You have been studying Youtube and perhaps a few articles, much like this one, and decided that your new fitness regime should include boxing. With your newfound enthusiasm to try the sport, whether for fitness, confidence building, or learning to fight, you want to turn up with the right gear.
The beauty of boxing is that beginners gear doesn’t differ much from that of a seasoned practitioner. Turning up with the right equipment from day one can you confidence and make you feel like part of the crowd from day one.
What do beginners need?
We will detail the equipment that gives you the edge and what items are a necessity, and what can be bought over time.
- Hand Wraps
- Water Bottle
- Skipping Rope
- Boxing shoes
- Head Guard
- Mouth Guard
- Foul Protector
We understand that this looks like a vast amount of equipment to get you started. Thankfully, you don’t need all of these from day one. There are only a few items you need to get started.
Without gloves, there is no boxing. Most gyms will have gloves that you can borrow for your first session, but they are normally well used and a little smelly. If you can cope with that, then go ahead and borrow a pair to make sure that boxing is for you.
Once you have had a session or two and you start to reap the benefits of boxing training, you will want a pair of your own gloves. Having gloves is a right of passage in boxing. There is something about it that helps ignite confidence inside you.
Not only the above, but they are yours and solely yours. You know where they have been, and you can clean and look after them. It may sound strange to have to look after your gloves considering the impact they go through, but gloves are an investment and should be treated as such.
Bag gloves should be the first pair of gloves you invest in. These gloves will be your most used as you will spend more time hitting bags and focus pads than you will anything else. A lot of training time is taken up, learning to strike and move. This means hitting freestanding punch bags, working with a partner using focus pads, and learning to punch and move.
Training gloves are for those who are not necessarily more advanced but who wish to partake in sparring. They are built to protect your hands and to stop you from causing damage to your sparring partner. You can purchase these when you feel you are ready to take that next step in your boxing training.
To make them last, you must look after them. If you read our article on preventing leather gloves from cracking and follow the instructions, you will have a pair of gloves that will last a long time and many hours of gruelling training.
Hand wraps provide another level of protection for your hands and knuckles. We would suggest that this was your first purchase. They are inexpensive but imperative. They will help protect your hands from damage.
It is easy to get a scuffed knuckle when you are first pounding the heavy punch bags, and once the injury is there, it is tough to keep striking as the wound will reopen. Without your hands in working order, there is no boxing, so hand wraps are essential.
We have an extensive guide to hand wraps in our blog.
During training, especially at the initial stages, you can wear any type of shorts you have. As you progress into more sparring sessions and potentially fighting, you will want to get yourself into a pair of boxing shorts. They are lightweight and quick-dry, and built for combat. They have space for a groin guard and are the go-to option for all boxers.
Staying hydrated is extremely important. So turning up to your boxing session without a water bottle can be very detrimental to your session and your body. Arriving at an intense training session with only a 300ml bottle of water will not suffice either. It’s always better to bring too much than too little when it comes to hydration.
Don’t forget – Water is king. You can drink other liquids, such as electrolytes and Lucozade, but we recommend you steer clear of anything fizzy. If you want to be well prepared, start hydrating a couple of hours before your lesson for optimum training readiness.
Skipping has long been a part of boxing. You have seen it in movies, and you will constantly see it in the gym. Skipping helps you be quick on your feet, helps with explosive plyometrics when shifting around the ring. Not only that, but it’s a great cardio workout.
Having your own rope means you aren’t fighting for the best one at the gym, and you can put in some extra training at home. Skipping is surprisingly challenging till you get used to the rhythm, so practice is key to mastery.
In a regular session, your trainers will suffice when hitting bags and pads. But some gyms may want to protect their rings surface. Boxing shoes will ensure that the ring doesn’t get damaged.
Boxing shoes will also protect your feet. While sparring, it can be pretty easy to stand on each other’s feet accidentally, so if you are sparring barefoot, you can end up damaging each other’s feet, especially in the early days of training.
Although you don’t see the professionals wearing head guards in their fights, we can assure you that they are in full headgear when they spar with others. A head guard is one of the most crucial safety products you can have if sparring. You should always wear one to protect yourself from any injury or damage to your face and head.
Much like the head guard, the mouth guard is also a critical part of your boxing safety gear. There is no sparring without a mouthguard. It prevents your teeth from being knocked out or your lips from being damaged by them.
Mouthguards can vary in price, and most will require moulding to the shape of your teeth. This is generally achieved with hot water from your kettle and leaving them in your mouth for a while. Most mouth guards will have instructions.
Foul Protector Groin Guard
When you are sparring, especially in the early days, it’s always possible that your opponent’s punches could go astray. A foul protector helps prevent any unwanted accidental strikes to the groin area.
One accidental hit could put you down for the rest of the round, taking the wind out of you. The foul protector is a must-have if you want to get sparring and take your boxing to the next level.
These equipment choices will be most of the items you will require for your boxing career, be it in the ring or just for fitness. Either way, you have chosen to incorporate boxing into your life and experience the benefits of it.
Our recommendations to get your training
- Bag gloves
- Hand wraps
- Water bottle
These four items will ensure you can jump straight into your training and get a feel for boxing.
Our recommendations for sparring
- Mouth Guard
- Head Guard
- Training Gloves
- Groin Guard
Owning these items will give you all of the safety precautions you require if you wish to start sparring.
Don’t forget that your coaches and gym owners are experts in the field of boxing. If you need more information, they will be a fountain of knowledge and glad to help you. Happy training.