This blog makes a big deal about exercise and getting fit. Not only is exercise vitally important for the body, it is also great for the brain. I think one of the best sports to do for exercise is boxing. A panel of experts ranked boxing as the sport requiring the most athleticism. However, don’t let that scare you. Boxing is something you can get really good at with time and effort. And for some people, boxing is primarily used as a tool to work out, and nothing more.
Why Train Boxing?
I have been boxing for over a year now and I can say it has done a tremendous amount of good for me. Along with building great endurance, it has built a lot of upper body muscles from the drills we do. But more than that, it has improved my hand-eye coordination and spatial awareness; boxing has made me better at all the other sports I play. But I think the most important thing boxing has done for me is it has built mental toughness and adversity. Although you don’t have to spar when you train at a boxing gym, sparring is highly encouraged as it simulates what a real boxing match (or fight) is like. Before boxing, I was fearful of getting hit, especially in the face. But by sparring, I am able to take the pain of being hit, and take being hit without flinching. That in essence is the most valuable thing you can learn from boxing—being mentally tough and calm in the face of physical adversity. The mental toughness built by training how to box is more beneficial than any of the physical benefits I have gotten from boxing.
What You Need to Get Started Boxing
Getting started boxing doesn’t have to be expensive. You don’t need fancy equipment, but here are the few basics you do need to get started:
This is the most essential thing you can have for boxing class. Do not get bag gloves. Bag gloves are for punching the bag, but not really good for anything else. Instead you should get training gloves. Training gloves are great for bag work, mitt work, and live sparring. Training gloves usually range from 10oz to 16oz. Here is a boxing glove size guide according to your weight:
|Your Weight||Glove Weight|
|175 lbs or heavier||16 oz|
|147 lbs to 175 lbs||14 oz|
|147 lbs or lighter||12 oz|
|Youth ages 6-12, 147 lbs or lighter||8 oz|
With that said, you should be wearing 16oz gloves when sparring, regardless of your weight.
Pro Tip: Be sure to air out your gloves after each use. It will smell really bad if you don’t.
Boxing Hand Wraps
Hand wraps are important to your the safety of your wrists. They keep your wrists from spraining, or worse, breaking. For hand wraps, I use the Everlast Evergel hand wraps—primarily because I don’t have to wrap them. Just slip them on and you’re good to go.
Sparring Head Gear
Head gear is essential if you are doing live sparring. Everlast makes some decent head gear for a good price.
The mouth guard is the last essential piece of equipment you need in order to start boxing. Even if you are not sparring, you should get a mouth guard even when you are doing drills, especially if you are drilling with a beginner; their punches not to be as accurate. Shock Doctor makes some decent mouth guards. Be sure to get a mouth guard case too while you are at it.
Boxing Equipment for Your Home
If you are really serious about getting into boxing and want to practice at home, here are a couple more things you can buy:
Punch mitts are an excellent tool to work on your punching speed and accuracy. There are some great drills you can do with them—search on Youtube, you will find plenty. Title has some really nice punch mitts that will last awhile.
Boxing Body Protector
Every beginner in boxing tries to go for the face, without fail. But a shot to the body is just as dangerous. That is what a boxing body protector is for. Boxing body protectors are excellent tools for working on body shots. However, the drawback is that you have to have someone who is willing to wear the body protector and take the body shots. If you are interested, Title or Contender has some great options.
A heavy bag is nice to have at home if you want to practice outside of the gym. You do not need anyone to drill or practice. All you need is you, your gloves, and your heavy bag. Heavy bag practice is an important component of getting better at boxing. It is better to get a heavier heavy bag than a light one as a light one can swing a bit too much once your punches pack more power. Everlast has some nice and cheap options for heavy bags.