There are several pieces of equipment and gear which are arguably essential for budding boxers and experienced trainers alike. If you want to make the most out of your boxing potential, it’s important that you have a good understanding of what the purpose of boxing gloves, hand wraps, jump ropes, heavy bags and a good coach are and why you need them to achieve success.
What are boxing gloves?
When you begin boxing, your hands will not be accustomed to the forces subjected on your fist during a punch. Boxing gloves are cushioned gloves which fit around your fist and allow a lightly clenched fist. Modern variations of boxing gloves incorporate breathable mesh palm technology with Velcro and leather backed stitching along with suspension cushioning and reinforced padding.
Why do I need them?
The type of boxing gloves you use will change over time as your skills and style of boxing develop. Wearing proper boxing gloves will ensure that you aren’t impacting your wrists or harming an opponent during bag work or sparring as the deceleration and cushioning reduce the force in your blows.
What are hand wraps?
Hand wraps are made out of gauze and tape and are used primarily to reinforce your knuckles and wrists during a boxing workout or bout. They are frequently worn underneath your boxing gloves to provide a greater level of protection however, some boxers’ wear hand wraps without gloves as they believe it will strengthen their hands over time. Hand wraps are usually secured with a small velcro tab and different thicknesses and materials can be purchased depending on personal preference.
Why do I need them?
Hand wraps help maintain joint alignment during a strike and strengthen the soft tissues of the hand during the impact of your punch. They also secure the base of the thumb to the hand, thereby reducing the chance of a sprain or fracture as a result from a misplaced strike. Using hand wraps along with boxing gloves will greatly reduce your chance of suffering a debilitating injury.
Jump rope (skipping rope)
What’s a jump rope?
Also known as a skipping rope, a jump rope is a useful tool when it comes to improving your cardiovascular ability and stamina. A jump rope is a simple device, a long rope attached to a handle grip attached to each end of the rope. However, you’ll be hard pressed to find a cheaper and more valuable piece of training equipment. Swinging the rope in alternating intensity and rotation will give you a full body workout catered towards improving all the necessary components of boxing fitness.
Why do I need it?
Regular sessions on a jump rope will develop your cardiovascular ability and increase your endurance allowing more prolonged bursts of high speed and impact flurries along with increased staying power in the ring. However, jumping rope really shines when it comes to increasing your lower body coordination. This is something that many boxers neglect and their poor footwork in the ring will be the price they pay. If you continue to practice a consistent jumping rope routine your rhythm and movement power will be vastly magnified leading to a far more cohesive boxing form. Don’t skip the jump rope (the pun is very much intended).
What’s a heavy bag?
This essential piece of equipment will likely become the staple of your boxing training equipment and you’ll regularly vent your fury on it at times of frustration. Heavy bags come in different weight ranges and your selection should be based on a number of factors including, gender, boxing style and desired training methods. A heavy bag is usually suspended from a stable roof frame or wall structure. Heavy bags can be filled with an array of different materials and different types are suited to different boxing purposes. A heavy bag made of shredded fibre packed with a hard foam lining and stitched around a leather casing is a great long term investment in your boxing journey.
Why do I need it?
Heavy bags are a great way to develop punching power. Although technique and body movement and strength play a more important role in a bout, punching power is still important. The higher resistance of heavy bags will ensure that you are consistently developing the power of your strikes in order to budge the bag from its position. Moreover, the increased weight of a heavy bag will develop resistance and toughness in your hands and strengthen your body and mind for the stresses of a real bout.
A good coach!
The trainer maketh the man; this saying is a common one when it comes to coaching and teaching many different types of sports and skills. Having a good coach is the type of thing that separates the enthusiasts from those people who are serious about making the most out of boxing. You want a coach who has the knowledge and passion for boxing and has built this enthusiasm upon on years of experience and learning. While not technically a piece of equipment, tracking down the right coach for you will be the best investment in your boxing development that you could possibly make.
Why do I need one?
An experienced and dedicated trainer will do more to improve your technique, footwork and pattern work in an hour then you would achieve in four. Furthermore, the advantages are not just on the physical side of boxing. A pep talk and motivational anecdote from your coach might be all it takes to unlock a deeper level of commitment and determination within you.
It’s important to remember that it is very possible to succeed as a boxer regardless of your financial circumstances and how that impacts your ability to access different types of equipment. However, the benefits you can reap in your boxing training through the use of the right pieces of equipment will be substantially beneficial and long lasting.