How To Do The Top Rock | Proper Technique

How To Do The Top Rock | Proper Technique

Boxing footwork is important to help you float around the ring like a butterfly. Incorporate this dance move to your training to TOP ROCK your ring movement.

Published: December 9, 2022

Topics: Tips & Technique, Training

Author: Flo Master

Almost every athlete has heard of the phrase, “float like a butterfly, sting like a bee,” as stated by the world-renowned Muhammad Ali. In that statement, Ali was noting how he would quite literally, float around the ring, getting in shots on his opponents, then moving out of range before they could counter. To this day, having quick and swift feet are crucial to a boxer's success. While there are numerous exercises that you can perform to improve your footwork, none may be as fun as the b-boy move the Top Rock.

The Top Rock footwork exercise is a dance move that you can add to your boxing warm-ups and footwork drills that will help with coordination, balance, and technique. Here we break down the footwork for you.

Top Rock Step-By-Step

The Feet

  • Begin by starting in an athletic stance on the balls of your feet

  • To start, being by doing a “step out”

    • Step out with either foot (like stepping forward), making sure to cross in front of the non-stepping foot

    • Pause for a half-second

  • Return to the starting stance by performing a slight hop backward

  • Once returned, perform the opposite foot “step out”

    • Make sure the step out is in front of the opposite foot and crosses over

    • Pause for a half-second

  • Hop back to the starting position

  • Continue Top Rocking for the remainder of the set

The Arms

  • The key image to think of when top rocking and using your arms is to swing them in a semi-circle like a pendulum

  • On each step out, you should be swinging your arms out to your sides, forming a “t-shape”

  • During each hop back, swing your arms back down across one another, forming an “x-shape” like you were crossing your arms

  • Continue using this arm motion to help with rhythm and balance

Movement Key Points

Here are some key things to focus on while performing the Top Rock:

Start by swinging your arms

  • Your arms swing out to a “t-shape” on your first “step-out”

Start by swinging arms

On each hop back, your arms should cross in front of your chest

Arms cross in front of chest

One foot should cross at a time

One foot crosses at a time

Perform the movement by staying on the balls of your feet

Stay on the balls of your feet

Practice rhythm and think of it as performing the boxer’s bounce

Bounce like a boxer's bounce

Stay loose and have fun!

Stay loose!

Muscles Used

  • Deltoids

  • Core

  • Calves


For Sets

  • Perform 3-6 sets

  • 12-20 repetitions each way

  • Rest 30-45 seconds between sets

For Time

  • Perform 3-6 sets

  • Perform for 30-90 seconds

  • Rest 45-60 seconds between sets

Dance Moves For Boxers

Boxing training doesn’t always have to feel like a dreaded workout. There are ways to keep it interesting and adding dance moves like the Top Rock can make warming up, improving your footwork, and working on cardio a lot more fun. Just like every new movement, it may seem a little awkward at first, but practice it slowly and master the rhythm and you’ll be moving around the ring like our b-boy Flo Master.

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Flo Master

Jerry “Flo Master” Randolph is a Founding FightCamp Coach. From Gaithersburg, MD, he danced with stars like Usher, Ciara, JLo, & Will Smith before turning to martial arts & boxing. Flo is USA Boxing Coach certified.

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