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Boxing Movement and Footwork Training: Slip Rope Drill

One of the best things a boxer can do to train their offense and defense is to utilize a slip rope. Simple boxing footwork can be trained with boxing slip rope drills. These drills engage your entire body and help you improve your movement speed.

Before diving into the boxing slip rope drills, let’s cover a few frequently asked questions you need to know for the following exercise:

What Is a Slip In Boxing?

A boxing slip is a simple boxing move that is meant to dodge oncoming strikes. It is a small movement of the head to the left or right, just far enough to avoid getting hit.

How Do You Slip In Boxing?

To slip in boxing training, start in a fighting stance. Pivot your back foot and body slightly to the left by shifting a small amount of weight onto your front leg. To perform a slip in the other direction, shift your weight onto your back leg and pivot the front of your body. When doing a slip, your head should subtly shift to one side of your body. It should not be an exaggerated movement.

What Is a Roll In Boxing?

A boxing roll is another type of dodging movement, but involves more movement than a slip. A roll movement is when a boxer drops down under a strike and sways to one side or steps to one side before rising again. This movement is particularly helpful against hook strikes.

How Do You Roll In Boxing?

To learn how to roll in boxing footwork drills, start from a fighting stance. From your stance, drop down a few inches and shift your weight to your other leg before rising again. To picture this movement, imagine a boxer making a “U” in the air with their movement.

The Slip Rope Drills

Boxing drills using equipment such as a slip rope train movement, speed and coordination. A slip rope is a piece of flexible fabric that ranges in length. The rope is tied at head height between two poles or walls. Follow along with Coach PJ and the FightCamp trainers as they perform two (2) slip rope training drills.

Boxing Slip Rope Drill Defensive Footwork Training

If you don’t have an official slip rope, something as simple as a light string can be used for this exercise.

Slip Rope Drill Version #1:

Take your slip rope and set it up in an area where it can be tied so that it is suspended at head height. Start in a fighting stance next to one side of the rope, so that it is directly next to your cheek.

  • Begin by throwing two punches of any type
  • Roll underneath the slip rope, dropping down only far enough to slide under the rope
  • Rise up on the other side of the rope
  • Throw two more punches of any type
  • Roll back to the original side

When rolling, your lead foot should stay the same regardless of which side of the rope you end up on. The key with this exercise is to train your rolls so that you drop down just far enough to get under the rope. Make sure you bend your knees and aren’t just bending your back.

*If you hit the rope, drop down and perform 25 push-ups

Slip Rope Drill Version #2:

To perform the second version of this drill, set up the rope the exact same way. This time, instead of positioning yourself next to the rope so that it lies next to your cheek, stand in your fighting stance so the rope is directly in front of you.

  • Start this drill the same way, throwing two punches
  • Roll forward, performed the same way as a sideways roll, and rise up so the rope is now behind your head
  • Throw two punches and roll backwards so that the rope is in front of you again

This version is more difficult since you cannot see the rope after rolling to the front. When practicing this version, start slower so that you can get a feel for the distance you need to roll to get under and behind the slip rope.

*Again, drop down for 25 push-ups if you hit the rope at any time

Movement Tip

Remember that when doing the first version of this drill, you should only be about one inch away from the rope. Keep your eyes up as you roll and slowly transfer your weight from one leg to the other as you step.

Ultimately, practice is everything. Work where you feel comfortable. When you are ready, add in more strikes before your rolls and throw slips into the mix as well. If you’re feeling up to it, throw a blindfold on and have a little fun with the exercise!

Start training your boxing movement today and you’ll be slipping and rolling like a champion. You can also try other footwork drills to maximize your boxing training.

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Boxing Footwork Drills For Beginners
Boxing Movement and Footwork Training: Tennis Ball Drill


The Author: PJ Shirdan is a FightCamp Founding Coach who claims that boxing wasn’t his first love, but it saved his life. PJ grew up in the Philadelphia area and played football as a young athlete. After a life-changing event, he found boxing as a way to heal, escape, and, ultimately, rebuild his life as he became a competitive fighter. PJ came to Los Angeles and continued to hone his skills as a boxer and as a NASM and TRX Certified Personal Trainer. He began to train other boxers, UFC fighters, and athletes using a holistic approach. This included mental and physical training, nutritional counseling, and empowering his clients with his hallmark motivational style. Today, he is known throughout the FightCamp Team as the go-to person to close out company-wide meetings with the same optimism and positive messages he delivers in his FightCamp workouts. When PJ isn’t filming workouts, he’s enjoying a great burger with his wife, Lindsey, and living his #BestDayEver.