A BEGINNER’S GUIDE
A BEGINNER’S GUIDE
Great news! Boxing doesn’t require a great deal of equipment to get started. But as a contact sport, it requires the right kind of gear to support you in your first steps. To be specific, what do you need?
You can choose between two types of wraps : regular wraps, which are long strips of fabric you wrap around your wrist and knuckles, and speed wraps, also known as EZ wraps, which you can simply slip on as gloves. Beginners are often afraid to get started with the regular types, but no need to freak out about them — you can ask your coach, or watch a good online demo.
If you decide for the relate type, you’ll probably see a choice of 2.5 or 4.0 meters. Always go for the longer, as they will allow more layering of your wrist and knuckles, for a much better protection. And with a little practice, you can go for the crossed wrap.
Wraps serve 3 purposes: 1/ protecting your joints from impact; 2/ focusing your hand into a tighter fist; 3/ absorbing sweat… you’ll wash your wraps, not your boxing gloves.
- Twisting the wraps. Keep them flat as you wrap them around your fist
- Too tight. Make sure you can still open your hand, and that you’re not cutting blood flow
- Too loose. Your wrap might move through your session, and you’d lose their protection
- The biggest mistake you can make… no wraps! You’ll feel the difference with every punch, and not in a good way
There’s a lot of options to choose from, and it’s hard to know what makes a difference. Aim to be guided by quality criteria rather than affordability: many things make a difference in the construction — and cost — of a good boxing glove
MATERIAL: many entry level gloves are made of polyurethane, while higher quality gloves are always made of leather. Why? Because real leather is much more resistant to the repeated impact and friction of hitting pads or punching bags. They will last much longer.
FOAM: the foam used inside the glove is like the sole of great running shoes. It’s there to absorb impact and protect your fist… and your opponent. The heavier it is, the more protection it affords. We recommend 12oz or 14oz, and two or three layers of foam, especially as you get started in your practice
WRIST STABILITY: the best option is a scratch closure, which locks the wrist into place and avoids twisting as your punch. Check that the wrist also offers foam padding, to protect you as you block.
The jumping rope is a classic boxer training tool. We all have this image of famous boxers with their training hoodie, jumping rope in hand! Jumping rope offers many benefits — high intensity cardio, coordination, fat burning — and it’s surprisingly not promoted in fitness circles beyond boxing. It’s very easy to include in your warm up, to give it intensity.
A warning though — as much as rope jumping is better than running for your joints, don’t forget to warm your joints up before starting (rotating your ankles, knees and wrists), and to dynamically stretch your calves and thighs. Start with interval jumping, 30 seconds on, 30 seconds off. Once you’ve mastered the form, you can move to a weighted rope, which will also help tone your upper body.
A solid choice, these can turn air jabs, uppercuts and hooks into a real workout. 2LB doesn’t sound like much, but with 50 reps, they’ll make a world of a difference to tone your shoulders. You’ll feel the burn!
How do you chose an outfit for boxing? You can guess that we’ve given this question some thought at The Knockout. Technically, it’s important to deliver on two criteria:
- Your outfit must stay in place and support your core. Whatever type of boxing practice you pick, your core does a lot of work, twisting, bracing, dodging. It’s critical that your legging, shorts or skirt stays firmly in place through your training session… you won’t be able to adjust it with your gloves on!
- Fabrics must help deal with sweat. Boxing is a high intensity sport, if you don’t sweat, you’re doing it wrong.As long as these two boxes are ticked, you can choose any outfit that you like and that makes you feel confident. Boxing is also a mind game — whether you’re facing yourself in a mirror, a boxing bag, or an opponent.Then it’s down to individual preferences. Here’s a few options for our tops. As you get into warm up, favour a compression top with long sleeves, to heat up your body faster, especially in winter. When training gets more intense, move to a sports bra for more freedom of movement. Chose a degree of support that makes you comfortable. If you don’t like just wearing a bra in the gym, then add a looser layer, maybe a sleeveless tank top.
For bottoms, leggings are a great choice in winter… again as long as you pick one with core support. If you’re “team shorts”, pick a tight cycling type short. And the fashion forward modern warrior will go for the boxing skirt… the better feminine answer to the iconic boxing short.