Argh, help with lateral movment!?

Okay, my footwork isn't *too*'s just that sometimes when I'm on the defensive, I have a bad habit of moving straight backward..

Usually I try to pop out of range, and then pop right back in with a counterattack..but if the person is moving toward me and throwing punches I get trapped and move straight back..

any suggestions? Am I not staying on my toes enough? Any drills I can do to improve lateral movement under pressure?

Hexagon drill.

Lateral shuffle drill.

Lateral shuffle drill around a circle.

These drills and others help to develop lateral movement as well as reaction which over time will be instinctive.

The key is to do these drills daily (they don't take very long to do) or at the very least 3 tp four times a week.

Footwork like anything else is enhanced and develop through constant and consistant repetition.

would you have a link that describes each drill for me? I'd really appreciate that, thanks!

I have no link.

These drills are fairly basic and are apart of a training regiment called SAQ (Speed Agility Quickness)

They are very common in other sports such as basketball, Soccer, Volleyball, Tennis, Football. They are probably most common in track and field sports.

Most sports that rely on footwork particularly lateral movements and cutting ultilize some type of SAQ drills.

Wrestling and Boxing ultilized thses drills as well but they are alittle more specialized in these two sports.

In boxing they are called "line drills".

Kenny Weldon, who was and still is one of Holyfield trainer has each of his fighter do these "line drills" (which is on his video series) before each workout. He also has them do a more extensive and intense version instead of the more traditional long distance running.

These drills are very, very, very simple and basic.

I'll describe them later (I'm at work now so I don't have too much time to describe them) but they are sort of self-explanatory. Some are much more detail in their descriptions but the more useful and practical ones like the ones I list are very simple and self explanatory.

I do weldons basic ones 3 days a week (as we dont do them at my boxing gym, could someone expand on them as they are getting tedious:)

"I'll describe them later"

That would be a tremendous help, thanks!

You can also practice your pivot. When under pressure step back with rear fooot (to your right if conventional stance) and pivot as you recover left foot. You should swing 90 degrees to your left, which puts you outside of opponents left side (go the other way for a south paw chasing you, which means pivot off left foot to right; opposite of the above).
Usually an aggressive opponent will chage right by you and have to take a second to recover his facing. Use that second to back away and recompose or to hit with counters (left upper and right cross are good, go with what you feel comfortable doing.)
For pure footwork I only practice the box drill and pivot drills. Anytime you are backing straight up it is a very good idea to launch a jab everytime your rear foot goes back to buy some time. Personally I angle out, rather than taking a hard lateral step or going straight back, do this by putting the back foot back and out, say 6 inches lateral to where it started and as you continue to retrteat and jab, you gradually change facing to get out from the front of the guy.

You can practice this angled step with the box drill as well. I described the box on Lemon's thread about staying on top of his feet.

"When under pressure step back with rear fooot (to your right if conventional stance) and pivot as you recover left foot"

Okay, should I step straight back, or back and to the right?

I do this in shadowboxing actually, but I still get nailed in sparring..maybe I'm not taking big enough steps? Or maybe my feet are too far apart and I can't move quickly enough?

Back and to the right, but not so far to the right that it feels unnatural or unbalancing. The pivot is good if you are escaping a combination, as you will suddenly change facing and an aggressive guy will commit to coming forward. Just keep hands up when pivoting.

is it easier done with a drop guard (which I've been experimenting with), in your opinion?

Hmm, drop guard is different terminology for me, give me a clue and I can answer.


Okay here are some of Kenny Weldon's
line drills:

Note: all of these drills are done with
the aid of a single line that runs the
length of a gym floor, about 10 - 15 ft
in length.

First drill is a lateral hop along the
line. That is you face directly toward
the end of the line and, keeping your
guard up, you simply continously jump
side to side of the line for the entire
length of the line. Once you get to the
end you jump spin so that you end up
facing the other direction and then
preceed to do the same thing this
time in the other direction.

Second drill is jump switch along the line.
You start by facing toward the end of the
line with each leg on each side of the
line (the line is running in between your
legs). Guard is up as then
jump foward BUT you jump and spin so that
when you land you're facing the other
direction. The jump spin is continous for
the length of the line so your constantly
facing a different direction after every

Third drill is single leg hop along the
line. You jump side to side across the line
for the length of the line on one leg.
After completing one leg you switch and
do the other leg. (I wouldn't do this
drill too often because it can be strenous)

fourth drill is head movement along the
line. You straddle over the line. Hands
are up. Now as you move forward (you
move forward with your lead leg only in this
drill. That is your moving forward like
you boxing) you head is moving to either
side of the line. Preferable as you left
foot strikes the ground you head is moved
too the left side of the line; as your
right foot strikes the ground your head
has moved to the right side of the line.

Those were a few of Kenny Weldon's drills
here are a few of my own:

Lateral shuffle: this drill also uses
a line. This the line is right in front
of your toes and the end of it is to you
left or right side (depending on which
direction your facing). You hands are you simply move to your side
toward the end of the line making sure
your feet don't cross. You can start off
by just going in one direction and then
going in the other direction. But as you
get use to that quickly switch direction.
That is, start by shuffling in one
direction then quickly switch and go in
the other direction. You can have someone
stand in front of you and point the
direction you should go and then have him
switch the direction he is point and you
"react" or have call out "left - right -left
or you can simply tell yourself. This drill
is use alot by baskeball players.
I think Roy Jones Jr. does it alot in his
training. I know he has adapted some
basketball line drills into his training

Hexagon drill. You draw a hexagon (or
square or box) on the floor. Then you
stand in the middle of it. You hands
are up. Your legs are about shoulder
with apart. You jump, continous across the
sides of the hexagon always returning to
the center of the hexagon before jumping
across any other side of it. This drill
develop quick reaction and movement in all

Lateral shuffle with circle: You draw
a good size circle on the floor. You
than do a lateral shuffle around the
perimeter of that circle. You hand are up.
You can start off by going in one direction
than switching to the other direction
after a while. But as you get better you
can also do the "reaction" direction
like in the lateral shuffle drill. Make
sure your feet don't cross.

stlnl, left hand down, right hand up guarding

m.g. thanks a ton

Ok thats what I thought, yes it does help, because having the left down as you pivot helps with the rhythmn, but is dangerous in Kickboxing (not so much in boxing because you are moving the uncovered side away from power) because even a decen tright kick up high will disrupt balance. To get the same "feel" as having the left down, leave the hand up and dip the shoulder, alot of guys doing footwork and moving the head are too "tight" (white?) in the shoulders.

dip the shoulder, thanks, great advice!

When your backing up,be sure your pushing off your front foot and then step over to the side.

I do that, but still get nailed with the jab and/or hook

good stuff! will archive when the posting has cooled down