During my time of learning boxing, I saw some common mistakes that people make when practicing techniques. Boxing is a martial art that involves a lot of footwork, head movement, combinations, & strategies.
To some people, it may sound simple to do, but when it’s not. Getting the flow of everything takes years & numerous amounts of practice. Practicing the drills is a step-by-step process, so the flow of everything comes later on.
There will always be mistakes involved when training, which is a good thing because you’re learning to improve yourself. Speaking of errors, I want to share what they are with you. Not only have I experienced seeing people making these common errors, but I have also made the same mistakes that they have.
1. Tense Movement & Footwork
Usually, beginners are the ones who start out having tense movement & footwork because light footwork is something they are not used to doing. Another reason why people make this mistake is that they’re nervous.
When you’re tense & are heavy on your feet, you fatigue faster, which is not effective in boxing. So train yourself to develop being light on your feet is the best way to get better at movement & footwork.
Being flat-footed is another common mistake that people make in boxing. When people set their footing like this, it causes your movement & footwork to feel slow. So, it’s always best to be light on your feet to create angles & being elusive.
3. Tense Jabs
Speaking of tense movement, one of the other common mistakes people make is throwing a tense jab. The jab may look like an easy punching technique to learn & do, but it’s not. Performing a proper jab consists of relaxing the body & practice the appropriate motion of it for it to land correctly.
4. Not Fully Extending Straight Punches
For both the jab & the cross, some people have built a habit of not fully extending them. If you developed this habit, the chances of you landing your jab & cross are not very high. So, not accurately thrown straight punches means you’re selling yourself short.
5. Sloppy Lead Hook
Rather than throwing a proper straight lead hook, I noticed some people built a bad habit of performing & coming up with it in a diagonal direction. There’s still power in it, but it’s not good coming up & throwing it diagonally because you expose yourself to a counter.
So, throwing a lead hook in a straighter circular motion & bring your hand back to your face to protect yourself is the proper way.
6. Loading Up Too Much to Perform Uppercuts & Hooks
Loading up too much to perform uppercuts & hooks is not the proper way of doing it. You get more power, but loading up exposes you to getting countered since it takes longer to let the uppercuts & hooks go.
When you’re sparring and trying to load, your partner can read what you’re doing & also knowing how to capitalize on the error. So, loading up is never a good option.
7. Not Following up With Head Movement After a Combo
Not moving your head after performing a combo is another common mistake a lot of people make. Just because you’re practicing performing the end of a combo drill doesn’t mean that a counter is not coming at you.
In a real-life boxing scenario, your opponent will come at you with a counter. Therefore, building a habit of moving your head after helps you stay prepared for any counters that come your way.
8. Squaring Up Stance
Another error that some people make is squaring up their boxing stance. Once that happens, you expose yourself to many attacks, not having a good balance, & performing poor boxing techniques.
So always stay in a strong boxing stance to have a strong defensive guard along with staying balanced. Doing this is key to having fluent boxing technique, footwork, head movement, & good defense.
9. Slipping While Bringing Your Hip To The Side Too Much
Head movement & slipping by bringing your hips side to side too much is not the proper way to do it. Slipping to dodge a punch is done by moving your head & shoulder out of the centerline.
How you know if you are performing it right is when you feel as if your reaching for your toes while slipping, except you have your hands up to protect yourself. My coach always tells me that moving your head out of the centerline does not take much.
Therefore, slipping to the side too much is unnecessary & it only requires a small amount of movement to move your head out of the centerline.
10. Leaning Back Too Much When Pulling To Dodge A Jab
When it comes to pulling to dodge a jab, do not lean too much because you can hurt back from doing this. I have seen a lot of people make this error, but they were able to correct themselves.
11. Not Having Having Hands up
Another mistake that a lot of people make is dropping their hands while practicing or sparring. Most have their hands down because they’re still not used to keeping them up, or some are trying to be cool & thinking they’re like Roy Jones Jr. or Floyd Mayweather.
Having your hands up is always the best defense & along with using head movement to protect yourself. Head movement with your hands down is considered risky & it takes years to develop the Roy Jones & Mayweather boxing style. So keep your hands up at all time!
12. Chin Is Up While Drilling & Sparring
While you are practicing combination techniques or sparring in boxing, do not have your chin up high! I have made this error multiple times, & thankfully to my coach for giving me a constant reminder to always keep my chin down.
Keeping your chin down is what prepares & protects you from the knockout strike. If you’re a competitor or just training boxing for self-defense, keep your chin tucked with your hands up to have a solid defensive guard.
13. Not Rotating Feet & Hips While Performing Punches
Some people have built the habit of just using the arms to punch, which does not create much impact. When it comes to performing proper punching techniques, rotating your hips & feet together is the key to generate power to make the punches effective.
When you train in the sport of boxing, not everything is going to be perfect. The only way to get better is to learn from your mistakes, which everybody experiences when learning boxing.
The 13 common mistakes are what everybody has gone through doing when training in this discipline. If you have experienced any of these errors, it’s okay because these mistakes will help you realize that you have some improvements to make.
If you have anymore questions about what other common mistakes are made when training boxing, please leave a comment, or send us a message.
Hi there! I’m Austin, editor & owner of the Mixed Martial Arts Life or Lifestyle (MMAL) blog. Martial Arts have been one of my biggest passions for years & I have spent most of my life learning different types of disciplines. To find out more about my adventures & passion for martial arts, read all about it here on my blog.