Boxing Stances

You see many kinds of stances throughout boxing. Some may look like they are hardly in a stance at all while fighting.

I don't like the idea of one stance fits all or the same stance for an entire fight, but I do recommend finding a go-to stance to start a fight.

Let's take a look at our options and what feels best for us individually, and walk you through some common questions to help you find your answer!

What is a Proper Boxing Stance

A boxing stance is an understanding of balance and mobility with foot placement and hand placement.

You have two types of boxing stances to choose from, orthodox and southpaw. Styles make fights so choose wisely! I'm kidding, find what works best for you, and have fun trying both!

Usually, the dominant hand you use daily will get put behind you and used as your power punch. Your feet will line up with your hand placement.

For example, left foot and left hand in front, right foot and right hand behind you.

What Boxing Stance should I use?

Good question where do we begin? To start we want to determine are you a southpaw or an orthodox fighter, possibly both who knows!?

Once you figure out which stance you will start in we can get started on picking a stance within these two options.

I wouldn't consider southpaw or orthodox a fighting stance. These terms determine more or less what angles the punches will be coming from and you or your opponent’s weak side and strong side.

Orthodox vs Southpaw stance

These are the main indicators to identify which hand and foot you lead with to fight. There are advantages and disadvantages to each stance.

Orthodox Boxing Stance

This is the boxing stance considered for right-handers, who lead with their left hand and foot. Your right hand will be your power punch.

Orthodox Boxing Stance Pros

Being a right-handed fighter is more common, most likely you will match up with another right-handed fighter making angles easier to predict.

You create angles with punches and movement easier.

Orthodox Boxing Stance Cons 

Matching up against a southpaw is less likely but when you do your angels will need adjustments, from the punches you see to the punches you will throw.

This also includes defensive movements.

Southpaw Boxing Stance

This is the boxing stance considered for left-handers, leading with you guessed it your right hand and foot. Your left hand will be your power punch.

Southpaw Boxing Stance Pros

You are well prepared to see more orthodox fighters, through time and time again you learn their patterns, angles, combinations easier.

Southpaw Boxing Stance Cons

You do see more orthodox fighters and must be aware of butting heads more frequently, tripping over the lead foot. You don't see many southpaws either and don't like facing each other either

A Full List of Types of Boxing Stances

These stances determine how you will place your feet, and how you will move.

Here you are in the lot choosing your car some are quick and others are slow. Don't be fooled both have their ups and downs choose wisely my friends

Quick note: Two other terms used Crouching and Semi-crouching. I personally don't see these as different from a traditional boxing stance. They are used by getting lower and lower into your chosen stance.

Basic/Traditional stance

The basic, or traditional, boxing stance is good for beginners. Feet start shoulder-width apart slight bend in the legs and back heel off the floor.

  • Power: 5/10
  • Range: 5/10
  • Balance: 7/10
  • Mobility: 7/10
  • Defense: 7/10

Summary: overall great starting point, gives you a little bit of everything you need. A Lot of room to grow from this stance and highly adaptable to any opponent you face.

Notable fighters: Anthony Joshua, Eroll Spence jr, Wladimir Klitschko  

Wide stance

The feet should be a little wider than shoulder-width apart. Knees slightly more bent. Both feet planted in the ground. Get ready to drop some bombs.

  • Power: 7/10
  • Range: 3/10
  • Balance: 8/10
  • Mobility: 5/10
  • Defense: 4/10

Summary: a wide stance gives you more power in your backhand, still a very good stance to be in. Footwork will be a key factor in how effective you will be switching from offense to defense as you are caught in the middle with this stance.

Notable fighters: Terence Crawford, Chris Eubank Jr, Eris Landy Lara

Sideways stance

Advanced fighters can use this style, you should make sure your feet are in line with each other. The lead shoulder is pointed at the opponent. Feet can transition from flat-footed to on your toes.

