Buying Guide: Boxing — Insider Tips (2023)

Baffled by boxing? Don’t throw in the towel until you read this.

Buying Guide: Boxing — Insider Tips (1)Buying Guide: Boxing — Insider Tips (2)

For the key items — gloves in particular — you'll want to buy the highest quality you can afford. Not only will this boost your overall boxing experience by minimizing aches and pains, but it will also help prolong your workout sessions. And if you stay in this, you’ll want gear that will last a long time. “That’s the great thing about boxing equipment — a good pair of gloves, or a good heavy bag, will last forever,” says C.J. Murphy, founder of Total Performance Sports, a noted boxing-training gym in Everett, Massachusetts. “A cheap pair from a discount store or mass-market retailer will degrade much faster, and possibly even break in use.” Anything offered by companies like Ringside, Title or Balazs will be fine, as will the pro-grade equipment from Everlast.

Bag gloves
Choose the appropriate amount of padding for your gloves, says boxer and coach Andy Dumas, coauthor of Knockout Fitness. “Too much padding, such as with 16-ounce gloves, will make your wrist roll over on contact with the bag,” he explains. “Too little padding — gloves weighing 10 ounces or less — won’t provide enough protection and will cause your hands to fatigue faster.” He recommends 12- or 14-ounce bag gloves for most training regimens.

(Video) 20 Tips to Get Better at Boxing

You also need a good fit. The gloves should be roomy enough to allow for circulation in the hand, but not be so roomy that the hand moves around, Dumas notes. “The palms of some brands are slightly padded and molded to ensure secure fit around the hand,” he says. “It’s important that the gloves feel comfortable and have adequate padding to absorb the shock of the impact on the heavy bag.”

Finally, look for Velcro fasteners, as opposed to laces. Velcro will be easier to manage without assistance.

Sparring gloves
“Gloves protect the boxer’s hand — not the opponent’s face,” Murphy says. “The bones in your hand are very fragile, so you need something that will provide full protection.” Look for real leather gloves, which last longer, and for laces instead of Velcro. Sparring gloves need to be fastened more securely and then taped around the wrist for additional support. This all prevents the gloves from becoming loose. A leather glove with lacing at the wrist will offer maximum protection and durability, as well as a sturdier fit. Synthetic gloves will feel roughly as comfortable, but won’t last as long. What’s critical, though, is that you use the glove only for what it’s designed for, Dumas adds. “Don’t wear a bag glove while sparring and don’t hit a bag with a sparring glove,” he warns. Doing so may leave you underprotected, or it could encourage incorrect form.

Hit up Craigslist
Boxing gear, particularly heavy bags and frames, often goes the same route as treadmills and stationary bikes — the equipment is used two or three times and then collects dust. What’s bad for those buyers is good for you, since you can usually find lightly used gear for more than 50 percent off on Craigslist.

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Focus your cash
Prioritize your spending by putting as much money as you can into the gloves and safety gear first, then the heavy bags, apparel and other gear afterward. This will not only minimize your initial cash outlay — you can upgrade the other gear as it wears out, if you choose — but it focuses on the essentials of performance and protection.

Heavy bag
The bigger the bag, the more manageable it is. “Always start with a larger bag,” says former Olympic boxer Pepe Reilly, owner of Box Personal Training in Los Angeles. “The bigger the bag, the slower you’ll go — and that’s a good thing when you’re just starting out. When you can keep up the speed, then you move to a smaller, faster-moving bag.”

Overweight boxers will have better experiences with water-filled bags, which distribute punching force much better than standard bags, Murphy says. “Water-filled bags are easier on the joints,” he notes. “Overweight people may not have connective tissue that’s ready for the impact from punching. Water bags are less traumatic, so you’re less likely to get injured.”

Bag frame
Low-grade bag frames are among the oldest problems in the boxing business. “They take a lot of abuse, especially where the adjustments are made — sliding the bag up or down for different heights,” Reilly says. “Watch out for inexpensive department-store brands. Those will break fast.”

Your best bet is to purchase a frame from a specialty online retailer. “Great frames are available from Ringside and Title,” Murphy says. “I strongly recommend avoiding any mass-market products.” Another simple strategy: Go to the hardware store and buy an eyebolt and garage-door spring, and use the spring to hang the bag from the rafters in your garage. “Always use a spring or you'll shake your house apart,” Murphy says.


Speed bag
The bags aren’t as critical here as the mounts. Budget mounts use thin platforms to support the bag and the rudimentary swivels, both of which will affect the consistency of the bag’s movement. Buy a bag set with a thick platform and preferably a ball-bearing swivel — both will also minimize distracting rattling and vibration. Start with a larger bag, Murphy recommends. “Those move slower, so you’re able to concentrate and develop a steady rhythm against the bag,” he says.

