10 Tips for Beginner Boxers

Updated on: December 18, 2023

Boxing can be daunting for beginners. But with over 15 years of experience in the ring, I’ve compiled the 10 most crucial tips to get new boxers started on the right path. From stance basics to mental toughness, these insights will help you rapidly improve your skills. Let’s dive in.

Tip #1 Find Your Stance

the importance of the classic boxers stance

Picture the roots of a tree, planted deep and firm. That’s what your stance in boxing should emulate – a foundation of solidity that braces you for incoming storms and allows you to sway and swing with force when it’s your turn to blow. Here’s how to ground yourself:

  1. Lead with your dominant side slightly back for greater balance and reach.
  2. Space your feet shoulder-width apart, bending the knees just a touch to stay nimble.
  3. Tuck your chin behind your shoulder to shield yourself, chin down and eyes up.
  4. Keep your rear heel up, ready to pivot or push off when the moment calls for it.
  5. Position your hands up, elbows in, as if protecting the precious jewels of your face and torso.

Drilling this pattern plants the seed for all other moves in boxing. Practice until your stance feels like a natural extension of your fighting spirit.

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Tip #2 Guard Up

Boxing guard stance

Ever heard the saying, ‘better safe than sorry’? In boxing, consider your guard as your safety belt. Here’s your go-to tips to ensuring that your defense is top-notch:

  • Positioning: Your gloves are your shield. Raise them to eye level, so you can peek over and keep those peepers protected.
  • Elbows In: Hug your ribs with your elbows to guard against body shots.
  • Movement: Your guard isn’t a statue; it’s dynamic. Adjust as you move, react, and when you see an opening, make your move.
  • Practice: Shadow boxing isn’t just for throwing punches. Get in front of a mirror, visualize an opponent, and work on moving that guard as if someone’s testing it.

Mastering this will frustrate your opponents and provide the bedrock from which your offense can spring. Read more in our article about boxing guards.

Tip #3 Jab Mastery

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The jab. It’s quick, it’s sneaky, and oh, it’s your best friend in the ring. It sets up combos, keeps opponents at bay, and paves the way for more powerful punches. Want to send your opponents a message they can’t ignore? Here’s how:

  • Speed over Power: Snap out that jab like a bee sting. It’s not about how hard you hit, but how fast and frequent.
  • Footwork Tandem: Step into the jab to add a bit of oomph while maintaining balance.
  • Keep Them Guessing: Mix up your rhythm. A predictable jab is a jab that’s going to make friends with your opponent’s glove.
  • Double Up: Who says one is enough? Throw a one-two jab to open doors for your power hand.

Give these tips a whirl, and watch as the jab becomes your steering wheel in the fight, guiding you where you want to go.

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Tip #4 Combo’s

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A masterful combo is like a symphony; each punch is a note that, when strung together, creates a rhythm that can overwhelm opponents. Here’s how you start composing:

  • Start Simple: Get the hang of combining a jab with a cross; they’re the bread and butter of punch combinations.
  • Add Layers: Once you’ve got that down, layer in hooks and uppercuts to target different areas and catch opponents by surprise.
  • Flow: Your punches should flow from one to another without stalling. It’s all about fluid motion.
  • Drill, Drill, Drill: Practice makes perfect. Work your combinations on the heavy bag, double-end bag, and during mitt work with a coach.

Remember, your combinations are only effective if they’re crisp and clean. Keep checking in with your form and make every punch count.

Tip #5 Footwork Fundamentals

Manny Pacquiao southpaw stance

You’ve got the punches down, but now let’s talk about dancing – boxing-style. Good footwork is your ticket to gliding across the canvas and positioning yourself for the ultimate strike while staying out of harm’s way. Here’s how to step up your game:

  1. The basics: Move forward, back, left, and right. It sounds simple, but these movements are your building blocks.
  2. Balance and posture: Keep a stable base and your knees slightly bent. It’s about being prepared to move quickly in any direction.
  3. Drills: Use ladder drills and cone drills to sharpen your agility. They’ll help you move swiftly and switch directions seamlessly.
  4. Shadowboxing: Float around the ring, practicing your movements without throwing a single punch. Focus on the dance, and the punches will follow more naturally.

A boxer with stellar footwork is like a chess player, always two steps ahead. Keep practicing, and soon you’ll be the one dictating the pace and flow of the match.

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Tip #6 Breathing Basics

Boxer taking a knee while boxing

Breathing is the unsung hero of the boxing world; it keeps your engine running and helps steady your shots. Think of it as the rhythm to your boxing song. Improve your breathing with these tips:

  • Timing: Exhale sharply on each punch. This not only empowers your strike but helps protect your body, too.
  • Relaxation: Stay relaxed between exchanges. Tension eats up oxygen like a hungry heavyweight at a buffet.
  • Pattern: Find a breathing pattern that works for you and stick to it. Consistency is key to maintaining your tempo.

Just like a drummer in a band, your breath sets the beat for your fight. Play it right, and you’ll keep the symphony going even when the tempo picks up.

Tip #7 Nutrition and Hydration

Boxing diet food nutrition

Right, let’s talk fuel. Like a high-performance car, your body needs the right mix to run at full tilt. The punches you throw are powered by the fuel you consume, so here’s how to keep the engine running at peak performance:

  • Wholesome Meals: Think lean proteins, complex carbs, and plenty of veggies. Your muscles crave these for repair and growth.
  • Snack Smart: Favor fruits, nuts, and yogurt over processed munchies. Your body will thank you with sustained energy.
  • Hydration Heaven: Water is your best cornerman. Stay hydrated; it helps with recovery and keeps every cell in fighting form.
  • Plan & Prep: Meal prep ain’t just trendy—it’s tactical. Get your grub ready in advance so you’re never caught starving.

