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.
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.
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