Choosing Boxing Gloves for Fitness Boxing
By Bryanna Fissori
Choosing Boxing Gloves
There are a number of things to take into consideration when choosing a pair of boxing gloves. Not all gloves are built alike. Here are some tips on what to take into consideration:
Weight of the Glove
Boxing gloves can weigh anywhere from 8 to 20 ounces. That is a pretty big variance. The difference in weight is to account for the size of the person and what the gloves will be used for.
A heavyweight professional boxer may choose to train in 18 to 20-ounce gloves, but that is over a pound of weight on each hand, and not fitting for the average person. On that same note, that heavyweight may not even be able to physically get his hand into a 10 or 12-ounce glove.
When choosing a glove size, make sure that you are physically able to carry the weight of the glove. An average female, new to the sport will probably be just fine in 10-ounce gloves or even 12 ounces. That should provide enough weight for resistance and protection, but not be so heavy that technique fails.
Use of the Glove
Again, most fitness classes will be primarily working on the heavy bag, though this is not always the case. If your class incorporates partner drills or defensive work, larger gloves or a different type of glove may be required.
A larger size glove will provide additional protection for both you and your partner. For an average size female 14-ounce gloves may be sufficient, but as a general rule, most boxing clubs that allow sparring will require gloves to be at least 16 ounces for all genders.
Type of Glove
Though they may all look virtually the same to the untrained eye, there are subtle differences in glove styles that make them more or less appropriate depending on use. In general, gloves with a Velcro closure, also called “hook & loop” are best fit for anything except competition. Competition gloves typically lace up like shoes but take significantly more time and assistance to get on and off. Choosing boxing gloves for your style of training is important.
- Classic Bag Gloves: Used for light bag work. There is less padding and protection. Sometimes the thumb is not covered. These are only recommended for very light work and not power punching.
- Modern Bag Gloves: These new versions look more similar to standard training gloves, providing more writs and knuckle support, but not enough to be appropriate for intense partner work.
- Sparring Gloves: The name says it. These gloves are meant for impacting someone’s face. They are usually a bit larger than other types of gloves and this is primarily for added protection to both the offensive and defensive partner.
- Training Gloves: An all-purpose piece of equipment, training gloves are a good way to go, especially if you are in a class that does both bag work and partner drills.
- Muay Thai/Kickboxing Gloves: In all honesty, these gloves usually have cooler designs. Thai fighters are known for wearing bright flashy colors, so the designs are usually pretty cool. One of the main differences in gloves made for these sports (that also involve kicking) is that they are often shaped to provide additional hand flexibility. This is necessary given that these sports allow clinching with the hand and catching/blocking kicks.
- MMA Gloves: These gloves are obviously different because they are small and all of the fingers are exposed. They are not recommended for boxing training unless you want very sore knuckles and possibly a jammed finger
Color and Design
Yes, it is important to find a pair of gloves that you think look super cool. Everyone has their own style and being able to rock a pair of sweet bright pink or tiger striped gloves just might be what it takes to keep you motivated. A quick online search using keywords like “blood splattered boxing gloves” or “butterfly boxing gloves” should give you some cool options. Just don’t forget to keep all of the other factors in mind when choosing boxing gloves.
More Training and Conditioning
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.