Boxing Footwork – Diagonal Movement Right

by Fran on August 12, 2010

About Diagonal Movement to the Right

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 boxing footwork in incorporates diagonal movement.  Moving diagonally to the right as an orthodox boxer (against another orthodox) creates many more attacking opportunities than moving to the left.  This is because the centre line of the opponent’s body will still be in broad alignment with both your left and right hands.  Diagonal movement to the left is more ‘passive’ in that in general only your right hand will still be able to strike the opponent’s centre line.

Take a look at the video, read on about the mechanics and then as always, leave your comments!

The Mechanics of Diagonal Right Movement

As with all moves, stay relaxed!  Don’t tense-up.  It’s important that this article is assessed in conjunction with the article boxing footwork – diagonal movement left.

Moving Diagonally Right (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 right.
  2. The front foot provides a very slight ‘brake’ (to enable the forwards momentum) and then lifts and glides.
  3. As mentioned in the video, if we imagine a compass on the ground with north being straight ahead, we are aiming to move just ahead of east.  It is more practical to do this rather than attempting to move perfectly north east.
  4. 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 right of this incoming shot.

Moving Diagonally Right (Backward)

As explained in the video, moving backwards right in a diagonal line is the easier of the ‘two’ movements.

  1. 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.
  2. The back foot lifts and glides, with the power for the ‘glide’ being provided by the front foot push.
  3. As with moving diagonally right forward, be economical and precise with your movement.

Common Faults When Moving Diagonally Right

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 forwards to the right, I’d be really interested to hear your experiences.  Oh, and by the way, combining diagonal movement with the bob and weave provides some killer opportunities, this is well worth remembering!

Cheers

Fran

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{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

Dav May 24, 2015 at 9:52 am

Hi Fran, exelent footwork videos and a big help

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Fran May 29, 2015 at 2:47 pm

Thanks Dav, kind of you to say.

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kev austin May 15, 2014 at 2:56 pm

Hi fran , just a small question in you’re movements you’ve specify to keep you’re heel and toe too the lines , but I’m being taught a tennis ball should just be able to role through the gap which in this case would litterally what a inch or so differance so my question is what’s better heel and toes in every stance and movement or the tennis ball gap ? I know its only a tiny differance but if my tech isn’t on point nothing will follow correctly

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Fran May 21, 2014 at 8:46 pm

Hey Keith

Nice question. Early in my career as a boxer I too was taught the tennis ball principle. Once I got into the national training squads I was switched to the ‘line from heel to toe’. My advice would be to go with what your coach is telling you. Just be careful that you don’t become ‘square on’ where your shoulders open up to the opponent. Otherwise you should be fine to be honest, I wouldn’t worry too much. Horses for courses, it might work nicely for you.

Hope this helps.

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Terry January 5, 2014 at 9:59 pm

Hello Fran,
I am an Official in USA Amateur Boxing I enjoy your videos it really shows the art form in the sweet science we call boxing. When I see young boxers train and show it in tournaments make the sports much more safer, instead of wild punches, no footwork or bad defense. Hope to meet you some day. Keep up the good work maybe your videos will inspire new trainers like myself.

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Fran January 7, 2014 at 10:31 pm

Thank you Terry, that’s a really kind comment that shows a real understanding of the sport. To me, our job as trainers is to make the learning process as effective as we can and ensure that knowledge and understanding is put across in an easy to understand way. Nice to know that someone of your background and nous enjoys the work on the site.

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Mike July 18, 2013 at 9:29 pm

Hi Fran,

I noticed in your instructions you say not to step and drag. Is this just on diagonal movements or are you against that type of movement in genera?

Mike

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Fran July 21, 2013 at 8:30 pm

Hey Mike

I’d say generally, within range, we never ‘step and drag’. The stance is lost and the movement is simply not ‘explosive’ enough to take an opening or avoid an onslaught. Hope this helps.

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Mike July 23, 2013 at 1:32 pm

Cheers Fran

I did a white collar programme which finished with a fight last year, all our coaches had good boxing experience including a current pro boxer and no one actually told us to step and drag but I’ve seen it on a couple of other videos and I wondered what you thought.

Seems to me small steps with minimal lift keeps you in stance with minimal chance of being off balance even if your foot does leave the ground for a split second plus you are more dynamic anyway. I think your site is the best of it’s type but hard not to get sucked into having a look at some of the others as well!

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Fran July 24, 2013 at 8:35 pm

Glad that my advice aligns with that of the coaches that you have worked with. Simple stuff that works mate.

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Peter March 5, 2013 at 3:22 am

Hey Fran, just from a biomechanical standpoint… your diagonal forward step to the right has more of a sideways component than forward component. So I think it’d be faster to first push off sideways with the front foot, then have the rear foot slide slightly ahead of “East”?

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Fran March 8, 2013 at 9:06 pm

Pete

Yep, sounds fine to me. If you can achieve that movement without crossing the legs then that’s where you need to be. Nice that you are analysing so closely. Thanks Peter.

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ARaftis November 25, 2012 at 7:52 pm

Fran,
I am a little confused. In stepping diagonally forward and right, I find that pushing off your back leg almost guarantees your front leg will move first and cross the line. However, if I push off my front leg it allows me to swing my back leg first and then the front follows – I do not cross my legs and the move is fairly easy to do. Seems to me you move your front leg first in this demo but at the end of the Drill 7 on Video 4, you move your back leg first. What do you think?
Andrew

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Fran November 26, 2012 at 10:01 pm

Hey Andrew

It’s great that you are analysing in this way. It can vary depending upon where in the ‘sector of the compass’ your are moving to. Just in front of the ‘East’ will be a subtle change to favour the front foot, whilst a push just to the right of ‘North’ will come as a consequence of favouring the back foot.

Hope this makes sense.

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Marco October 17, 2012 at 7:57 pm

Hey Fran

I wanted to ask you a question about diagonal movement to the right (Forward), i’m trying to imagine a compass while standing in my orthodox boxing stance under my feet, particularly the North east angle. If i’m trying to move in-between the North and North East angles i feel comfortable pushing off my back foot in the orthodox stance and landing with my lead foot as my back foot glides along as you show in your video however if i’m trying to move in-between the North East and the East angles i feel more comfortable pushing off my lead foot in the orthodox stance and landing on my back foot first and gliding along with the lead foot as this makes more sense to me to maintain that imaginary line from the toe on the front foot to the heel on the back foot to sustain balance.

I’m not really sure if this is correct just how i feel when trying to move, would love to hear your opinion so i can start moving in the correct manner.

Thanks again

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Fran October 18, 2012 at 8:38 pm

Hi Marco

Thanks for the question.

Your approach sounds fine to me. So much so that I’ve just stood in my stance and worked through it. Makes sense and works. Your go ‘square on’ for a split second, but nothing serious.

Nice to think that you are being so precise about your work. Well done.

Cheers

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kane smith July 17, 2011 at 11:28 am

Hi mate, om a boxing trainer in australia, looking to train some future amatuer champs, just want to let you know the articles and vids are awsome stuff, keep up the great work mate

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Fran July 17, 2011 at 2:32 pm

Alright Kane

Thanks for the comment mate, I’m glad that the stuff helps out. I’ve checked out your website and the gym looks great, a Champs Camp if ever I saw one! Next time I’m out Wollongong/Sydney way I may pop in and say hello!

Take care Kane, and keep up the good work at the gym.

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burim September 11, 2010 at 12:02 pm

thanks fran

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