Boxing Drills for Beginners .pdf [2022]

Remember to warm up before you start training intensely.

A good warm up might consist of 10 minutes of steady state cardio, shadow boxing for 2 x 3 minute rounds, followed by a number of bodyweight exercises such as squats and press ups.

Boxing Pad Drills

Boxing pads, or mitts, are great for developing hand speed, accuracy and punching mechanics. You can also add in drills to improve footwork, reacts and defence.

To start with, try each drill for 2 x 3 minute rounds.

Slip & Roll Pad Work

  • Jab, Cross *Slip Padman’s jab*, cross, *roll under padman’s hook*, cross, hook

Peak-a-Boo Jabs

Padman and boxer move around at striking/punching distance.

The padman holds up the pad at random intervals.

The boxer must jab the pad as soon as the padman holds it up.

Occasionally, the padman holds up both pads and the boxer immediately throws a jab, cross combination.

Jab Parry & Counter

  • explained from orthodox stance

Padman holds both pads up, as if he is a boxer with a defensive stance

Padman (gently) throws a jab with his left hand

Boxer parries the jab with his right hand & continues the movement of his right hand to throw a right cross to the padman’s right hand/pad.

Repeat 10 times.

Split Jabs

Jab Counter Slip
Slip Your Head to the Outside & Counter with your Own Jab
  • Padman and boxer in orthodox stance
  • Padman throws a jab with left hand
  • Padman places right pad close to his face
  • Boxer parries jab and counters with his or her own jab

Repeat x 10

Bas Rutten Combinations on the Pads

If you are just starting out using boxing pads, it can be easier and more fun, to carry out each combination ten times in a row, and then move onto the next one.

If you are a bit more advanced, you can get the padman to call out combinations in a random order. Instead of doing a set number of repetitions, try 3 minute rounds.

Combinations use alternate hands. For example – Left jab, right cross, left jab – if you stand in orthodox stance with left foot forwards.

  • Jab, cross, hook
  • Double jab, cross
  • Cross, hook, cross
  • Right uppercut, left hook, right uppercut
  • Jab, cross, hook, cross
  • Jab, casting punch
  • Jab to the body, overhand right

If you are training on your own, on the bag or shadow boxing, use the Bas Rutten Boxing Workout.
The Bas Rutten workouts can be confusing if you don’t know what the numbers stand for.

“1” – jab
“2” – Jab, Cross Combination
“3” – Jab, Cross, Hook
“4” – Jab, Cross, Hook, Cross

Jab Counters – Side Steps drill

Boxing Sparring Drills

Dust Drills – Take Turns Throwing Combinations

Arguably works a bit better with Thai Boxing, “dust drills” involve 2 fighters/boxers taking turns to throw combinations

Boxer 1 – Throws a 2, 3 or 4 punch combination
Boxer 2 – Stays in range and blocks and parries each punch

Once boxer 1 has thrown his combination, Boxer 2 throws his combination.

Combinations can be pre-determined, to drill a set defensive technique(s) and counters, or can be thrown at random.

Boxers can thrown feints/dummies before executing their combination.

Boxer Vs Stalker

Boxer 1 has to constantly push forwards, looking to land a jab and body shots only.

Boxer 2 must attempt to keep just out of range and throw jab counters by side-stepping etc.

Boxer 1 is ultimately looking to pin boxer 2 in the corner of the ring.

Boxer 2 is aiming to throw counter shots and control the outside of the ring and the range.

Try this for 3 x 3 minute rounds.

Defender vs Attacker Sparring

Boxer 1 is the defender – he or she is only allowed to parry, block and use head and foot movement to avoid punches

Boxer 2 – very lightly throws punches at boxer 1.

Try this for 3 x 2 minute rounds

Jabs Only Sparring

As you’d expect, jabs only sparring involves 2 boxers sparring, but only with jabs.

You can take this up a level, with jabs only to the head plus any body shots

Body Only Sparring

Sparring, but only with body shots.

Keep your hands high to keep the defence and general stance/guard realistic

Boxing Fitness Drills

Using the pads for a set number of rounds is one of the best ways to build specific fitness for boxing.

Tabata Intervals on the bag or pads are also excellent.

Tabata Intervals consist of 4 minute rounds, divided into 8 x 20 second bouts of 100% effort exercise, interspersed with 10 seconds rest.

You can use an app, or just find a Tabata interval timer on YouTube:

If you are in good shape, then you can try and complete 3 or 4 Tabata Intervals.

If you’re new to boxing, start with 1 or 2 intervals. Take a minute’s rest in between each 4 minute bout.

You can use predetermined combinations e.g.

First 20 seconds – Jab, Cross, Hook, Cross (throw as many punches as possible in 20 seconds)
Second 20 Seconds – Hook, Cross, Hook
Third 20 Seconds – Left hook, right hook, left hook
Fourth 20 Seconds – Jab, Casting Punch

For the final 4 intervals, do the same combination but in the opposite stance.

You can also freestyle the combinations, and throw combinations at random if you prefer.

Solo Boxing Drills

Bob & Weave Drills

Bobbing & Weaving takes some getting used to, but it basically involves walking fowards and squatting down with your hands up.

A great way to practice bobbing & weaving is by using a washing-line.

Walk down the length of the washing line, ducking side to side.

To bob:
– Adopt a boxing stance
– Keep your guard/hands high
– Bend your knees (NOT at the waist)
– Shuffle forwards

There are lots of technical drills you can do on your own as well, including

  • Fade away hooks
  • Retreating crosses
  • Jabs for speed
  • Parry and jab counter
  • Skip steps*

*Skip steps are a highly effective, yet under-utilised technique for bridging distance. Works well when you keep your head off centreline/to the side, so you don’t walk into a jab

Download a boxing training session plan here:

About Drew

MMA, Fitness & Marketing enthusiast from North Wales, UK. A Stoic Hippy with no hair. Not to boast but - 1st Class Degree in Sports Science from Loughborough, MSc in Nutrition from the University of Liverpool. 20 years experience of weight & fitness training.
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