We’re back for another #juicebreak...this time with Suja Brand Ambassador and Personal Trainer Alex Robinson (@alexdoitright) to show us some boxing basics! We’re all for taking some time to connect our body and mind through movement as a great way to focus our awareness on the present moment. For Alex, boxing has been life changing and a great source of joy and fulfillment. Check it out as Alex walks us through some boxing fundamentals and be sure to tune in for the full story on IGTV!
Pictured: Alex Robinson, Suja Brand Ambassador & Personal Trainer
"Boxing is the ultimate challenge. There's nothing that can compare to testing yourself the way you do every time you step in the ring." - Sugar Ray Leonard
I always tell people boxing found me. I felt lost and boxing gave me the comfort I never knew I needed. As weird as that sounds, it’s definitely true. My freshman year of college I ran track and played football, but after failing some classes I ultimately had to drop out of school and come home, and that was tough. I felt lost and it showed. That time resonates to what we’re all experiencing right now because many of us are feeling lost with uncertainty in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic. Life as we know it has been turned upside down. However, just as the day my father came home and begged me to meet our neighbor who was a boxing trainer, I hope I can provide a little comfort with boxing in this time of crisis.
Your boxing stance is very important...it’s like the foundation a house is built on. If your foundation is strong, everything else will most likely follow suit.
As you stand shoulder width apart you will take your dominant foot (the foot you use to kick a ball) and put it behind you as if straddling a line, almost like a baseball player. Now - you want the toe of the foot placed in front to match up with the heel placed behind (heel-toe alignment). Take a slight bend in the knees making sure you are still shoulder width apart with those feet. That is your boxing stance!
Now, obviously this will look different depending on if you are a righty or a lefty. Now you want to ball up those fists (not too tight, you still need blood circulation) and bring them up to protect your face. To my right handed people: your Left hand should be slightly in front of the face while your right hand remains closer to the chin (almost mimicking a cell phone call). Left handed people will just do the opposite.
We will go over the two most basic and fundamental punches in boxing: the jab and the cross.
The jab is performed with your lead hand. Once again, it will look different for my right hand-dominant or left hand-dominant folks. I always describe a jab as a spear or a sword. The jab is straight and direct. Think of trying to hit a target with speed and accuracy right in front of you. Maintaining a strong boxing stance with balance is key while using the jab. While your lead hand is slightly in front of the face close to the chin, you want to drive your fist directly in front of you like a line drive. The faster and more accurate you can do it, the better. Pro-tip: use your look foot to step in slightly simultaneously while throwing your jab for more power behind it. Do this as many times as possible and practice in the mirror!
The cross is a powerful punch performed with your power hand. If you're right hand-dominant it’s done with the right hand, and if you're left hand-dominant it’s done with the left hand. This punch is thrown differently than the jab in the sense that it incorporates your whole body in the movement. Once again, in your strong stance the rear hand (power hand) is on your chin. You will be using your rear shoulder, hip and foot to activate this action. In essence, this is what makes the punch so strong. You'll be turning your foot as if squashing a bug and rotating your hips and shoulders forward as you drive the rear hand directly off of your chin in front of you. Remember now - this has to be all done simultaneously. Think of a baseball player hitting a home run. The key to this punch is not to flail the arms out, but to think of a hammer driving a nail into wood. It is a swift and direct movement. Rotation is very important so practice, practice, practice!
Personally for me, boxing has been such a source of joy and fulfillment. I hope this has brought you a little challenge, but also a some joy in this great time of uncertainty!
To watch Alex's full tutorial, head to our IGTV!