Boxing Gear Guide
As with all sports, boxing has its own specific set of boxing gear and equipment too – and luckily for you (or your wallet) it won’t cost you much to get started. Not all pieces of boxing gear or equipment are necessary to get things going, but we will try to provide you with a comprehensive list of all the gear you will need to become a good boxer (we’ll leave the KOs up to you!)
First off, you will need some basic clothes for your work outs of course. This is nothing unusual and chances are you already have shorts, T-shirts, socks and shoes just laying around the house. Nothing that difficult or expensive, right? It’s probably best that the shoes are light so they aid in your mobility, but if you feel that more hefty shoes fit your fighting style better, then go for it. At least that’s the practical aspect of it. But if you care about style, there’s plenty of cool boxing shoes on the market that you can choose from – it sure helps to feel awesome and gets your mojo flowing!
Additionally, boxing shoes usually offer a better grip in the boxing ring (because they’re specifically designed for boxers), but that’s a bridge you can cross when you get to it. Until then, however, even the most ordinary running shoes will work just fine during training, so this boils down to personal preference. Just make sure you’re comfortable wearing them because you’ll be spending a lot of time in them doing a lot of jumping.
Boxing is hard work – so expect that your clothes will get sweaty, dirty and even destroyed sooner or later, especially during sparing. Which means you’ll be needing replacements down the line, so keep a pair or two at hand for easy replacement. Regarding the shorts, again, what’s important is feeling comfortable – in boxing, you’ll be moving a lot and you don’t want getting chafed or your clothes limiting your movement. You wouldn’t want to lose a fight because of your tight shorts, believe me, so take the time to pick your boxing apparel wisely. Additionally, all that punching, lunging and jumping around will make you extra sweaty, so you’ll also need something to keep the sweat away from your eyes. Wearing a light cap, wrapping a bandana over your forehead or wearing a headband usually solves that problem.
BOXING GEAR AND EQUIPMENT
So, now we’ve dealt with the basics, it’s time to move on to the actual boxing gear and equipment you will need. These can be organized into two types, depending on the type of workout. Namely, gear and equipment for home workouts with heavy bag, alone, and gear and equipment for training with a partner (sparring).
BOXING GEAR AND EQUIPMENT YOU WILL NEED FOR EXERCISING ALONE
Well, pretty self-explanatory. All you need is buy one, or, if you already have it lying around somewhere in your home, use that one. The jumping rope is useful for warming up exercises and getting your blood flowing. It strengthens your leg and upper arm muscles (since you’re also swinging it while jumping, remember!) and it builds up your stamina so you can last longer in the boxing ring. Almost any jumping rope will do, and there’s a wide, but simple variety of jumping ropes available – and for cheap.
Your main weapon in boxing are your hands, so you have to keep them safe from harm. Besides being the most useful parts of our body (just imagine brushing your teeth without hands!), the hands, or more precisely palms also contain dozens of little bones. These will break or fracture if you’re not careful, and there’s even a hand injury specifically called a Boxer’s Fracture – because hitting stuff hard tends to break some of those tiny bones.
But, do not despair – protecting your hands is easy. All you need to do is get some comfortable hand wraps around them and you’re all set. Hand wraps are basically just pieces of cloth that you can wrap around your hands for extra protection and sturdiness. Or, you could go with the more professional, elastic hand wraps – they’re lengthier, sturdier, and their built-in elasticity ensures that your hand flexes smoothly as it punches a bar or an opponent. Another popular hand wrap is the Mexican type, but whichever you choose, be sure to ask your trainer to teach you how to wrap them. Wrapping them wrongly may cause injury.
Additionally, hand wraps also help keep your boxing gloves clean – in case you injure yourself, chances are most blood will get absorbed in the hand wrap and not touch the glove itself. The same goes for sweat, therefore keeping your gloves stink-free.
Punch mitts are not gloves, yet they aren’t merely hand wraps either. But something in between. Punch mitts are the perfect piece of gear to work on your punching speed – and accuracy. Being light and comfortable, you can practice precision strikes fast and easy, while still having your hands protected. There’s a great variety of drills that can be done with punching mitts around the internet, so just give it a quick google and get those lighting fast strikes in!
Smaller than the heavy bag, and with good reason. The purpose of sped bags is right there in the name – it lets you practice fast punches, engaging in speed training and build up your punching reflexes. Usually, it is best to engage speed bags with punching mitts, but at the end of the day it’s your choice, and variety in exercises always helps. Speed bags are known to bounce back at you after you slam them, so they’re also useful for practicing your evasive maneuvers and keeping your reflexes sharp.
