Head movement is one skill that separates great boxers from everyone else. It’s one of those things that takes time and lots of ring experience to master. The term “head movement” refers to slight movements of your head that are performed to evade strikes. Avoiding getting hit with a slight movement of your head puts you in a position to land devastating counters on opponents.
Head movement is not only about avoiding getting hit. It’s also about making yourself a smaller target and making it harder for your opponent to land shots. The best boxers in the world make it look effortless, but head movement takes a lot of practice to perfect.
The different types of head movement used in boxing include slipping, rolling, bobbing, and weaving. Each type of head movement has a different purpose. Some are used to avoid punches, while others are used to set up counterpunches.
Ten Drills That Improve Your Head Movement
Here are ten must-know boxing head movement drills that will help you improve your head movement and make you a better boxer:
1）Shadowboxing Head Movement Drill
Starting our list is the shadow boxing with head movement drill. This drill is excellent for getting a feel for moving your head while throwing punches. Start by throwing punches at an imaginary opponent in front of you. As you throw each punch, move your head slightly to the side, up, or down. This will help you get used to evading punches while also throwing them.
2）Partner Head Movement Drill
The second drill is a head movement drill that involves working with a partner. This drill is similar to the shadowboxing drill but with a partner instead of an imaginary opponent. Have your partner throw punches at you as you move your head around to avoid them. This will help you get used to reacting to real punches and moving your head simultaneously.
3） Double-End Ball Head Movement Drill
The third drill is the double-ended ball with head movement drill. This drill is excellent for developing your timing and accuracy. Hang a double-ended ball from the ceiling and bounce it off the floor. As it comes up, hit it with punches. Move your head around to avoid getting hit by the ball. This will help you develop your timing and accuracy with your punches while also moving your head simultaneously.
4） Focus Mitts Head Movement Drill
Working with a trainer holding focus mitts is another effective way to improve your head movement. Focus mitts are excellent for developing your punching power and accuracy. Have your partner hold focus mitts in front of you as you throw punches at them.
As you punch, move your head around to avoid getting hit by the mitts. Your trainer will also throw punches at you from time to time to keep you moving your head. This helps to develop your punching power, accuracy, footwork, and speed while also teaching you to move your head out of the way of punches.
5） Heavy Bag Head Movement Drill
The fifth drill is the heavy bag with head movement drill. This drill is excellent for developing your punching power and stamina. Punch the heavy bag as hard as you can while also moving your head around to avoid getting hit by the bag. This will help you develop your punching power and stamina while improving your head movement.
6）Speed Bag Head Movement Drill
Working on a speed bag also helps you to improve your head movement. Speed bags are also great for developing your hand-eye coordination and speed. Punch the speed bag as fast as you can while also moving your head around to avoid getting hit by the bag. This will help you develop your hand-eye coordination and speed while you work on your head movement.
7） Tennis Ball Drill
Here’s a fun drill that involves working with a partner. You stand with your back close to a wall while your training partner throws a tennis ball at you. Your job is to evade the tennis ball with head movement. The ball’s speed mimics an opponent’s punch, making it one of the most effective drills for improving your head movement and reaction time.
8） Pool Noodle Drills
This is another excellent training drill that can be done with a partner. You will need two pool noodles for this one. Have your partner hold one pool noodle in each hand and try to hit you with them. As they swing the noodles at you, move your head around to avoid getting hit. This drill is excellent for developing your reflexes and head movement.
Pool noodles can also be used as a substitute for focus mitts. That way, you can work on other aspects of your fight game, like footwork, accuracy, and speed, while improving your head movement.
9） Slip Cord Drill
This is one of the oldest drills boxers have used to improve their footwork. It involves using a slip cloth, a long piece of fabric or elastic, tied to opposite ends of a ring or other gym equipment.
The drill’s goal is to move from one end of the cord to another while throwing punches, using proper footwork, and moving your head. Avoid making contact with the cord as you work your way through it.
Nothing compares to getting in the ring and going against another trained boxer to improve your head movement. You can practice your head movement against an opponent trying to punch you. It’s the next best thing to using head movement in a real fight.
Get More Boxing Tips
Head movement is an essential aspect of boxing that often gets overlooked. These ten drills are designed to help you improve your head movement so that you can become a better boxer. Incorporate these drills into your training regimen, and you’ll see a marked improvement in your head movement skills.
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