Jump rope
Buy a rope with padded handles and enough weight to help maintain your rhythm and momentum. A segmented rope — one strung with short plastic tubes — can be adjusted for your height. “A rope that is too long or too short will force you to adjust the position of your arms, causing poor execution of movement and jumping technique,” Dumas says. “Also, a rope that is too light will not hold a true arc, and it will become more easily tangled. Whereas, a rope that is too heavy produces slow, cumbersome rotations, increasing the risk of wrist and shoulder injury.”

If anything, err on the side of lightness, which will help your speed. “The faster you can spin it, the better your cardio workout will be,” Reilly adds.

Buying a jump rope: Stand in the middle of the rope and pull the ends straight up. The grips should come to your upper chest — the armpit area. If the rope is beaded, you can easily adjust the lengths. Other models might require some disassembly. Check the instructions for how to adjust it.

Hand wraps
Again, watch out for the entry-level varieties you’ll find in department stores. “In particular, never buy hand wraps that are canvas,” Reilly says. “They won’t protect your hands well because they tend to be really short.”

Focus pads
If you’re scoping out training mitts — the targets your coach or (trained) partner will hold up for you to hit — remember that padding isn’t as critical as size. “With mitts, your focus is on the technique — save the power for the heavy bag,” Dumas says. Your mitts should be sized to match your skill level. The newer you are to the sport, the bigger they should be.

(Video) A Guide to Filling a Heavy Bag | TITLE Boxing | The Benefits of the Unfilled Heavy Bag

Don’t try to layer on clothes to increase your perspiration. “People like to wear heavy sweats with long sleeves for this reason, thinking they’ll lose weight faster,” Reilly notes. “But if you work hard enough, you’ll shed pounds from the metabolism boost. Anything you sweat out by overdressing will just be replaced.”

You’ll be jumping around a lot, so avoid running shoes, which don’t provide enough lateral support. You don’t need to go quite as far as tennis shoes to get that support, nor do you need the shock absorption that either type provides. Wear good cross-trainers instead. If you are jumping in with both feet, good boxing shoes will help you move around even better, Reilly says. “They’re light and they’ll protect your ankle very well. Nike and Adidas make really good boxing shoes these days."

Safety gear
Headgear comes in different styles and sizes, offering varying levels of protection. The better models, Dumas notes, offer extra protection without compromising your vision. “This is one piece of equipment you don’t want to skimp on,” he says. “Make sure it fits snugly — you don’t want it to slide around and obstruct your vision as you spar.” Consider looking for headgear with a metal grille around the face. “It’s not a replacement for the mouth guard — that’s very important to understand,” Reilly says. “But it can help keep your face from getting bruised. I train a lot of actors and models here in Hollywood, and of course that’s important to them.”

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Mouth guards also need to have a solid fit. They should be snug or, if you’re in this for the long-haul, even custom-molded to your teeth. You can purchase kits to create these custom moldings, or have your dentist size and order one for you.

Equipment bag
You’ll work up a huge sweat with every workout, so find a bag that’s big enough to carry a spare T-shirt and a few towels, and which has separate pockets for your gloves and clothing. Everlast and Lonsdale both sell training bags that are roomy and breathable.

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What strategy do boxers use to win a match? ›

A large part of a fight may be won by simply avoiding your opponent's punches and tiring him out. However, a different tactic could involve boxing at close range or 'infighting', almost toe-to-toe with the opponent.

Can I teach myself boxing? ›

Boxing Training At Home

The beauty of boxing is that it can be performed nearly anywhere as long as you have some basic equipment such as boxing gloves and a heavy bag. Boxing for beginners can seem challenging to master, but starting how to learn boxing at home can be done with the basics and a few simple tools.

How many hours does a pro boxer train? ›

Boxing Training Routine

Boxers train approximately 5 hours a day when they are getting ready for a fight. There are many ways that you can train for a boxing match, but you have to incorporate different exercises and methods in order to get into the best shape.

What is the number 1 rule in boxing? ›

Rule #1: Be unpredictable, both on offense and defense. Habits, good and bad, are engrained from repetition and boxing training is one of the most repetitious sports on the planet.

What is the most important skill in boxing? ›

Balance is the key to boxing, and if your stance is maintained correctly, the balance will be proper. Boxing is all about throwing punches, and the best punches are thrown when the balance is maintained.

What is the best age to start boxing? ›

According to Specialists in sports medicine, boxing classes are better to start from 9-10 years. As boxing is too hard, a sport starting too early can put the students off. But it is better to start early to get a better chance of discipline, muscle memory, stamina, and to endure good habits.

