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10 boxing terms you should know

Boxing has its own unique language and if you are a beginner you might find yourself assuming southpaw is another word for the yoga pose downward dog. So below, we’ve listed the definitions of 10 words you should know before gloving up:

Beulah Aidoo

Mar 9 2023

3 min read

1. Jab

The jab is a punch that is thrown with your lead/front hand and delivered straight in front of you.

2. Cross

The cross is your power punch thrown with the rear (more dominant) hand travelling across the body.

3. Hook

This punch is thrown with either hand and is delivered in a semi-circular pattern. The hook is executed by leading with your hand, bringing your elbow up and rotating the front side of your body (in a similar motion as slamming a door). 

4. Uppercut

A punch thrown upwards. This punch should be delivered from a crouched position, with your hands up and, as you twist your upper torso, you extend your hand out and up slightly. This can be thrown with either hand.

5. Straights

This is when you continuously throw a jab and cross combination. Often at speed.

‘Half Straights’ means you only pump your arms about half of the way out with a little rotation through the knuckles, whilst ‘Full Straights’ means you fully extend your arm with each jab. It is what it says on the tin!

6. Combination

Any series of punches thrown in succession, one right after the other, with no break in between.

7. Shadow boxing

A type of training used to describe punches thrown in the air without hitting a bag, pads or person. Traditionally the name came from the shadow or reflection in a mirror, against an imaginary opponent, in order to review their technique. 

8. Orthodox

The term used for a right-handed fighter ie. leads with a left jab and uses their back, or right hand, as their power punch (cross). Typically someone who rights with their right hand.

9. Southpaw

The term used for a left-handed fighter ie. leads with a right jab and uses their back, or right hand, as their power punch (cross). Typically someone who writes with their left hand.

10. Stance and guard

Stance refers to how you stand when boxing so you are able to maintain balance, move around easily and deliver powerful punches. Typically you either stand in an Orthodox or Southpaw stance. Guard refers to where you hold your fists when boxing to protect your face.

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Article Summary

If you're a boxing beginner, we've listed the definitions of 10 words you should know before gloving up.

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