You are what you eat, so eat like a champion.

Tip: checkout our boxing diet article for more details about which foods are good for a boxer.

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Tip #8 The Mental Game

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Boxing’s as much about mental prowess as it is physical. Here’s the game plan for a mind of steel:

  • Visualization: Picture your victory, step by step, blow by blow. Doing so can make it a reality in the ring.
  • Stay Positive: Affirmations can bolster confidence. Tell yourself you’re tough, you’re ready, and yes, you’re a winner.
  • Concentration Drills: Like any other muscle, your brain needs a workout. Practice focus with concentration drills to keep your mind razor-sharp in the midst of battle.

A strong mind weaves the belt, and yours is on the way to being heavyweight-grade.

Tip #9 Rest and Recover

The Mind Body Connection Sleep Training boxing

Now, don’t get it twisted; resting isn’t quitting. It’s smart strategy for longevity in this sport. Embrace the art of recovery:

  • Sleep Soundly: Aim for 7 to 9 hours of quality Zs. Sleep isn’t for the weak; it’s for the wise and strong.
  • Recovery Tactics: Consider activities such as yoga, stretching, or even just walking. Your muscles need the R&R to repair and grow stronger.
  • Listen Up: Your body’s smarter than you think. If it’s begging for a break, heed its call and take a rest day.

Treat rest like the precious commodity it is, and it’ll pay dividends in your boxing bounty.

Stepping back after hard training isn’t a sign of slacking; it’s the hallmark of savvy boxing brains..tell you to rest, listen. It knows something you may not: even champions need to recharge.

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Tip #10 Learning from Others

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Float like a butterfly, but don’t sting alone. Becoming part of a boxing community offers support, insight, and shared experience that can make all the difference. Here’s what leaning on others can do for you:

  1. Shared Knowledge: There’s usually a wealth of collective wisdom in a boxing community you just can’t get solo. Tips, tricks, and life lessons are all up for grabs.
  2. Mentorship: A seasoned mentor can help sharpen your skills with personalized advice, steering you clear of common pitfalls.
  3. Motivation: A hearty “You got this!” from a fellow boxer can fuel your drive on days when your spirit’s sagging. A community has your back.
  4. Networking: Opportunities for bouts, training camps, and seminars often come through word of mouth. Stay connected, stay informed.
  5. Friendships: Bonds forged through shared struggles can last a lifetime. Think of your sparring partners as your comrades in arms.

Participation in a community isn’t just about taking; it’s also about contributing. Share your journey, your successes, and yes, even your blunders. Together, everyone grows stronger.

Your Boxing Journey Awaits

And just like that, you’ve bobbed and weaved through ten critical rounds of boxing wisdom, freshly plucked from the tree of hard knocks. From solid stances and jab jives to the sweet science of recovery and the solidarity of a boxing fellowship – it’s a lot to take in, but you’re not in this alone.

Now is the moment to lace up those gloves tighter than ever and shadowbox your way into the heart of this sport. Each step, each punch, each breath is an investment in the grand bout that awaits. So ring that bell, take a steadfast stance and let your boxing journey unfold with courage, passion, and a hefty dose of spunk. Remember, every champion was once a beginner who simply refused to give up. Are you ready to join the ranks? Your boxing journey is just a bell toll away.

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Additional Resources to Boost Your Boxing Brainpower

Ready to dive deeper into your boxing education? There’s a wealth of knowledge out there to help you refine your technique, boost your understanding, and keep you inspired on your journey.


  • “The Sweet Science” by A.J. Liebling: Regarded as one of the greatest sports books ever, Liebling’s classic offers an unparalleled look into boxing’s golden age through a collection of essays. Grab a copy and get lost in the prose that captures the essence of boxing. Get it on Amazon
  • “Boxing for Beginners” by Billy Finegan: Whether you’re just putting on your gloves or looking to revisit the basics, this book lays down the fundamentals in an easy-to-follow format. Find it on Amazon

YouTube Channels

  • FightTips: With a massive library of tutorials, drills, and tips, this channel is perfect for fighters at all levels. Learn new techniques and get advice from seasoned professionals. Watch FightTips
  • Precision Striking: Another excellent source for learning, this channel focuses on the precision and technical aspects of boxing, offering clear, detailed instruction. Check out Precision Striking


  • “Boxing Basics for Beginners” by The Art of Manliness: A fantastic read for those starting out, this article breaks down the fundamentals in an engaging and informative way. Read the Article


  • “When We Were Kings”: This documentary delves into the historic 1974 heavyweight championship bout between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman. It’s not just about the fight; it’s about the man behind the gloves. Watch on Netflix

These resources are just the beginning. With each book you read, video you watch, and article you pore over, you’re building a stronger, more knowledgeable boxer within. Use them well, and let your passion for boxing be your guide.

Camiel is a seasoned boxing analyst and trainer with 8 years of professional experience in the sport. Owner of two boxing clubs and a proven track record of organizing successful boxing galas, Camiel has also led his team to multiple tournament victories. His articles offer a deep dive into the nuances of boxing, from specialized training tips to strategic insights, making them a must-read for enthusiasts and practitioners alike. Camiel's expertise not only illuminates the technical aspects of boxing but also provides readers with a unique perspective on the mental and strategic elements of the sport.

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