Smooth footwork might as well be the same thing as coordination in boxing. In order to achieve efficiency and harmony in all your movements, your arms, and subsequently, your feet must move in sync. The drill in this article, Armagometry, focuses on developing harmony, and as a result, coordination between your arms and legs.
What is it:
Our first coach, Coach Steve, created this drill (along with its funny name) and taught it to my brother and me to develop our arm-leg (or punch-step) coordination. The drill involves a series of steps coordinated with a series of jabs and straights (1s and 2s). It is usually done around a heavy bag, but equipment is not necessary for the drill.
How to do Armagometry:
- In stance, with your lead foot, take a small step to your lead side while you throw your jab. Your foot and punch should land simultaneously. (And basics still apply: chin down, other hand up, nearly equal weight on both feet, feet shoulder-width apart.)
- Following up with your rear foot, take the same small step to your lead side while you throw your straight. Your foot and punch should land simultaneously. No power is necessary, but still, slightly rotate your hip.
- Repeat steps (1) and (2).
- With your rear foot, take a small step to your rear side while you throw your jab. Simultaneity is key. The transition from moving lead to rear should keep the rhythm intact.
- Following up with your lead foot, take the same small step to your rear side while you throw your straight. Simultaneity is key.
- Repeat steps (4) and (5).
- Repeat step (3) and repeat step (6). In other words, keep the cycle, rhythm, and harmony going for a certain amount of time.
When to do Armagometry:
As I have taught boxing, I’ve felt this drill was needed for those suffering from awkward or uncomfortable movement (aka assymmetry). Armagometry develops harmony between a boxer’s arms and legs. It is suitable for the beginner and the lesser intermediate boxer because it develops the hand-eye and hand-foot coordination required for boxing. It also develops a sense of rhythm. Additionally, it can be good conditioning for the beginner boxer if done for a good amount of time; as they will learn, in order to keep it going for a long time, they must tune their boxing for efficient punching and movement. (For example, after 20 minutes of armagometry, the beginner will have learned and practiced to relax her shoulders and control her punching power.) In short, the boxer should do armagometry if she needs to develop her boxing coordination and rhythm (or is suffering from assymmetry).
The drill is pretty simple: As you move to your lead side, step and punch with the same side (jab for lead foot; straight for rear foot), then as you move to your rear side, step and punch with the opposite side (jab for rear foot; straight for lead foot). Although simple, armagometry is supremely effective in developing the coordination necessary for boxing.