Be Grounded in your Game



The center of your boxing universe isn't the center at all, but actually begins on the ball of your back foot.  You've undoubtedly heard the phrase before that power starts from the ground up.  That’s true, except power really emanates from the point of contact with the ground and that point of contact originates in the big toe and/or at the ball of your back foot.

The big toe carries the most weight of all the toes, bearing about 40% of the load of your body weight. By not driving off the ball of your back foot, you are, in essence, utilizing 40 percent less power/leverage than if you were to point and dig with that toe when delivering punches.

From the onset of each punch, the initial explosion or original starting point should begin by driving the back toe into the ground. This sets the entire body in motion and begins laying the building blocks for delivering the perfect punch.  Driving off the back foot begins to shift your weight forward, incorporates your legs (one of the largest and most powerful muscle groups in your body), engages your core and sets your upper body in motion to deliver a powerful blow.  When a fighter does not begin the punch from this pivotal point, the result is a blow that has no real leverage or power behind it.  Its delivery has relied on the muscles of the upper body alone to do all of the work.

Using the ground to push from incorporates the same principle that a swimmer uses when taking off to begin a lap.  The push off, or when a swimmer plants his feet and drives off the side of the pool, is done because it gives him a solid surface to launch himself from.  The side of the pool provides a solid base that a swimmer's entire muscular and skeletal frame can build upon.  The alternative is to initiate the move in the midst of the water, with no solid leverage point to propel itself from.  Doing that would take much more effort.  It would force him to have to work against the water resistance and create his own momentum.  If you've ever spent any time in a swimming pool or in water, you understand the difference and have to wonder,”Why would a swimmer ever do that?"  Well, by the same token, why would a fighter ever do that?  Why would he use only his own body to generate power, when he can simply dig his toes in and produce so much more leverage on his punches?

Plant your back toe in the ground and keep it there.  Ride it like a Kentucky Derby winning stallion and build your foundation from there.  When each punch begins from that one point, you can only plan on big things happening.  Each time you throw, start with your toe.

Doug Ward is the President and Trainer for the Underground Boxing Company.