There are endless ways to use the jab. Just about every jab you’ll ever throw will have qualities from one or multiple of the jabs below. We suggest you practice them all, master the ones that fit your boxing style, and use what works.
1. Basic Jab
This jab is really simple. Without moving your feet, body or head, simply extend the fist of your front arm straight out towards your opponent. Upon impact and/or full extension, recover that fist back to starting position resetting your body back to its regular stance.
The basic jab is a standstill punch and easy to throw without compromising your defence. It is a very fast punch but has minimal power.
2. Step Jab
To throw a Step Jab, you step forward with your front foot while you extend your front fist out towards your opponent. As you recover the jab hand, you quickly slide your back foot up at the same time bringing your feet back to its normal distance. Your body will be one step closer to your opponent at the end of the step jab. This jab has more power than the basic jab. You can use the step jab to quickly move from outside of reach to within reach and land punches when your opponent is not expecting it. Just be aware that if your opponent lands a punch on you at the right time, at the moment you step, you might lose your balance and become vulnerable to other punches.
3. Power Jab
The Power Jab is slightly different than the Step Jab. You first move your front foot towards your opponent, but then you slide your back foot up bringing your body closer to your opponent while throwing the jab at the same time. The Power Jab has more power because your whole body is moving forward as you throw the jab. Just keep in mind that by moving your front foot first, you might give away what you are going to do and it will be easier for your opponent to see and defend against the Jab.
4. Pivot Jab
For orthodox boxers, you will pivot clockwise on your front foot as you throw the jab. Your back foot should swing about one or two feet from its starting position while the front foot stays in the same place while pivoting on its ball. Southpaw boxers pivot counter-clockwise. The Pivot Jab allows you to generate power while pivoting your body out of harm’s way. It also takes your boxing ability to the next level by allowing you to use angles in your punches. But again, keep an eye on your balance while you’re pivoting on one leg!
5. Backstep Jab
You throw the Backstep Jab as you step back with your back foot. You will then recover your front hand as you recover your front foot. The Backstep Jab is a weak punch, but it allows you to punch while retreating which helps to fight off an opponent’s attack. Combine it with other counter-punches, to keep off an aggressive opponent.