BAG GLOVES (TRAINING GLOVES)
These gloves (also called training gloves) are different from competition gloves or even sparring gloves. Bag gloves are less thick, because they are mainly designed for punching the hell out of a heavy bag, instead of a living person. Therefore they offer a bit less padding (but just enough), and because they are something that you will be using frequently, bag gloves (training gloves) are something you will find worthy investing in. Our advice is to go for a more quality pair, so they last you longer and you find the training more hassle-free – especially if you get a model with easy-to-use Velcro fasteners. Damaging your hands just by punching the bag wouldn’t create a good boxer, so best go for the quality training gloves. Pro tip: be sure to air your gloves after every session, so they don’t get smelly.
This is where the going gets rough, or where you’ll start shedding more sweat. Heavy bags are called heavy for a reason – each weighs around 70 pounds (around 30 kilograms), and should come with a mount you can swivel and attach to a stand or your ceiling. The word “heavy” in heavy bag also denotes that you will be throwing heavy punches at it, and it should be able to withstand them. They’re usually filled with softer or harder fill (depending on your preferences) and are wrapped tight in a durable material like leather, vinyl or even canvas. There are also water filled bags, but whichever fill or wrap you choose, remember that a quality heavy bag should be able to outlast your punches for years. Not to mention it does wonders for the soul – there’s nothing like ending a day’s work by beating the crap out of a punching bag. You’ll literally sweat all of your stress out like from a sponge. It is definitely something worth investing in.
This can be a dedicated stopwatch, or the timer on your phone. Anything, really, that helps you measure your training sessions, the specific drills, and even simulate matches.
GEAR AND EQUIPMENT FOR TRAINING WITH A PARTNER
- Sparring gloves
- Body Protectors
Welcome to the real deal – you’re up against another human being, and you will be punched in the head. Hard and many times. See a problem with that? Of course, who wouldn’t… Which is why there’s the protective headgear. As with the training gloves, headgear is an essential item, so when making your purchase be sure that you pick a quality item that will last. Because that headgear will be taking a lot of abuse – and if it’s not sturdily made, the opponent’s strikes will soon start displacing it, or destroying it, thereby inflicting cuts and scrapes on your head and face. Remember, your head is surrounded in soft tissue: ears, cheeks, skin and so on, so while a piece of headgear won’t protect you from a direct blow in your nose, it helps with minimizing injury and buffering those imprecise blows. However, you can still receive a concussion or be knocked out – so best avoid getting repeatedly punched to the head, headgear or no headgear. Lastly, there are different types of headgear that offer different levels of protection – from minimal, to almost enveloping your entire face. If you want to feel like Iron Man, now is the time!
Okay, okay – you’re really far from being Iron Man, really. Iron Man doesn’t have to spit his teeth out after getting punched in the face, nor lick his blood from his split lips. But what you can do to avoid that is get yourself a mouthguard – you know, those weird rubber things you’ve seen boxers hold in their mouths. They’re relatively cheap and do wonders for your teeth and lips. Of course, the protection isn’t complete, but it’s one step closer to being Iron Man.
There are several ways you can get yourself a mouthguard, and several types. You have the default ones which you can buy. Another option is going to the dentist and having a special mouthguard custom made for you – this is way more comfortable but also pricey. Also, there’s the boil-and-form types of mouthguards that you can heat up and then bite, and in doing so have them adjust around your jaw. What’s most important when choosing your mouthguard is to be comfortable with it (that it doesn’t hurt when wearing) and to be able to breathe easy. You’ll be doing a lot of breathing in a match, so best take care of that.
SPARRING BOXING GLOVES
Sparring boxing gloves are heavier, sturdier and thicker than the bag gloves that you use during heavy bag drills. These gloves have more padding, because they’re designed to inflict less damage when sparring with your partner. In a best case scenario, both you and your sparring partner invested in good quality boxing gloves for sparring, so neither of you gets extra pain from a poorly built or stiff glove. Velcro straps also help.
Life is not perfect, and neither fair. A boxing match comes pretty close to the unfairness of life, since you get punched places, and a lot of times. Chances are you will also be punched in “those” places repeatedly, so it’s naïve to go sparring or enter a boxing match without special protection for your manly or lady parts. You know, like knights did. Or Iron Man. But anyways, body protectors come in more ways than one, and are usually separated into groin protectors (for men) and chest protectors (for women). You’re already able to guess that this is another essential item that you shouldn’t save money on. Just get something of high quality, because your health – and the avoidance of a lot of pain – literally depend on it.
That rounds up our overview of the types of gear and equipment you’ll need to begin your boxing training. Of course, our list isn’t final – there is still a lot of stuff we didn’t manage to put in, like cool skipping ropes or fancy types of bags, but those are not essential to this beginner’s guide. Stay tuned for more guides from us, and until the next round – keep punching!