comment, very much appreciated.


Terry November 19, 2011 at 12:22 am

Hello Fran,This was a great clip as usual.We (at the local Pcyc club)do alot of footwork training which I’ve found is pretty rare in most gyms (they all want “natural” fighters these days) but I am always very keen on doing the drills etc and building the boxers from the ground up.I was a former main event fighter but couldn’t even go close to producing such high standard presentations as
you regularly do mate.A picture is worth a thousand words they say and after stumbling onto your clips recently I”ve shown a couple of them to a young fella who is having his first “go” early in the new year after a full year of basic training.Your clips are almost a carbon copy of what we’ve been doing in the gym and what I”ve been conveying to him verbally since he started and it’s great to see how some of the other coaches teach their boys.(and girls these days I suppose)Thanks very much Fran and good luck to you mate.Regards Terry Neason


Fran November 20, 2011 at 6:47 pm

Hey Terry. It’s always very rewarding for me to get such positive feedback from a fellow coach. In creating the site, I wanted to as best as I could replicate in a systematic and structured way the stuff that people like you and I do on a weekly basis in our gyms. I am very much in agreement that by working through drills in a repetitive manner we continually improve, and improvement is what any sportsperson must strive for.

With the approach that you take (including a sensible 12-month period of ‘basics’ training ahead of the fight), my money is on your young fighter to make a great impression on the sport. ‘Good on ya’ for the work you do mate, long may the kids in your neighbourhood benefit from such boxing wisdom.

Thanks for taking the time to post Terry, I really mean that.


The Contractor September 19, 2011 at 6:39 pm

Hey, Fran … nicely done. You have presented the skill set in clear and practical terms.


Fran September 19, 2011 at 8:25 pm

Thank you very much, that’s exactly what I was aiming for.


burim August 7, 2010 at 4:02 pm

what about moving diagonally to the right


Fran August 10, 2010 at 2:33 pm

This video is coming on Thursday (according to my plan anyway!)


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