If you are from my generation in boxing you have probably grown up watching some great fighters like Mike Tyson, Oscar De La Hoya, and Floyd Mayweather Jnr. to name a few. Chances are you won’t reach their levels but whether you are an amateur picking up a pair of gloves for the first time, an amateur with prospects, a seasoned pro or someone who is bored of lifting weights and wants some action, this guide should give you a good look at the boxing gear you need to train and compete.
You don’t need much to start boxing. In truth, you only need a pair of shorts, a t-shirt, and some gloves. If you go to many clubs or even fitness gyms they will probably have loose communal gloves that anybody can use. One problem with this might be the smell of the gloves and the way your hands smell after using them. If you are a total beginner you can try a boxercise class or just hit the bag on your own to get a feel of whether the sport is for you or not. As your interest and participation in the sport grows, however, you will need to get some gear.
What Gear Do I Need For Boxing:
This is a good question and the answer depends on how seriously you are going to be taking the sport. I know many people like to buy all the new flashy gear but it’s definitely not necessary. If the boxing club you are in requires you to wear proper shoes in the ring, then you may have to get a pair. 9 times out of 10, a good pair of tennis shoes will do you. Some things you should definitely consider is protecting yourself at all times. Rule No.1 of boxing!
Wrapping your hands is important as you don’t want to break any of the tiny and fragile bones of the hand. Especially when you are starting out you should wrap your hands while your technique is building. If you land an awkward punch on the bag, it may do damage to your wrist or hands if they are not wrapped. If you work with your hands for a living, this can be a major problem. Check out this quick video showing you how to wrap your hands.
There are different style of wraps but a typical pair wraps around your thumb and is 1.8m long on average. Pro fighters may wrap their hands professionally but if you are starting out all you need is a regular pair that will cost you about $5.
You are probably going to want to invest in a good pair of boxing gloves if you are any way serious about the sport. There is an unlimited choice on the market when it comes to boxing gloves. Check the reviews of products you are considering and you will more than likely get a good pair on Amazon or locally. What you want to look out for though, is the ounce size of the glove. People will generally use 10 – 12 oz for bag and pad workouts and 16oz gloves are usually worn for sparring.
If you are starting to spar consistently and competitively, you will probably want two pairs. If you are not sparring hard 12 or 14 oz might be ok but as you progress 16 oz is best for sparring. There are some quality and big brands out there for boxing gloves like Everlast, Title, Ring. Make sure you check the reviews and get the quality of the glove you are after.
You will most likely get what you pay for. The lighter the gloves you buy, the faster your hands will be but the less protection you will have for your hands. 16 oz is used in Sparring so you don’t hurt your partner.
While sparring can be competitive, the goal is to get better, not to knock your opponent out. You want to work on the techniques you’ve learned on the pads, keep your hands up and have fun.
If you are sparring at all, I would strongly advise you to get a gum shield. You don’t want to lose a tooth. You have enough to worry about if you are learning how to take a punch in the face, getting a good gum shield will give you peace of mind for your molars at least. Unless you come up against a Deontay Wilder in the gym! You can buy a gum shield on Amazon, at any sports shop and probably in your gym.
Another option is the get a professional gum shield fitted for you by a specialist. It might also come with a dental guarantee. If you get a chance in your gym to do this, you should go for it but a standard mouthpiece that you boil and bite down on. The mouthpiece will come with instructions and they are easy to fit.
Footwork is extremely important in boxing. It is the difference between good and great fighters. Tennis shoes or any athletic pair of shoes will get you through most situations as someone who trains boxing. A good pair of tennis shoes can get you through a white-collar bout hand enough. I had my first fight in a white-collar match wearing tennis shoes and I did quite well.
If you fighting proper amateur fights, you will need a pair of boxing shoes. Even if you are serious about improving, you should buy a pair of boxing shoes. They will fit tightly and let you bounce around the ring with ease, in and out. As always, check the reviews and don’t buy bottom of the barrel boxing shoes, invest in a good pair that will see you through.
Headgear comes in many shapes and sizes, so it is up to you what works well with the size of your head and how much freedom you want. You don’t want a headgear that will disturb your vision. If there are hooks coming at you, you need to be able to defend yourself. Some headguards will protect the cheeks and others will leave them exposed. You can also get headgear that will come across and protect your nose.
