Boxing is a relatively easy and inexpensive sport to begin. You don’t need much fancy equipment, at least when you’re just starting out. However, in order to ensure you’re protected and training at your best, there are a few pieces of basic boxing equipment you will need before becoming a regular in the ring.
Many beginners and professionals alike may tell you that you need the latest gadgets and gizmos to take on your next opponent. Luckily for your wallet, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Boxing equipment for beginners is all about protection and conditioning. Assuming you have some boxing apparel already (regular workout shorts, t-shirts, etc.), the few things you will need to purchase shouldn’t cost more than a few quid and you’ll be ring-ready in no time.
Why Start Boxing?
If you’re looking for a way to burn calories quickly, build stamina, and blow off some steam at the end of the day, boxing is probably the answer you’ve been searching for. This two-for-one exercise is a great source of both cardio and strength training. A great way to improve your overall fitness, boxing is also known to improve balance, coordination, reactivity, and agility.
While it might be difficult when starting out, once you’ve learned the proper form and are comfortable throwing a hard punch, you’ll be getting a full-body workout. A strong punch requires power from your hips and legs, while also working your back, shoulders, and core.
On the cardio end of the spectrum, boxing is known to be a high calorie-burning exercise. For example, a 70-kg person who spends an hour hitting the heavy bag can burn about 422 calories. That same person can burn about 633 calories by sparring in the ring for an hour. Other elements of a boxing workout, including skipping rope and shadow boxing, raise your heart rate and can also help you burn calories quickly.
Boxing Equipment for Beginners
The kind of boxing equipment you’ll need depends on whether you’ll be training with or without a partner. Chances are you’ll do both if you’re hoping to compete or want a higher quality workout. If you’re training with a heavy bag (no partner) you’ll need skipping rope, hand wraps, bag gloves, and a heavy bag. While training with a partner will require headgear, a mouth guard, sparring gloves, and a groin or chest protector.
Hopefully you’re thinking that doesn’t sound too complicated, however, this is really the barebones materials you’ll need. There are quite a few other options you might want to consider and of course you wouldn’t want to choose the wrong mouth guard or groin protector. To start you on your way we’ll guide you towards some of the best boxing equipment for beginners.
Boxing gloves for beginners is quite a debated subject, and there have been many resources written on the topic. To keep it brief here, there are two kinds of boxing gloves for beginners: bag gloves (or training gloves), and competition or sparring gloves.
You’ll definitely want to invest in a good pair of bag gloves. These are made to protect your hands while you beat a heavy bag, so it’s best not to be cheap here or you’ll end up buying a new pair after only a few weeks. The Bytomic Performer 3.0 Carbon Boxing Gloves are a great cost-sensitive option. They’re extremely lightweight and comfortable which makes them great for beginners.
Hand wraps are important if you want to protect all of the tiny bones in your hands as well as your wrists (you do). When wrapped correctly, hand wraps provide protection for your knuckles as well as preventing your wrists from spraining or breaking while you throw heavy punches. They’re also great for extending the life of your boxing gloves. Wraps collect the sweat and blood that would otherwise drip into your gloves.
Hand wraps come in many sizes and styles. Longer styles allow you the option of wrapping your hands in a number of different ways, including the between the fingers method and basic method.
A few other options include the Twins CH-2 Premium Hand Wraps which will give you enough length to wrap your hands in a few different ways, as well as Mexican style hand wraps, such as the Bytomic Heavy Duty Wraps. These are slightly elastic which makes them form a tighter wrap around your hands. For beginners, a great option are the Venum Kontact Gel Gloves Wraps. These “wraps” just slip over your hands so they don’t require that you perfect a certain style of wrapping just yet---just slip them on and go. They can also be used for light sparring, speed bag exercises or grappling.
A heavy bag is only required if you want to practice at home. If you only plan on training in the gym, there’s certainly no reason to invest in a heavy bag. However, there’s nothing quite as cathartic as throwing around a few punches when you get home...
There are many options when it comes to heavy bags, but the gist is that they weigh about 70 pounds, are filled with hard or soft fill, and are made of vinyl, leather, or canvas. They come with a mount to attach to your ceiling or a stand.
A heavier bag is always a better choice than a light one as the extra weight will keep the bag from swinging too much when you throw a powerful punch.
Century makes one of the best heavy bags for beginners and pros alike. The Hydrocore Handing Bag is made of high-quality vinyl, so it will withstand years of abuse without tearing or cracking. It is also filled with water, rather than foam, so you can control the firmness.
Headgear is essential if you plan on doing live sparring. It will take a lot of hits, so it’s essential that you choose something that is going to last. Headgear protects you from cuts and scrapes, it will not protect you from repeated punches to the head. You can still black out, get a concussion, or any other head-related injury with headgear on. It will alleviate some of the blow, but not enough to prevent injury resulting from repeat hits.
There are many styles when it comes to headgear. They range from minimal to only showing your eyes. Ringside makes a great option if you want to protect more sensitive areas such as your cheeks, chin, and ears from injury. There is also the Venum Elite Iron Headgear which offers full face coverage. The laces will ensure that it stays in place and won’t cover your eyes every time you take a hit.
Other than gloves, a mouth guard is probably the most essential piece of boxing equipment for beginners. When sparring a mouth guard will protect your teeth from being knocked out, as well as your lips from splitting open after a jab to the face.
While you can get a decent boil and form mouth guard for about 2 quid, the Shock Doctor makes an excellent product which costs a bit more but will fit more comfortably and last longer. The V1.5 model realigns your jar following a hit to reduce damage done to your brain during impact.
Groin and Chest Protectors
A must if you plan on doing any sparring. No one wants to get hit where it hurts, so this is an essential piece of equipment for beginners or otherwise. Shock Doctor makes a great option that is inexpensive and gets the job done. Also important are chest protectors for ladies. The Bytomic Maxi Guard Sports Vest is a great option as the protective material is removable, so you can wear it as a sports bra for a piece of multifunctional workout clothing.
We saved shoes for the end because it’s really up to you whether you decide to buy boxing boots or not. They’re really not required for beginners, especially if you’re not doing any fighting in the ring. However, if you want to show up to the fight looking like the best of ‘em, it might be worth the investment.
Nike makes some really cool gold-detailed boxing boots that are a great weight and provide an excellent grip.
Other Boxing Equipment
The list of other boxing equipment for beginners that you can buy could probably go on forever. There are endless products out there to improve your boxing game from fancy skipping ropes to human-shaped punching bags. However, as long as you’ve got all of the bases above covered you’ll be good to get started boxing.