The Boxers Stance

The Boxers Stance is the foundation upon which pretty much all traditional boxing skills are established. This can be a vital skill quite often overlooked by many beginners eager to get into the ring.

Yet a classic on guard stance provides you with the ability to punch and defend at the same time.

The Boxers Stance
The Boxers Stance

Orthodox or Southpaw Stance?

First of all, we have to determine will you be an Orthodox boxer or possibly a Southpaw boxer?

In boxing, an orthodox stance is one where the boxer positions his left foot further ahead of the right foot. Therefore having his weaker side nearer to the opposition.

The orthodox position is considered the most common stance when it comes to boxing. It will be mainly used by right-handed boxers.

To have a southpaw stance means to stand with your right foot further ahead of the left foot. This is the typical stance for a left-handed boxer.

For the purpose of this website, all of the tutorials are going to be written in the form of an Orthodox boxer. If you are a southpaw simply reverse the instructions. Whenever we discuss your lead hand and foot this will be your right one. The same applies whenever we make reference to your rear hand and foot this will be your left one.

There are numerous versions of the classic guard position, these include the Peekaboo guard, Jeffries crouch, Crouch, Crossguard, and Philly shell. Ultimately, you are going to find the stance that feels right for you and work from there.

Make a fist

Roll your fingers by closing the little finger followed by the other fingers and after that the index finger. Finally, the thumb sits under the tucked-in fingers, above the middle section of the index and middle fingers not curled inside the fingers.

Ensure that both hands are kept loose in readiness and the fist is not clenched until prior to the point of impact.

Preferably the closed fist tightens precisely as it lands and then instantly relaxes as it’s pulled back again.

Boxers Fist
Boxers Fist


The upper half of the Classic Boxers Stance.

In order to complete the upper half of the boxer’s stance, raise your forearms up parallel tucking your elbows in close to your ribs.

The forearms should be guarding the upper area of the body around the ribs and chest region that faces the opponent.

Hold your arms with just enough tension to keep them upright without being tight or rigid.

The upper half of the Classic Boxers Stance.
The upper half of the Classic Boxers Stance.

Turn your head so that you’re looking at your opponent and bend your head slightly forward protecting your chin while viewing your opponent partially through your eyebrows.

Your right hand should be about chin to cheek level and the left hand slightly forward by the cheek, with palms, turned in.

In this position, you should remain relaxed, your hands should be loose and only made into a tight fist just before impact on your opponent.


  • Boxer stands sideways, at a 45-degree angle.
  • Your body rotates inward.
  • Position the lead hand up near to eye level.
  • Keep your chin down and guard it with your lead shoulder.
  • Pull your rear arm elbow towards the body.
  • Keep your rear arm fist up close protecting the chin.
  • Both fists should be facing inward.

Two things to remember when throwing a punch.

  • Finish the punch exactly where it started out, back next to your chin. Don’t leave your arm hanging out there, remember to defend your self at all times in boxing.
  • The non-throwing hand should be in a defensive position, this really is essential whenever you happen to be punching, as it will create an opportunity for your opponent to counter-attack as you’re now in range to be hit.

The lower half of the Classic Boxers Stance.

While in front of your opponent, position yourself sideways so that you will have your left shoulder facing towards your opponent.

Your own feet need to be approximately shoulder-width away from each other. Try to keep your feet shoulder-width at all times even when moving around the ring. This is the only way to maintain a great balance.

The lower half of the Classic Boxers Stance.
The lower half of the Classic Boxers Stance.

Set your right foot out in front of yourself, so the back heel of the right foot lines up with the big toe of your left foot.

With both feet in position, rotate both your feet about 45 degrees toward your opponent. Bend the knees a little, continuing to keep your back reasonably straight.

Slightly lift up the heel of the right foot. Looking at your opponent your left foot should be around 11 o’clock and your right foot around 4 o’clock.

You are now in the traditional on guard boxers stance. From this position, you are able to punch and defend at the same time.


  • Set your feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Distribute the body weight evenly onto both feet.
  • Bend the knees slightly.
  • Slightly raise the heel of the rear foot.

Common Errors made while in the Boxing Stance

  • Feet far too wide – limiting quick movements.
  • Feet too narrow – upsetting your balance.
  • Both feet flat – limiting fluent movements.
  • Standing up straight – making a larger target for the opposition.
  • Raising the chin upward – increasing the possibility of getting struck on the chin.