Headgear that comes across your nose or covers your cheeks will protect you from cuts, scrapes etc but it won’t take away the impact of the blow to a great extent. People can still get hurt with headgear on but if you were that worried about getting hurt, you wouldn’t be taking up boxing. As always you get what you pay for. Check the reviews. I wear an Ergo sports head guard with a chin loop and Velcro closing functionality that covers the cheeks. It is a quality guard but there are many quality headguards available on the market. Another thing you definitely don’t want is the headguard falling down and covering your eyes when you get. Getting a good fit is important. Again don’t buy the cheapest one but invest a little more for higher quality and performance.
If you are sparring regularly, you’ll need a groin guard, No one wants to be hit below the belt. For men it can bring extreme pain, I know from experience. At least give yourself the protection of a cup. Cups varying greatly in style and size. You can a simple one that you slide on like a pair of shorts or you can get an oversized one that will give you further protection. You can even get a Thai style cup where you tie strings together to keep it tight. Whatever you choose buy one with good reviews and make sure it is going to fit correctly. Buying a groin is necessary for anybody who will be sparring if they want to reproduce at least!
What Do I Need If I Want To Train At Home?
Something to hit, A Heavy Bag.
If you want to train at home, you will probably want something that you can hit. A stand-alone punching bag or a heavy bag might be of great use to you. Again heavy bags and punching targets come in all shapes and sizes. And we can do another guide on that. Traditional boxing bag that you can fill with sand and often cloth might work for you. A BOB, Body opponent bag. Those stationary pad machines that Chris Eubank Jnr loves to use or an aqua bag. Check out our guides, shop around and make a great decision. I know a lot of people like speedballs and end to end bags. Boxing tennis hats are now popular with Katie Taylor, Lomachenko and more. Always shop around, check the reviews and buy a quality product.
A Skipping rope is a great tool for getting fit, home workouts and improving your hand eye coordination. Skipping and running are always going to be key elements for preparing for a boxing contest. It goes without saying that they are good for training and condition also. You can find a good skipping rope cheap in any store or you can buy a quality rope on Amazon. Again, check the reviews and ensure you are buying a quality product.
Chin Up Bar
Boxers love doing chin-ups and its with good reason. A lot of your punching power will come from your lats and a great way to strengthen them is with a chin-up bar. You can buy one in any sports or buy online at Amazon where you can check the reviews. I recommend doing 5 sets of 5 for strength if you can manage it or 6 sets of 4. Whatever you can do!
One way to increase your hand speed is to use 1kg dumbbells as you shadow box. This should increase your hand speed and power when you drop the weights your hands will seem faster. Punch up in the air with the dumbells to build your shoulders as well.
If you are working out alone, on the heavy bag or in a gym. You should always time your rounds. Hitting the bag until you get tired is only going to be so useful. Having set periods of time to work and rest is a better way to it. I personally work for 3 minute rounds on the bag at my local fitness gym and take a minute rest. I’ll do 8 to 10 rounds practicing different combinations and shots. A lot of the times ill try combinations I saw the pros throwing that weekend.
Unlike Muay Thai, boxing shorts are not a requirement in boxing unless you are going to compete. Any regular pair of gym shorts should do you for training and sparring. If you want to get a quality pair of shorts you can pick them up on Amazon or any boxing store. There isn’t as much variety in boxing shorts as you will get in muay thai, but in muay Thai, you need the shorts to throw your kicks.
If you want to train with a friend, you will probably want to pick up some boxing mitts. Boxing mitts come in various different shapes and sizes and are the best use to simulate what you will experience when you go to spar or have a fight. Holding the pads is a skill in itself so taking turns with your partner of holding and hitting is recommended. The basic combos for mitts are the jab, the 1 2 and a 1 2 hook. A lot of the cheap mitts you can buy will buy garbage so definitely best to avoid. Curved mitts will hold the hooks and punches a lot better so are probably recommended. Light and straight pads can be used to work on speed. The better pads will have a ball inside to protect the holders’ hands. There is a huge range of options so do your research and pick the best pair for your budget. I would always recommend a leather pair as they will last longer and you a sharp snapping sound on the pads.
If you need any advice on boxing, drop us a line below and we will get back to you