How many months does it take to learn boxing? ›

Generally speaking, from the day you enter the gym and start training even three times a week, it would take about 6 months to really get the hang of the sport of boxing, but then again, it really depends on the individual.

Do pro boxers run everyday? ›

Heavyweight boxers will run 2-6 miles a day, 3-4 times per week when training.

How many times should I box a week? ›

To progress faster, but if you don't have much time to devote, we recommend at least two workouts a week for a minimum of 2 hours. And for those who really want to progress, you'll have to ramp it up to 3 to 5 workouts a week.

How many hours a day did Mike Tyson train? ›

The carbs were a great source of energy throughout the day, allowing him to train essentially 8-10 hours a day. Tyson would also had protein shakes and bananas in between meals, and even occasionally cheated and had some ice cream once in a while!

What muscles make you punch fast? ›

Your legs and chest are responsible for a large amount of the power in a punch. Most of this power is generated from rotational speed, which can be bolstered by strengthening the legs and chest.

What gives you stronger punches? ›

The greater the momentum, the greater the potential for your punch to be effective. And all of this means a harder punch. So we need Force, Speed and 'The Snap' for a harder punch. Force, speed and 'snap' are the three basic physical elements required for an effective punch that take no talent to master.

Is it better to punch hard or fast? ›

Throwing fast strikes also makes it more difficult for your opponent to evade or block your attacks since they have less time to react. Increases Your Output: Boxers usually throw combinations when they fight, so the faster you are, the more punches you get to land. That helps to win rounds on the judges' scorecards.

What is the 10 second rule in boxing? ›

(4) If the boxer being given a count by the referee is down on the canvas of the ring when the referee completes counting to ten seconds, the referee shall wave both arms to indicate that the boxer has been knocked out and shall stop the contest.

What is the quickest KO in boxing? ›

Phil Williams – 10 Seconds

The fastest knockout ever recorded in professional boxing belongs to Phil Williams. He only needed 10 seconds to dispatch Brandon Burke in June 2007 inside the Roy Wilkins Auditorium in St.

Why is the 1 inch punch strong? ›

“When watching the one-inch punch, you can see that his leading and trailing legs straighten with a rapid, explosive knee extension,” explained Jessica Rose, a Stanford University biomechanical researcher. The explosion makes Lee twist his hips faster, bringing more power into the shoulder.

Is 1 inch punch hard? ›

The conventional punch measured 325 pounds of force (148 kg) while the one-inch punch measured 153 pounds (69 kg). In the absence of a safe method of testing against a human being, the hosts deemed it "plausible" as a combat technique, if the user had proper training and experience.

What muscle is most important in a punch? ›

Two of the largest and strongest muscles used in boxing in the lower body, the quadriceps and the hamstrings are the main drivers of power used for punching. The punching motion starts with a push-off from the ball of the foot and is maximized through the quadriceps and hamstrings.

What are 4 tips for boxing? ›

Today, Evolve Daily shares five boxing tips that will help raise your game.
  • Maintain eye contact. Never lose sight of your opponent. ...
  • Watch the battle of the feet. ...
  • Fight low. ...
  • Use your side step. ...
  • Learn how to clinch.
14 Mar 2019

What age should you stop boxing? ›

You can compete in combat boxing until the age of 40. The maximum age has been put in place by the International Boxing Association (AIBA) to protect boxers. Once you've reached the age of 34 and until 40 years old you can participate in the masters' category.

Is 14 too late to start boxing? ›

There is no right time to start boxing and you are never too old. Though you may be past your years of becoming a professional athlete, there is no reason why you can't, or shouldn't, start boxing if it is something you are interested in.

Is 17 too late to start boxing? ›

While athletes must be at least 18 years old to participate in a professional boxing match, there's no required age for beginners. Boxing training can start at any age, depending on interest level, accessibility, and physical ability.

Is boxing 3 times a week enough? ›

It's addictive: Instructors often report over-training by boxing fans because they enjoy it so much, so keep it in perspective and build up slowly. Three or four times a week is quite enough.

How do I know if I'm good at boxing? ›

8 Signs You Are Getting Better At Boxing (Even If You Don't...
  • 1) You're able to power through each session without getting burned out. ...
  • 2) You can execute various combinations smoothly. ...
  • 3) Your punches have become more explosive. ...
  • 4) You've started sparring. ...
  • 5) You can defend yourself more effectively.
7 Apr 2016

Why is boxing training so hard? ›

It's not just physical exhaustion, but also the mental concentration required in boxing. It's the willingness to confront not only your opponent, but also your own fear. That reason, fear, as ESPN indirectly pointed out, is the reason more than any other that boxing is the most difficult sport.

