What Equipment Do You Need to Start Boxing?
Fortunately, you don’t need much to start learning how to box. What you'll need is a place to train, boxing gloves, hand wraps and a punching bag.
When you first connect with the sweet science, learning basic motions in the air is a good way to start. But boxing is a contact sport, so getting to actually hit things soon is important, not only for learning what it’s like to box for real, but it’s also a great way to relieve stress!
Find a Space for Your Boxing Training
Before we get to punching bags, and hand protection (wraps and gloves) you first need to assess the space where some home boxing equipment will fit best and where you can move around doing your boxing workouts. Using a mat or mats that are not slippery, helps when learning the basic footwork patterns and steps, there are many available online to purchase. Carpets and wood floors are sometimes not the best surfaces for training and adding this piece of beginner boxing equipment can help you level up your boxing training.
Once you have decided that learning how to box is a personal goal of yours then you should start looking at investing in the boxing equipment for the home that will help you achieve this goal.
What equipment do you need to start boxing?
- Provide wrist protection and gives knuckles a first layer of padding
- Provide the ultimate padding for safety for you to learn to hit like a pro
- Hitting an object that simulates the human body allows you to take out the day’s stressors (without hurting your buddy!)
What are the different boxing wraps called?
Tape and Gauze:
- Pros - These are lightest weight wraps with the most protection and a variety of sizes
- Cons - Not reusable and takes time to wrap, cannot be wrapped well by yourself
Traditional hand wraps:
- Pros - Cost efficient, reusable and easy to learn how to wrap yourself
- Cons - Can become loose, adds to your laundry and there are also set sizes
Elasticated ‘Mexican’ style:
- Pros - stretches to conform to hand, does not loosen, breathable
- Cons - These are generally thicker and add to your laundry!
FightCamp Quick Wraps:
- Pros - No wrapping of the hand necessary, they are put on similar to a glove and are built to hold FightCamp punch trackers in place
- Cons - If you prefer traditional hand-wraps these will feel different since the cloth is not wrapped through the fingers
What type of boxing gloves should I get?
Bag Gloves (non molded thumb):
- Pros - Light, small, easy to carry around
- Cons - No thumb protection, less protection
Training Gloves (molded thumb)
- Pros - Full protection, cheap, large variety of styles
- Cons - Cheaper quality don’t last, large to carry around
Competitive Gloves (molded thumb)
- Pros - Best protection, best quality, best materials used in production
- Cons - Expensive, not needed for regular workouts on bag, large to carry around
What is the best punching bag for beginners?
- Pros - More dynamic experience, what pro’s use most, good for footwork
- Cons - High maintenance installment, needs more space, cannot move once installed
- Two types of hanging bag are a regular short boxing bag or a ‘banana’ bag. Banana bags are longer and thinner and you can train low kickboxing kicks on them. Regular short boxing bags are thicker and only accommodate mid to high kicking practice.
Free Standing Bag
- Pros - These don’t need as much installment, you can move them around whenever and can be cheaper
- Cons - They can move around when training, the cheap versions don’t last as long and it is less of a dynamic workout
One of the great health benefits of boxing is the community in which you train. Finding your tribe and connecting with them on a personal level has been shown to be essential for emotional and mental health.
During this time of isolation and lockdown that is even more important. One of the great things about connecting with your passion and striving towards your goals is being able to progress.
What equipment can improve my boxing skills to the next level?
If you have someone to train with you can use these easily transportable mitts in the park, at their house or wherever you don’t have access to your punching bag.
Boxing Fitness Trackers
Using wearable technology can greatly increase your understanding of each workout. Tracking specific data points like heart rate, intensity and punching rate. This lets you know when you need to push harder and when you break your personal record!
Apple Watch/FitBit/Smart Watches
These devices collect health data like heart rate, length of workout and use algorithms to estimate caloric expenditure.
They range from approximately $30 to hundreds of dollars for the Apple watch and have a variety of special features.
Real-time punch speed, count and output displayed during your training
In-workout punch goals, post-workout summaries and performance over time
Compete on the leaderboard against the nationwide FightCamp community or against yourself
Customized Boxing Workouts
Whether in a boxing gym or just on your own, having a professional create workouts for you frees up your time to just train and focus on your personal goals.
You can customize boxing workouts at home by:
1. Finding workouts on YouTube (FightCamp has a number of follow along workouts on Youtube you can find here)
2. Hiring a professional boxing coach online
3. Use an app with built in workouts, class and programs (The FightCamp app is a great place to start and free to download here)
No matter what level you are at, boxing is a great way to get in shape, find your tribe by connecting with others, achieve personal goals and have a set of skills that could come in handy in a tight spot!
About the Author:
Paul McCarthy is the Director of the UCLA Martial Arts Program. He has overseen the boxing, kickboxing and muay thai instructional programs for the past 11 years and advised the UCLA Boxing Club for the past 6 years. During this time, they have won two national championships with the National Collegiate Boxing Association (NCBA). He has certifications/qualifications in 9 different martial arts, certifications in fitness/wellness organizations and two degrees in Kinesiology.