  • Power: 4/10
  • Range: 8/10
  • Balance: 3/10
  • Mobility: 4/10
  • Defense: 9/10

Summary: very great defensive stance and countering skills are needed. Advanced fighters if any should try this. Leaves you very vulnerable but highly effective if done right. Not too exciting offensively, defensively a mastermind if used correctly.

Notable fighters: Floyd Mayweather, Bernard Hopkins

Squared stance

Both feet will be facing forward, almost in line with each other horizontally facing your opponent. Shoulders are in line horizontally facing your opponent. This allows both hands to have power in your punches

  • Power: 9/10
  • Range: 4/10
  • Balance: 6/10
  • Mobility: 6/10
  • Defense: 2/10

Summary: power in both hands, but you are open to a lot of punishment with little to no defense. A good offense is a good defense sometimes if you have enough power or volume to overwhelm your opponent. Very Exciting fighter but takes a lot of punishment

Notable fighters: Julio Cesar Chavez Sr, Mike Tyson, Roberto Duran

Tall vs Short

Quick tip for you warriors' height does matter! Not only your height but the height of your opponent.

If you are a taller fighter for your weight class you will most likely use that strength and stand more upright in a traditional stance.

A shorter fighter can benefit from using a squared stance to get underneath their opponent!

This can change if your opponent is shorter or taller than you, and you should make an adjustment.

How to Practice my Boxing Stance

Shadowboxing and a mirror are your best friends for practice.

You will want to get a boxing stance side view as well as your front view.

To see yourself from both angles will help find the small details you need to fix like foot placement and weight distribution if you're leaning too far forward or all the way back.

If you need a little extra help try recording yourself and watching your mistakes over and over and over and... Well, you get the point.

Some videos are meant to be learned from others to laugh at! But this can help with showing progress and growth as well!

Why Is The Distance Between Your Feet so Important

Your boxing stance feet placement can either speed up your hands for fast quick combinations or slow them down for thudding powerful punches. So which does which you ask!

A narrow stance with feet closer together speeds up your hands allowing you to use your feet to move with each punch.

A wider stance with feet farther apart keeps your feet more grounded transferring power through your hips when you turn into your punch.

The ratings under each stance along with each notable fighter can tell you more about what your future holds.

The Correct Boxing Stance

Now that you have chosen the wrong one let me tell you the right one.

The right one is the one that will best fit your style of fighting.

Don't always go off what works for the champs; they are highly skilled and tend to break the rules because they can.

You want to be able to use the fundamentals of boxing effectively while playing to your strengths.

The Benefits of a Good Boxing Stance

With a good boxing stance, you’ll have more power, balance, and mobility.

A correct boxing stance allows you to use all your skills effectively such as an offense attack without overextending your lead foot or hand leaving you vulnerable.

Defensively you will be able to react quickly, pivot away from an attack, use your own counterattacks, or an all-out defensive display of your magician-like skills.

The Mechanics of the Boxing Stance

Stand up straight and place your feet shoulder-width apart.

Bend your knees as if you are going to half a squat. Balance your weight 50/50 between the front and back leg.

You should feel balanced ready to attack or defend.  

Leadfoot will be planted on the floor, your back foot's toes are planted and your back heel raised a couple of inches off the floor.

Both hands are up just above your chin.

After you throw a punch, your hands should return to this guard position immediately for defense.

What is the Difference Between a Boxing Stance & Guard?

The difference between these is that a guard is how you will choose to place your hands.

In a shortlist you can keep a Basic guard, High guard, Low guard, and a Philly shell.

A stance is how you will place your feet and determine how you will move around the bag or in the ring if you choose that path.

Can you Switch Boxing Stances in the Ring?

Yes, you can and some of the top fighters today are able to switch between multiple stances, using different stances for speed, power, and defense when they need it!

They say you don't play boxing and you don’t! But you should have fun while training and experiment with what works and what does not work.

Be creative and push the boundaries to be the next great thing!