Should boxers lift heavy? ›

Lifting weights for boxing should generally be lower in volume, but higher in intensity coming from load or speed. Exercises such as jump squats, medicine ball throws, and neck training are staples in a boxers training program.

Why do boxers run so early in the morning? ›

Boxers will run early in the morning to allow enough recovery before their boxing workout. This way, their roadwork doesn't interfere as much with their other training sessions. If you had your first boxing session at 10 am, and you ran at 8 am, you'd only allow approximately one hour to recover before training.

Why do boxers skip? ›

Improves footwork

If you pay close attention to a boxer as they jump rope, you will notice they do not skip as most people do. Boxers use something known as a boxer's skip. This style of skipping imitates the footwork a boxer uses in the ring and it's one of the most effective ways to improve your footwork.

What happens if I box everyday? ›

Overuse and hand injuries can develop quickly with the impact forces of power punching a bag, Throwing hard punches against the bag every day can degrade your punching technique quickly and ingrain poor punching habits.

Is hitting a body part once a week enough? ›

A training frequency of once a week will get you bigger muscles, but research as highlighted below shows that a training frequency of 2-3 times per week is more effective in reaching this goal.

How will boxing change your body? ›

Boxing can help improve your heart health, body composition, and strength, as well as lower your blood pressure and aid weight loss. Most of all, boxing is a fun way to get some exercise and release stress in a safe and healthy way.

Do squats increase punching power? ›

Squats are great for boxing as they develop strength and power in the legs. The legs are vitally important for punching performance so if you can squat weights heavy and fast, you can potentially improve boxing performance.

Do boxers run or jog? ›

Boxers will often run at least three miles on their roadwork and do this three to five times a week, in line with their gym work and sparring. Different levels of fighters will do more or less and mix up their routine based on personal requirements.

Do boxers train abs everyday? ›

“How often should I do a six-pack workout?” Since the core muscles as a whole are vital to our activities of daily living, I believe it is important to train the core three to four times per week. Workouts like boxing and kickboxing naturally work the core, and all fighters always end a training session with abs.

What exercise make you punch harder? ›

Most of the boxing punching power comes from the back and the shoulders, therefore, if you work on your upper body muscles, you land a powerful and fast punch. You can do workouts like shoulder press, pull-ups, and push-ups to target your shoulder and back muscles.

Do push-ups increase punching power? ›

Plyometric Push-Ups

Among the most important muscles in the body for boxing are the arm, shoulder, and pectoral muscles. These are all the same muscles that get a workout when you do push-ups, which means that push-ups are a great way of building your punching power.

How can I make my knuckles stronger? ›

Conditioning your knuckles protects them from injury by hardening the bones so they can withstand impact against hard objects like a skull.
  1. Knuckle Push-Ups.
  2. Punching The Heavy Bag.
  3. Punching A Makiwara.
  4. Bucket Of Rice.
18 Dec 2021

Does stronger legs make you punch harder? ›

There is no “ground game” in boxing--it's all done standing up, so the legs are the primary source of power delivered through your punches (and kicks), and the stronger your legs are, the harder your punches will be, and the longer you will be able to stay in a fight. Here's a quick illustration of leg power in boxing.

What techniques do boxers use? ›

There are four generally accepted boxing styles that are used to define fighters. These are the swarmer, out-boxer, slugger, and boxer-puncher.

What is best strategy for fighting? ›

Aim for vulnerable areas to hurt your opponent more.

If you have trouble hitting your opponent in the face, try going for their neck or throat to stun them. You should always respect your opponent - don't use any dishonorable tricks, don't fight dirty and never attack them from behind. Make sure it's a fair fight.

What is good technique in boxing? ›

The golden rules of boxing footwork

Keep the weight balanced on both feet. Keep your feet apart as you move to maintain good balance. Move around the ring using short sliding steps on the balls of your feet. Never let your feet cross.

What is the hardest boxing style? ›

The swarmer is one of the more difficult styles to achieve, as it requires nearly perfect form and the stamina to apply pressure to the other boxer continuously.

What muscles do boxers train the most? ›

The quadriceps and hamstrings are the primary muscles used, and they're part of your thigh. After your calf muscles help you to lift your heels off the ground, your quads and hamstrings work together to move your body in the direction of a punch.

Is it better to punch harder or faster? ›

If you generate a lot of impulse you'll be able to transfer that to the target site and create momentum. That target site being your opponents head, arms or torso. The greater the momentum, the greater the potential for your punch to be effective. And all of this means a harder punch.

Why do I get scared before a fight? ›

Our mind wants to keep us safe and that means staying in your comfort zone. Going into fight is a physically threatening situation which means our mind does its job to keep us safe by going into a fight-or- flight response; that's when the nerves, anxiety and doubts begins.


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