The Complete Anatomy of Elbow Block Boxing

Boxing is a combat sports game in which a person fights against another person with his fists wearing padded gloves in a roped square ring according to rules. 

In Elbow block boxing, a defensive technique, the user either raises or bends their arms to block an incoming punch by using their elbows, the sharpest joint on the human body, reversing the impact of the punches to the offender’s fist. This technique is used against body blows, and body blows related attacks such as the heartbreak shot. 

If an attacker uses more power against the block, then there are many chances that the fist of the attacker will break or some time it can break the attacker’s wrist too. Elbow block boxing is impressive and in the same way, is also tricky. When someone uses this technique, it looks like the attacker hit a brick wall. Some countries give proper training sessions for elbow block boxing.

Is it legal to use elbows for blocking the attack?

It depends on the amateur rules of your country, state, city, etc. Some countries allow this, and likewise, some countries do not allow this technique. For example, in Denmark, if a boxer uses his elbows accidentally, then it is fine, but if he uses them for some purpose, then it will be considered a foul.  Also, it is legal in the US to as long as a boxer is not striking with his elbows. In short, it is legal to block punches of the attacker with elbows. 

Boxing rules do not prohibit the use of crutches for preventing. So it is fair to use this technique in both amateur and professional contests. Official boxing rules state that a boxer cannot help him with his head, shoulder or elbow but can use them as a defence mechanism. A fighter can use every technique for your defence unless the ref says stop. Boxing rules state that you cannot bring a boxing glove into MMA or self-defence scenarios, but you can use your elbows. Also, it is disrespectful in training to throw an angle intentionally. So you should avoid intentionally hurting your sparring partner. 

How to use this technique?

  1. Boxer should keep his gloves at above eye level with his palms towards his face, tuck his elbows close to his body, tight into his ribs and by doing this, he will stay safe from attacker’s attack.
  2. Another option is to put a non-dominant hand up around his face and his elbows across his body between his belly button and his chest.
  3.  For blocking body shots with the elbow, the boxer should keep the gloves in a defensive position. You have to bend your knees, and side crunches your elbows into the shot with your defence intact. Winky Wright was a master of this technique.
  4. Keep your elbows low to protect your body and do not take punches, do counter-attack as much as you can.
  5. A Boxer can put his hands overhead and then roll his elbows for blocking the attack or punches of the attacker. It will protect your head from injury. The attacker will think that he is punching so hard, but in actually none, his attack is going to knock you out. When your opponent sees your elbows or hands down, he will try his best to punch on your face.

Advantages of Elbow Block Boxing

Your elbow is made of healthy bones, so it is a whole part of the body to block the punches of the attacker. Bringing your hand up to your face and elbow in front of the face is a natural blocking position. And it works very well. Usage of elbow blocking in-ring has invaluable benefits. It can be used to block punches and kicks of the opponent. 

Elbow block boxing is one of the most effective and conventional techniques. Using both of the elbows is a boxer’s favourite technique because of its simplicity. As the fighter sees the punch is coming in, press sides of his elbows tight together then take the impact of the blow and get his elbows back into standard condition. Blocking with elbows is very frowned upon because it can hurt the striker’s wrist or hand. 

Film study shows that this technique is a staple technique for top-level boxers for decades. These advanced techniques set up the offence, inflict damage and enhance the defence of a fighter. It provides more coverage for blocks. Elbow blocks are precious because of shield size. It helps to stop counter punches by throwing the punch with the same hand. 

By this technique, your arms get on the inside track, which means the boxer can cut straight down and beat the opponent’s hand home. If you do not want that the opponent will not shoot your head, then elbow blocking is the best way to protect yourself from the attacker.

Disadvantages of Elbow Block Boxing

Elbow Block Boxing

A drawback of elbow blocking is that if the attacker repeatedly strikes at the elbow, it can make the blocker’s arms disable that were used for the block. Most of the training clubs named this technique as ‘cheat tricks’ that save them from attacks. If a boxer is not utilizing this technique rightly, then it gives you harm than good as it will be considered a foul and will leave you as wide-open. 

It is not enough to use this technique as it is critical and needs a lot of practice when, where or how to use it. If the boxer uses this technique, again and again, your opponent can even punch your more dangerous face. Using your elbow as blocking the opponent’s attack may lead the boxer to loss of elbow mobility as sometimes the attacker hits so forcefully.

Types of Elbow block boxing

There are two types of elbow block boxing that are written below:

  1. 52 Block boxing: In this technique, boxers use his elbows to block the attack of the opponent and put their opponent in lousy condition by using their elbows to crush the opponent’s fists.
  2. Skull N Bones: In which the boxer uses his bottom elbows for blocking.

Professionals who had used this technique

There are many top-tier and all-time great professionals, who used this technique as a bread and butter, are following

  • Saul “Canelo” Alvarez
  • Floyd Mayweather
  • Winky Wright
  • Jose Luis Castillo
  • George Foreman
  • Larry Holmes
  • Andre Ward

How to defend elbow strikes

If someone is using the elbow block boxing technique, then he should also know how to stop elbow strikes. The fighter should keep his arm up near to the head for blocking an elbow strike without much movement. The boxer should quickly counter with a punch or by using elbow strike in return too because elbow strike is painful even if you blocked them. 

In horizontal elbow strike, the elbow of the boxer will swing parallel to the ground. In downward elbow strike, the boxer will strike his arm down roughly at a forty-five-degree angle. The fighter will use his elbow in an upward direction while using elbow striking upward. In reverse elbow, strike attacker will use the backside of his elbow to hit in your face

Tips for effective elbow block boxing

Keep your elbows close to the body because by doing this the boxer is well protected and when your elbows are not close to your body, then you are considered a weak boxer. Do not point the spike of your elbows at the opponent directly like a spear. 

Because in this position your angle becomes a fouling tool that can strike your attacker, which is against the rules of boxing. Use your elbows for proactive defence traffic. It blocks the motion of the elbow before the opponent punches. 

Moreover, it decreases the number of threats and gives you a degree of control over your opponent’s offence. For using this technique, you have to work hard because the more you sweat during your training, the less you will bleed in the game. Remember when your opponent is throwing punches on you, he is also creating his defence techniques too. So be careful and stay active. 

Give a little opportunity to the opponent to throw body punches so you will learn different and effective counter techniques. You can use the helmet guard to block uppercuts by blocking your elbows. Use your hands to distract the opponent. 

Use the sound as a feint to make your opponent weak. Before using this technique, the boxer should first pay attention to the opponent’s throw as sometimes he gives you a throw to another part of your body.


However, try those techniques you are mastering in it as every method requires a lot of struggle and hard work then a boxer can have a grip over that. Do not use this technique if you are not master in it. It will lead you to the severe injury of the head, face or sometimes the elbow itself. Use safeguard to protect yourself from harmful punching attacks.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *