Fitness Boxing Equipment: What You Need to Know
By Bryanna Fissori
Though boxing is not one of those sports that requires a ton of expensive equipment (snowboarding, golf, football) you will need a few things to properly participate. Here is the list of boxing equipment that you will probably want to pick up.
The most important piece of boxing equipment is boxing gloves. Unless you are doing a straight choreographed cardio class, you are going to need gloves. There are two different “types” of gloves that can be used for boxing when you aren’t actually hitting someone. Either will work fine for hitting objects rather than a live person.
These are gloves that have just enough padding to protect your hands as you hit the heavy bag. They are typically lighter weight (between 6 and 10 ounces) and often do not have protection over the thumb or other areas that would not normally take impact so long as punch placement is controlled.
Regular sparring or training gloves provide full protection and can also be used with a human partner. They have increased support in important areas like the knuckles and wrist. They are often heavier than bag gloves (between 10 and 16 ounces), which are important to protect yourself and your partner, but they will work fine in a fitness class as well.
The full long lace-up competition gloves are not recommended mostly because they will take forever to get on and off and may just be general overkill for a fitness class.
These are long cloth wraps that cover primarily the knuckles and wrists. This helps prevent scrapes or bruises over the knuckles and also supports the wrists when hitting the bag. Wrist support is often underrated. A punch thrown at an awkward angle can certainly result in injury and strong wrist support helps to alleviate that risk.
“Quick wraps” may also be used in place of cloth wraps. These just slip over the hand like weight gloves. They also provide protection in the same areas as cloth wraps. There are several different brands that carry this style though they may differ in materials used. Most have gel or foam cushion over the knuckles with either a polyester/elastic or neoprene glove base. Make sure when using quick wraps, that the wrist is still properly supported.
Optional Equipment for Fitness Boxing:
Each facility differs on their shoe policy, usually pending what type of flooring they have. A boxing gym that has canvas mats will certainly require shoes. For fitness boxing wearing regular athletic shoes would be appropriate. They need to have minimal tread. Running shoes would be fine, but hiking shoes would not. The shoes need to allow for sharp pivoting movement without feeling heavy or stuck to the floor. Shoes are a necessary piece of boxing equipment when competing. There are shoes specifically made for boxing. They come up higher over the ankle for support and have appropriate grip for a boxing ring. Even competitors often substitute wrestling shoes for boxing shoes.
If you are doing work with a partner such as holding focus mitts or doing drills, it is a good idea to have a mouth guard in. This piece of boxing equipment protects your teeth and your brain should you accidentally, or purposefully take impact to the face or head. If you are only doing bag work this should not be necessary.
Jumping rope is a traditional way to warm up in most boxing gyms. It promotes proper foot movement by keeping you off your heels, cardio training and coordination. Even if your gym does not require jumping rope as part of the class routine, it’s a great addition to boxing training at all levels.
More Training and Conditioning
Familiarizing Yourself with Boxing Gym Equipment
By Bryanna Fissori
The first time you walk into a boxing gym, you may notice a lot of random bags hanging from the ceiling or equipment scattered about. It can be a bit overwhelming at first. Here is a quick guide to the boxing gym equipment you may see.
The heavy bag is what it sounds like it is. It is a big bag that is typically very heavy and usually hangs from the ceiling by a metal chain. It is the primary tool for most fitness boxing classes. Lengths and weights can vary pretty significantly. You should have to put in some effort to make the bag move when punching, but not so much effort that it feels like hitting an immovable brick wall.
A teardrop bag typically hangs a little higher than heavy bags and is shaped like a teardrop with the largest portion of the bag on the bottom. This bag often moves a little more easily than a heavy bag and is often used to encourage using movement and angles.
These are the thickly padded mitts that slip onto the hands similar to a baseball glove but flat on the outward facing side. They are used to receive punches during training. This makes it possible to practice combinations and movement on a moving target without direct impact to the receiving person.
This is the small, noisy bag that is typically hung face level or a little higher. It requires steady and consistent hand movement to use, which helps build speed and hand-eye coordination. The way the speed bag is struck is not the way an actual punch is thrown.
The mannequin in the corner that looks like an angry man with no arms or legs is Bob. This tool is used to promote accuracy in punches using a more lifelike target. Power punching is done on a heavy bag, but Bob is very helpful for technique.
Double End Bag
There may be a round ball that is roughly the same size as a small soccer ball attached to a string at both ends. One string is secured to the ceiling and the other to the floor. This is a double end bag. Don’t hit it really hard at first because it may hit you back. This is a great tool for practicing long-range strikes and footwork.
Other Boxing Gym Equipment
There are plenty of other tools of the trade to be found in a boxing gym, but these are arguably the most popular. When familiarizing yourself with the boxing gym equipment, it is a good idea to watch how it is being used by other students and trainers. When in doubt, ask your trainer about the equipment. They may even give you some pointers along the way!